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February 28, 2022

NFL trade rumors: What's this about D.K. Metcalf?

Is there any chance the Eagles can pry D.K. Metcalf from the needy Seahawks?

It's no secret that the Eagles are in the market for wide receiver help. Short of rookie sensation DeVonta Smith and top 5 tight end Dallas Goedert, the Birds don't really have any other reliable weapons for Jalen Hurts (or whatever quarterback is under center for the 2022 season).

There are plenty of options out there. D.J. Chark and Allen Robinson are two talented but not elite names that have gotten some buzz. Chris Godwin and Devante Adams are set to hit free agency but may get hit with a franchise tag first. And there are also some pretty good draft prospects the Eagles can target with their three first round picks.

In addition, there has been some talk about the Falcons shopping Calvin Ridley, a young wideout looking for a change of scenery who would be a great fit in Philly. 

And over the weekend a new name has been added to trade rumors. One who is probably even more perfectly crafted to fit the Eagles pass catching needs — D.K. Metcalf.

The athletic monster has one year left on his contract and the Seahawks are trying to figure out how best to move forward without a first round pick. Aside from Russell Wilson — a player our Jimmy Kempski broke down early this morning as a top target for the Eagles — the Seahawks don't have many options available for getting back into the first round as they also look to shed salary. 

And that's why The Athletic's Michael-Shawn Dugar, after writing at length about Seattle players who could find themselves restructuring deals or getting cut, found himself pontificating about a Metcalf trade:

The only realistic option is receiver DK Metcalf, whose contract expires after the 2022 season. Since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2019, Metcalf among receivers ranks fifth in receiving touchdowns (29), 10th in receiving yards (3,170) and 17th in receptions (216). He doesn’t turn 25 until December.

Seattle would have no problem finding someone willing to give up a first-round pick — perhaps an early one — for the right to acquire Metcalf and sign him to an extension that pays him like one of the best players at his position (about $22 million per year). Such a move would be reminiscent of Seattle’s decision to trade defensive end Frank Clark to the Chiefs ahead of the 2019 draft in exchange for a 2019 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick. The Chiefs then signed Clark to a five-year, $104 million contract. Seattle used the 2019 pick it got from Kansas City on defensive end L.J. Collier.

As far as somewhat comparable receiver trades go, Dallas acquired Amari Cooper from the Raiders in 2018 in exchange for a 2019 first-round pick, then eventually signed Cooper to a $100 million contract. Ahead of the 2020 draft, Buffalo gave up a first-round pick and a few Day 3 selections for Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs, then reworked his contract. Minnesota used that 2020 first-round pick on receiver Justin Jefferson who, like Diggs, has made the Pro Bowl each of the past two seasons. [The Athletic]

You may have seen tweets or headlines about Metcalf being traded and rightly got excited. But reading the text of the source of the rumor shows a lot less smoke than one would have hoped for. The article goes on to mention that Metcalf wants to be in Seattle and is not demanding any kind of trade. 

The only real motivation for Seattle to move their stud wideout is if they don't expect him to sign an extension past this season, which it sounds like he'd be willing to do. But if the Seahawks do move Wilson that could change quickly.

It seems like this one falls in the category of very unlikely, but worth keeping an eye on anyway because there is a world in which it makes sense. And who wouldn't use the 15th overall pick to acquire D.K. freaking Metcalf?

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