4 reasons the Eagles should not trade for LTs Joe Staley, Cordy Glenn

USA Today Images

4 reasons the Eagles should not trade for LTs Joe Staley, Cordy Glenn

Even approaching 36 years old, left tackle Jason Peters might be the most irreplaceable player in the Eagles’ lineup — after Carson Wentz, of course. His season-ending injury is a massive, massive loss for the team, especially because the Eagles are 6-1 and look like they have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl in a weak conference.

That being said, the answer is NOT going out and trading for another left tackle if you’re the Eagles, despite the proliferation of quality players on the block.

The hottest name on the market, especially with the 49ers coming to town on Sunday, is five-time Pro Bowl selection Joe Staley. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan admitted they wouldn’t “just hang up the phone” if the Eagles called, but added Staley is a player they “definitely… wouldn’t want to lose.” Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn could be trade bait as well, with coach Sean McDermott noting, “Those conversations take place every day.”

Yet it would behoove the Eagles to not get too caught up in those discussions. While a trade might upgrade the offensive line in theory, there’s also a possibility it would do more harm than good in the long run — if such a deal is even possible in the first place.

Cap issues
The problem the Eagles run into before they even pick up a phone is fitting either Staley or Glenn under the salary cap, both in 2017 and beyond.

According to the NFLPA, the Eagles have just $5.2 million in cap space right now. It would take just about all of that to take on either Staley or Glenn for the rest of this season. Halve their ‘17 base salaries, and the Eagles would owe roughly $4.125 million to Staley, and $4.5 million to Glenn. There goes the rest of the rainy day fund.

That means the Eagles won’t be rolling any remaining cap space into 2018, too, which is when the real troubles begin. As of now, Over The Cap estimates the Eagles will have $6.1 million to work with this coming offseason, with plenty of key players scheduled to become free agents. Staley is due $4.8 million in ’18, while Glenn is owed a whopping $9.25 million.

Simply put, the Eagles cannot easily afford either player. That’s especially troublesome given both players are signed through at least the next two seasons.

What to do with Peters?
Usually, trading for a player with multiple years remaining on their contract is viewed as beneficial. In the Eagles’ case, it only raises more questions.

There’s a line of thinking that Peters may have played his final NFL game after suffering a torn ACL and MCL at his age. That’s a bold assumption to make, however, seeing as he just signed a contract extension in August. Whether he’s the same player or not is to be determined, but it’s difficult to imagine Peters just leaving $7.75 million in base salary and whatever remaining prorated bonus money on the table in ’18.

So suppose the Eagles made a deal for Staley or Glenn — what’s the plan for next season? Even assuming somebody moves to guard and the entire offensive line is shuffled to an extent, the presence of another high-profile player creates a huge logjam. Peters, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce and Stefen Wisniewski are all under contract. It would be a mess.

The Eagles could maybe a swing a trade then and recoup some draft choices, but would be operating from a position with little leverage. And given their current stash of picks, that’s a whole other issue.

Running low on draft capital
It won’t be easy to afford Staley or Glenn, and we’re not just talking about money here. The Eagles don’t really have the draft picks to easily pull off a trade, either.

Their second- and third-round choices in ’18 are already gone — the second in the deal for Wentz, and the third in the swap for cornerback Ronald Darby. And while the Eagles are on track to hold three fourth-round selections, these may not be a very strong starting point for a trade.

Even if the Eagles would entertain sending one or multiple fourth-round picks, it would further limit the front office’s ability to make moves on draft day. Throwing in future picks is obviously an option as well, but now we’re just kicking the can further down the road, creating additional long-term strain on long-term roster-building efforts.

Notice how we haven’t even entertained the notion of giving up the Eagles’ first, which is likely the 49ers’ or Bills’ beginning asking price. It seems unreasonable to think there’s a way to swing this without essentially punting on the draft in ’18, which is pretty obviously a bad idea.

Don’t count out Big V
The truth of the matter is the Eagles are never going to truly replace Peters, with or without Staley or Glenn. Furthermore, they may or may not be upgrades over the depth the club already has.

We’ve had a chance to see Halapoulivaati Vaitai quite a bit the past two seasons, granted, mostly at right tackle. But, regardless of where he’s lined up, Vaitai has done a solid-to-good job. The second-year player had a rough NFL debut, then looked rusty his first few snaps on the field in Carolina this season. Otherwise, most people would never know when a backup was in the game.

Staley or Glenn might be better. We’re also not going to find out what Vaitai’s ceiling is if the Eagles trade for somebody at the first sign of trouble.

As long as Vaitai is solid, a trade may not even be necessary. Teams have lost great left tackles before and soldiered on. In 2015, the Broncos lost four-time Pro Bowler Ryan Clady in OTAs, plugged in journeyman Ryan Harris, and went on to win the Super Bowl. It can be done.

In other words, losing Peters sucks, but it’s not reason to panic. Vaitai has earned the shot to get the job done, and besides, a trade just doesn’t seem realistic, anyway.

Challenging week ahead, but time for Sixers to feast after

USA Today Images

Challenging week ahead, but time for Sixers to feast after

The Sixers yawned their way to a 116-105 win over the Orlando Magic at home last night. Orlando put a half-scare into the Sixers by leaping out to a 15-6 lead over a sluggish-looking home team, but the Ballers quickly regained momentum — credit Brett Brown for having the instinct to put Richaun Holmes in off the bench for an energy boost, and credit Holmes for actually providing it — and then the Sixers cruised from there, with Joel Embiid putting up 28 points and 14 boards (on 10-17 FG) in 27 minutes, Robert Covington hitting four threes for the first time in a month and the bench doing just enough to keep the starters from having to re-enter in the fourth. 

It should have been an easy win against the Magic, and essentially, it was. The Sixers moved to 32-25 on the year, comfortably leading the reeling eight-place Heat by 2.5 games and ninth-place Pistons by 4.5 games in the East standings as of Sunday morning, winners of seven in a row and still undefeated at the Wells Fargo Center in 2018. Brown's crew has mostly made it look easy the last few weeks — but now it's about to get hard again. Briefly. 

Tonight, the Sixers kick off a three-game road trip in Washington, playing a Wizards team that was supposed to be an easy target for the Sixers to pass in the playoff race once star point guard John Wall was ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury. But backup point guard Tomas Satoransky has flourished in Wall's place, shooting guard Bradley Beal has emerged as fully weaponized and the Wizards have gone an improbable 8-3 in Wall's absence, still leading the Sixers by one game in the standings. 

The Sixers' other two games this trip are also against playoff competition — the 31-29 Heat and the 35-23 third-place Cavaliers — meaning postseason implications are aplenty over the next week. It could end with the red-hot Sixers finally being doused with cold water, or it could close with the Sixers making a serious push for home-court advantage in the first round. 

Either way, the trip stands as the last really challenging part of the Sixers' schedule. After this, the Sixers have 22 games remaining, only seven of which come against teams currently ticketed for the postseason — none against the top two squads in either conference and only two of which come back to back, when the Sixers host the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets in consecutive home games towards the end of March. Beside that, it's a whole lot of Hornets, Nets and Hawks for the Sixers, who've earned their chance to fatten up on the lottery-bound after a brutal schedule for the first 2/3 of the season.

It's worth taking a moment at this point to step back and appreciate the big picture here. Two seasons ago, the Sixers entered March still just hoping they would be able to win two more games all season to avoid historic infamy and ended up only barely able to do so. Now, they're not just in the playoff picture, they're a serious threat to enter the postseason as a first-round favorite while their three most productive players are all in their first or second year and their No. 1 overall pick from last season hasn't played since October. Remarkable stuff, and you only hope that all concerned can make it to the finish line with all limbs and appendages still functioning properly. 

Philly won weird Super Bowl bet with Brockton, Massachusetts

Mayors of Philly/Brockton

Philly won weird Super Bowl bet with Brockton, Massachusetts

Mayor Jim Kenney doesn't seem to fully understand the concept of a sports wager.

The general rule I like to follow: if you win a bet, you GET SOMETHING OF VALUE in return.

Now, the Mayor of Philadelphia won a bet with the city of Brockton, Massachusetts, and he has to SEND THEM STUFF.

Makes no sense.

Anyway, I guess the city of Brockton now has to dress their Rocky Marciano statue up in Eagles gear. Lulz. So Mr. Kenney is shipping them some goods. I hope the people of New England had to pay for it.

As Eagles fans know all too well, the official Eagles gear is not cheap.