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August 01, 2018

Eagles Mailbag: Ronald Darby to the Chargers?

In our Eagles chat on Monday, there were a lot of questions that we could not get to in time or other questions we did answer but could use more color. And so, let's do a mailbag post to answer some of the overflow.

Question from Jeremy (via email): Could a trade of Ronald Darby to the Chargers be in motion now that Jason Verrett is out for the season before it even began? Or do you think the Birds hang on to him? Howie Roseman has been known to cherry pick with teams that are at a wall point and it helps that they are out of conference.

I'll also add to Jeremy's point that the Chargers are thought of by many as Super Bowl contenders, thus increasing the likelihood that they would make this kind of trade with the season right around the corner.

I will note that the Chargers probably weren't counting on Verrett much, seeing as he missed 15 games in 2017, 12 games in 2016, 2 games in 2015, and 10 games in 2014. That would be 39 missed games vs. 25 games played in his career. I doubt the loss of him would have thrown the Chargers into panic mode. 

However, Jeremy's email was three days ago. Since then, the Chargers have seen another starting corner get injured.

It doesn't appear that Williams' injury is overly serious, though a high ankle sprain (I have no idea what kind of sprain Williams suffered, to be clear) can take around six weeks of recovery time. That's still probably not enough to force a panic trade. Maybe the injury to Williams is a reminder that corners get hurt, and you need a lot of them?

So why Darby as opposed to one of the other Eagles corners? Darby is in the final year of his contract, while the rest of the Eagles' corners have at least two years remaining on their deals. He is going to be very difficult for the team to afford next offseason. Rather than let Darby walk next offseason for nothing more than the possibility of a 2020 comp pick, if the Eagles can siphon off a second round pick from a desperate team, I think they'd be tempted to pull the trigger.

It's perhaps also worth noting quickly that Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was the assistant head coach of the Bills when Buffalo drafted Darby in 2015.

Question from Jared: Do you have any update on the Michael Bennett situation? I've noticed the media has not been covering this, and no one is speculating on a possible suspension or really as a concern for the upcoming season. Would appreciate some kind of update.

The NFL doesn't typically punish players until their situations have played out through the legal system first. The case against Bennett (a) appears to be extremely flimsy in the first place, and (b) seems to be far from reaching a conclusion.

Nigel Bradham, for example, was arrested in July of 2016 for his "cabana boy" incident. He wasn't suspended by the league until two years later, well after his case played out through the legal system. I wouldn't worry about Bennett missing any time this season due to a suspension stemming from the charges brought again him earlier this offseason.

Question from Pragmatic: Last preseason a lot of people, I can’t remember who now, said that Corey Clement was just another guy, and shouldn't make the 53-man roster. Is there any player like that this season?

(Raises hand) I thought Clement was "just a guy," and didn't have him on my final 53. Oops.

One guy that I think is a classic JAG ("just a guy") is Destiny Vaeao. However, he's been getting first team reps over Haloti Ngata, and Jim Schwartz had interesting praise for him on Tuesday. 

"I liked where he was coming out of training camp last year," Schwartz said. "Unfortunately, he got hurt in the first game, and then he had to play with that cast on the rest of the year. So, this is a big year for him, just sort of putting it all together. I really liked where he came out of camp last year. He's a little bit bigger now, but not overweight. He's just bigger. He's just matured a little bit more. Put a little bit more weight on. Third year is an important year, particularly coming off a year that he was hindered most of the year."

So maybe Destiny?

Question from Desert Eagle: Are you on the “Matt Pryor hype train,” which is defined as, “Eagles can cut Warmack this year and trade Seumalo because they now have a replacement for Wisniewski when he retires.”

Well, Wis is 29, so he may not be retiring for a while. But on the rest of it? Yes.

Question from Steve R.: I often hear you allude to the Patriots paying Tom Brady under the table somehow to keep the cap hit smaller. How do you think they are doing this? Secret bitcoin exchanges?

First paragraph in this story from The Boston Globe:

The Patriots, in an unusual departure from National Football League practice, have created a revenue stream for a private business owned by their franchise quarterback, Tom Brady, and a partner who faced federal sanctions after falsely presenting himself as a medical doctor and deceptively promoting nutritional supplements.

That's how.

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