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.