Grubbin Sports: Eagles Trade WR Torrey Smith in Pursuit to Get Under the Cap. What’s Next?

On Friday afternoon Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman strikes again trading veteran Wide Receiver Torrey Smith in exchange for Carolina Panthers Corner Back, not to mention Philadelphia Native, Daryl Worley. As a result of this transaction Philadelphia effectively saves $4.33 Million against the cap. In my last post I mentioned that Philadelphia was in desperate need to clear salary to get under the cap before the new league year starts on Wednesday March 14th at 4 PM. While the immediate result of this trade is the cap savings it also shows Philadelphia’s hand as far as what might be coming next in the Eagles pursuit to repeat in 2018.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
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One Corner in, one corner out?

Earlier this week ESPN’s Chris Mortensen appeared on Philadelphia sports station 97.5 The Fanatic and was under the impression, even before today’s trade, that the Eagles would move a defensive back in order to recover some early picks they no longer have in this years Draft. With 2017 second-round pick Sidney Jones having a full offseason healthy combined with incumbent starters: Jalen Mills & Ronald Darby the Philadelphia Corner Back position has certainly become quite crowded. The easiest candidate for a trade would certainly be Ronald Darby. Heading into the final year of his Rookie Contract Darby could be a great add in to a potential trade for Nick Foles or even by himself for a pick in this years Draft. This certainly gives Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman some optionality leading up to the Draft.

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From Torrey to Tavon?

Prior to the today’s trade Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation had reported that current Rams WR Tavon Austin has a high interest in playing for the reigning Super Bowl Champion Eagles. While it appears the Eagles have little to no interest in him it’s really hard to say as Los Angeles has yet to cut Austin. The prospect of bringing someone like him in on a cheaper deal could be enticing. He has familiarity with Eagles Offensive Coordinator, Mike Groh from his time in Los Angeles. Austin’s ability to be used in different ways could also be attractive to an exotic play caller such as Doug Pederson. Austin’s ability to return kicks also makes him attractive to the Eagles as 34-yeard old Darren Sproles coming off his torn ACL & Sproles’ replacement, Kenjon Barner are both Free Agents. Austin the eighth overall pick in the 2013 Draft never quite materialized into the weapon the Rams hoped he could be after signing him to a 4 year $42 Million contract. Perhaps a change of scenery along with an offensive mind like Philadelphia Head Coach Doug Pederson’s could be the best option for him. I just hope he doesn’t expect to get paid like he was in Los Angeles.

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Return of the Mack?

As interesting as it might be to potentially bring in the WR/RB/KR Tavon Austin there’s already a replacement waiting for his opportunity. Former walk on UNC WR & 2017 fourth-round pick Mack Hollins. The scrappy Wide Receiver with unparalleled work ethic in limited snaps this past season showed his ability to stretch the field similar to what Torrey Smith had been brought in to do albeit at certain times to no avail. This offseason could be his opportunity to seize that other starting Wide Receiver position. I still see Philadelphia bringing in another Wide Receiver but perhaps just for depth if they view Hollins as the next #2 on the depth chart.

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Cap Tracker

The Philadelphia Eagles currently sit $10.9 Million over the cap. With the futures of Defensive End Vinny Curry, Quarterback Nick Foles & Tight End Brent Celek remain uncertain these players provide the clearest path to getting under the cap in time for the start of the new league year on March 14th. I for one am not worried in the least bit as there is not a General Manager in the game better than Howie Roseman at manipulating the Cap.

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