The Philadelphia Eagles' front office has been questioned by its fans constantly. Most of the time, the front office tends to know more about football than these armchair GMs.
Last year, fans were livid that the Eagles allowed Roy Williams to "slip away" to the Dallas Cowboys. He was "stolen" for just a first, third, and sixth-round pick. Given Jeremy Maclin's performance last weekend, it seems like the Eagles made the right choice.
However, that doesn't mean there aren't moves they could make now. The Eagles are a contender. We know that much.
But can they be champions?
Personnelwise, the Eagles have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. However, there is some fat that can be trimmed on the roster, and there are some areas that could be stronger.
The trade deadline presents an opportunity for the Eagles to do this and get closer to that goal of winning a championship. Here are a couple of players the Eagles should consider targeting.
1. Green Bay Packers Defensive End Aaron Kampan.
This will be pricey, but Kampman has been a disappointment this year after putting up 37 sacks the last three seasons. The reason? Green Bay has decided to take his hand off the ground and convert him into a 3-4 linebacker. He struggled against the Vikings in coverage and has only one sack this year.
However, he still has the talent to be an elite defensive end (as he was the past three years) and imagining him across from Trent Cole gives me goosebumps. The Eagles could give up Chris Gocong and a second-rounder for Kampman. Remember, the Vikings got Jared Allen for a first-round pick and a third-round pick.
Why this trade will happen: The Eagles have had to blitz a great deal. While these blitzes have been effective, the pass rush from the front four has been only average. Adding a dynamic every-down right end like Kampman would take a lot of pressure off of Trent Cole. Chris Gocong has been solid as a linebacker, but would be better off in a 3-4 where he can be free to blitz more. In addition, Aaron Kampman will likely leave the Packers to free agency this summer.
Why this trade will not happen: Kampman turns 30 in November. The Eagles have shown a reluctance to trade for older players. They may not be willing to pay a steep price tag for Kampman, which the Packers will likely demand.
2. Outside Linebacker Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs
This is not the Johnson from the Chiefs most fans would expect to see on this list. Johnson is arguably the Chiefs' best defensive player. However, he has been benched.
His production hasn't been spectacular, but he is also being forced to play out-of-position as a 3-4 inside linebacker. He would be a perfect remedy for the Eagles' linebacking coverage problem.
He was a first-round pick in 2005 and has been very productive as an NFL player. He is still very young and has a ton of athletic ability and playmaking potential. He would give depth and explosiveness to this defense. The Chiefs do not have great receiver after Dwayne Bowe, and some combination of Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, and perhaps a fifth-round pick would not be unreasonable.
Why this trade will happen: Johnson has been benched by the Chiefs, who like the potential of his replacement, Demorrio Williams. The Eagles have had a great deal of trouble covering the tight end, and the average linebackers have been the only concern in the defense so far. Our depth would be better if Gocong is a backup, and the Eagles would be less vulnerable to running backs in the passing game as well (see: New Orleans Saints game). Johnson is dripping with unrealized potential, and it's not as if he has been a bust.
Why this trade will not happen: The Chiefs may ask too much. They asked for a third-round pick and a first-round pick for Jared Allen. Allen's impact on the Minnesota Vikings has been undeniable, but would the Eagles be willing to take a huge risk?
In addition to these possible transactions, I wouldn't be surprised to see Michael Vick in a new place by the end of the week. San Francisco, St. Louis, and Buffalo are all possible destinations. I don't think the Eagles are disappointed in Vick's performance, but it will be more beneficial to get trade value for him than to keep him. Philadelphia has so much speed and so many playmakers (and two good quarterbacks) that it will be tough for Vick to find his niche.