‘Rumor’ Has It the Eagles Are Always Open for Business
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The oxymoron of the NFL's legal-tampering period opens Monday at noon in advance of the new league year kicking off on Wednesday.
So this is as good a time as any to explain why the Philadelphia Eagles are always the fertile breeding-ground when it comes to rumors, a stubborn insistence of doing the homework no matter the landscape.
Most organizations simply scratch certain names off their boards when the odds are stacked against landing players like Antonio Brown or Le'Veon Bell. Conversely, Philadelphia and Howie Roseman always make the phone call.
And you don't have to look very far for an example of that after Brown was finally traded to Oakland for third- and fifth-round picks, and received a restructured contract with a significant raise.
The Eagles were one of the teams that "lost" the Brown sweepstakes after dipping their toes in the water once a potential deal to Buffalo fell apart due to a contract impasse with the All-Pro receiver.
It's not hard to understand how narratives like that develop once you hear Philadelphia called Pittsburgh about Brown, something an NFL source confirmed to 973espn.com.The mind can start racing with the easiest assumption being why do you call about a player on the market if the goal isn't to acquire him?
And the answer to that is many reasons. Roseman is the kind of guy who dots every I and crosses every T and the summation is that he checked in with Kevin Colbert to say if the stars aligned, perhaps the market dropping further and Brown being willing to play under his existing contract, the Eagles would be interested.
The odds of Brown to Philadelphia remained as small before the call as after but you'll likely hear about a similar call to Bell's agent as well, making the case that if the market isn't what Bell thought it would be and he wants to bet on himself with a contender the Eagles would be all ears.
That very pitch landed Alshon Jeffery before the 2017 season when the market for the lanky receiver wasn't as advertised.
Now the 32-year-old DeSean Jackson wants out of Tampa Bay and is he and his camp are playing the nostalgia card because Chip Kelly is no longer here and the dirty pool from when Jackson left the first time is now just fodder for an episode of Gangland on The History Channel.
The Eagles, of course, have been looking for a consistent threat to stretch the field outside the numbers since Jackson departed after the 2013 season but he has just one year left on a deal set to pay him $10 million with no guaranteed money.
Neither Philadelphia or Jackson, presumably, would be interested in carrying that over so a potential trade comes with hurdles of compensation and a new deal.
Is Jackson to Philly just the latest example of an agent trying to drum up business for a veteran client or are the Eagles really interested?
At the bare minimum, Roseman is always willing to listen.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen