Why aren’t the Eagles trading for [Player Z from Mars]?

Why aren’t the Eagles trading for [Player Z from Mars]?

Two-time All-Pro safety Jairus Byrd is stuck in Buffalo playing on a one-year deal thanks to the franchise tag, and he seemingly wants out. The Eagles are desperate for so much as a capable safety, so why doesn’t general manager Howie Roseman pick up the phone and make that call?

The Cleveland Browns just shipped out running back Trent Richardson last week, and if the third-overall pick of the 2012 draft is available, why not freakish wide receiver Josh Gordon? Riley Cooper is a distraction and can’t get any separation from opposing corners anyway, so it seems somebody like Gordon could help.

It’s not uncommon for fans to look around the league and identify players that might better the team they root for. Some thoughts are better than others—you do realize Kennry Britt only has five receptions for 43 yards this season, right?—but there’s no question there are players on the trade block who might be able to help the Birds right now.

The Eagles have pieces they aren’t making much use out in the form of Nick Foles, Bryce Brown, and Vinny Curry for example, not to mention next year’s draft picks. So enough beating around the bush, just what is this front office waiting for?

While he isn't allowed to delve into specifics per league rules, Roseman did address some of these questions on Monday, as reported by Zach Berman for the Inquirer:

"I wouldn't say anything is a non-starter for us," Roseman said. "If there's an opportunity for us to improve our team now and going forward, we're open to doing that. I think it's hard to trade draft picks. We want to build this the right way. We want to get our own players. But to make a statement that we won't trade draft picks - if it makes sense, we'd be open to anything for our team."

"We want to keep our talented players on our roster," Roseman said. "We're not looking to move our players. We want to compete right now. We're trying to build it the right way, but we're trying to be competitive."

The problem with swapping for a player like Byrd or Gordon is they won’t come cheap. Teams want high draft picks in return, not players—all of Foles’, Brown’s, and Curry’s limbs put together aren’t worth as much as a second-round pick at this moment in time—which means the Eagles would have to give up one or multiple valuable selections to acquire a quality player.

Keep in mind the Eagles no matter what else Roseman said in that interview have a rebuilding mindset at the moment. Nobody thought the team was a Super Bowl contender coming into this season, and I doubt any of those potential moves would change many minds. Meanwhile, they need those picks next year to continue improving the roster.

Byrd, 26, and Gordon, 22, could improve the Birds now and for the future… in theory. But Byrd will be a free agent at season’s end, which means he could possibly be had without giving up picks, or he could potentially leave. Gordon meanwhile still has a lot to prove at this level, plus he violated the NFL’s drug policy and is one strike away from a one-year suspension—let's not forget Jeremy Maclin could be back in midnight green next season as well.

It’s a lot more complicated than making the call. There’s a good chance neither of those players will move for less than a second-round pick, and as it stands today, the Eagles could have a good one come April.

You’re just going to have to be patient, Eagles fans. Not that this season is over, but you have to look beyond these next 13 games and think where the roster could be one or two years from now after a couple of drafts and a little more free-agent spending. They have a better chance of getting back to being a perennial contender by staying the course than they do hauling off other teams’ unwanteds.

But hey, the NFL trade deadline is still over a month away, and Howie did say there aren’t any non-starters. So he’s saying there’s a chance.

>> Don’t count on any Eagles trade, Roseman says [Inq]

No. 10 Washington dominates No. 7 Stanford in rout

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No. 10 Washington dominates No. 7 Stanford in rout

SEATTLE -- Jake Browning threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns, Myles Gaskin added 100 yards and two scores, and No. 10 Washington was dominant on both sides, overwhelming No. 7 Stanford 44-6 on Friday night.

After months of hype that Washington (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) was on the verge of a breakout, the Huskies showed they were ready for their return to the national stage.

And they did it emphatically, handing Stanford (3-1, 2-1) its worst loss since a 41-3 setback against Arizona State in 2007.

The Huskies raced to a 23-0 halftime lead, scored early in the second half to go up 30-0 and coasted to their biggest victory over an AP Top 10 team since beating No. 5 Southern California 31-0 in 1990. That game 26 years ago announced Washington as a national contender and the Huskies went on to share the national title a year later with Miami -- taking the coaches' version while Miami topped the AP media poll.

Browning was the leader of an efficient offense that scored on six of its eight drives. He threw touchdowns of 3 yards to Dante Pettis, 19 yards to John Ross and capped the night with a 3-yarder to Aaron Fuller with 5:30 remaining. Browning was 15 of 21 and did not commit a turnover.

Equally important was Washington's ability to establish a running game. The Huskies rushed for 214 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.

Meanwhile, Stanford star Christian McCaffrey saw his Heisman Trophy aspirations hit a major speed bump. McCaffrey was held to 49 yards rushing on 12 carries, five catches for 30 yards and continued his streak of never scoring an offensive touchdown in a road game.

It was McCaffrey's fewest yards rushing since 2014 at California when he had 19 yards on three carries.

Stanford's only TD came late in the third quarter on a 19-yard pass from Ryan Burns to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

Burns was 15 of 22 for 151 yards, but Washington controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides. Stanford quarterbacks were sacked eight times, six in the first half. Stanford had allowed only four total sacks in the first three games combined.

Stanford was playing short-handed without starting cornerbacks Quenton Meeks and Alijah Holder, starting wide receiver Francis Owusu and starting fullback Daniel Marx. Starting right tackle Casey Tucker limped off with an apparent leg injury late in the fourth quarter.

Takeaways
Stanford: The Cardinal were unexpectedly sloppy. Stanford committed 11 penalties after entering the week as the least penalized team in the Pac-12. There were communication issues in part due to the roaring Washington crowd, but also a lack of sharpness not normally seen from David Shaw's team.

Washington: The defense was up to the task of keeping McCaffrey under control and forcing Burns to beat them through the air. McCaffrey had 34 yards on 10 carries in the first half and forced the Cardinal into numerous long third-down situations. That allowed Washington to bring extra pass rushers to get to Burns.

Up Next
Stanford: The Cardinal head home after two straight weeks on the road to host Washington State.

Washington: The Huskies travel to Oregon looking to snap a 12-game losing streak to the Ducks.

Best of MLB: Darvish stars as Rangers beat Rays 3-1 and clinch home field

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Best of MLB: Darvish stars as Rangers beat Rays 3-1 and clinch home field

ARLINGLTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish looked playoff-ready with a season-high 12 strikeouts in six innings as the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Friday night and clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

The Rangers can be tied by only the Cleveland Indians and they own the tie-breaker by winning the teams' season series. The AL owns home-field advantage in the World Series thanks to its win in the All-Star Game.

Darvish (7-5) allowed one run, three hits and one walk. His 28th career game of double-digit strikeouts is the second-most in a pitcher's first 100 major league starts, topped only by Dwight Gooden (31). Darvish will likely start Game 2 of the Division Series following Cole Hamels.

Shin-Soo Choo returned to Texas' lineup after missing 39 games with a fractured left forearm. Choo pulled a single to right in his first plate appearance since Aug. 15 and went 1 for 4.

Matt Andriese (8-8) gave up three runs and seven hits, including solo home runs to Carlos Beltran and Rougned Odor (see full story). 

Cabrera hits 2 HRs, Tigers move up in playoff race, beat Braves
ATLANTA -- Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs, Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton also connected and the Detroit Tigers moved up in the playoff race, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Friday night.

The Tigers won their third straight and pulled within a half-game of Toronto for the second AL wild-card spot. The Blue Jays lost at Boston 5-3.

The regular season is scheduled to end Sunday, but the Tigers might need to play beyond that. They were rained out against Cleveland this week and would have to make up that game if it impacts their playoff chances.

Daniel Norris (4-2) gave up one run, five hits, two walks and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings.

The Braves, playing their final series at Turner Field before moving north to the suburbs next year, had won 10 of 11. Matt Wisler (7-13) was chased in the fifth when James McCann's RBI single made it 5-0 (see full story).

Trumbo hits 47th, Schoop 5 RBIs as Orioles top Yankees 8-1
NEW YORK -- Mark Trumbo hit his major league-leading 47th home run, Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones also went deep in a six-run fifth inning and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 8-1 in steady rain Friday night to maintain their AL wild-card lead.

Baltimore began the night tied with Toronto for the AL's two wild cards at 87-72, with Detroit 1 1/2 games back and Seattle trailing the Tigers by a half-game.

Trumbo and Jones homered off Michael Pineda (6-12), who started with 3 2/3 hitless innings and suddenly became ineffective.

Schoop tied his career high with five RBIs, hitting a go-ahead, two-run double in the fourth and adding a three-run homer in the fifth against James Pazos -- Baltimore's big league-high 250th home run this season.

Yovani Gallardo (6-8) won for just the second time in nine starts since Aug. 5, allowing two hits, three walks and Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly in six innings (see full story). 

Ortiz delivers another HR, Red Sox beat Blue Jays 5-3
BOSTON -- Opening his final weekend with yet another game-winning homer, David Ortiz lined a two-run shot into the right-field stands to break a seventh-inning tie and help the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Friday night.

The AL East champion Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and stayed one game ahead of Cleveland in the race for home-field advantage for the playoffs.

The Blue Jays fell one game behind Baltimore in the wild-card race and are now within range of Detroit and Seattle in the fight for the AL's final postseason berth (see full story).