April 22, 2015
Over the last couple of months, Chip Kelly has turned the roster over to an extreme degree, and he went out of his way during his post Foles-Bradford trade press conference to note that no player on the roster is safe from being traded. Since then, a number of Eagles have been rumored to be on the trading block. We'll review the six most commonly referenced "trade bait" players, or as I like to call them, "The Trade Bait 6."
• Brandon Boykin: The Eagles have proven by now that Boykin isn't ever going to be given a legitimate shot to start on the outside, no matter how much they say he'll compete for the job in training camp. Last season, the Eagles wrongly stuck with Bradley Fletcher at one corner spot all the way up until they were eliminated from playoff contention. And by the time the Eagles made the long overdue decision to bench Fletcher, they started Nolan Carroll on the outside, not Boykin. This offseason, the Eagles signed Byron Maxwell, they still have Carroll on the roster, they recently signed slot corner Walter Thurmond, and a report emerged that Boykin is on the trading block. Boykin is a good player, but clearly the Eagles don't value him as much as the fan base, media, and probably other teams around the league.
#JimmySays: I'd lean toward Boykin being in another uniform Week 1.
• Sam Bradford: If the Eagles are somehow able to move way up from pick #20 to, oh, say, pick #2, there's little doubt Bradford will be part of a package that gets them there.
#JimmySays: As I've stated here, I think it's as high as a 50-50 shot the Eagles land Marcus Mariota, which basically means I'd have Bradford as a 50-50 chance of staying with the team as well.
• Fletcher Cox: What the what?!?!? They can't trade Fletcher Cox! Shut your dumb mouth right now, Kempski.
Like hell they can't. Cox is a budding star, unquestionably, but that also means that he has quite a bit of trade value. If, oh, say, the Tennessee Titans were to demand that Fletcher Cox be included in a package for the #2 overall pick, then you have to consider including him. Would his loss hurt the defense? No doubt. But sometimes you have to give up something to get something. Including Cox in a trade package to acquire a QB can be explained very simply, with math:
#JimmySays: Cox is probably more likely to stay with the team than not, seeing as the only reason you'd trade him would be if you included him in a deal to go get a franchise QB. But I'm with Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com in thinking he isn't untouchable.
• Vinny Curry: Curry is an imperfect fit in the Eagles' 3-4, but has produced when he has gotten opportunities in obvious passing situations. Like Boykin and Mychal Kendricks, Curry is in the final year of his rookie contract. If the Eagles don't think they can re-sign him to a reasonable deal next offseason, then getting something for him now sure beats losing him for nothing.
#JimmySays: I'd lean toward Curry sticking with the team in 2015, as I'm not so sure trading him would be worth the return you'd get from another team.
• Mychal Kendricks: The Eagles traded for Kiko Alonso and re-signed DeMeco Ryans to a contract extension. That leaves Kendricks' future with the team in doubt. In 2014, the Eagles suffered a number of losses at ILB during the season. They lost Ryans to an Achilles tear mid-season, Najee Goode for the season Week 1, and Kendricks missed four games.
That has led some to ponder the idea of simply keeping Alonso, Ryans and Kendricks for depth purposes, but the Eagles are in decent shape at ILB, in terms of depth. Goode will return this season, and the Eagles added Brad Jones as a free agent signing. Kendricks is in the final year of his contract, and if you can flip him for a valuable asset at another position before he bolts in free agency in a year, then go ahead ahead do it if it makes your roster better as a whole.
#JimmySays: I would lean toward Kendricks being on another roster Week 1.
• Evan Mathis: The Eagles have tried to trade Mathis in each of the last two seasons, but with Mathis being the oldest projected starting OG in the NFL carrying a fairly hefty contract, the Eagles haven't found a lot of interest. Mathis is still a very good player, but there's a report out there by Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly that the Eagles could cut Mathis if they can't find a trade partner for him. Mathis is also currently skipping voluntary workouts.
#JimmySays: Mathis' tenure with the team feels like it's coming to a close.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski