Don't count on any Eagles trades, Roseman says

Bills safety Jairus Bird could be a trade target for the Eagles, but GM Howie Roseman said any deal is unlikely.
Bills safety Jairus Bird could be a trade target for the Eagles, but GM Howie Roseman said any deal is unlikely. (DEREK GEE / AP)
Posted: September 25, 2013

A rare major in-season NFL trade was consummated last week between two former Eagles executives when Joe Banner's Cleveland Browns dealt running back Trent Richardson to Ryan Grigson's Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first-round pick.

Banner, of course, is the former Eagles president. Grigson is the former Eagles college scouting director.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman worked alongside both and made trades with both. He also has made more trades than any NFL executive since he was promoted in 2010. But Roseman said on Monday it's unlikely that the Eagles will make a deal before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.

"I would say no, because historically, there aren't a lot of trades to be made between now and Oct. 29," Roseman said after his weekly radio show. "I will say that we'll explore anything we can to try to improve our team now and moving forward. But based on the history of it, it's hard to say that's a likely scenario."

There are popular names that circulate among fans, such as Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd and Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. But any trade would require a willing partner and the Eagles would likely have to part with draft picks. The team is committed to building through the draft, and sacrificing picks is not something this administration is inclined to do.

"I wouldn't say anything is a non-starter for us," Roseman said. "If there's an opportunity for us to improve our team now and going forward, we're open to doing that. I think it's hard to trade draft picks. We want to build this the right way. We want to get our own players. But to make a statement that we won't trade draft picks - if it makes sense, we'd be open to anything for our team."

It's also unlikely that the Eagles will be on the other end of a big trade. Roseman said the Eagles are "always actively searching for picks," but acquiring desirable draft picks at this time of year requires relinquishing desirable players. The Eagles have young players who might be of interest to other teams - Bryce Brown and Vinny Curry could potentially draw a market - but they're not looking to move talent at this point.

"We want to keep our talented players on our roster," Roseman said. "We're not looking to move our players. We want to compete right now. We're trying to build it the right way, but we're trying to be competitive."

Roseman, like any general manager, said it's about value and opportunity. But some franchises are in different situations than others. Since April's draft, the Browns recognized the potential of the 2014's well-regarded draft class and have worked to accumulate assets. They already have seven picks in the first four rounds of the next draft.

In 2011, the Eagles took a win-now approach and signed free agents and entered the draft looking for immediate help.

The Eagles have since changed their draft strategy, and they were conscious of targeting free agents who could potentially be part of the team's core for a few seasons. Only one free-agent signee (defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga) was older than 28, and they did not take on any burdensome contracts. When Roseman was asked to evaluate this year's free-agent class, he insisted it was not assembled to be evaluated after three games.

But some of the free-agent signees were meant as band-aids until the Eagles stack enough good drafts together to have the homegrown talent on the roster necessary to contend. This is why the Eagles are unlikely to surrender draft picks.

Yet they also have aspirations of being competitive this season, so don't expect them to sacrifice resourceful talent. That's why Roseman, who's wont to trade, is unlikely to match the deal of his former colleagues in the next month.

"We're not trying to rebuild," Roseman said. "We're trying to retool."

Extra points

The Eagles made a Duck-for-Duck swap on their practice squad, signing wide receiver Will Murphy and releasing lineman Isaac Remington. Both were with the Eagles in training camp and the preseason, and both played for Kelly at Oregon. Roseman revealed on his radio show that practice squad wide receiver Greg Salas is injured, which explains the move. . . . The Eagles officially released cornerback Brandon Hughes from injured reserve after reaching a settlement with the veteran. @ZBerm.

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