As this busy week full of blockbuster trades and free-agent singings comes to a close, you might have wondered how this impacts the Eagles.
Russell Wilson traded to Broncos
Earlier in the week, the Seahawks shipped 33-year-old quarterback Russell Wilson to Denver, in exchange for Noah Fant, Drew Lock, and a variety of draft picks. The Broncos also received a draft pick in this trade. Wilson’s contract comes with two years and $51 million left, not including the possibility of performance-based bonuses. While Wilson had a down-year in 2021 with his team ending 7-10, (a career-worst for Wilson) he had an excellent 2020 where he posted 40 touchdowns just in the regular season. It is unknown if he requested a trade, but it was clear he wasn’t happy with the Seahawks front office because he felt that he deserved more of a say in the organization. Whether or not Wilson is right is debatable, but it is important to remember he was considered the franchise quarterback at that point in time. Now, Wilson will be the first quarterback in NFL history to play for a team that he beat in a previous Super Bowl.
As many are still mystified by this deal, the Broncos are the clear-cut winners of this swap. Despite having to give up their starting tight end, they still have Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Tim Patrick to create targets for their newly-acquired QB. Drew Lock is a serious downgrade for the Seahawks at the quarterback position. Consequently, I’d expect to see a lot more action from Chris Carson in the backfield.
While this has no impact on the Eagles, it does have an impact on Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, who are two of the most prominent receivers in the league. Lock, who is not as good of a passer as Wilson, could struggle to get passes to his Lockett and Metcalf. This will make their outstanding abilities go to waste as long as they have Lock as their quarterback. Even when Lock does drop back for a pass, Noah Fant could see a lot of targets as he will be a familiar face on the field. I do not expect Wilson to have any trouble fitting in with his new squad.
Colts, Commanders agree on a deal sending Wentz to D.C.
A day after Wilson was traded, Carson Wentz, another veteran quarterback, was traded to the Washington Commanders. The Colts received three draft picks in return. Wentz started 11 games for the Eagles the year they won it all, and he was selected to the Pro Bowl that same year. Three years later, he got benched for rookie Jalen Hurts. Wentz spent his 2021 season as the Colts QB, where he had 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. While the numbers aren’t horrible, his season ended poorly. Ultimately, the Colts were not satisfied with Wentz’s performance, and they planned on releasing the former first-rounder unless they could pull off a trade—which they did.
The Colts are now in the hunt for a new quarterback. They have James Morgan and Sam Ehlinger rostered, but I would expect them to try to find someone outside their organization to fill Wentz’s role.
The Eagles have the privilege of facing Wentz twice in the regular season as he is back in the NFC East. The Commanders will also face the Colts in the regular season, which gives Wentz an opportunity to face both of his former teams. It is without a doubt that the last three years have been an arduous journey around the league for Wentz.
Jason Kelce returns to Philly
Longtime Eagle Jason Kelce has decided to return to Philadelphia. Kelce considered, retirement, but ended up signing a one-year deal worth $14 million. This deal makes him the highest-paid center in the league. NFL Network reported that the deal is similarly structured to the one-year deal he signed last year.
Kelce’s return to the Eagles fills the spot that he has controlled for many years. He was part of the 2017-18 Super Bowl-winning squad, and he has been with the team since 2011. Kelce only has 10 fumbles in 159 games on the offensive line. He has been on the All-Pro First Team four times, and a participant in the Pro Bowl five times. Off the field, Kelce has been a part of several charity events and was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Amari Cooper shipped to Cleveland
To close out the exciting week the Cowboys traded wide receiver Amari Cooper and a sixth-round pick in the 2022 draft to the Browns, in exchange for two picks in the 2022 draft.
Despite the deal looking unfair since Cooper has been a staple in Dallas, it makes sense for both parties. The Cowboys were over their salary cap, and Cooper still has three years left to go on his five-year, $100 million contract. The Browns had Donovan Peoples-Jones as their WR1 and were looking for some depth at that position.
Cooper must be pretty happy with this trade too. In 2012, he was the number five overall recruit for college football. So we know he has the talent, but the Cowboys were not a great fit for him. CeeDee Lamb led the Targets for the Cowboys last year. In Cleveland, Cooper has an opportunity to be a WR1 again and see more targets.
While this a steal for the Browns, it helps the Eagles too. Getting Cooper out of the NFC East is a big help for the Eagles’ defense. Hopefully, the Eagles defense will now be able to give Lamb and Gallup more coverage down the field without having to worry about Cooper.
Solely based on how the offseason has gone so far, this upcoming NFL season is sure to be exciting. Mark your calendars!