The Eagles have been very busy during the first week of free
agency, but on Friday they demonstrated there are many means by which to
acquire talent. The team traded some low draft picks to the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers in exchange for Arrelious Benn, a 24-year-old wide receiver with big
The Bucs were willing to part with Benn for the low, low
price of a sixth rounder and a conditional pick in 2014, plus sent their
seventh back in the deal. Basically, the Eagles got the kid for next to
Taken in the second round in ‘10 out of Illinois, Benn racked
up 59 receptions for 862 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons. His best
season came in 2011, which accounted for more than half of those career totals.
Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times writes that Benn
was overtaken as the team’s third receiver last season, but was also limited by
injuries. He caught just four passes while appearing in eight games before
landing on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Additionally, Benn was coming
off of a torn ACL the year before, so he’s been banged up quite a bit in a
short amount of time.
If that’s the only reason the Bucs are moving on though,
they may be giving up too soon. Benn has good size at 6-2, 220, and he runs
well, posting a 4.4 40-yard dash. If he could get healthy, youth is on his side.
He’s a nice add to the Eagles’ receiving corps for his size
alone. Of the five wide receivers who registered catches last season, only
Riley Cooper is taller than six-foot, and he hasn’t exactly become
irreplaceable. It’s an area where outside of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin
there is room for serious improvement.
Whether or not Benn will help in that regard remains to be
seen, but he’s already showcased some big-play ability at the NFL level. To be
able to bring him in the fold for nothing more than a swap of late-round
picks and a conditional next year is a tremendous value for the Eagles.
Should Benn get his career back on track, it becomes a
flat-out steal. The Bucs obviously didn’t think that was going to happen with
them, but the Eagles have nothing to lose.
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