nfl trade deadline

Doug Pederson explains why the Eagles were quiet at the trade deadline

Doug Pederson explains why the Eagles were quiet at the trade deadline

The trade deadline came and went Tuesday afternoon without much of anything happening on the Eagles’ front or around the NFL.

Doug Pederson said he’s OK with Howie Roseman standing pat and fine with the Eagles’ roster as currently constructed.

“We take a look — when I say we, Howie and myself — (and have) conversations (about) a lot of different situations, but I feel really good about where we are as a team and what we’ve got coming down the pike,” Pederson said Wednesday.

Roseman clearly believes the Eagles at full strength — which they haven’t been all year — are talented enough to compete for a title.

Carson Wentz agrees.

“We do have a lot of confidence in the guys we have here and the organization does, too,” he said. “We love the guys we have in the locker room and we’ll have some guys coming back form injuries and stuff soon so we feel extremely confident in who we have and we’re ready to roll.”

The Eagles are 4-4 and half a game plus a tiebreaker behind the Cowboys in the NFC East.

Pederson said the Eagles are adding players ... but by getting them healthy, not by trades.

The Eagles got Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby back the last two weeks, and DeSean Jackson and Avonte Maddox are on track to play Sunday against the Bears. Mills hadn’t played since last October, Darby had missed four games, Jackson six and Maddox four.

Other injured players who could be returning over the next few weeks include Nigel Bradham, Tim Jernigan, Darren Sproles and perhaps Jason Peters.

You look around the league and there wasn’t a whole lot going on, and I think teams are comfortable and very confident with the guys they have, just like us,” Pederson said Wednesday. “We’re excited. The No. 1 thing is we’re getting guys back, we’re getting guys healthy here quickly and it goes into a lot of the decisions.

 Much of the trade speculation with the Eagles revolved around wide receiver, since Jackson has been hurt most of the year and is 32, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor have both underachieved, and the Eagles are getting nothing out of Mack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside.

The Eagles rank 21st in the NFL in yards per play, and their receivers have four catches of 25 yards or more in seven games since Jackson got hurt.

Do the Eagles as currently constructed have the firepower and playmaking ability to compete for a championship?

Pederson wouldn’t answer that question.

“I don’t look that far down the road,” he said. “I look at this week and try to go 1-0 this week, and I feel like we’ve got the team to do that and to show confidence in our players. … and that’s really all we try to do every single week, is just try to win a football game and then we go to the next one, and if we can string enough wins along, it puts you in the position to be in the postseason and make a run.”

The Eagles brought in Jay Ajayi at the deadline in 2017 and Golden Tate last year.

They did make one move prior to the deadline this year, acquiring linebacker Genard Avery — who has played five defensive snaps this year — from the Browns for a fourth-round pick.

Considering everything the Eagles have been through over the past few weeks — anonymous quotes, a former player blasting the franchise, team meetings — it would be understandable if the Eagles just didn’t want to risk upsetting team chemistry by bringing a new player into the locker room.

But Pederson said that wasn’t an issue.

“When you start talking about bringing guys into your building, our culture can surround those guys and our culture can help sort of shape those guys because of what we’ve been through as a team,” he said. “And we’ve done that, we’ve proven that the last couple years, with the people we’ve brought into our building.”

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The move the Eagles have to make

The move the Eagles have to make

The Eagles ran the ball for 218 yards, scored 31 points and recorded a big road win over a tough opponent Sunday.

On Monday, Doug Pederson talked about how he’d love to be able to run the ball like that all the time.

Especially while DeSean Jackson is out.

Which doesn’t say much for what he thinks of the Eagles’ other receivers.

It would be awesome if the Eagles could run 40 times for 200 yards week after week. They wouldn’t lose very often.

The problem is, in the modern NFL you can’t win consistently without a high-powered passing attack. Doesn’t mean an effective running game can’t be a critical part of an offense. But without playmakers in the passing game it’s tough to sustain that rushing attack.

And the reality is the Eagles have only rushed for over 130 yards twice in eight games this year — in Green Bay and Sunday in Buffalo.

They haven’t done it consistently enough to believe it can carry them throughout the year.

So when Pederson says the running game “is a formula for us,” he’s really saying, “We’ve got no receivers.”

The Eagles are 4-4 in a division where nobody has played consistent football. They still have a chance to do something special this year, but it’s not going to happen with this passing attack.

It’s not going to happen with these receivers.

Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery are the only even remotely functional wide outs on the roster, and neither is even on pace for 650 yards this year.

We’ve got to forget the Super Bowl and how much Agholor and Jeffery did for that team — and in that game — and focus on today. And Nelly is averaging 32 yards per game and keeps dropping deep balls. He has 93 yards over the last five games. Jeffery’s been a little better but he doesn’t look anything like the Alshon of old.

DeSean Jackson will return to practice Wednesday and you would think he’d be available to play after the bye week. But how long will he stay healthy? How much can the Eagles count on a 32-year-old speed receiver coming off a serious abdominal injury? How long will he hold up?

And it’s not even worth talking about Mack Hollins or J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

Miles Sanders has been a revelation in the passing game, Dallas Goedert has been fine and you figure at some point Zach Ertz will get back involved again. 

But running backs and tight ends aren’t enough.

There’s just no firepower in the offense right now, and that’s why Howie Roseman really needs to consider all options before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

If there’s an opportunity to get a playmaking wide receiver with reasonable compensation, he has to make it happen.

Trades aren’t always the answer. I’d rather build through draft picks. Develop your own players. Get them in your program learning your scheme and believing in your culture from the get-go. When you bring in an outside player, you never really know what you might be getting … as we learned this past week.

But that’s not going so well these days. So they need to turn elsewhere.

Roseman’s nature is to be aggressive, and the Eagles can’t afford to stand pat if they have legit playoff aspirations.

The Eagles have the picks. Assuming third and fourth-round compensatory picks, they’ll have first- and second-round picks next year, plus two picks each in the third, fourth and fifth rounds.

So the need is there. The picks are there. And the aggressive GM is there.

The problem is who?

Mohamad Sanu and Emanuel Sanders are gone.

A.J. Green is out there, but with all his injuries do you really want to risk it?

Robby Anderson? The Temple grad would be an improvement, and certainly Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas talk all the time, but his numbers have dwindled, he’s not signed beyond this year and I have a hunch the Jets’ asking price will be too high. 

DeVante Parker? Do you really want to give up a premium draft pick for a guy who’s averaged 42 yards per game in 4 1/2 seasons?

Tough questions. But every time I tell myself the Eagles can’t afford to give up a second- or third-round pick for a second-tier receiver, I answer by telling myself they can’t afford not to.

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10 trade targets for Eagles as NFL trade deadline approaches

10 trade targets for Eagles as NFL trade deadline approaches

The NFL trade deadline is a week away. Things are heating up and prices aren’t cheap. 

The Texans traded a third-round pick to the Raiders for cornerback Gareon Conley and the Patriots traded a second-round pick to the Falcons for WR Mohamed Sanu. 

Later Tuesday, the Broncos dealt WR Emmanuel Sanders and a fifth-round pick to the 49ers for a third-round and fifth-round pick.

So if the Eagles are going to make a trade by the deadline of 4 p.m. on Oct. 29, it might be expensive. And with so many needs, it’s fair to ask whether or not it’s even worth bringing in one player. 

But Roseman has traditionally been an aggressive GM and he has brought in a player at the deadline in each of the last two seasons. The Eagles were 4-4 when they brought in Golden Tate last season and if they win on Sunday, they’d be 4-4 just before the deadline again. 

So if Roseman does want to pull off a trade, here are 10 players who would make some sense: 

Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson

We’re not going to have this story without Peterson, who is always in these conversations. Even after Jalen Mills came back and with Ronald Darby and Cre’Von LeBlanc nearing returns, Peterson would still be a great improvement. He’s an eight-time Pro Bowler who would immediately make a difference. It would likely take a first-round pick to get him from the Cardinals. 

Broncos CB Chris Harris

The 30-year-old from Denver likely wouldn’t be as expensive, but if Conley brought back a third-round pick, maybe Harris would be more expensive than we thought. Harris is at his best in the nickel corner role but could really play anywhere. 

Falcons CB Desmond Trufant

After trading Sanu, we know the Falcons are willing to sell. They got a second-rounder from New England, but we all kind of understand that’s probably going to be the last or second-to-last pick in the round. The Falcons will want a first-round pick for Trufant, which is steep, but maybe they’ll be eager to dump his salary for a second. 

Bengals DT Geno Atkins

It seems like the Bengals don’t want to sell, but they stink and Atkins is 31. After losing Malik Jackson and then Tim Jernigan, the Eagles have really been lacking interior pass rush next to Fletcher Cox. Atkins has a few more expensive years left on his deal but would make an immediate impact. 

Jets DT Leonard Williams

The Jets have said they don’t want to trade Williams, but he’s in the final year of his contract (a fifth-year option season) and he was a first-round pick of a previous GM. The Eagles also obviously have a pretty close relationship with the Jets' current GM, Joe Douglas. Williams wants big money, which might be a problem since the Eagles already have big money committed to Cox. Maybe he’d be too expensive as a rental, but it’s worth a call. 

Jets WR Robby Anderson

The 26-year-old is on that sinking ship in New York and has plenty of downfield speed. The Eagles have missed the deep threat DeSean Jackson was supposed to provide. 

Dolphins WR DeVante Parker

The Dolphins have seemingly traded everyone else, so why not Parker? He could definitely use a change of scenery and is still on a pretty team-friendly deal for two years. He isn’t having a great year but is averaging 15.8 yards per catch. 

Bengals WR A.J. Green

I don’t know what it would cost and Green is 31 and coming off an ankle injury, but it’s worth a call. He isn’t expected to return until after the trade deadline, which makes things tricky. 

Broncos EDGE Von Miller

Miller was at the Eagles-Cowboys game in Dallas on Sunday, so unfortunately he watched that butt-whooping. I’d put this in the “worth a call” category. 

Bengals EDGE Carlos Dunlap

The Bengals should really be selling and the Eagles need more pass rush. He’s 30 and signed through 2021.