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October 29, 2019

NFL trade deadline comes and goes, Eagles do (almost) nothing

In 2017, the Philadelphia Eagles made a great deadline trade, when they acquired RB Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins for a fourth-round pick, and Ajayi went on to help the Eagles win their first Super Bowl.

In 2018, they made a bad deal at the deadline, when they acquired Golden Tate from the the Detroit Lions for a way-too-expensive cost of a third-round pick.

In 2019, they sat on the sidelines, like a lot of other teams for that matter, as the 4:00 p.m. EST Tuesday deadline came and went like a fart in the wind. Well, sort of. On Monday, the Eagles did trade a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for DE Genard Avery, who had a promising rookie season in 2018, but has mostly been a healthy scratch in Browns games this season. But that was hardly the impact move (or perceived impact move, anyway) that many were envisioning.

The Eagles didn't lack for positions of need, most notably at wide receiver and defensive tackle, and to a lesser degree, cornerback.

• At wide receiver, the Eagles may or may not be getting DeSean Jackson back soon, and while he'll be a big help to the offense if and when he does return, the chances of him staying healthy have to be considered dicey. Without Jackson, the Eagles have one of the most nonthreatening group of the receivers in the NFL. At a minimum, they failed to find an upgrade over Mack Hollins, who doesn't have a single reception on 4 measly targets, playing 141 snaps over the last four games.

• At defensive tackle, a week ago, the Eagles were forced to sign three players off of practice squads, as Fletcher Cox was the lone DT standing.

• And then there was cornerback, of course, which the Eagles clearly had interest in addressing when Jalen Ramsey was available, but the return of starters Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, and (soon) Avonte Maddox perhaps gave them some hope that the cornerback position could be fine the rest of the way, which is a reasonable way of viewing it, at least in comparison to WR and DT.

The feeling league-wide is that the NFL's sellers were asking too much for their players, and if so, it would be hard to criticize the Eagles for not over-paying for other teams' players with expiring contracts, like they unwisely did last year for Tate. However, the Eagles were also rumored to be sellers themselves, as they were reportedly willing to part with Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Vinny Curry, neither of whom were dealt.

We'll probably never know what sort of menu the Eagles had to choose from on available players and their varying costs, so it's difficult to assign kudos or fault. That said, their roster did not improve today.

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