USA Today Sports

9 players the Eagles could trade for

Eliot Shorr-Parks
October 09, 2018 - 8:13 am

The Eagles are up to something. 

The question is, what?

The team now has close to $10 million in cap space to spend after restructuring the contract of defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. The cap space was much needed, as the Eagles have plenty of their own ket players — Carson Wentz, Brandon Graham, Jordan Hicks — to sign to contract extensions. 

The new cap space also pushes the door wide open for a trade. The loss of running back Jay Ajayi for the season pushes that door open even further.  

Here is a look at some of the players the Eagles could potentially target in a trade. Some are realistic, some are not. With Howie Roseman running the show, however, you can never completely count out anything. 

*** Note: The cap hit numbers will be slightly lower on the Eagles if a deal is made since the season is now five weeks old and the numbers used are base salary ***

David Johnson, RB, Arizona:

Cap hit: $1.8 million this year, $5.7 next year, $10.2 million in 2020

Analysis: The Cardinals aren’t going anywhere this season and the turnaround could take some time in Arizona. Although they just handed Johnson a new deal, you have to wonder if the Cardinals are happy paying big money to a running back during a rebuild. Trading Johnson would not be cheap for the Cardinals — Arizona would eat $12 million in dead cap space — but if the Eagles made it worth their while (a second-round pick?) perhaps they could be convinced. Johnson, when healthy, is one of the best dual-threat running backs in the NFL. Unlike Le’Veon Bell, he is already under an extremely team-friendly contract. 

Realistic or unrealistic?: Unrealistic 

Tyran Matheiu, S, Houston

Cap hit: $2 million cap hit in 2018, free agent this offseason

Analysis: The Eagles appear to be set to use cornerback Avonte Maddox at safety for the time being, but chances are they would love to add a playmaking safety with experience if they could. Matheiu checks all the boxes for the Eagles — young, playmaker, can cover and is a free agent at the end of this season. The Texans would eat $4.5 million in dead money this year if they were to move Matheiu, however. 

Realistic or unrealistic?: Unrealistic

Devante Parker, WR, Miami

Cap hit: $1.9 million in 2018, 5th year option was picked up for $9.3 million in 2019

Analysis: The Dolphins are reportedly, via The Athletic, very open to the idea of moving on from Parker. In 44 career games Parker, 6-foot-3, has pulled in 141 catches, 1,948 yards and eight touchdowns. He has shown the ability to be a down-the-field threat, as he averaged 19 yards per reception as a rookie in 2015, but has dipped each season since. The Eagles could use any help they can get on offense. 

Realistic or unrealistic?: Realistic 

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo:

Cap hit: $6 million in 2018, $6.1 million in 2019

Analysis: A reunion between McCoy and the Eagles is something fans have been talking about for over a year. McCoy is not having a great year in Buffalo — just 170 yards on 45 carries — but he would be an upgrade over what the Eagles have at running back right now. McCoy would take up a decent chunk of the team’s cap space, however, which could be a roadblock to a deal. The running back’s off-the-field legal issues might also prevent a trade. On the field, however, McCoy would help the Eagles' offense immediately. 

Realistic or unrealistic?: Realistic 

Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland

Cap hit: $957,000 in 2019, $1.8 million in 2019, $3.6 million in 2020, $4.65 million in 2021

Analysis: It is hard to imagine the Browns unloading talent now that they are finally a competent football team that has a chance to win each week. Johnson, however, is buried on the depth chart after signing a contract extension worth $15 million. Johnson has just 17 carries this season in five games. Johnson is more of a role player than a featured back, but he would be a welcome addition to the Eagles’ backfield and passing game, as he caught 74 passes last year for 693 yards. 

Realistic or unrealistic?: Realistic 

Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta:

Cap hit: $791,628, free agent this offseason

Analysis: Coleman was one of the most productive dual-threat running backs in the NFL last season, totaling 927 yards on 183 catches last season for the Falcons. Coleman is once again on pace to have a very productive season this year as well, with 225 rushing yards and 99 receiving yards in five games. At 1-4, the Falcons might be willing to move Coleman — who is a free agent at the end of this year — for a draft pick. 

Realistic or unrealistic?: Realistic 

Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City: 

Cap hit: $725,000, free agent this offseason 

Analysis: Ware has become nothing more than a role player for the Chiefs after helping to carry their offense in 2016. Ware didn’t play in 2017 due to injury, but had 214 carries for 921 yards in 2016 to go along with 33 catches for 447 yards. In his return this season, however, Ware has just eight carries for 42 yards in five games. Head coach Doug Pederson has ties to Ware, as he coached him in 2015 during his season as offensive coordinator for the Chiefs. 

Realistic or unrealistic?: Realistic 

Bilal Powell, RB, Jets: 

Cap hit: $4 million, free agent this offseason 

Analysis: Powell has had a productive season so far with the Jets, averaging 4.5 yards-per-carry on 59 attempts for a total of 264 yards. He is not a huge threat out of the backfield as a receiver, but he is averaging 10.5 yards-per-reception so far this season. Powell carried the ball 178 times last season for 772 yards. 

Realistic or unrealistic?: Realistic 

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh:

Cap hit: More on Bell’s cost here….free agent this offseason

Analysis: ESPN has reported that the Eagles’ decision to restructure Cox’s contract has nothing to do with a potential trade for Bell. Still, with one of the best offensive players the NFL available, it is hard to picture top personnel executive Howie Roseman completely sitting this one out. The Eagles have the cap space, the resources and the need for Bell. Never say never. 

Realistic or unrealistic?: Realistic

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at!