Eagles Stay Quiet at Trade Deadline
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Deadlines are supposed to spur action but in the case of the 2019 Eagles, expectations and reputation proved to be just that.
These days almost every NFL trade from any outlet ends with ...and the Eagles due to general manager Howie Roseman's aggressive past. Failing to add a bigger name [the Eagles did add young edge rusher Genard Avery is a lesser deal with Cleveland on Monday] wasn't about a lack of trying.
Earlier in the trade market, the Eagles offered what they thought were significant packages for both Jalen Ramsey and Minkah Fitzpatrick but were outbid by the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively.
They took the temperature on everyone from Jadeveon Clowney and Melvin Gordon to the likes of Darius Slay, Chris Harris, Robby Anderson and even Le'Veon Bell as the clock ticked down but nothing fell into place as Philadelphia enters the second half of the season at 4-4, one-half game behind the Dallas Cowboys in what has been a disappointing season for the NFC East as a whole.
In 2018 the Eagles were also 4-4 at the deadline and had their eyes on Anderson to help the receiving corps but failed to get that done and shifted to renting Golden Tate for a third-round pick, which didn't work out well although Philadelphia will recoup a compensatory pick in 2020 for losing Tate to the New York Giants in free agency.
The biggest potential gets on Tuesday were Slay, the Lions' top-10 level CB, Harris, the Denver slot corner who has some versatility to play outside, and Anderson.
Detroit started the bidding at a first-rounder for Slay so he was always going to be a big-ticket item while the Broncos were looking for a second-round pick for Harris, who is set to be a free agent in the spring, and former Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas also wanted a pie-in-the-sky two for Anderson, according to multiple NFL sources.
The costs for all were too steep for Roseman, who now looks like a more tempered GM rather than the gung-ho executive always tacked to the end of those rumors which ultimately proved to be just that.
Perhaps the price wasn't right or Roseman was honest after a self-scout and thought the Eagles weren't good enough right now for a rent-a-player
For Doug Pederson, he's viewing players returning from injury as the meaningful additions. Already the return of Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby at cornerback in consecutive weeks have calmed down what has been a significant weakness. Meanwhile, Avonte Maddox is set to return to practice on Wednesday to help in the slot and if that doesn't work Cre'Von LeBlanc should be right behind.
At linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle) is now listed as day-to-day by Pederson and should be back in a week or two in a worst case.
Up front on defense Tim Jernigan (broken foot) is also nearing a return and was looking spry walking to his car the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday.
But, the biggest get back of all is deep threat DeSean Jackson, who will be back practicing in at least a limited way on Wednesday and is optimistic that he will be able to play Sunday when the Chicago Bears visit Lincoln Financial Field.
"I look at our roster, where we are, and the guys that are on the horizon as far as coming back and helping us out, too, that's a part of this, as well," Pederson said.
As for the player the Eagles did add, Avery, Jim Schwartz offered a bit of info on him:
"We'll see where it goes," the defensive coordinator said, "but he is strong, he's not the tallest guy in the world, but he is sort of thick and strong and [DE] Brandon Graham is sort of the same way. He's not quite as heavy as Brandon, but the way we play those edges I think he can be successful in our run defense as well as pass, but all that's just -- we'll get him in here, get him up to speed as quick as we can and then best decide how to use him after that and excited to have him though."
Avery's addition means the Eagles now have seven DEs on the roster and the one player being actively shopped around by the Eagles was veteran defensive end Vinny Curry, who has been playing relatively well and the organization though could have some value.
As far as players being sought by others the two most popular names were versatile offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai and third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen