March 14, 2017
Last Saturday, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported that the Eagles offered Malcolm Jenkins, a third-round pick, and a fourth-round pick for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Source: Eagles offered Malcolm Jenkins, a third-round pick, and a fourth-round pick for Brandin Cooks https://t.co/x8UoIl4zGN— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 12, 2017
On the surface, many believed the trade offer made little sense, for the following reasons:
• While Cooks is a young, ascending player and probably better long-term value, Jenkins is very clearly among the top 10 safeties in the game, and arguably top five. Right now, Jenkins is a better player. Meanwhile, Cooks played for a team that was very motivated to move him this offseason.
• Jenkins just signed a contract extension last offseason. If the Eagles were to trade him, they would have $6 million in dead money, with a savings of just $1.5 million.
• The Eagles just released Connor Barwin, who was widely recognized as a team leader, as is Jenkins. Would the Eagles really part with Jenkins in the same offseason as Barwin?
• Yes, this is considered to be a strong safety class in the 2017 NFL Draft. However, it is more likely than not that the top two safeties in the draft – LSU’s Jamal Adams and Ohio State’s Malik Hooker – will be long gone by the time the Eagles select at pick No. 14.
• The Eagles would be down to six draft picks in this scenario, needing to fill two starting cornerback spots and a new starting safety, in addition to other glaring needs such as running back, defensive end, defensive tackle, and linebacker, with little in the way of financial resources to attack in free agency.
In the past, the Eagles have often taken the stance that they do not respond to rumors, nor will they comment on the status of players and their futures with the team. But that can be selective. For example, this offseason alone, the Eagles have said emphatically that Jason Peters and Darren Sproles would be back with the team in 2017.
A couple hours after Florio's report emerged, Jenkins tweeted the following:
We're perhaps taking a leap that Jenkins' tweet was in response to the report. Whether it was or not, seeing as Jenkins is one of the Eagles' most important players on the team, one might think the Eagles would attempt to reassure him and the fan base that no trade offer occurred, if indeed it did not.
Florio's report was generally dismissed by the public. However, surely every Philly beat writer lobbed in a question trying to verify any truth to the report, and there has not yet been a denial.
Barring another splash free agent signing, which is unlikely considering the Eagles' lack of financial resources under the cap, the next time the Eagles will speak will be at the Owner's Meetings in Phoenix later this month.
At a minimum, their silence on this report is interesting.
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