The Eagles have a decision to make in the next week. Do they try to sell away the veteran talent on their roster in an attempt to save money, or do they hold on, keep the talent and try to field the best roster they can this season to win a very bad NFC East?
The reality is that in some ways the decision might be made for them by other general managers. The Eagles really don’t have a ton of attractive trade pieces on their roster. Most of their older players are a combination of too old, too expensive or hurt. They don’t have much young talent they would realistically trade away, considering they are desperately trying to find young talent to build around.
So even if the Eagles do decide to sell, chances are any player they do trade will return at best a late-round pick, and would be a move made strictly to get money off the books as opposed to getting anything of actual value back. Any dollar the team saves this season helps them in 2021, so clearing salary for a team that is projected to be around $70 million over the cap in 2021 is definitely an attractive option.
Here is a look at some of the players that other teams could potentially, maybe have some interest in:
Note: All of the cap figures below are via OvertheCap.com. With the season halfway over by the time the trade deadline gets here, the base salaries are now half of what they would have been at the beginning of the season.
Cap Savings: $2.25 million
Dead Money: $2.9 million
Analysis: Without question the most attractive “sell” player on the Eagles’ roster is Jason Kelce. He is still playing at an All-Pro level, doesn’t cost a ton of money, and would make any offensive line instantly better. He would be the ideal candidate for a win-now team that has offensive line issues. The problem? Kelce is also a huge part of the Eagles’ offensive line and they don’t really have a backup option if they did trade him. Trading Kelce away would actually net the Eagles something of value, but it would be a degree of “selling” this team likely won’t approach considering how winnable the NFC East is.
Cap Savings: $875,000
Dead Money: $600,000
Analysis: McLeod falls under the same category as Kelce — a player that would actually help the team that acquired him and doesn’t cost a ton of money. The difference between Kelce and McLeod is that the Eagles do, in theory, have some options behind him that they could put on the field if they moved the veteran safety. McLeod, like Kelce, is a leader in the locker room, so trading him would definitely be a major “sell” move. The Eagles could potentially net a fifth-round pick for McLeod.
Cap Savings: $1.1 million
Dead Money: $1.8 million
Analysis: The Eagles could trade away Barnett if they don’t think he is a long-term starter for them, like Josh Sweat more and don’t want to pay Barnett the $10 million he is currently owed in 2021. The Eagles are pretty deep at defensive end, so losing Barnett wouldn’t be a huge blow to their pass rush. Barnett’s contract situation would hurt his value, but the Eagles could probably get a late-round pick for the young defensive end. Taking a bit of a cap hit on moving Barnett in order to get off his deal for 2021, and get back a draft pick, could be worth it.
Cap Savings: $5.4 million
Dead Money: $5.48 million
Analysis: It would be a miracle if the Eagle were able to trade away Alshon Jeffery. It would require him to play on Sunday night against Dallas, have a huge game and catch the eye of another team that needs help at receiver. Jeffery’s salary for the season isn’t as bad as it was this offseason, since the season would be halfway over if they traded him after the Dallas game, and his new team would only be on the hook for half of his 2020 base salary — around $5.4 million.
Cap Savings: $550,000
Dead Money: $300,000
Analysis: Robey-Coleman has some versatilely, playing both nickel and outside cornerback for the Eagles this season, which could be attractive to another team that is in need of veteran play in the secondary. Robey-Coleman likely won’t be back next season, and they could easily give Cre’Von LeBlanc his snaps.
Cap Savings: $455,000
Dead Money: $0
Analysis: The savings in moving LeBlanc aren’t very high, but if the Eagles don’t view him as part of their long-term plans, another team would likely have some interest in bringing in the young cornerback. A late-round pick would likely be the return for LeBlanc.
Cap Savings: $417,000
Dead Money: $0
Analysis: A veteran running back with special teams value and playoff experience. The Eagles might be able to find a taker for Clement, who would leave zero dead money on the books.
Cap Savings: $375,000
Dead Money: $0
Analysis: Prior to his big game agains the Giants, the idea of there being a trade market for Rodgers was laughable. After he showed he can still be a contributing player when given the chance, however, a team in need of a veteran at tight end might have some interest. Again, no dead money for the Eagles, who are about to get Dallas Goedert back.
Cap Savings: $750,000
Dead Money: $0
Analysis: Curry had other options this past offseason, but missing so much time this season could have an impact on how much interest there is in him now around the league. Still, he is a veteran pass rusher that is cheap, has playoff experience and is still a solid player. The Eagles are deep at defensive end and would almost certainly take clearing Curry’s deal off the books in exchange for a late-round pick.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at email@example.com!