With the trade deadline today at 4:00 EST, it still doesn't sound like the Philadelphia Eagles are done making trades. Yesterday they acquired Genard Avery from the Cleveland Browns for a 2021 4th-round draft pick, but there could be another deal in the works between these two teams. One hypothetical trade that would be a win for both teams would be the Eagles trading tackle/guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai in exchange for Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins.
I know your first thought is what if Andre Dillard gets injured? Jason Peters is not able to play a whole game without getting hurt at this point in his career, which would lead to a massive hole at the position. I have that same fear; Vaitai iss a great depth player for them to put in if that did happen. It would be much less riskier if the only other tackle Jordan Mailata wasn't out for the season already. They can certainly promote a practice squad player to warm the bench or find a tackle on the streets. So would it be a risk worth taking? let's dig deeper.
In four seasons, Higgins has collected 1,009 receiving yards with six touchdowns. His best season came in 2018, when he reached a new career-high of 572 receiving yards in 13 games. Since he hasn't produced a lot in his career yet, it would be easy for the Eagles to whisk him away for relatively cheap to try and bring the potential in this young player out. This move would be for the Eagles to try to find a replacement for in DeSean Jackson if he never becomes 100% healthy again (this season and beyond), and also could be help for the team in 2020 if the team lets Nelson Agholor walk.
I know Higgins stats are not the best, but let’s face it: the Browns offense has been terrible for a while. They went through every quarterback they could get their hands on which makes it hard for developing chemistry with receivers. So far Baker Mayfield hasn't developed much of a relationship with Higgins because of players like Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. ahead of him on the depth chart. That's why Higgins' stats don’t speak for what he can really bring to the table, but I can see a diamond in the rough in the 25-year-old.
Meanwhile the Browns are in desperate need of some offensive line help. So far they are allowing Mayfield to take 3.0 sacks/game, which is tied for the 9th-most in the league. Vaitai isn't gonna come right in and fix the entire problem, but he certainly can be better than the guys the Browns are putting on the field right now.His rookie contract expires after the season, and with the team seemingly set with Dillard becoming the starter in 2020 and Milata backing him up, Vaitai doesn't appear to have a long-term future here in Philadelphia. So why not get some value for him before it's too late?
Neither the Eagles offense nor the Browns offense have been living up to their potential so far this season. Something has to give and pieces need to be moved to get the Eagles offense soaring like it did in Week 1. I think Higgins can bring that spark back with his playmaking abilities and to stretch the field with his speed. That's what this Eagles offense has been missing. If this trade were to happen, it could end up being a win-win for all parties involved.