Most of the conversation this offseason has focused on players the Eagles could acquire in a trade, but considering the team is in a bit of rebuilding phase, it is just as likely they ship players out as it is they make a move to bring starting-caliber players in.
So who could be on the move?
Here is a look at 7 players that could be traded before Week 1:
Zach Ertz: Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. The Eagles have been trying to trade Zach Ertz since the trade deadline during the 2020 season and have yet to find a team willing to give them what they believe is fair compensation. The question with just a few weeks until training camp is whether Ertz will be on the roster during the first practice, and if he is, whether he shows up.
Andre Dillard/Jordan Mailata: The best (and most important) competition in training camp is going to be between Dillard and Mailata. The winner will have a chance to be the team’s next franchise left tackle and collect the big payday that will eventually come with it. The loser could be traded. While keeping both might make sense, the Eagles could look to move Mailata if he doesn’t win the job, considering he will be a free agent at the end of the season. The same could happen to Dillard, who isn’t in the final year of his deal, but if he doesn’t win the job this could be the last chance the team has to get anything of value back in a trade for the former first-round pick.
Derek Barnett: The chances of Barnett being traded are slim. There might be a better chance he is given a contract extension. If the team doesn’t think they are going to (or decide they don’t want to) give Barnett an extension it is possible the move him during camp. Trading Barnett would open up $10.5 million in cap space, which would roll over into the 2021 offseason. If Josh Sweat outplays Barnett in camp, and the coaches decide he should start, the front office could decide to move on from Barnett now instead of losing him for nothing next offseason.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: “What are they going to get for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside??!!” is a fair reaction to seeing him on this list. The Eagles won’t be getting much value back in a deal for Arecega-Whiteside. The third-year player is, however, just two years removed from being a second-round pick. If there really were multiple team texting Howie Roseman to say what a great pick he was, perhaps those teams would make a low-risk trade to bring in Arcega-Whiteside. There is a chance that Arcega-Whiteside comes into camp and earns playing time with a new coaching staff, but if he doesn’t, the Eagles would much rather trade him for another player than simply cut him for nothing. Perhaps a trade involving Arcega-Whiteside for Patriots receiver N'Keal Harry would make sense.
Matt Pryor: Pryor had a rough 2020 season, but he is still an offensive linemen that plays multiple positions, has playoff experience and has shown he can be serviceable when coming off the bench. That give him some kind of value in a league where it is very hard to find competent offensive line play. With the Eagles drafting Landon Dickerson, and young players Nate Herbig and Luke Juriga pushing for roster spots, they should be able to find a team willing to give up something for Pryor instead of cutting him.
Avonte Maddox: The idea of the Eagles trading a cornerback might sound crazy considering the lack of talent they have at the position. Maddox, however, is in the final year of his deal and it isn’t a lock the team re-signs him. Maddox struggled on the outside last season and his future with the team (if he has one) is at nickel cornerback. Maddox will have some competition for playing time in camp, with rookie Zech McPhearson potentially playing nickel and newly-acquired cornerback Josiah Scott pushing for playing time as well. It would be a bit of a risky move considering the lack of depth they have at the position, but if the Eagles don’t see Maddox separate himself from the young cornerbacks in camp, they could decide to move him now instead of just let him leave as a free agent.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!