Over the last three seasons, the Eagles have played an active role in the trade market. In 2017, the team shipped a fourth-round pick away to the Dolphins to acquire Jay Ajayi.
This move was key in helping the team win the Super Bowl. In 2018, the Eagles traded away a third-round pick for wide receiver Golden Tate.

Unlike the trade for Ajayi, Tate had problems fitting in the offensive system and did not produce. In 2019, the Eagles traded a fourth-round pick to the Browns for linebacker Genard Avery, who barely saw the field beyond special teams action.

Trade rumors and speculation are heating up once again and the Eagles are right in the mix. Lions cornerback Darius Slay has reportedly caught the attention of the Eagles since before the 2019 trade deadline. Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs recently deleted all things related to the Vikings from his Instagram account. This action has once again stirred up speculation that Diggs wants out in Minnesota.

Diggs and Slay are truly elite players at their respective positions.

Both positions that the Eagles are in drastic need of. 

The Eagles cornerback room may have two empty seats to fill, with Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills both hitting the free-agent market this spring. Even with Darby and Mills, the team’s cornerback play was far from impressive

The team is also in need of improving its wide receiving core. Nelson Agholor is set to become a free agent this offseason and it is highly unlikely he will return with the team in 2020. Alshon Jeffery is getting older and has played inconsistently over the past two seasons. Jeffery is also unhappy with the Eagles and reportedly, “wouldn’t mind a change of scenery”.

Even though Slay and Diggs are top tier players, there is baggage that comes along with both of them that does not fit with what the Eagles are looking for in terms of age and salary. Slay is 29-years-old and has played in the league for eight seasons.

Slay also only has one more year left on his contract, which expires at the end of the 2020 season. If the Eagles were to land Slay in a trade, they would most likely have to pay him big money in order to make the thought of giving up early picks in the draft worth it. Neither of which fit into the Eagles’ plan of looking for younger and cheaper talent.

Diggs is 26-years-old and right in the prime of his NFL career. He would be a great deep threat for Carson Wentz. The main problem with Diggs revolves around the money he is owed and how much the Eagles would have to give up in compensation to acquire him. Diggs is under contract until the 2023 season, but what is truly troubling is his cap hit.

Photo: David Maialetti/Philadelphia Inquirer

Over the next four seasons, Diggs would take up anywhere from $12-$15 million in cap space. To put that alongside contracts of players such as Carson Wentz, Lane Johnson, and Brandon Brooks would suffocate the team financially.

This would not allow the team to resign young players such as Miles Sanders and Derek Barnett in the near future, who will be looking to get paid.

Trading for Diggs would also require giving up early to mid-round draft picks that the Eagles need in order to bring a new sense of youth to the team’s roster. Trading away these higher picks could hinder the Eagles from finding long term solutions in the draft for positions such as wide receiver, cornerback and linebacker.

The Eagles’ best option right now is to stay put. Both players offer a boost to the team in terms of winning now, however trading for Diggs or Slay could jeopardize the Eagles’ future success. A perfect example of this is the rumors that surrounded the Eagles and Jalen Ramsey. 

Many thought trading for Ramsey would bolster the Eagles’ chances to win now. This thought was by no means wrong. Ramsey would have provided an instant boost to the team’s secondary, but it would not have gotten the Eagles to the Super Bowl. It turned out the Eagles had glaring issues on both sides of the football that could not be fixed by one player alone.

The Eagles look to be competitive in 2020, but saying they are one Stefon Diggs or Darius Slay trade away from winning a Super Bowl is not the case. Instead of giving away draft picks for expensive and aging stars, the team needs to look at using those same picks to draft talented, young players.
This type of team building is what will get the Eagles back to the promised land.

Featured Image: Leon Halip/Getty Images


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