Halloween marks the NFL trade deadline, an ultimatum date that suggests we could be in for some legitimately weird stuff hitting the transaction wire.
For now, it just looks like the Philadelphia Eagles will continue to be spooky-good and terrify the daylights out of everyone else in the NFC. They just landed an All-Pro safety from the Tennessee Titans in Kevin Byard.
When I describe Howie Roseman’s series of moves in recent years as “big-balls” acquisitions, it’s more about the willingness to not get too caught up in the big picture. The NFL is such a “what have you done for me lately” league, to the point where millions of people freak out every single week despite how easily things can change from Sunday to Sunday.
Roseman hasn’t gotten complacent. A combination of aggressive moves to acquire veterans and exceptional talent evaluation in the draft have turned the Eagles into a powerhouse. Although their offense has been a little less in-sync without play-caller Shane Steichen, they have two premier wideouts in AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, a deep backfield, a legit franchise quarterback in Jalen Hurts and arguably the best offensive line in the NFL.
Again, it didn’t all transpire from Roseman resting on his laurels. In addition to boldly moving off Carson Wentz and eating tons of money in favor of Hurts, Byard is merely the latest stud Roseman has managed to nab from another team:
Current veterans on the Eagles roster acquired via trade:
WR AJ Brown for a 1st and 3rd round pick
CB Darius Slay for a 3rd and 5th round pick
S Kevin Byard for a 5th and 6th round pick and S Terrell Edmunds
RB D’Andre Swift for a 4th and swap of 7th round picks
Hard for much to go wrong with all those pieces in place and a GM who’s that eager to improve the team at all times. Almost any coaching staff could turn this team into a winner.
Just so happens that Nick “Systems” Sirianni, who had one of the most awkward opening press conferences you’ll ever see from any coach, isn’t an incompetent fool. The players love playing for him. Roseman has given him a group loaded with stars, and to his credit, Sirianni isn’t crashing the metaphorical six-figure sports car.
Worth plugging this segment from the initial Sirianni presser fallout.
Hey, whatever works. Not sure how he’s pulled it off, but I’ll be darned, all the corny things Sirianni does are endearing. Seems like a good dude.
One flaw the current 6-1 Eagles have is their defensive backfield, which has strained for depth due to injuries. Despite an exemplary job of young players such as Sydney Brown and Eli Ricks stepping up of late, Philly badly needed a veteran presence in that secondary. That’s what Kevin Byard provides in spades, along with some hometown swagger!
When new Eagles Safety @KevinByard was an All-Pro with the Titans…his family STILL rooted for the Eagles 😂
It must be a thrill/relief for Byard to go back to the city he was born in to compete for a Super Bowl. So many mediocre rosters in Tennessee, and at long last, the Titans seem to realize they need to strip it all down and deploy a legit multi-year rebuild.
Between Byard, Darius Slay and James Bradberry, you won’t find many other trio comprised of two starting corners and a safety who are better than that Eagles group.
I don’t think anyone has a better, deeper d-line than Philadelphia, either. Imagine how much more dangerous those men in the trenches will be with Byard playing center field and doing his ball-hawking thing. The 30-year-old came into 2023 with 27 interceptions over his previous six seasons.