NFL Trade Machine: Eagles Deal Marcus Smith


Aug 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Marcus Smith (90) and Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert (77) battle during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Steelers, 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles underwent some changes before the end of last season.  Among the biggest was giving head coach Chip Kelly final say over personnel.  That all but certainly means more changes are coming, this time to the roster.

One player whose fate is very much up in the air is linebacker Marcus Smith.  The 2014 first round pick played less than 80 snaps this past season and was largely ineffective doing so.  Kelly wasn’t shy in his statements regarding the rookie, saying he’s have to practice and play better to receive more time on the field.

That criticism has since been echoed when former Eagles assistant Tra Thomas offered his take on the Smith situation.

"“He’s definitely going to have to get a little stronger out there because when you look at even his body type, he has the build of like a high school athlete still — a young college athlete.  He needs to put on probably about a good 15 to 20 more pounds so he can really execute and be an effective out there.”"

It’s another sign that perhaps Smith wasn’t the best pick for Philadelphia.  This could open the door to them cutting their losses and shipping him off somewhere else.  While getting their 1st round pick back is out of the question, there may be a few teams out there willing entertain a deal.

Best Trade Partner:  Chicago Bears

There are a few reasons why Chicago makes sense in this case.  Rumors are rampant they are preparing to make a switch to a 3-4 system under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.  The big road block at present is they don’t have a lot of options for their outside linebacker position.  Adding Smith to the mix would at least give them more flexibility.

Another key is the presence of their outside linebackers coach, Clint Hurtt.  Before joining the Bears in 2014, Hurtt was defensive coordinator at Louisville where he helped a young Marcus Smith compile 24 sacks in college, including 14.5 in 2013.  Hurtt’s familiarity with Smith means he knows exactly what he can and can’t do and where he will fit in Chicago’s new scheme.

It’s as good an NFL trade as the Eagles will find.