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October 03, 2019

A look at the likely sellers at the NFL trade deadline, and players who could interest the Eagles

From Patrick Peterson to Emmanuel Sanders, here are some names worth keeping an eye on...

Through the first four weeks of the NFL regular season, it is already clear that about a half-dozen teams will be (or at least should be) sellers at the trade deadline, which, for the record, is still about four weeks away. Here we'll look at those teams, and what players they have who could be of interest to the Eagles.


Broncos, 0-4, and touchdown underdogs in Los Angeles against the Chargers this Sunday.

CB Chris Harris: Harris is undersized at 5'10, 199, but stands as an example of a player who is still good on the outside despite being vertically disadvantaged. He is the type of outside/inside versatile corner that the Eagles tend to like, and he has experience playing under Eagles defensive backs coach Cory Undlin.

Harris has proven to be a durable player, as he is now in his ninth season, and he has only missed five games over his career. He turned 30 in June.

Harris will be a free agent at the end of this season, and he seemingly wants out of Denver, via The Denver Post:

“I ain’t saying nothing. Thirteen more weeks for me,” cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said, as he walked toward the locker room exit after another heartbreaking defeat for a proud franchise that has forgotten how to win.

A trade of Harris feels like a no-brainer from the Broncos' perspective, as they would save a nice chunk of money this season if they shipped him out, and they'd gain a draft pick in the process.

What would it take? In an article examining the potential trade bait pieces on the Broncos' roster, it was suggested that John Elway should look and see if Harris could attract a first-round pick in return.

(B)efore the Oct. 29 trade deadline, I would start the process by discovering if Harris could bring Denver a future first-round pick from a championship contender willing to sign a quality corner to a long-term contract.

Lol, what? He's 30 and in a contract year. That's not happening. Barring some other team giving up a 2, which is even too high, in my opinion, I would guess that a 3rd round pick should get it done, but it's worth noting that Elway has a reputation for being difficult to deal with.

Edge rusher Von Miller: Miller is also now 30, and in his ninth season in the NFL. You already know how good he is.

What would it take? Miller still has several years left on his deal, and the cost to acquire him wouldn't be worth it. The discussion begins with a 1, and you can go ahead and pile more picks on top of that. Pipe dream. He's probably stuck in Denver for the foreseeable future.

WR Emmanuel Sanders: At the age of 32, through 4 games, Sanders is on pace for just under 100 catches and 1200 yards. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, and once again, would be a no-brainer for the Broncos to trade to save money and add draft pick compensation. Sanders is a player that Nelson Agholor was commonly compared to when he came out of college, but he has not quite lived up to that comp. 

While/Whenever DeSean Jackson is out, Sanders would be a better replacement on the outside than Agholor is, and he'd be better than Agholor in the slot whenever Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are both able to play. An 11-personnel package of Jackson-Jeffery-Sanders could be deadly.

Of course, if you trade for a guy like Sanders, your fourth receiver, Agholor, is getting paid high-No. 2 receiver money. You better be able to work out a deal with the Broncos or elsewhere to get rid of Agholor, and hopefully garner some sort of return for him.

Wide receiver isn't a huge need the same way that cornerback or defensive line help is, but it's not out of the question either. Sanders isn't a perfect fit, but then again, neither was Golden Tate.

What would it take? If/when Sanders leaves in free agency, because he already has 10 years of NFL service, the max level of compensatory pick the Broncos could receive for losing him is a 5. I wouldn't trade anything more than that if I'm another team.


Jets, 0-3, two-touchdown underdogs in Philly this Sunday.

WR Robby Anderson: Anderson is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. The Eagles had interest in Anderson at the trade deadline last year as a deep threat to replace Mike Wallace. This year, he only makes sense if the team thinks DeSean Jackson is going to be out for a long time. We're not there yet.


Dolphins, 0-4, and clearly tanking, as they have already traded LT Laremy Tunsil and S Minkah Fitzpatrick. The big name is Xavien Howard, who I believe is one of the best corners in the league. The Dolphins have done a nice job getting good value for Tunsil and Fitzpatrick, and they would surely not settle for anything less than a gigantic package for Howard. He's likely not going anywhere.

WR DeVante Parker: He's 6'3 and he runs a 4.45. He's a field stretcher, but again, like Robby Anderson above, he only makes sense if DeSean Jackson's injury is more serious than the team is letting on.


Bengals, 0-4, -53 point differential, and they look horrid.

DT Geno Atkins: The Eagles made the DT position a priority this offseason, when they signed Malik Jackson before free agency even began. Jackson is done for the season, and his backup, Timmy Jernigan, should be out at least a month. Meanwhile, Fletcher Cox hasn't been anything close to himself through four games after recovering from foot surgery, and the other defensive tackles on the roster aren't producing. The Eagles could absolutely use help on the interior of their defensive line.

Atkins has had at least nine sacks in each of the last four seasons, and at 31 is still a very good player. His salaries over the next three years are as follows: 

  1. $11.1 million in 2020
  2. $11.7 million in 2021
  3. $12.95 million in 2022

Because Cincinnati paid Atkins' bonuses already, the Eagles can easily get out of those payments if Atkins' play drops off.

What would it take? Atkins has been the Bengals' best defensive player for years, and probably still is. However, they might have to settle for a 2, or maybe even a 3 if they're willing to moving him, as defensive tackles don't stay elite for long into their 30's.


Cardinals, 0-3-1, and all three of the other teams in the NFC West already have 3 wins each.

CB Patrick Peterson: Peterson might have been drafted by the Eagles if not for the lockout in 2011.

Instead, in return for Kevin Kolb, the Eagles got a second-round pick (that became Vinny Curry and Brandon Boykin) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. But I digress.

Peterson is still "only" 29, he has made each of the last 8 Pro Bowls, and when his 6-game suspension ends, he'll be in his ninth season in the NFL. He is signed through 2020, and his pay is reasonable. If the Cardinals were to trade him, they would not incur a big cap hit.

Cardinals GM Steve Keim recently said the team isn't trading Peterson, via the Cardinals' website.

"We're not trading Pat and that's something we've been very consistent with," Keim said noting that Peterson is "arguably the best corner in the National Football League."

"You always ask yourself, does a move make us better or worse?" Keim said. "To lose someone like Pat Peterson would make us worse."

What would it take? I bet they would consider a 1.


Washington, 0-4, already dead. They'd prefer to trade with a team other than a divisional rival, but even if they were amenable to that, these morons would rather let Trent Williams sit and rot than trade him, for, say, a first-round pick.

That point aside, they don't have any tradable players who are likely to interest the Eagles anyway.

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