The Eagles signed two free-agent wide receivers in March and invested two draft picks at the position in April, but there's only one Calvin Johnson. Unfortunately, the legendary Lions wideout is also retired, and that's the way things are likely to stay.
That's just the first of several issues with a report that the Eagles are "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Johnson. A bigger problem is that rumor has since been refuted by more authoritative sources, namely Mike Florio for ProFootballTalk.
But Johnson is on the block, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and at least two teams have contacted the Lions about a swap. Just don't expect the Eagles to be seriously in the mix, regardless of what you may have heard.
For starters, the Eagles don't need Johnson.
Sure, the six-time Pro Bowl selection was a one-of-a-kind talent — a 6-foot-5, 237-pound target with a 42.5-inch vertical and 4.35 speed. Any offense could use that, in theory. Except the Eagles already have Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Torrey Smith and Mack Hollins playing heavy snaps, and Jeffery's and Johnson's skill sets are incredibly similar. It simply isn't necessary.
Furthermore, the Eagles can't afford Johnson. At only $4.7 million under the salary cap, according to the NFLPA, they can't afford his salary, and even if they cleared the space, they really can't afford the trade for his rights. The Eagles have already dealt their second- and third-round draft choices in 2018. Now they're going to send more picks for a receiver they don't need?
It doesn't sound like Johnson is even interested in playing. Schefter makes it sounds as if his response to inquiries about coming out of retirement has been tepid at best, which is no surprise seeing as he quit football nearly two years ago.
So you have a player who doesn't want to play, whose rights are only available in a trade, who was the highest-paid receiver in the NFL at the time of his retirement, at a position where the Eagles don't really need help. Sounds like fertile grounds for a trade.
Even assuming some of these hurdles would be easier to clear than it seems — Johnson has a change of heart, restructures his contract, and the Lions deal him for cheap — is he any good in 2017?
Johnson is 32 years old. He already appeared to be in physical decline when he last played. Now, he would need be attempting to come back with a brand new team, in a brand new offense in which he's never played.
All of that sounds like a lot more trouble than it would be worth for an Eagles team that's amassed a 7-1 record without Johnson.
Oh, and the NFL's trade deadline is on Tuesday, by the way. That doesn't leave a lot of time to persuade Johnson, figure out the money and create a roster spot, and compensate the Lions for their trouble in all of this.
If Johnson were a free agent, there's no reason the Eagles wouldn't pick up the phone, assuming there was any reason to believe he wanted to play. There's no reason to believe Johnson wants that, and there's no reason to believe the Eagles want to trade for him, pay him, and mess with the dynamics of a team that's rolling as it's currently constructed.
Rating: Calvin Johnson's couch is probably pretty comfy.