Philadelphia Eagles: Cursed by the ghost of a Jadeveon Clowney trade

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

After five games with no noticeable pass rush – regardless of a fluky Week 5 – the Philadelphia Eagles clearly should have traded for Jadeveon Clowney.

The Philadelphia Eagles‘ defense is bad.

Their linebacking corp is eh, their secondary leaks like a sieve, and to top it off, Jim Schwartz‘s ‘patented only rush four’ pass rush has amassed all of three sacks outside of a fluky Week 5 bout against a woefully undermanned New York Jets team that just beat the pants off the Dallas Cowboys that keeps Philly’s playoff hopes alive.

However, it didn’t have to be this way.

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No, once upon a time – roughly six-to-seven weeks ago – the Philadelphia Eagles could have reinforced their pass rush with a mid-round trade for a marquee talent, regardless of the moves potential popularity: The Philadelphia Eagles should have traded for Jadeveon Clowney.

While the word on the street is conflicted as to just how interested the Eagles front office was in the fifth-year pro as a prospect, when news broke that Clowney had been traded to the wrong Birds – NFC foes the Seattle Seahawks – it, shall we say, ruffled a few feathers in the 215.

Now look, I get it, if you check the stats, it’s not like Clowney is having a statistically marvelous season in the Emerald City, as he’s only amassed one more sack than Fletcher Cox this season (so one), but those numbers can’t be taken solely at face value.

No, despite having 10 sacks as a defense, the Seahawks’ defensive ends, Clowney and fellow 2019 addition Ziggy Ansah have only accounted for two of them – one for the former in his Week 1 debut, and another for the latter four weeks later in Week 5. Those numbers put the Seahawks edge rushers right in line with those of the Eagles, with Philly favorite ariel animal earning the slight edge because of some Week 5 weirdness.

But outside of Ansah – who made his debut in Week 4 and has yet to play more than 65 percent of the defensive snaps, the Seahawks really don’t have that much behind their best rusher. Ansah, Pete Carroll was forced to rely on a pair of converted tackles turned end in Quinton Jefferson and Rasheem Green to soak up the remaining snaps at end, with both players earning a pair of sacks in large part because of the focus being placed solely on Clowney (and a bad Cincinnati Bengals‘ offensive line).

In Philly, one of Clowney’s two preferred teams no less, number 90 would have been (presumably) starting across from Brandon Graham and worked into a rotation that also features legit talent in Derek Barnett and the dynamic duo of Daeshon Hall and Josh Sweat – an opportunity Clowney would have thrived in.

No longer forced to play out of position at outside linebacker, Clowney could have put his natural gifts to work in a speed-happy wide-nine scheme, and earn a few extra dollars on his next payday.

And speaking of payday, had the Eagles opted to let Clowney walk in free agency – presumably because he was in line to may too much money, or he played poorly – the team would have still made back most of that third-round pick’s value via the NFL’s compensatory picks process – essentially making the trade free.

Next. Kirk Cousins, Stefon Diggs make Eagles look foolish on defense during Week 6. dark

So Howie Roseman, if I can call you Howie Roseman, if you are reading this – and if so thanks! – why on earth did you pass on Jadeveon Clowney? Fielding a forceful pass rush is the easiest way to mask a lackluster secondary, and after watching too many games like Week 6, where middle-of-the-road quarterbacks feast on the Philadelphia Eagles’ D with extra time in a clean pocket, the error of your ways has become more and more obvious.