Priorities… They keep us focused and on task. That can be said about our own lives, both professional and personal. That makes sense when we’re discussing the Philadelphia Eagles.
We can find distractions in every step of the NFL’s offseason process. They’re the best at making everything look like the only sporting event that you need to pay attention to (the NFL Scouting Combine, the NFL Draft, the official Schedule Release show on NFL Network).
We’ve long known who the Birds would play in 2022. We just didn’t know when the games were and when they started, so we get it! How could we not pay attention to the NFL’s schedule release? But, now that we’ve placed that in the rear-view mirror, it’s back to prioritizing.
What in the world are the Philadelphia Eagles going to do at the safety position? One trusted outlet came up with a theory recently, and we like the idea.
Bleacher Report suggests a theory that lands Jessie Bates in the Eagles’ nest.
Here’s one that’s worth a look and possibly some debate at the water cooler or in the break room when you get a minute. A couple of days before we finally got our hands on the 2022-2023 NFL schedule, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay suggested seven trade scenarios that make sense. We really enjoyed the one involving the Birds and Cincinnati Bengals star Jessie Bates.
In it, Kay suggests Philly sends that 2023 second-round selection to the Bengals for the 2020 Second-Team All-Pro. Here’s some of what he said on the subject.
"The Cincinnati Bengals are running out of time to get a deal done with star safety Jessie Bates III. While Cincinnati’s 2018 second-round pick is locked in for the upcoming campaign after getting franchise-tagged earlier this offseason, it’s looking like 2022 will be his final season with the club if a long-term extension isn’t reached."
"The Eagles addressed several holes on their roster during the draft and free agency, but safety remains a concern. The team retained a proven veteran in Anthony Harris at a bargain price but still has concerns at the other starting spot, one that would likely go to Marcus Epps if the season began today."
Here are three of about ten reasons why we like the idea.:
1. The draft compensation is fair, especially when Philly has to hammer out a new long-term deal.
Rarely does Philly invest high draft picks into landing defensive backs. They’ve only taken three in the first round in the history of the organization’s existence: Roynell Young (1980), Ben Smith (1990), and Lito Sheppard (2002). So, while utilizing a first-round draft choice seems unlikely, shipping a second-day choice to Cincy seems believable.
It also puts less stress on the organization seeing as how they still need to work out the details of a long-term deal anyway. In essence, they aren’t mortgaging the future here.
Jessie Bates is only 25 years old… Enough said.
If you were on board with any scenario involving the Eagles pursuing Tyrann Mathieu and you were disappointed because Philly didn’t land him, you have to see this idea as a make-up date between the Eagles brass and the fans.
Bates is the closest thing Philly has to Mathieu in terms of options. He’s also younger. Tyrann just turned 30 years old while Bates won’t hit the 30-year plateau until February 26th of 2027. Jessie is also improving while, with all due respect, Mathieu’s regression may come sooner rather than later.
The day, Jessie Bates enters the NovaCare Complex, he becomes the best safety on the Eagles roster.
After a successful run at Wake Forest with the Demon Deacons, the Bengals drafted Jessie Bates with the 54th-overall selection, during Round 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft, so you can argue that, after spending a second-rounder on Bates and getting four productive seasons out of him, Cincy can let him walk and still be where they were before his arrival.
From Philadelphia’s standpoint, Bates becomes their best safety instantly. He earned a spot on the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team after his first season. He’s appeared in all but two regular-season games over his first four seasons with 63 starts. That’s resulted in 408 total tackles, ten picks, 35 pass breakups, and two forced fumbles.
Make no mistake about it. Trading for Bates would be the offensive equivalent of adding A.J. Brown during the NFL Draft. He’s that talented, and he’s absolutely someone the Eagles should be paying attention to and exhausting every resource to acquire.