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June 14, 2015

Five potential Eagles offensive line trade targets

Eagles NFL
061515MarcusMartin Tony Avelar/AP

The 49ers' Marcus Martin could make sense for the Eagles as a versatile interior offensive lineman.

The Eagles are the only team in the NFL not to have selected an offensive lineman in either of the last two drafts. Last Thursday, Evan Mathis became the second starter along the Eagles' offensive line to be cut, after the Birds jettisoned Todd Herremans back in February. The Eagles have a whole lot of uncertainty at the guard position, and a lack of depth across the board.

The Eagles have already shown this offseason that they are interested in bringing in help along the line, when they reportedly offered former Redskins OG Chris Chester a two year deal. Chester ultimately took a one-year deal with the Falcons.

Zach Berman of the Inquirer took a look at the best free agent offensive linemen presently available to the Eagles. However, while a free agent acquisition shouldn't be ruled out, if any of the free agent options were appealing to the Eagles, they probably would have already looked to bring one aboard. 

The only other option at the Eagles' disposal at this time is to either sit back and wait to see which guys get cut, or to be aggressive going after a player in a trade. The latter would allow the newly acquired lineman to begin to develop some level of continuity/cohesion with his new line mates at the start of camp.

To note, I'm completely throwing darts here as I have no knowledge of the Eagles pursuing trade options, but the following five players could make sense to the Eagles to bolster their depth. Also to note, there are no big names below, because teams simply don't get rid of OL starters, amirite?

1) Marcus Martin, OG/C, 49ers: Martin started 20 games at USC at guard, and 13 at center. He has the versatility that the Eagles like, and they even reportedly brought him in for a pre-draft visit before the 2014 draft. Even though the 49ers lost Anthony Davis to retirement and Mike Iupati in free agency, they still have decent depth along their line. A year ago, Daniel Kilgore played very well at center before breaking his leg, which ended his season. Martin, who was rehabbing an injury at the time Kilgore went down, filled in at center for the rest of the season and understandably struggled. If the Niners feel that Kilgore is fully healed, Martin could be the odd man out, and thus an option for the Niners to try to recoup value in return for one of their bench players.

2) Hugh Thornton, OG, Colts: Thornton started at LG for the Colts in 2013, and he got 584 snaps at RG in 2014. He has very good athleticism:

In 2014, Thornton was benched for being late for meetings, which of course wouldn't jibe with Chip Kelly's #culture parameters, but Thornton is a guard with some upside on a team with good OL depth who could help the Eagles immediately.

3) Laurent Duverney-Tardif, OG/OT, Chiefs: Again, the Eagles reportedly worked out Duverney-Tardif (from McGill University in Montreal) prior to the 2014 draft, but Andy Reid snatched him up in the sixth round. He has guard-tackle versatility, but is still projected to be a bench player for the Chiefs. Obviously, the Chiefs are a natural trade partner for the Eagles, as Big Red liked many Eagles players at one time or another, and Chip Kelly can't get rid of old Andy guys fast enough.

4) David Quessenberry, OG/OT, Texans: Quessenberry's rookie season was cut short a year ago when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which he beat after chemotherapy and radiation treatments. However, Quessenberry was quite an athletic lineman prior to his diagnosis

Obviously, the Eagles would have to feel comfortable that Quessenberry is the same athlete he was before his battle with cancer, and the Texans would have to feel comfortable, you know, trading a guy who just beat cancer.

5) Dallas Thomas, OG/ OT, Dolphins: Thomas was a bad player for the Dolphins a year ago, and therefore he could be expendable. He was a third round pick of the Dolphins in the 2013 draft, and he reportedly visited the Eagles prior to the draft. In college he played both guard and tackle, which again, makes him a versatile player the Eagles could value. He also played LG and RT in 2014 for the Dolphins. If the Eagles think they can make something out of Thomas, they could look to bring him in as an Allen Barbre type who can come off the bench and play several positions. 

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski