Philadelphia Eagles: Trade Jalen Reagor? For Allen Robinson? What?

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

As crazy as it may sound, the 2021 NFL trade deadline is rapidly approaching.

Over the past half-decade or so, this has been like a mini, midseason Christmas morning for fans of the Philadelphia Eagles. Howie Roseman has consistently found mid-season moves that attempt to either bolster the team’s fortunes or right a season rapidly getting away from his team, even if the results haven’t always been ideal.

Some have been great, like adding Jay Ajayi in the middle of the Eagles’ Super Bowl run in 2017. Others? Not so much, like acquiring Golden Tate in 2018 or Genard Avery in 2019.

While the Eagles ultimately sat out the trade market in 2020, with their lone substantive additions coming from getting Travis Fulgham and Jordan Howard off of the practice squad, that had more to do with the team’s razor-thin playoff margins as opposed to a newfound composure by the team’s trigger-happy GM.

Could Roseman revert to his old-timey ways in the hopes of saving the season? Most definitely. With Roseman’s front office leash seemingly at a near-all time low, another losing season goaded on by his incompatible roster composition could seriously sign his release notice, even if the chances of making the playoffs this season weren’t particularly high.

Based on the team’s current record, being sellers at the 2021 NFL trade deadline likely wouldn’t be the worst idea, even if it means saying goodbye to long-time favorites like Fletcher Cox or Zach Ertz, but with his back against the wall, Roseman may go full-on Chip Kelly and try his darndest to prove that he’s a capable player evaluator who didn’t luck into a champion in 2017.

With that all in mind, one trade with virtually zero chance of actually happening is an absolutely crazy offer suggested by B/R Gridiron.

Why would the Chicago Bears trade Allen Robinson to the Philadelphia Eagles?

Will Jalen Reagor ever be a better player than Allen Robinson?

In some ways, he already is. Robinson isn’t particularly fast and lacks the side-to-side shake-and-bake needed to be a quality contributor in the screen game.

If you’re a team looking for a slot receiver who can make plays with the ball in his hands and pick up yards after the catch, I could totally see a GM prioritizing a player like Reagor with a premium pick, even if that decision doesn’t age particularly well versus the players selected around him.

Then again, Robinson had more yards in 2020 than Reagor has recorded in his entire career and is often considered one of the prototypical X receivers in the NFL. You want a 50-50 ball specialist? Robinson is your guy. How about a decisive route runner with 827 career targets to his name? Robinson fits that bill too. Heck, from a pure homer standpoint alone, Robinson is a Penn State product through and through and may very well go down as the best Nitty Lions receiver to ever play at the NFL level, even if Chris Godwin may eventually challenge him for that title.

If you’re an NFL offense looking for a professional wide receiver, Robinson is one of the best options potentially available at the 2021 trade deadline.

But even a team as flummoxing as the Chicago Bears aren’t simply going to let Robinson walk for free.

No, even if Robinson’s deal expires at the end of the season and Bears GM Ryan Pace opts against locking him up on another franchise tag, that doesn’t mean the asking price for his services will be nothing, or akin to the absolute steal the Carolina Panthers got for Stephon Gilmore earlier this month.

My prediction? Something akin to the third-round pick the Detroit Lions got for Golden Tate in 2018, as that’s surely the level of compensatory pick the Bears would receive for Robinson if he left the team for nothing.

So, I ask rhetorically, why would the Chicago Bears trade Allen Robinson and a sixth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Jalen Reagor, an inferior player in almost every imaginable way?

… you have to ask B/R Gridiron about that one, my friends, because I frankly don’t know.

I guess one could make the argument that Reagor is closer in age to 2021 first-round pick Justin Fields and, with up to three years left on his contract, could grow alongside the ex-Ohio State QB moving forward. Reagor’s combination of downfield speed and horizontal playmaking abilities may also be intriguing to a Bears squad that only recorded one receiving yard on six completions versus the Cleveland Browns in Week 3.

Sidebar: I watched that game, and I still have no idea how such an anomalous statistic happened.

And as for the Eagles? Well, adding Robinson and a sixth-round pick would be an absolute home run no matter how you slice it. Adding a player like Robinson would allow Devonta Smith to spend more time as a flanker, where he can’t be bodied up on at the line of scrimmage and would allow Quez Watkins to play in the slot far more frequently, where he has shined in limited action in the screen game. Such a move would still allow Smith and Watkins to rotate around formations to capitalize on mismatches, and allow the former to deploy out of the slot more than once every 10 or so plays.

After watching the Colts’ offense deploy receivers from different spots across their formation, Nick Sirianni’s deployment of his receiving corps hasn’t been quite as exotic as many had hoped for.

While acquiring Robinson would create a minor issue, in that the 28-year-old is only under contract through the month of March and will surely be on the lookout for a new deal shortly thereafter, considering the potentially soon-to-be former Chicago Bear has recorded an average of 1,076 yards per season over the last three years, he’d surely be able to work out a long-term deal with the squad moving forward, especially when you consider the Eagles will have a little over $13 million in effective cap space in 2022.

The only problem? There is virtually no world where the Chicago Bears will trade Allen Robinson to the Philadelphia Eagles for Jalen Reagor, especially if they have to attach a sixth-round pick to get a deal done.

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Make no mistake about it, the Philadelphia Eagles should be very active at the 2021 NFL trade deadline. They’ve got a number of valuable veterans who could help to fortify a position of need on a contender and may even be able to exchange one or more for young, ascending players who don’t quite fit their current team’s scheme – think Josiah Scott. But to acquire a player like Allen Robinson, Howie Roseman would certainly have to surrender the sort of premium pick that rebuilding teams are looking to procure, not trade away in the middle of a season with a well below .500 record.