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Exploring a Trade for Jessie Bates

Howie Roseman JAKIB Sports

Photo Credit by Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles’ defense has been improved with proven free agent signings and exciting draft picks.

Despite those attempts to improve the defense, the safety position remains the largest concern.

Star Cincinnati safety Jessie Bates continues to experience contract difficulties with the Bengals so the possibility of a trade can’t be ruled out.

The safeties on the Philadelphia roster right now seem good enough to get by with but a deal for Bates could be the final piece for a talented defense.

For now, Anthony Harris is returning but needs to perform more consistently than last season to show that he is a valuable asset. The acquisition of Jaquiski Tartt presents some optimism because of the veteran skill and knowledge that he will bring to the team.

Marcus Epps displayed some upside last season with the opportunities he received, but he still has plenty of room for improvement. When it comes to K’Von Wallace, he has not been able to show that he can be a major contributor and this may be his final season to prove his worth if this group of safeties remains the same.

Trading for Bates is a long shot because the Bengals placed the franchise tag on the second-team All-Pro, a number that is locked in at $12.9 million for this season with no extension or renegotiation possible at this point. According to the latest NFLAPA numbers, the Eagles have only $8,663,226 in salary-cap space currently.

Those hurdled haven’t stopped many from trusting in Howie Roseman to manipulate something.

“[Bates] has made it very clear he’s not showing up to [Bengals] training camp,” said Dan Sileo on JAKIB Sports’ “National Football Show” this past Tuesday. “Could Howie [Roseman] work some magic . . . it looks like the destination could be Philadelphia.”

Bates admittedly would be quite the addition to an already impressive-looking defense. While Cincinnati’s Super Bowl run can be traced more to their stellar offensive performances, the defense seemed to develop every week and Bates was a substantial reason for their success.

The disgruntled safety would fit into the Eagles’ defense perfectly. Bates covers a large area of the field in pass coverage and he excels in stopping the run, whether he is up closer to the box or blazing in from deep to make a play. He has proven what kind of impact he brings to a team and at 25 years old, he is younger than Philadelphia’s primary safeties.

Perhaps Roseman has one final offseason move up his sleeve. Yet, it will be no simple task as there would be several barriers to overcome if he hopes to accomplish such a feat.

“I don’t see how they can pull this [trade for Jessie Bates] off,” said Jeff Kerr on JAKIB Sports’ “Birds 365” earlier this week. “the Eagles are more than prepared to go into the season Marcus Epps, Jaquiski Tartt, and Anthony Harris.”

Roseman is one the best in the business when it comes to manipulating contracts to clear up cap space. Yet, the odds of making this work are not in Philadelphia’s favor without having to give up a large amount of draft capital. Typically a frugal team, Cincinnati will not be looking to add salary-cap heft to its financial picture.

Philadelphia has potential players to offer but the obvious ones like Andre Dillard, Jalen Reagor, and Derek Barnett play positions where the talented Bengals are well-stocked.

Nevertheless, the Eagles need to ask the question: is it truly worth it to give up numerous draft picks to acquire Bates and still have to worry about paying him a large salary both in the short term and when an extension can again be broached?

In the end, it is not in the team’s best interest to put themselves in this difficult situation. Philadelphia has safeties who are more than capable of competing at the necessary level to help this team win.

– You can reach Alex Schmidt at schmidty2436@gmail.com