Free Agency: 3 wide receiver trades the Eagles can still make
The new league year is officially underway and most of the high-profile receivers are already off the market.
Christian Kirk agreed to terms on a $72M contract with Jacksonville while DJ Chark is headed to Detroit on a one-year deal. The Eagles had interest in former Bears’ WR Allen Robinson before signing with the Rams.
The Raiders were involved in Allen Robinson’s free agency, and many around the league believed the Eagles were, too. The Rams sealed it.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 17, 2022
JuJu Smith-Schuster aside — who Philadelphia has no interest in — the FA wide receiver pool doesn’t have many enticing names remaining:
- Julio Jones
- Jarvis Landry
- Odell Beckham Jr.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster
- James Washington
- Cole Beasley
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling
- A.J. Green
- T.Y. Hilton
- Jamison Crowder
- Will Fuller
- Adam Humphries
- Sammy Watkins
- Keelan Cole
Prior to free agency, the Eagles were reportedly close to a deal for star WR Calvin Ridley before the NFL suspended him for sports gambling. Should GM Howie Roseman choose to revisit the trade market, there are a few options he could target:
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans
This would largely depend on what Houston inevitably gets in return for Deshaun Watson, but the Texans will be in rebuild mode regardless. Brandin Cooks has been with four different teams over his eight-year career, playing at a high level with each one.
The 28-year-old has recorded over 1,000 yards receiving in six seasons and has only missed three games since 2015. Cooks is due a base salary of $12.5M in 2022, a fair price for a receiver with his production.
Laviska Shenault Jr, Jacksonville Jaguars
After the Jaguars signed Christian Kirk and Zay Jones to new deals, the former second-round pick projects to be the odd man out. The Eagles had interest in the versatile receiver leading up to the 2020 NFL draft, but he was selected 11 picks ahead of Philly in the second round.
His 227-pound frame is something that the receiver corps lacks, and Shenault’s ability to be used out of the backfield could add another element to the Eagles’ rush-heavy offense. Drops have been an issue thus far into his career though — he had eight of them last season.
Shenault has caught 121 passes for 1219 yards and 5 TDs over his first two seasons. He’s also rushed the ball 29 times for 132 yards.
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Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings could potentially be cleaning house after hiring a new general manager and head coach this offseason. They then extended mediocre QB Kirk Cousins to a one-year contract extension, lowering his cap hit by nearly $14M.
“The sense among some of the execs I spoke to is that the Vikings seem to understand that they aren’t in position by and large to hit home runs with these trades (which are more like salary cap dumps). Receiver Adam Thielen, linebacker Eric Kendricks, defensive tackle Michael Pierce, even running back Dalvin Cook are names making the rounds. I’d be surprised if a few were not moved.”
Thielen has become one of the league’s most consistent receivers since going undrafted in 2013. Over the last six seasons, he’s put up over 5,600 yards and 48 TDs, but is now on the decline and entering the second year of his $64M contract.
With the emergence of Justin Jefferson and KJ Osborn, Thielen has become expendable and may be on the way out. Perhaps he can be a viable pass-catcher and veteran presence for presumed starter Jalen Hurts.