Franchise Tag – and to a much lesser extent, Transition Tag – season is officially in full effect(*) and a number of game-changing players that could fill a gaping hole in the Eagles roster received the tag, as expected. It’s rare that a Franchise Tagged player is traded, but let’s get all hypothetical for a second…
(*)Though if the Tags even mean anything is yet to be determined, barring a collective bargaining agreement.
What if the Eagles could realistically trade for any one of these guys for the “league-suggested, franchise player price” of two first round draft picks? Regardless of would they do it (they wouldn’t) or should they do it (they should), if this hypothetical situation were real, and you had your choice, which major need do you address?
The obvious choice is Ngata, as a Defensive playmaker who can anchor a Defensive Line in the 3-4 or 4-3, stop the run, torture the Quarterback… easily worth two first rounders. Harris and Woodley are beasts, though not on the level of Ngata, and as much as the Eagles need Linebackers – and they seriously need Linebackers – neither of those guys could make the immediate impact that Ngata could make.
Hali is a nice player and the type of Defensive End/Linebacker hybrid that makes Andy Reid’s third chin sweat… but is the former-Penn State star even worth the Franchise Tag he was bestowed with?
Mankins on the other hand, is someone who would certainly make me think twice about Ngata. Offensive Line might not be sexy, but it’s an enormous need for this team, and Mankins is one of the best in the business. He completely changes the face of the Line, and maybe even masks some of the problems caused by inefficient bookends in Peters and Justice.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter. Even given the opportunity, the Eagles would probably balk – and maybe rightfully so – given how much first round picks are valued and the fact that the team needs to fill more than one hole. But making a “Godfather” offer for Ngata (or Mankins) – coupled with at least one impact player from the draft – could put this team over the top.
We can only dream…
Someone not on the list that should be? Leave it in the comments.
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