Dolphins DE Dion Jordan (95) reacts after defeating the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Setting The Right Price For Dion Jordan

Bringing Dion Jordan in Philly won’t be cheap, but how much is too much?

In 2013, the Philadelphia Eagles made a risky decision when they chose Trent Cole and Connor Barwin as their two starters at outside linebacker. Their risk paid off, as both Barwin and Cole were dependable and improved as the season progressed.

Neither of them, however, is a natural 3-4 edge rusher. Barwin has more “all-around” skills and often plays in coverage, while Cole has played only one season as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

With Cole becoming 32 next October and no depth at the position, the Eagles can’t afford to go one more season without adding an edge rusher who fits better at the 3-4 OLB spot.

According to Bob Grotz, the Eagles tried to trade for Dion Jordan, a former Oregon Duck and the most coveted pass rusher of the 2013 NFL Draft. They reportedly offered a second round pick and defensive end/outside linebacker Brandon Graham.

The Miami Dolphins traded up to select Jordan third overall last April, but Jordan didn’t perform as expected (26 combined tackles, two sacks per ESPN). After an unimpressive rookie season and with Miami set to keep the 4-3 alignment on defense, Jordan could be expandable.

Every player is as good as his career has been, but his market value is more subjective. For a trade to happen, two teams must be close in their value estimations.

We have no idea what the Dolphins are looking for in exchange for Dion Jordan, but I doubt they’ll be able to get a better offer than the one Eagles’ reportedly proposed. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the Birds would be the early losers if this deal took place.An unproven, former first-round pick and a second-round selection in one of the deepest drafts for another unproven, former first-round pick? No, thanks.

This is not to say that Jordan is an average or a bad player. It’s still very early to draw conclusions. Miami picked him third overall and Philadelphia got Lane Johnson right after that. Johnson had his ups and downs, but was good overall last year and can still improve.

Miami got close to nothing from Jordan. So if they made a mistake by trading up to select him, it’s their problem and not the Eagles’ problem. Mistakes are costly in professional sports.

Trading Graham and a second-round pick for Dion Jordan will simply be a steal for the Dolphins. They get a player who fits their scheme more than Jordan does and they can add premium talent with the Eagles’ second-rounder.

On the other hand, I don’t expect the Dolphins to settle for much less. Jordan has played only one year as a professional and he could still grow into an impactful player.

If the Eagles could acquire Jordan by giving away a third-round pick or Graham, it would be great. But Graham and a high pick seems wrong, especially since what they get in return is a someone that hasn’t shown much and could end up being a rotational player.

In the end, I think that a third-round pick together with a seventh-round pick or a pick in the 2015 NFL Draft would be a good deal for both teams. I doubt, however, that the Eagles would be willing to trade two picks and the Dolphins would be willing to trade Dion Jordan for anything less than a second-rounder.

That’s why I think Jordan stays put in South Florida.

 

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