With the 2016 NFL free agency signing period officially set to begin at 4 p.m. this afternoon, rumors are heating up regarding the Philadelphia Eagles and their potential deals. While the Eagles are not exactly being linked to the top free agents, they have dominated the talks over the past few days regarding a trade with the Miami Dolphins. The full details of the trade were never confirmed, but the main point is that the Eagles would be sending cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso to the Dolphins in exchange for draft picks. It appears as though this deal could now be dead.
According to Ed Werder of ESPN, the deal was going to involve the Dolphins swapping 1st round picks with the Eagles. Other sources reported that the Eagles would also receive a 4th round pick in the deal.
For the Eagles, this would have been a great deal. With former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly now in San Francisco, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is looking to undo some of the mistakes that Kelly made during his tenure with the team. Because Maxwell’s contract is extremely large for the amount of production that he delivered last season, the idea of trading him seemed far-fetched.
In addition to Maxwell, the Eagles were also going to include linebacker Kiko Alonso. While Alonso had an excellent rookie season with the Buffalo Bills a few years ago, injuries have started piling up. In his first year with the Eagles, he was a huge disappointment, and he did not exactly instill confidence in Eagles fans that he can be a competent linebacker moving forward.
Regardless, the Dolphins feel as though Maxwell and Alonso can be valuable additions to their defense. According to ESPN, a previously unreported shoulder injury by Maxwell is the thing that could possibly be killing the deal.
“The Dolphins were to acquire Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso from the Eagles for draft-pick compensation, but the trade was contingent upon Maxwell and Alonso passing physicals and could not be official before the league’s new year opened at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday. As of Tuesday night, sources said the Dolphins considered the trade dead because of their medical staff’s concern over Maxwell’s injury, which forced him to finish the 2015 season on injured reserve. If they go through with the trade, the Dolphins would be inheriting a huge contract for Maxwell, who signed a six-year, $63 million deal with the Eagles as a free agent last season. The Eagles had cleared Maxwell on his physical and were more concerned with Alonso passing his physical because of his history of knee injuries. Each team has its own standards for physical exams.”
The interesting part is that the Eagles cleared Maxwell during his physical with the team. Were the Dolphins running different tests on Maxwell during his physical? While that information is not out yet, it raises an interesting question. Was Maxwell not honest with the Eagles regarding his health?
According to NJ Advance Media, the shoulder injury originally occurred towards the end of December. At the time, Maxwell did not believe the injury was serious, and he even felt as though he had a chance to play in the team’s final games.
If the trade is called off, it is going to make things very difficult for the Eagles’ relationship with Maxwell and Alonso. While it is a business, both players now know that the team had a trade lined up to move both of them. Maxwell’s Twitter account was even updated to reflect his new team being the Miami Dolphins. After word of the trade came out, he also posted a fairly cryptic status regarding his feelings.
✌????➡️????— Byron Maxwell (@BMaxx41) March 8, 2016
Regardless of his feelings towards the Eagles, Maxwell is going to have to return to the team if the deal falls through. Now that his health is in question, it is unlikely that another team attempts to trade for him and his bloated contract.
With the NFL free agency period set to begin in a few hours, rumors will continue to involve the Philadelphia Eagles. While Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso may now remain with the team, the Eagles still have the potential to upgrade their roster in other ways.
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