Philadelphia Eagles should avoid trading Halapoulivaati Vaitai

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: Offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: Offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai /

As the preseason progresses, the Philadelphia Eagles have been popping up in potential trade rumors that involve offensive lineman, Halapoulivaati Vaitai.

Has there been a time as of late where a big name player got placed on the trade block, and the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t rumored to be involved? Probably not. Ever since Howie Roseman took over in the Eagles front office in 2016, he’s been a man on a mission.

If there is a way to make the team better, Howie will be on the phone trying to work out a deal. And whether he’s serious about acquiring a major name or not, Roseman will always be working the phones trying to see if there are any sudden bargains out there.

As of late, Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been on the trade block. And according to numerous sources, the Eagles have been inquiring. It doesn’t come as a surprise the Eagles are interested in finding out a price, but the chances of a deal getting done to bring Clowney to Philly are slim to none.

However, many speculate a deal could get done if it involves an offensive lineman, which the Houston Texans desperately need. Right now, the Eagles have a sweet stockpile of expendable lineman. And on Friday, they added another by signing Brett Toth to a three-year deal.

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Considering the emergence of Jordan Mailata at right tackle, the drafting of Andre Dillard, and the newest addition of Brett Toth, many are beginning to speculate that Halapoulivaati Vaitai could be sent packing to Houston at some point if the Texans are interested. While that sounds like a good idea at first, it’s essential to note that Vaitai’s value to the Eagles could be higher than expected.

The Eagles should consider keeping Vaitai around

Last year, the Eagles starting offensive line didn’t look as sharp as they did in the previous season. It wasn’t because those guys weren’t particularly good. It was more because most of them were all playing through injuries. Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, and Jason Peters all battled through injuries last season because they didn’t have much of a choice.

The Eagles weren’t sure if they had valuable depth behind their starters. This year, however, that’s not the case. Andre Dillard looks like a reliable addition to back up Jason Peters. Jordan Mailata might actually be prepared enough to be serviceable behind Lane Johnson, and Brett Toth could give the former rugby player a run for his money there.

Now, you might think that leaves Big V as the odd man out — but a position change boosted Vaitai’s value to the Eagles. At right guard, the Birds have a stellar talent in Brandon Brooks, but he’s currently nursing an Achilles injury. He may or may not be ready by week one, but regardless of when he’s back, the Eagles will still need a reliable back up in case of an emergency.

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That’s where Vaitai comes in. This summer, Big V was asked to try out blocking on the inside at right guard, and so far through two preseason games, he’s been impressive. Although Vaitai never flashed superstar abilities up front, he’s always been a serviceable blocker at tackle.

Well, it’s beginning to look like that’s the case at the guard position as well. Unless the Eagles are getting a no-brainer, steal of an offer involving Vaitai, the Eagles should consider keeping him around as proper insurance for Brandon Brooks in 2019.