Philadelphia Eagles: Trading Andre Dillard would be absolutely insane

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

While the Philadelphia Eagles should seriously consider trading for Jadeveon Clowney, they would be crazy to do so if it means giving up Andre Dillard.

I don’t know about you, but I kind of love the idea of the Philadelphia Eagles trading for Jadeveon Clowney.

Sure, he’s underperformed as a pro when compared to his initial ‘generational’ hype coming out of South Carolina in 2014, and will certainly cost a pretty penny to retain on a long-term deal, but pairing a player like Clowney with Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and the dynamic duo of Malik Jackson and Timmy Jernigan – not to mention incumbent starter Derek Barnett – would give the Eagles arguably their best pass-rushing unit maybe ever – right up there with their late-80s, early-90s assault.

However, if Andre Dillard is required to get such a deal done, it has to be considered dead on arrival.

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Why? Easy, Dillard is the team’s left tackle of the future.

Measuring in at 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, Dillard has looked every bit like the ultra-athletic pass-blocking specialist he was advertised as coming out of Washington State – dominating second-team preseason edge rushers with a set of moves typically reserved for players on their second.

And clearly, the Houston Texans have taken note.

While the idea of Dillard one day wearing a red, white and blue jersey has been around since his final season in Pullman, as the two parties were linked for much of the 2019 draft process, it seemed like such a fate was all but over when the Eagles leapfrogged the NFL’s newest franchise to select the Woodinville, Washington native 22nd overall.

From there, the Texans spent two of their first three draft picks on Tytus Howard, a project tackle out of Alabama State, and Max Scharping, another project tackle from Northern Illinois.

But through it all, Dillard was always the one who got away.

With Clowney all but demanding a trade – going so far as to threaten not to sign his franchise tag and sit out the entire season – and the regular season mere weeks away, the Texans clearly don’t have a lot of options to squeeze some value out of only the second number one overall pick in franchise history, so why not take a(nother) shot on a player like Dillard?

Sure, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Matt Pryor could step in and compete for a starting spot back in their college home state, but one would argue Dillard is already the Eagles’ fifth-best lineman at 23-years-old – which is pretty high praise when you consider that Philly has arguably the best line in the league.

Which is why he needs to be considered untouchable.

Just from a value standpoint alone, Dillard will make less than a third of what Clowney will make in 2019 over the next four seasons ($5. 34 million) with an additional fifth-year option that could keep him under team control at an under-market-value number through 2023.

Rushing the passer is great, but keeping your quarterback upright is just as valuable – maybe more so when you have Carson Wentz locked up for $107.9 million guaranteed over the next half-decade.

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While adding Jadeveon Clowney would make the Philadelphia Eagles an even more legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2019, trading four-to-five years of an ascending left tackle for one year of an underachieving, yet ultra-talented edge rusher who can’t be extended to a new contract until after the season is a risk that Howie Roseman shouldn’t even consider. Nelson Agholor? Jordan Howard? Halapoulivaati Vaitai? All of thee above? Sure, lets make a deal, but Andre Dillard has to be off-limits.