For Eagles, Brandin Cooks worth trading a 1st-round pick

For Eagles, Brandin Cooks worth trading a 1st-round pick

If the Eagles have the opportunity, they should trade for Brandin Cooks. Even if it means giving up their first-round pick. 

In an age when first-round picks are seen as untouchable golden bars, this opinion is going to be unpopular. I mean, how can you trade a first-round pick? 

Well, in this case, it just makes too much sense. Everything seems to line up. 

First off, you might have noticed the Eagles kinda need some help at receiver. The combination of Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Josh Huff, Dorial Green-Beckham and Bryce Treggs wasn't just bad. It was bad enough that if it happens again, it could stunt the growth of the franchise quarterback. 

Over the last two seasons, Cooks hasn't just been OK. He's been really, really good. 

In 2015 and 2016, Cooks had 162 catches for 2,311 yards and 17 touchdowns. The only other players in the league to put up those same stats over the last two years: Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.

That's not bad company. 

And it's not just the overall body of work, it's that Cooks does exactly what the Eagles need. He had as many 40-yard catches (six) and 50-yard catches (three) as the entire Eagles team in 2016. 

The whole reason DeSean Jackson and Kenny Stills have been appealing options this offseason for the Eagles is because of their deep-threat ability. Cooks is right there with them. 

And he's just 23 years old. 

To put his age into perspective, the top three receivers in this year's draft class -- Mike Williams, John Ross and Corey Davis -- are all 22. So Cooks is one year older and already has two 1,000-yard seasons in the NFL. 

This trade wouldn't be a move to pick up an aging veteran in the league. It would be a move to pick up a proven commodity who is still young enough to grow with Wentz as he enters his own. 

So far, all of this has been stuff you already knew. Cooks is good and he'd fit with the Eagles. 

What about price? Not only the price to get him, but also the price to keep him. That's the part that has Eagles fans worried. We'll start with the price to get him. 

Yes, a first-round pick is steep. And Howie Roseman is probably trying to work his trade magic to pull off the deal for less. If he somehow lands Cooks for a second-rounder and something else, great. Then, it's a no-brainer. 

But even if it takes parting with the No. 14 pick in the draft, the Eagles should do it. Here are a few reasons why: 

Draft picks and new cars are just about the only things that seem to lose value the second they're driven off the lot. It's why most players drafted in a given round, unless they become great, are immediately worth a lesser-round pick a few years later. (A big reason for that is financial.) 

With the depth of the cornerback class, without a first-round pick, the Eagles can still use their second-round pick to pick up a starter in the secondary.

Still, there's no doubt the Eagles would have a good chance to draft a good player at 14. But it's certainly much more of a gamble than picking up a proven player. It's rare that a trade for a player of Cooks' caliber is ever an option. 

There's a really good chance the top receivers in this class will never be as good as Cooks. Obviously, there's a chance one of them could be great, but none are slam dunks. And do you really trust Roseman to pick the one that will turn out? 

And remember, this draft pick was the return for Sam Bradford. Would you have traded Bradford for Cooks straight up? 

The second part of cost is the cost to keep Cooks. And I understand the trepidation, but not trading for Cooks because of a fear that the Eagles won't be able to re-sign him after two years is just playing scared. 

This season, he would come with a low cap hit of $2.67 million, which would be great for the Eagles, who have around $8.5 million in cap space. They're strapped. And even next season, the Eagles would have a club option to keep Cooks for around $8.5 million. 

Two years of Cooks at around $6 million per year sounds a lot better than adding a free agent like Stills or Jackson for $10-12 million over four or more years. 

And then, if everything goes the way the Eagles hope over those two years, sure, Cooks will be expensive. If he isn't expensive after the 2018 season, something has gone horribly wrong. 

But here's the thing: Good players get paid. And it will be up to Roseman to find a way to keep him in the building. 

Roseman has talked all offseason about signing free agents in their mid-20s instead of older guys. He wants players that can grow with Wentz and the organization. Well, how's this then: In two years, the Eagles could have a pending free agent in-house who is 25 and coming off four straight 1,000-yard seasons. Yeah, he's going to cost a lot of money in two years. But that can't be the reason not to go after him today. 

Sure, there seem to be plenty of reasons not to trade a first-rounder for Cooks. But there are more reasons to do it.

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

As the annual NFL meetings get set to kick off next week, the Eagles originally proposed four playing rule changes and a resolution that could have eventually led to bringing back Kelly green uniforms as an alternate option. 

But after getting feedback from the NFL's competition committee, the Eagles are withdrawing all but one proposal, according to league sources. 

The only one left would prohibit players from leaping over the line of scrimmage on kicking plays. For now, players are allowed to leap line as long as they don't make contact. That proposal, which the NFLPA has previously supported, seems likely to pass. 

That means the other three playing rule changes and the proposal to allow teams to wear helmets that would match their alternative jerseys won't be specifically discussed. 

Translation: No Kelly green jerseys yet. 

Among the 15 proposed playing rule changes the league released on Friday, teams were responsible for seven of them and the Eagles accounted for four of the seven. 

Just because a specific proposal won't be directly discussed, it doesn't mean that topic won't be discussed by the committee in Phoenix during next week's annual league meetings. 

For instance, one of the Eagles' proposals would alter the current replay system. While the Eagles' individual proposal won't be discussed, replay will be a topic of discussion during the meetings.

NFL Notes: Bears sign Mark Sanchez to 1-year deal

NFL Notes: Bears sign Mark Sanchez to 1-year deal

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears have signed quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is expected to back up Mike Glennon next season.

The Bears announced the one-year contract Friday. Chicago is coming off a season in which it went 3-13 and finished last in the NFC North.

The Bears cut quarterback Jay Cutler this month after eight seasons and the next day signed Glennon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a three-year deal.

Sanchez played in two games last season with the Dallas Cowboys, throwing for 93 yards on 10 of 18 attempts. He spent five of his eight seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets before going to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The former Southern California star has appeared in six playoff games. He was selected fifth overall in the 2009 draft.

Redskins: WR Brian Quick signs
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Redskins have signed former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brian Quick.

The team announced the deal Friday morning after agent Patrick Dye posted a photo of Quick signing his contract on SportsTrust Advisors' verified Twitter account.

The signing adds depth to the Redskins' receiving corps after they lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency.

Quick, 27, is 6-foot-5 and gives Washington another tall option along with recently signed receiver Terrelle Pryor. Quick had 41 catches for 564 yards and three touchdowns last season with the Rams.

The 33rd pick in the 2012 draft, Quick has 105 catches for 1,499 yards and 10 touchdowns in 67 games over five seasons with the Rams. He missed part of the 2014 season with a shoulder injury.

Panthers: Jonathan Stewart signs extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Panthers have signed veteran running back Jonathan Stewart to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed Friday.

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman says the 30-year-old Stewart "is still playing at a very high level."

Stewart played in 13 games last season for Carolina and ran for 824 yards with nine touchdowns. He averaged 3.8 yards per carry.

Gettleman isn't worried about Stewart's durability, even though the team's former first-round draft pick has not played in a full 16-game season since 2011 and has missed 24 games the past five seasons with injuries.

Stewart, entering his 10th season, is Carolina's second all-time leading rusher with 6,638 yards and has scored 45 touchdowns rushing and six receivin

Colts: release veteran DT Arthur Jones
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts released defensive tackle Arthur Jones on Friday.

A six-year veteran, Jones was scheduled to cost the team $7.35 million next season. Indianapolis will save $5 million under the salary cap with the move.

Jones did his best work while with Baltimore from 2010-14. He then signed a five-year contract for a total value of $33 million with the Colts, but struggled in Indy. He appeared in 17 games and managed only 1 1-2 sacks and 53 tackles for the Colts.

He was plagued by a series of injuries and also served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancers.

Jones, 30, did not play in 2015 because of an ankle injury. He played in eight games last season, with 15 tackles.