The Philadelphia Eagles had no luck with fellow Buffalo Bills lineman Demetress Bell, so it may be a touch of irony that I would propose a trade for another lineman on the Bills.
But the Eagles have been getting extremely sub-par results from Bell as well as fifth-year backup King Dunlap, who has limited playing time since being drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft. As a result, the left tackle position hasn’t been much more than a turnstile this season.
Chad Rinehart is a fourth-year backup in Buffalo and fifth-year NFL player, and while he hasn’t officially played tackle at the National Football League level, he has played it before in college. Rinehart isn’t going to make the Eagles an instant Super Bowl contender, but it could be a little move to get the team going in the right direction.
The Eagles could try Rinehart at left tackle or they could stick with Dunlap/Bell and hope one of them pans out (or maybe it’s time to see what fifth-round rookie Dennis Kelly can do when pressed into action). What Rinehart will do though is provide valuable depth on the offensive line.
The Eagles literally don’t have a backup guard that they have been dressing for games—Steve Vallos can play center and guard but he’s been inactive as of late, Mike Gibson is on injured reserve, Julian Vandervelde went to Tampa Bay (although now he’s back on the practice squad), and promising sixth round rookie Brandon Washington was released in training camp.
Rinehart has filled in admirably for Andy Levitre and Kraig Urbik when he’s been needed, but the Bills drafted second round tackle Cordy Glenn this year and fourth round tackle Zebrie Sanders. It might be worth unloading Rinehart to get an experienced defensive end in Darryl Tapp.
Tapp hasn’t done much in Philadelphia this year to warrant his paycheck, and he’s blocking rookie Vinny Curry from even seeing the field. Tapp was thought by many to be a potential veteran cut in training camp but he agreed to a pay reduction to remain with the Eagles. Tapp is getting 20-25 snaps per game but he’s not generating much pressure on the opposing quarterback (just two hurries and 0.5 sacks in 139 snaps), and the Eagles don’t need him this season.
The Bills, meanwhile, thought they had the NFL’s best front four when they acquired $100 million star Mario Williams from the Houston Texans and reigning 12-sack man Mark Anderson from the division rival New England Patriots. Add those two to a line that already included Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, and you should have a front four that punishes opposing quarterbacks.
That hasn’t been the case though, and the Bills’ defense has been a constant weak spot all season, surrendering at least 45 points in three separate games. M. Williams has dealt with a left wrist injury and Anderson has just one sack and seven hurries, and little to no help in the running game. Tapp would be a solid veteran pass rusher the Bills could rotate in to keep the rest of their line fresh, and they wouldn’t have to part with much.