Eagles could get active as NFL trade deadline approaches

Saturday calls Eagles 'best team in football' (1:01)

Although Jeff Saturday calls Philadelphia the best team in the league right now, they need to protect Carson Wentz better and prevent him from taking hits. (1:01)

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles are actively exploring trade options as Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline nears.

That should come as no surprise. Since 2010, when vice president of football operations Howie Roseman first stepped into power, the Eagles have made 67 player trades outside of the draft, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That's the most in the NFL by a rather significant margin.

Over the past five years, only one of those deals -- a trade that sent DL Isaac Sopoaga to the Patriots -- was made on deadline day. There have only been five deadline-day trades across the entire NFL over that time (and each involved New England). For all the speculation leading up to this period, it usually proves pretty anticlimactic.

There have been some fireworks this time around, however. The Patriots (of course) made some serious headlines Monday night by trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round draft pick. And the Seattle Seahawks traded CB Jeremy Lane, a 2018 fifth-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick to the Houston Texans for OT Duane Brown, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.

The Eagles have incentive to join the action. Owners of the league's best record at 7-1, they have arrived as contenders ahead of schedule and are well-positioned to make a legitimate postseason push, but could use some help. Season-ending injuries to left tackle Jason Peters, middle linebacker Jordan Hicks and running back Darren Sproles have left them vulnerable in some key areas.

Pass protection, in particular, has to be top of mind. Nothing is more important than taking care of Carson Wentz, the second-year quarterback who has blossomed into an MVP candidate. His blind side, once protected by a potential Hall of Famer in Peters, is now in the hands of former fifth-round pick Halapoulivaati Vaitai. While the Eagles seem to feel OK with how he played Sunday against the 49ers, they could at the very least use some depth and a solid backup plan both for this season and beyond. Big names like San Francisco vet Joe Staley get the headlines, but a younger, lower-cost prospect they can grow with seems more in line with how the front office wants to build this team. Perhaps they can talk to the Buffalo Bills -- eager to stockpile picks for the 2018 NFL draft -- should they have interest in a backup tackle like rookie Conor McDermott, or a more pricey option in Cordy Glenn.

The Eagles have struggled to find a steady third-down back since Sproles was lost for the season. Solid pass-protection in the backfield is all the more vital now that the offensive front is missing a key piece. While he doesn't exactly fit the grow-with-us bill, 34-year-old Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore has been mentioned as a possible solution. He can pick up a blitz, make a few plays in the run and pass game and provide a stopgap until the Eagles get their running back situation squared away.

While reinforcements could be welcomed, the risk assumed when parachuting in new players is that it can impact a team's chemistry.

"That's why you have to be careful, I think," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. "It's got to be the right fit. It can't just be anybody. From my standpoint, you don't want to disrupt the chemistry that is going on in the dressing room right now. And those guys are playing with a lot of confidence, and they're rallying around each other. So, it would have to be a pretty special fit to make it work."

Finding an available player at the right price who is a locker room and scheme fit is no easy task. Given all the variables, it's no shock that the vast majority of trade talks lead nowhere. But the Eagles are playing the numbers game, and will exhaust all options before 4 p.m. rolls around.