Every move matters. Every roster spot is valuable. If there is a chance to upgrade, the Eagles are going to explore a way to make it happen. On Wednesday, they did just that, trading a 2023 fourth-round draft pick to the Chicago Bears to acquire veteran defensive end Robert Quinn, who brings experience, great production, and depth, which will undoubtedly keep the pass-rushing unit more fresh and effective late in games and throughout the season.
It was a masterful stroke just days before the November 1 NFL Trade Deadline, and it highlighted several things that make Eagles Executive Vice President and General Manager Howie Roseman so proficient at his craft.
1. The Eagles lost Derek Barnett in Week 1 of this season and have kept their eyes open to replace his reps, his toughness, and add another edge player for whom offenses must account. A three-time Pro Bowl player who four times has reached double digits in sacks (as recently as 2021, when he had 18.5), Quinn was a team captain in Chicago and is a player who is widely respected around the league. The Eagles added themselves not only an impact player; they added another impact person. Upon hearing the news that Quinn was traded, Chicago linebacker Roquan Smith needed a moment to compose himself in the middle of his press conference, burying his head in his T-shirt to wipe away emotion. “I have a great deal of respect for that guy,” Smith said. “Damn. Crazy.”
two. Quinn isn’t coming to Philadelphia to play every snap. The Eagles still have Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham, and both are having strong 2022 seasons. They have Haason Reddick off the edge, or over the center, or wherever Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon wants to use him. The idea is to keep everyone fresh, keep everyone pushing and competing, and to generally have a quarterback’s head on a swivel and a center looking around for all the pass rushers, different from one snap to the next. You can never have too many pass rushers, right? In seven games this season, Quinn has one quarterback sack, three QB hits, two tackles for loss, and eight total tackles.
3. Roseman has accumulated all of this NFL Draft capital for moments like this. The Eagles – even as they traded up in the 2022 NFL Draft’s first round to select defensive tackle Jordan Davis and then dealt a 2022 No. 1 pick to Tennessee for wide receiver AJ Brown and late in the summer sent two draft picks, including a 2023 fifth-round draft pick, to New Orleans for safety CJ Gardner-Johnson – still have six draft picks next spring including their own first-round draft pick and another No. 1 from the Saints. New Orleans is currently 2-5, in case you haven’t been following. Roseman is making the most of every asset here and the Eagles, while they are focusing on improving the roster to the maximum for 2022, know they have substantial NFL Draft currency for 2023 and should have more maneuverability within the 2023 NFL Salary Cap that is expected to rise substantially.
Four. Thus, the idea that the Eagles are “cashing in all of their chips,” isn’t accurate given they still have a lot of draft firepower in the future – including an extra second-round pick from the Saints in 2024.