The Saints and Eagles entered the season as two of the favorites in the NFC, and are also expected to be two of the most aggressive teams seeking additions prior to the trade deadline. That deadline is looming a week from Tuesday, with the Saints and Eagles sniffing around on some of the same players.
Both teams are seeing if there is a cornerback available at the right price who could bolster their secondary, sources said, and while the Eagles have been exploring trades for running backs for weeks, they are also open to adding a receiver, as well, sources said.
If there is a blockbuster trade, or two, completed at the deadline, rival general managers continue to point to these two teams as the most likely to be involved. Both are in Super Bowl Now mode, with the Eagles trying to repeat and the Saints, who made a bold move to trade up for emerging force Marcus Davenport, committed to trying to win another Lombardi Trophy before Drew Brees, 39, eventually retires.
League sources said those teams are eyeing some of the same potential trade candidates and that activity will only heighten as we get closer to the deadline. Both teams are checking on potential secondary receiving options – New Orleans was already doing so before putting Ted Ginn on IR last week, sources said. The Saints pass defense has suffered this season and that was heightened by the loss of slot corner Patrick Robinson for the year.
In general, these are two of the more proactive, forward-thinking front offices in the NFL, and have been involved in many recent massive trades (involving Jimmy Graham, Sam Bradford, Brandin Cooks, Jay Ajayi and Teddy Bridgewater, to name just a few) and have displayed a willingness to move future picks and assets in order to maximize their chances of winning now.
Some of the corners other NFL teams believe could be moved by the deadline include Patrick Peterson, Bradley Roby, Gareon Conley and Eli Apple. Receivers being sought after by contending teams include Amari Cooper, Larry Fitzgerald and Emmanuel Sanders. The Eagles believe they have some decent running back options despite Ajayi being out for the season, but have been in contact about Le'Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy, and sources said they will continue to closely monitor that market. (Rival teams believe the Raiders would trade Marshawn Lynch if a viable option for his services emerged. It has since been reported that Lynch will miss at least a month due to a groin injury.)
Expect the Saints and Eagles to be willing to do anything within reason to address a potential need.