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October 24, 2021

Report: 'Teams calling with trade interest' for Eagles LT Andre Dillard

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Andre_Dillard_Eagles_Camp_Frese.jpg Kate Frese/PhillyVoice

Eagles LT Andre Dillard

According to a report from Ian Rapaport of NFL Network, teams around the league have been calling the Philadelphia Eagles about the availability of LT Andre Dillard. 

Eagles offensive tackle Andre Dillard: He was drafted to be the left tackle of the future, but it hasn't quite worked out like that. Instead, that title has gone to seventh-round find Jordan Mailata. Dillard hasn't been in the starting lineup, and recently, he has been taking reps at guard in practice. So, teams have been calling with trade interest. He did impress while playing left tackle against the Panthers, and that improved his stock. The Eagles won't give him away, and there are scenarios where he's a part of their future, anyway. But teams believe a quality second-day pick would be enough to pry Dillard away.

Dillard has been in the starting lineup for the last four games, but is likely headed back to the bench with Lane Johnson returning from his personal matter. In those four starts, he exceeded expectations, and perhaps showed that he can be a starting NFL LT after all. 

MORE: Mailbag: Would it make sense for Eagles to trade a first-round pick for a veteran? | Five over/unders for Eagles vs. Raiders | Week 7 non-Eagles rooting guide

Earlier this week, we had Dillard as the second most likely Eagles trade chip if they're sellers at the deadline, behind CB Steven Nelson. We guessed that the asking price for Dillard "should be around a 3rd round pick, maybe landing on a 4th," which would be in line with Howie Roseman's text message to Rapoport that "teams believe a quality second-day pick would be enough to pry Dillard away."

With the Eagles, there isn't really a good fit for Dillard. When Johnson was absent with his personal matter, Mailata moved from LT to RT, and performed reasonably well enough, but ultimately, his best usage is at LT, where he has been built from the ground up by Jeff Stoutland. With Mailata having signed a four-year deal worth $64 million just after the start of the season, the Eagles signaled that he was the LT of the present and future.

Realistically, Johnson will be on the Eagles' roster through the 2022 season, which lines up with the end of Dillard's base rookie contract. If Mailata and Johnson are the starters at LT and RT, Dillard's only value is as a backup LT, since he is not a fit at guard, and is (we'll put it kindly) uncomfortable at RT.

If Dillard finishes the 2021 season with the Eagles, the team will have to decide during the 2022 offseason whether or not to exercise his fifth-year option for 2023. projects that Dillard's fifth-year option would cost $11,640,000, which would be fully guaranteed. Even with Dillard's improvement this season, there should be absolutely no justification whatsoever for the team guarantee him that kind of money.

And so, if the Eagles can get something decent for Dillard now, they should. A few contenders (or wannabe contenders) with varying needs at LT: 

  1. The Ravens announced on Tuesday that All-Pro LT Ronnie Stanley is done for the season. 
  2. On Monday night, you may have seen Titans Pro Bowl Taylor Lewan get carted off. 
  3. The Saints' Terron Armstead is on IR with an elbow injury.
  4. The Browns have had injury issues with both starting offensive tackles.
  5. Eric Fisher has not yet panned out for the Colts.
  6. The Panthers' Cameron Erving is a replacement-level starting LT, and Dillard could be more of a long-term fit.

Dillard can help another team, while his ceiling for production in Philly is low, given the circumstances laid out above. As such, there's little reason a deal shouldn't get done. The thing most likely to thwart it would be a too high asking price. We'll see.

MORE: Week 7 NFL picks: Rounding up the experts' predictions for Eagles vs. Raiders | Eagles mailbag: Is Tyree Jackson the next Darren Waller?

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