By Peter Gleason
Okay, it’s only Week 4 in the NFL, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are starting to think they can’t make Le’Veon Bell happy enough to sign him.
So, the trade rumors are flying.
And CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora has a tasty morsel for Eagles fans:
“I’ve got a sleeper team for you: the defending world champion, fly Eagle fly Philadelphia Eagles.”
“The Eagles could move Nick Foles to a team in need of backup quarterback or starting quarterback help for now or the future, opening up some cap space ($8 million with a trade)
“[This would be] the ultimate Howie Roseman move. Trade Nick Foles, get something back for him and then blammo, create cap space and money. Go to your owner and say ‘I’m going to turn Nick Foles into Le’Veon Bell, all you gotta do is pay him.’ Jay Ajayi is up at the end of the year anyway. They have no commitment to him. Sproles is banged up again. Do they really want to be going into games with Corey Clement and whatever else? That’s my sleeper team.
“With Carson, there’s going to be a lot of three-step drops. Who better to go out there and save the day? They’re obviously trying to win right now. They’ve already made a financial commitment so that’s not an owner who is going to let $8 million scuttle the chance to get an All-Pro, every down running back.
“What’s imperative right now more than anything else in Philadelphia? Pass protection. Who’s a better pass protecting running back than Le’Veon Bell? Think about it.”
It actually makes a ton of sense. The Eagles are competition within the state of Pennsylvania, but they’re an NFC team the Steelers would only have to worry about seeing in the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh will sign for playing Bell for a championship right now. (The Patriots can be ruled out for that very reason, even though they make a lot of sense in terms of fit and willingness to trade.)
Bell would give the Eagles offense some juice. Philly is dealing with a banged-up Alshon Jeffery (coming off shoulder surgery) and a hurt Mike Wallace (fractured fibula) in terms of wide receivers. They’re seriously thin at pass catcher — Wentz’s first seven completions of the 2018 season last week all went to tight ends.
He’s a great pass protector, a great runner between the tackles and an excellent receiver. Philly has passed on the chance to spend big at the running back position, but we have seen the Eagles trade for a star running back in the middle of the season, with the Eagles acquiring Ajayi from the Dolphins at the deadline last year.
The Eagles just won a Super Bowl but they have a window with Wentz on his rookie contract to keep pushing for another title. Going all in and grabbing Bell for a second- or third-round pick would fit Roseman’s MO.