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December 21, 2018

Mailbag: Should the Eagles trade for Jalen Ramsey this offseason?

In our Eagles chat this week, 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 G: Any chance Howie swings a trade for Jalen Ramsey in the offseason? What would it take? And would it be worth it?

To begin, I believe the trade rumors are true, in that the Jags would deal him for the right price. I do not think the Eagles should have interest. 

Ramsey is going to cost $7,429,863 on the final year of his rookie deal in 2019, which is a more than affordable price for an All-Pro corner. His fifth-year option in 2020 will probably be in the ballpark of around $14 million. However, any team trading for him would of course also be looking to lock him down long-term, and Ramsey himself wants a new contract. That’s going to be expensive. There are three things working against the Eagles having interest:

  1. They will be tight against the cap in 2019 and beyond. They are not going to be major players in free agency like they’ve been in the past, and Ramsey is going to get “free agent money.”
  2. They need all the cheap labor from their draft picks that they can get, and cannot afford to trade them away.
  3. Corner isn’t among their biggest needs.

Ramsey would make more sense for other teams around the league with money to spend, should he get moved.

Question from My_Eagles: Am I crazy that I’m not hitching all my horses to the Wentz wagon? He’s a great player. I’m simply concerned that he gets injured often and will end up getting a contract in the range of $30 million per year.

I do think the injury concerns are valid. However, the question is, what’s the alternative? Are you going to find a quarterback as good as Wentz? That’s extremely unlikely, and the resources it would take to find out wouldn’t allow you to build the rest of the team around whoever his replacement would be.

Only one of 32 teams wins the Super Bowl each year. #Analysis. If Wentz stays healthy, the Eagles will have a better shot at winning it all from year to year than almost all the other 31 teams. That's a simplistic premise, but it is one worth betting on, in my view.

I think it's also worth noting that the Eagles don't win a Super Bowl last year without Wentz. Obviously, he didn't play in the Super Bowl, but it's not like he was Trent Green getting injured before the season began, with Kurt Warner stepping in and leading the team to a championship over an entire season. Wentz is legitimately a Super Bowl winning quarterback, if that makes sense.

Wentz is going to get paid. You’re just going to have to hope he stays on the field. It'll be frustrating when he can't. It can be incredible when he can.

Question from ClementDieHard: I know he barely played this year, but what do you think of Josh Sweat? Could he be a long-term answer at DE? Or should the Eagles look elsewhere for someone to pair with Barnett?

I don’t think Sweat showed much as a rookie, but he was always going to be a long-term project, and pass rushers can take a few years to develop. The Eagles certainly can’t count on him long-term until he shows more. They have to continue to fill that pass rush pipeline, and if Sweat also develops into a productive player, then great.

Question from Phillybeard: I’m reading about Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers both sitting Sunday because their teams are out of the playoffs. Why does the NFL allow this? If I were a ticket buyer I’d be furious.

They’re both hurt. It makes no sense for either guy to risk further injury with nothing to play for.

Question from Kevin Rogers: Are you rooting for the Chiefs in the AFC like a lot of other Eagles fans, media, etc.?

Yeah, I’d like to see Andy win one.

Question from My Ears: Does Jason Witten work for free? Why else would ESPN bring him back?

I don’t get to hear a lot of NFL telecasts these days. In the press box on Sundays, I’m obviously locked in on the Eagles’ games when they are in progress, and when they’re not, the other games are muted. The only telecasts I consistently get to see are Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football. Witten might be the worst color commentator I've ever heard.

ESPN coaxed him into retirement and into the broadcast booth seemingly without having him audition. I mean, I can’t imagine him auditioning and some network executive thinking, “This man is destined for television greatness.” His only real qualification for the job seems to be that he’s a well-known former player for the Dallas Cowboys, and I can’t wrap my head around why network execs think that that’s what people want to hear.

Anyway, here’s how I’d rank the former Cowboys who are now in broadcasting.

Tony Romo: He’s legitimately great. He's enthusiastic, clearly loves the game, knows what he’s talking about, and makes salient points.

Troy Aikman: He calls a ton of NFC East games, and I’ve never once perceived any bias. He’s objective, and like Romo, knows the game. “I’m not so sure Aikman isn’t very good,” as Aikman would probably say about himself, objectively.

Darren Woodson: Didn’t even know he was on TV, did you? As the least visible of the former Cowboys players-turned-broadcasters, Woodson is more appealing than the rest, solely on the premise that I have no idea if he’s good or bad, whereas I know the rest of the guys below are bad.

Jimmy Johnson: I just can’t respect a man who has been fake laughing at FOX’s terrible football comedy bits with Frank Caliendo and Rob Riggle for almost two decades.

Michael Irvin: He just yells.

Daryl Johnston: Moose presents himself as an intelligent analyst, but does he ever actually show you anything during a game that you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed? I can't think of any examples at all. Also, I recall an Eagles game back in 2013 in which the Birds had a lead, and Moose just kept railing on Chip Kelly for not winding the clock down to 1 before snapping the ball, for the entirety of the fourth quarter. It just didn’t end. Moose saw the Eagles going no-huddle, and confused it with tempo, which they weren't running. They were mostly snapping the ball with like four seconds left on the play clock, and you'd think Chip had peed in Moose's coffee.

Deion Sanders: Yes, Deion, you were an amazing player. Everyone recognizes that. The never-ending self-promotion can stop already. “If you ball, you get the call?” Stop. Sanders is 51 years old. He retired after the 2000 season, then came back for two “meh” season with the Ravens in 2004 and 2005. Saquon Barkley was like two years old when Deion was still good. These guys don’t care about getting a call from a guy whose only motivation is to pretend that they do.

Jason Witten: I lol’d several times watching this:

By far, the best part is the play beginning at the 0:41 mark. I legit laughed loudly after 12 seconds had gone by, and Joe Tessatore finally has to jump back in and say, “Boyle goes 6-foot-4, 270.” Lol.

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