Speaking on VSIN Live, Lombardi reported that two teams are talking to Clowney — who is currently a free agent — about coming to their team and he would be shocked if a deal didn’t happen in the next 24-48 hours. To make that happen, Clowney would have to sign the franchise tag with the Texans and then be traded. The teams talking to Clowney likely want to make sure he would be interested in coming to their team before making a trade with the Texans.
Lombardi also noted that the Texans are interested in getting another wide receiver to pair with DeAndre Hopkins.
The Eagles are considered to have one of the deepest teams in the league, and that is especially true at wide receiver. Two players that could interest the Texans are Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor.
Financially, trading Jeffery or Agholor is certainly possible. According to Over The Cap, trading Jeffery would clear $11 million off of the Eagles’ books, leaving just under $3 million in dead money. Trading Agholor would clear $9.3 million and leave no dead money on the books. The Eagles currently have $20 million in salary cap space, and Clowney would count $16 million against the cap if they got him. So trading either Jeffery or Agholor for Clowney would essentially only cut $5-6 million off of the Eagles’ cap space, and leave them with around $14-15 million remaining. That is important, because cap space rolls over in the NFL. With the Eagles currently set to have around $5 million next year, rolling over money is crucial — especially since they will have to re-sign Clowney next offseason if they acquired him in a trade.
On the field, replacing Agholor or Jeffery would be hard, but the Eagles are uniquely qualified to do it. Rookie receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has had an amazing preseason and was compared to Jeffery coming out of Stanford. It is fair to have some concern whether he can come into the NFL regular season and make an instant impact, but if the Eagles are confident in him being able to do so, trading Jeffery might not sting that much.
The player that could replace Agholor on their roster is receiver Greg Ward. Ward has had a stellar training camp, with only two players — Jeffery and Zach Ertz — catching more passes during the practices. The Eagles value speed out of their slot receiver and Ward certainly has that.
There is no question that moving on from Agholor or Jeffery would be a risky move for the Eagles, especially if they were counting on either Arcega-Whiteside or Ward to replace them.
With a need along the defensive line and so many weapons on offense, however, adding an elite pass rusher like Clowney might be tempting enough for the Eagles to pull the trigger on a deal.
If Lombardi is right, we might be finding out in the next 24-48 hours.
You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!