- Alex Hand
Eagles trade E. Rowe for Pats’ G/C Kline and more
The Philadelphia Eagles have been quite busy heading into their first regular season game and have shown zero issue in making major changes just days away from their home opener against the Cleveland Browns on what will be the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
Just a few days prior, the Eagles had traded quarterback Sam Bradford – who was expected to start on Sunday – to the Minnesota Vikings after Teddy Bridgewater went down with an awful knee dislocation and ACL injury. The following day, Philly’s front office had named Carson Wentz the starting quarterback to go against the newly led Hue Jackson Browns.
While the Bradford-for-picks swap was received as a shock around the football community, the trade between the Eagles and New England Patriots for Eric Rowe and Josh Kline really doesn’t come with the same level of enticing headline candy.
After being drafted in the second-round, 47th overall, Rowe’s days appeared to be numbered. The Eagles had a good cornerback in Nolan Carroll, but he had been injured during the 2015 season, and opposite to him was Byron Maxwell who had been a failed free agent signing. The point of emphasis is that Rowe had never separated himself or played like the defensive back he was drafted to be for this team.
Heading into the 2016 season, Rowe was low on the depth chart again. Well beneath the ranks of Leodis McKelvin, Ron Brooks, and again, Carroll. His biggest issue likely came from the fact that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz relies on physical corners to press receivers at the line – something many Utah defensive players are not familiar with.
While Rowe played well against Calvin Johnson during his rookie campaign, there were many mistakes as well as an overall uncomforting feeling in regards to the defense – whether it was a 3-4 or 4-3. His prowess on special teams was good but not enough to solidify a position, i.e. Darren Sproles, Bryan Braman, etc.
In exchange, the Eagles have received the Patriots guard/center Josh Kline who has shown inconsistencies, but also possesses a Super Bowl XLIX ring - to which he did not participate in – as well as a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft that has the ability to turn into a third-rounder.
I am excited for the bold moves being made by the front office as a symbol that they are willing to do whatever it takes to win a Super Bowl with this franchise, but I’m also a tad worried that the Birds have waited this long to address offensive line issues and depth; especially so given that a massive contract had gone out to free agent guard Brandon Brooks, a draft pick spent on Isaac Seumalo, another trade made with the Jacksonville Jaguars to get Stefen Wisniewski, and the decision to start Allan Barbre.
However, all is not lost, and the fun may really just beginning. Adam Schefter has tweeted that the Eagles are expected to trade the newly acquired Kline in an effort, I assume, to stockpile more draft picks down the road. 120 hours away from week one Sunday football and roster moves are still being made.