Trade offers: Adams, Ngakoue, Clowney and the Eagles

Eliot Shorr-Parks
June 29, 2020 - 8:18 am
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What would you trade for Jamal Adams? What about Yannick Ngakoue? Would you sign Jadeveon Clowney — and for how much?

A different points of the Eagles offseason so far, each of the above questions have dominated conversation around the team, as speculation flew that Howie Roseman could be making a move for one of the big-name, impact players. 

With a month to go before training camp, however, none are set to wear the midnight green next season. Sadly, the chances any of them will seem slim. 

That doesn’t mean we have to stop debating if the Eagles should make a move. 

With plenty of time to think about it this offseason, here is how I would prioritize the three players, and what my top offer would be for each: 

** Note: To be clear, I know not all of these offers would be accepted. These are just what I would be willing to pay/trade if I were the Eagles ** 

1) Yannick Ngakoue

My Best Offer: 1st-and-3rd round picks

Analysis: If I am making one, big-time move, it is for Ngakoue — and it isn’t even close. 

Not only does he play a premium position, but he has shown he can dominate at it, and would completely change the outlook of the Eagles’ defense. Ngakoue has already topped at least eight sacks in all four of his seasons in the NFL, totaling 37.5 sacks in four years. He has 31 quarterback hurries, 29 quarterback knockdowns and 78 total pressures in the last two seasons. That is an extremely impressive level of production for any player, let alone one that just turned 25-years old in March. There aren’t many players on the defensive side of the ball in the entire league, regardless of position, with a brighter future than Ngakoue. 

With Ngakoue and Javon Hargrave, the Eagles would have the next two foundation pieces of their defensive line locked up and ready tp take over when Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham eventually move on. Until then, that foursome might be the best in the league when it comes to rushing the passer, and would be a nightmare for opposing offensive lines. 

Handing out a first-and-third round pick is not cheap, but Ngakoue is worth it. As for the contract, trading-and-signing Ngakoue to a big-time extension would certainly not be easy. It is going to take some major work from both Roseman and Jake Rosenberg to make it happen. With players that are likely to be released next offseason anyway (Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson) and players who could re-do their deal to lower their cap hits (Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Cox), there should be enough space to squeeze one more big contract onto the books. That contract should go to Ngakoue. 

2) Jadeveon Clowney 

My Best Offer: 1-year, $8 million 

Analysis: I honestly don’t have a ton of interest in bringing Clowney in, and the offer certainly reflects that. His career has been pretty inconsistent and there are some health concerns as well. I wouldn’t even make an offer if it weren’t for the team’s big need at defensive end. 

If Clowney is looking for a one-year, prove-it deal to try to increase his value and cash in next offseason, however, I’d consider having it happen with the Eagles. 

Clowney can line up anywhere along the defensive line, and although his sack numbers have not been great, he still strikes fear into opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks. It would be interesting to see how Jim Schwartz would use him, and in a system that is pass-rusher friendly, how Clowney would play. Simply put the Eagles are a better team with Clowney on it, and considering the goal right now should be Carson Wentz into the playoffs and a win under his belt, that makes it is worth exploring what it might take to bring him in. 

At $8 million for one season, the Eagles would get a potential impact player at a low cost, not completely mess up their salary cap situation and have the right to negotiate with him next offseason first. Nobody has signed Clowney yet, so as crazy as the offer sounds, taking less to come to an ideal situation might be Clowney's best move. 

3) Jamal Adams

My Best Offer: 3rd-round pick 

Analysis: The more I think about Adams, the less I am into the idea of making a big move for the All-Pro safety. 

Yes, Adams is a great player. With limited resources, however, the Eagles have to be extremely careful with how they allocate them. They still have need at defensive end, receiver, potentially at cornerback opposite Darius Slay, and might need to find an offensive tackle next offseason if things with Andre Dillard don’t work out. All of those are more pressing needs then an in-the-box safety. Adams is a luxury piece, one that can take a team that is already set at key positions to the next level. The Eagles are not that team and need to save resources and money to fix one of their more pressing issues. 

The only reason I would offer a third-round pick is because, at a certain point, the value is just too good to pass up. If all it takes to land Adams is a third-round pick, I will take my chances at being able to sign him to a team-friendly deal. Roseman and Rosenberg have shown before they can do it, and even in a pretty tough salary cap situation, I’d take my chances on them doing it again if all it took was a third-round pick. As mentioned above, despite what it might look like in 2021, there is enough wiggle room to fit Adams in if they were able to get him for as low as a third-round pick. 

But if Adams' contract demands are really as big as they seem, and he is going to require a deal that will have a cap hit around $17-18 million in 2021 and beyond, I would pass, keep my third-round pick and bet on young safeties like Jalen Mills, K’Von Wallace and Will Parks being able to give me strong play at the position. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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