Mock Trade: Eagles send draft capital to Bengals in exchange for disgruntled safety
The Eagles will need more than Marcus Epps to fill their glaring hole at safety.
While the team addressed several needs through the draft and free agency, the safety spot opposite Anthony Harris remains a concern. Epps showed promise last season but has played less than 1,000 snaps thus far in his NFL career.
The free-agent safety market is pretty thin, but a disgruntled playmaker could be available sooner than later.
Coming off an impactful season where the Bengals made their first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years, standout safety Jessie Bates was hoping to be rewarded with a new contract. Cincinnati, however, placed the franchise tag on Bates, which would pay him around $13.5M in 2022.
Per multiple reports, Bates has no intention of signing or playing under the franchise tag.
Bengals safety Jessie Bates has no intentions of playing under franchise tag, per a person close to the situation. He's not expected to attend OTAs or report to training camp. https://t.co/YRrWPHvgo3 via @USATSportsPlus— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) May 16, 2022
“Hopefully, I’m not under a franchise tag,” Bates told the NFL Network in February. “That’s something that needs to be discussed as NFLPA a little bit. Some of the top guys got hurt under a franchise tag. It’s tough; you only get one shot at this. You just got to play your cards right, I guess you could say.”
After watching Marcus Williams and Justin Reid, amongst others at his position, get paid this offseason, it’s hard to argue with him.
The clock is ticking for Cincinnati to get a long-term deal done with Bates. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, a trade may be on the horizon — especially after they drafted Daxton Hill in the first round.
Enter Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Roseman has never been bashful about star hunting, as evidenced during the draft when he acquired Pro Bowl receiver AJ Brown. If he wants to solidify another critical position, pursuing Bates makes a lot of sense.
A potential trade could look like this:
Bengals receive: 2023 3rd-round pick
Eagles receive: S Jessie Bates III
I’d argue that Bates is worth a second-rounder, but the Bengals have no leverage in this situation and would look to get something in return before he walks for nothing. In addition, the Eagles would have to get an extension done prior to the trade, similar to what they did with Darius Slay and AJ Brown.
Bates’ market value is roughly $14.8M/year, so Roseman would have to maneuver the cap to make it work — something he is very educated in doing.
The 25-year-old has tallied 408 tackles, 35 passes defended and ten interceptions in his first four years with Cincinnati. His 90.3 coverage grade since 2020 is the third-highest among DBs.
The Eagles have already knocked this offseason out of the park. Bringing in Bates would have the team poised not only for a division title but a potential playoff run.
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Mandatory Credit: Wake Forest University Athletics