Eagles' Top Trade Candidates Ahead of 2022 Training Camp

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2022

Eagles' Top Trade Candidates Ahead of 2022 Training Camp

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    The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to make some noise in the NFC playoff race this season. They made a postseason appearance in 2021, added star wideout A.J. Brown in the offseason and are looking for a breakthrough campaign from quarterback Jalen Hurts.

    If Hurts makes positive strides as a signal-caller in 2022, Philadelphia might not only be a playoff contender—it could be a legitimate threat to make a deep playoff run.

    We're talking about a team that ranked first in rushing, 12th in scoring and 10th in total defense last year—and one that added a Pro Bowl-caliber talent to its receiving corps. One could even argue that the Eagles should now be considered the favorites in the NFC East.

    However, this doesn't mean that Philadelphia should be finished making offseason moves. If the right players become available, the Eagles should be willing to pounce. However, Philadelphia has just $3.5 million in cap space available—the fourth-least in the league—which means that trading players may have to be part of the equation.

    Which players might the Eagles consider moving as training camp approaches? Below, we'll examine the three most likely and most logical candidates based on factors like player performance, contract status age and positional depth.

WR Jalen Reagor

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    With Brown now in the fold, the future is cloudy for 2020 first-round pick Jalen Reagor. The TCU product has struggled to become a significant piece of the offense and has just 695 receiving yards and three touchdowns through two seasons.

    The Eagles are desperate to see more from Reagor this season.

    "He works hard, and we've got to get him going. That's it. We've got to all be behind him," cornerback Darius Slay said, per Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

    The problem is that with Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal and Greg Ward also on the roster, Reagor may not have an opportunity to get going in 2022.

    Depth is important, and the Eagles shouldn't be eager to part with it. However, if a receiver-needy contender comes calling, flipping Reagor for a high draft pick is far from the worst idea.

    While he hasn't produced consistently, Reagor still carries a first-round pedigree and has two years remaining on his rookie deal—plus a fifth-year option. There's value in that, and Philadelphia could capitalize on it with a trade.

QB Gardner Minshew

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    Again, depth is important for a Super Bowl hopeful like Philadelphia. Quarterback Gardner Minshew has a ton of it as an insurance policy behind Hurts. He went 1-1 as a starter last season and helped Philadelphia reach the postseason.

    However, Minshew could have even more value as a trade chip. He's shown that he can be a serviceable starter—he holds a career passer rating of 93.9—and is arguably just as capable as quarterback trade targets like Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield.

    The Eagles signed Nevada quarterback Carson Strong as an undrafted free agent this offseason, and while that doesn't necessarily make Minshew expendable, it does provide Philadelphia with another understudy option.

    The key here would be maximizing Minshew's trade value, and that may require waiting for quarterback competitions to unfold and/or an injury to occur. If another playoff hopeful loses its starter for a significant amount of time, Minshew's market value could skyrocket.

    Starting-caliber quarterbacks, after all, aren't easy to find on short notice.

    The Washington State product is in the final year of his rookie contract and could depart next offseason. If the opportunity to add a reasonable draft pick or a high-end player presents itself, the Eagles would have to at least consider dealing Minshew.

DT Fletcher Cox

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    If we're talking pure trade value, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox represents Philadelphia's biggest trade chip. The possible future Hall of Famer remains productive at 31 years old and finished last season with 35 tackles, 3.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss.

    Cox could potentially bring a lot back in a trade. And the Eagles have a premier replacement option in rookie first-round pick Jordan Davis.

    "Jordan Davis is a rare prospect based on his measurables alone. There aren't many 6'6", 340-pound players, period, let alone those as athletically gifted as he is," Derrik Klassen of the Bleacher Report Scouting Department wrote.

    The caveat here is that trading Cox would be difficult financially. He came back on a one-year deal that carries a cap hit of $4 million in 2022 but includes $14 million in dead money. The Eagles would have to convince another team to take on the guaranteed portion of the deal or create enough cap space to facilitate a trade.

    Still, Cox is a tremendous interior defender who could be the missing piece to another team's Super Bowl puzzle. That could mean a massive return for the Eagles, perhaps another starter or a pair of high draft picks—the Los Angeles Rams gave up second- and third-round picks for half a season of Von Miller in 2021.

    Davis is likely the heir to Cox at defensive tackle, and if he's ready to start right away, the Eagles could consider flipping Cox in order to improve elsewhere.


    Cap and contract information via Spotrac. Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference.

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