The Eagles were able to come back and beat the Giants on Thursday night, which means everyone gets to sit back and relax this weekend knowing the Eagles aren’t playing.
With the little gap, I asked for questions and we got a ton.
I’ll be answering most of them over the next few days:
This is obviously one of the biggest questions surrounding the Eagles right now. Sure, they have a chance to win the NFC East, but will they really be buyers at the deadline? Is that even worth it?
The easy way to answer that is no way. Of course the Eagles shouldn’t give away draft picks to bring in any sort of rental player. Even if the Birds win the division with a 6-9-1 record or something similar, they need those draft picks to rebuild this team. The more draft picks, the better chances of hitting. They’re like lottery tickets in a way.
So even though Howie Roseman has made a deadline trade to bring in a player in each of the last three seasons, I just can’t see the Eagles giving up picks to do it again this year … at least not for a rental.
The one caveat here is if the Eagles find a young player who has fallen out of favor in another city, sort of like the Genard Avery deal last year. While that deal hasn’t exactly worked out great, the idea behind it was that the Eagles were trading a draft pick for a young player with a couple more years of team control and a rookie contract. So maybe that type of deal might happen, but that’s the only way the Eagles should even think about trading for a player.
Two questions here, so I’ll handle them in order:
It sounds like T.J. Edwards will be back for the upcoming game against the Cowboys, which puts Jim Schwartz in an interesting position. I think Alex Singleton has played pretty well and I’d be reluctant to take him off the field. But that leaves the Eagles with four linebackers and three spots. As much as fans want to see Nate Gerry benched, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think it is possible that he starts to lose some snaps and the Eagles rotate those four linebackers in. I’d still like to see more Shaun Bradley but I’m not convinced that’s going to happen either. So I’m looking at Gerry, Duke Riley, Edwards and Singleton rotating based on package and matchups.
The Eagles don’t really have many sell options left. Most of the guys who I thought could be candidates are hurt: DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Malik Jackson and Zach Ertz. Pretty crazy, actually. The one year the Eagles should sell and literally my top four candidates to trade away are hurt. Jeffery might return against the Cowboys and I suppose if he plays well maybe a contender would want him, but that contract has been the obstacle this whole time and that’s still there.
It’s so hard for me to really evaluate Carson Wentz this season. Because some of the mistakes he’s made have been awful and there’s no excuse for them. On the other hand, it’s fair to point out that he’s playing behind a depleted offensive line and without most of his top offensive weapons.
So what we’re seeing is a very talented quarterback who is pressing and trying to do too much. That’s the simplest way to put it.
The part that’s been tough to watch this year is the increase in interceptions. I understand the Jameis Winston comparison but Winston threw a ton of picks every year. His career interception rate is 3.5% and Wentz for his career is at 1.9%, including this year, which is an outlier at 3.6%. Wentz threw just seven picks in each of his last three years, so he has the ability to be more cautious with the football. I think right now he’s trying to make too many big plays because he feels the lack of talent around him. It doesn’t excuse it, but it does explain it some.
Ostman had a really good training camp and did everything he could have to win a roster spot and still didn’t get put on the 53-man roster. Unfortunately for him, the Eagles have five defensive ends right now on the 53-man roster: Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Vinny Curry and Genard Avery. All five were active last week and Avery didn’t get a single defensive snap.
I think Ostman can play in the NFL but it’s hard to see him getting his chance this year unless the Eagles start to suffer some injuries at the position.
I think there’s some truth to this but it’s also hard to know in some cases. The Eagles withhold so much injury information and they never publicly talk about timelines for that reason. They don’t want to say a guy will be back in 2-3 weeks and then when it takes a month, everyone blames them. So what happens instead is some of those time frames leak but only partially, and then perception is based around that.
In the specific case of Alshon Jeffery, I totally agree with you. That’s roster mismanagement. It surprised a lot of us when he didn’t start the season on PUP and we had to trust the Eagles’ assessment that he’d be ready within those six weeks. The fact that he has missed seven weeks is bad. But there was an illness in there and then a calf injury this week too. Still, that roster spot could have been used to save Casey Toohill and it also could have been used at final cuts, when the Eagles lost a few players on the waiver wire.