Eagles Trade for DE Eli Harold
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It's August so of course Howie Roseman made a trade.
The Eagles' GM, known for his wheeling-and-dealing ways, sent undrafted rookie offensive tackle Ryan Bates to Buffalo for edge rusher Eli Harold, a former 2015 third-round pick.
Bates, a Penn State product who grew up an Eagles fan, has some versatility to play inside and outside on the line but spent most of his time at left tackle in training camp behind veteran Jason Peters and first-round pick Andre Dillard. He did see second-team reps at times because Philadelphia keeps Peters on a pitch count.
Harold, 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, is only 25 and has 62 NFL games with 25 starts under his belt with nine career sacks during his first four NFL seasons, three in San Francisco where he was drafted out of Virginia as a 3-4 OLB and 2018 with Detroit, where he amassed a career-high four sacks. He signed with the Bills back in April.
Harold joins an Eagles defensive line that recently lost Joe Ostman to a torn ACL. Ostman was penciled in to have an increased role as a pass rusher this season and Jim Schwartz had even begun tinkering with Ostman as a stand-up inside rusher.
Players like Daeshon Hall and rookie Shareef Miller, who moved up a tick on the Eagles depth chart after Ostman's injury are base ends who don't have that versatility. Harold, at least in theory, could bring some of the same traits as Ostman.
Philadelphia's top defensive ends remain Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat.
Bates played 13 snaps (23 percent of the offense's total) in the Eagles' 27-10 preseason loss to Tennessee on Thursday and will be moving to a team that needs offensive line help. The ceiling for him in Philadelphia this summer would have been the practice squad.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen