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

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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.

Watch Eagles roast Jay Ajayi after 71-yard run for getting caught

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Watch Eagles roast Jay Ajayi after 71-yard run for getting caught

It's not everyday you see an Eagles player take the ball and run for 71 yards. So Philadelphia fans understandably went bonkers when Jay Ajayi did just that in the Birds' win over the Cowboys on Sunday.

It's also not that frequent that you see a dude get chased down from behind on such a play.

Sadly, the latter happened to Ajayi and his teammates let him hear it on the sidelines after. The fantastic Inside the NFL gave us an up-close look at the roasting.

You almost feel bad for Ajayi, like Kenjon Barner is laying it on a little too thick.

"You slow as $#@!," one player tells him.

"They're gonna lower my speed on Madden," Ajayi says.

Chip Kelly is going back where he belongs

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USA Today Images

Chip Kelly is going back where he belongs

After spending the year out of football, former Eagles coach Chip Kelly is returning to the sideline — and might be aligning with ex-Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman in the process.

According to reports, Kelly is expected to accept a head coaching job at one of two college football programs. The decision is down to Florida and UCLA, and he is rumored to have already turned away other high-profile programs such as Nebraska and Tennessee.

UCLA may be Kelly's most likely landing spot at this point, with alumnus Aikman putting on a "full-court press," says ESPN's Mark Schlabach, and Florida supposedly wanting an answer ASAP.

Wherever Kelly winds up going, that should end his unsuccessful foray into the NFL once and for all. Consider this an obituary of sorts.

The move will cement Kelly as a "college coach," if his pro tenure hadn't accomplished that already. After guiding the Eagles to the playoffs and being named Coach of the Year in his first season, he missed the postseason the next two years and was fired. Kelly got the hook again after one miserable season with the 49ers, bottoming out with a 2-14 record.

There are no shortage of excuses for why Kelly flamed out in the NFL. Lack of talent — specifically under center — was certainly a factor, though his failed stint as the chief talent evaluator in his final season with the Eagles certainly contributed to that.

The simple truth is not everything that works in college translates at the next level, and Kelly never adjusted.

Kelly only turns 54 this week, so a return to the professional ranks years down the road isn't completely out of the question. After his last two trainwreck seasons in the league, it's difficult to imagine what an organization would still see.

Employing schemes that aren't suited to the team's personnel, calling the same 10 to 15 plays every game, eliminating the quarterback's ability to call an audible or even something as small as never using a snap count may work at university. Those concepts are fundamentally opposed to what has been successful in the NFL.

Honestly, it's kind of too bad. The Eagles could use that easy W on the schedule periodically.

Perhaps the Eagles should just be grateful to have survived Kelly's radical changes without overhauling the entire roster again, and somehow coming out better off for everything. After releasing DeSean Jackson, trading away LeSean McCoy, trading for Sam Bradford, and spending huge sums of money on the likes of DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell -- to name a few, and all in the span of a year -- the franchise easily could've wound up in the tank.

There's no denying Kelly looked like a genius while at Oregon, racking up 46-7 record and three top-five finishes in four seasons as head coach. Yet like so many college coaches before him, and many bound to come after, he was never destined for sustained success in the NFL.