An Eagles source shot down an SI.com report yesterday that said the Eagles were in pursuit of Gonzalez, 33, a 10-time Pro Bowler and likely Hall of Famer.
"Not in it," the source said.
The source said the Eagles were not in the mix for any of those four players, but that could change because many teams were making calls right now with the draft only days away. The source said the Eagles were not averse to trading if the deal was right. The team has 10 picks, including the 21st overall in the first round.
The SI.com report said the Chiefs were still seeking a second-round pick for Gonzalez. The Eagles did talk to the Chiefs just before the trade deadline last season, but refused to part with a second-round pick.
"The first thing you have to decide is if you think there is a player in the draft who is equal to the player who is available," said Charley Casserly, a former NFL general manager with the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins. "I think some teams end up overvaluing the draft picks. Economically, they are certainly more feasible than getting a veteran player.
"If you hit with the younger guy, it gives you a player with a much longer future. But the proven player is usually better. The negative with the proven player is he's going to cost a lot more and not necessarily going to have a long future. The risk of the draft pick is that he might not play for you at all."
By most accounts, Oklahoma State's Brandon Pettigrew is the only tight end in this draft who has the potential to be the next Gonzalez. But it would probably cost the Eagles more to get Pettigrew than it would to acquire Gonzalez, who caught 96 passes for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
The Atlanta Falcons are reportedly also interested in Gonzalez. Should the Eagles decide to part with their second-round pick, they would have an advantage over the Falcons because their selection - 53d overall - is two picks ahead of Atlanta's second-rounder.
Randy Moss is the most recent draft-weekend steal via trade. For nothing more than a fourth-round pick, the New England Patriots got a record-setting receiver who helped them post a 16-0 regular-season record in 2007. The Oakland Raiders used that fourth-round pick from New England to take cornerback John Bowie, who has played in two games in two seasons.
Some other examples: The St. Louis Rams used a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick to obtain running back Marshall Faulk from the Indianapolis Colts in 1999. The Eagles' most recent draft-day theft came in 1998, when they traded a second-round pick and fifth-round pick for defensive end Hugh Douglas. The Jets, after some further deals, took defensive tackle Dorian Boose and linebacker Casey Dailey with those two picks.
Sometimes it works the other way and teams overpay for established veterans on draft weekend. The Dallas Cowboys, for example, surrendered their 2000 and 2001 first-round draft picks to get wide receiver Joey Galloway nine years ago. The Seattle Seahawks turned the first of those two picks into running back Shaun Alexander.
As for the three prominent receivers, Casserly said Boldin and Edwards were probably worth first-round picks. If that's the case, then the Eagles would probably have to surrender the 21st overall pick for either one and go without a first-round selection for the third straight year.
"The only question with Boldin is the money factor," Casserly said. "What are you going to have to pay him and how is it going to affect the rest of your pay structure and salary cap going forward? I know Edwards has been inconsistent, but he probably still has first-round value."
There appears to be competition for both Boldin and Edwards. Although Cardinals general manager Rod Graves said Tuesday he hasn't received any offers yet for Boldin, the Baltimore Sun has reported that the Ravens are interested. There have also been reports that the New York Giants already have a draft-day deal in place for Edwards.
Former Ravens coach Brian Billick classified Boldin as a guy who could make a difference for a team.
"I love Anquan Boldin," Billick said on an NFL Network conference call. "I think he's a game-changing type receiver. He's a tough professional. You've never had a receiver like him in Baltimore, so what's the equitable price? They're sitting at 26, and if you could pick a player as good as Anquan Boldin, that's a successful draft."
So far, nobody seems to think that Ocho Cinco is worth a first-round pick.
"I don't think Chad Johnson is worth a first-round pick," Casserly said. "There are questions about his health, and he's coming off a bad year. He's a devalued guy."
Of course, that's what everyone was saying about Moss two years ago, and he became property of the Patriots at a bargain-basement price. Casserly insists that doesn't mean the other teams were wrong about Moss.
"You have to look at what happened at the time of the deal," Casserly said. "He had physical questions and multiple attitude questions. Maybe New England was the only place, with Tom Brady and Wes Welker, that he could have had that success. His production fell off last year without Brady, and he started to give up on routes. There were a lot of those negatives that showed up last season. You could see the lack of hustle on tape."
Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or email@example.com.