PHILADELPHIA – It never hurts – not Jalen – to look to the future, and what better time and place than now, with four games to go and four more to go before the November 2 trade deadline, and sitting down at an airport with time to kill before flying to Charlotte.
This is where the Eagles will play the closest to a game to win in early October as they contemplate what to expect before Halloween, meeting the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at 1 p.m. (FOX).
The Panthers are 3-1, but their resume suggests they are beaten. They took out the New York Jets, Houston Texans, and New Orleans Saints. Not quite the schedule the Eagles have had to play so far, against the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Both teams faced the Dallas Cowboys and neither did well.
The Eagles are desperate, plagued by a three-game losing streak, Tampa Bay and Las Vegas are next on the calendar.
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A 1-3 record could easily become 1-6 before ending the month with a trip to still winless Detroit.
Then comes the deadline for exchanges. It comes after Week 8, not quite halfway through a 17-game run, but enough to see if the teams will be buyers or sellers.
The Eagles could potentially have items for sale.
Here are five:
Zach Ertz. The tight end would prefer to stay in Philadelphia, but he’s in the final year of a contract the Eagles may have no interest in extending.
Ertz has been the consummate teammate, so far, helpful with young players and ready to play a reduced role behind Dallas Goedert, who is also in the final year of his rookie contract.
The tight end tops this list because Sunday’s opponent openly expressed the need for a tight end and they recently traded Dan Arnold to acquire CB CJ Henderson of Jacksonville Carolina brought in another CB, acquiring Stephon Gilmore, and this in addition to having drafted Jaycee Horn in the top 10 last spring.
Horn is out for the season, but Carolina still has a cabinet full of wedges, including Donte Jackson, a 2018 LSU second-round pick, and veteran AJ Bouye, who signed a two-year free agent contract. and has a salary cap of $ 4.7 million in 2022; more manageable than Darius Slay, who will count $ 22 million against the cap next year and $ 23 million in 2023.
Darius Kill. The Eagles could accelerate the development of rookie Zech McPhearson if the Eagles trade Slay for, say, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who need CB.
Fletcher Cox. The team’s most expensive player is not producing at this time. Whether it’s the natural decline of a player who turns 31 in December or the puzzling plan of rookie defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, it might not matter.
A veteran D lineman with skills Cox still possesses in some form or another would be a big plus for a playoff contending team.
Derek Barnett. It became apparent that the 2017 first-round pick was not part of the Eagles’ long-term plans when they extended Josh Sweat’s contract before week two.
Miles Sanders. OK, a real longshot, but the RB would probably bring a pretty good comeback since he’s only 24 and still signed at a very reasonable number in 2022.
The Eagles have an RB that seems to better fit the plan that head coach Nick Sirianni wants to play with rookie Kenny Gainwell and another practice team player in Jason Huntley, who has accumulated over 2,000 yards on the net. ground and 134 catches in four seasons at New Mexico State. .
Plus, with all the draft capital the Eagles will have, they can always look for another running back.
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Ed Kracz is SI.com’s Eagle Maven editor and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news on www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles Where www.eaglemaven.com and follow him on Twitter: @kracze.