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Why the Philadelphia Eagles should aggressively pursue a trade for Patrick Peterson

With the NFL Trade Deadline looming large, the Philadelphia Eagles should pursue a trade for Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Peterson, 29, is on contract for the Cardinals throughout the 2020 season, owed more than $20 million over the next two seasons. Philadelphia would have to opt-in to the final year of Peterson’s contract, which would cost around $13.5 million.

Philadelphia failed to make trades for defensive backs Jalen Ramsey and Minkah Fitzpatrick, and the defense is paying the price. The team is ranked 27th in passing yards allowed per game with an average of 270.6. In back-to-back games, the defense has allowed over 30 points.

It hasn’t been easy for the Eagles secondary, which has been decimated with injuries. Cornerbacks Ronald Darby, Avonte Maddox, and Jalen Mills have all sustained injuries.

Currently, at 3-4, Philadelphia is ranked second in the NFC East behind the Dallas Cowboys (4-3) and will need to get healthy and potentially make a deal for a player like Peterson for a chance at the division.

In eight seasons with the Cardinals, Peterson has 23 interceptions, 76 passes defended, and 394 tackles. Peterson is an eight-time Pro-Bowler and three-time All-Pro.

Compared to other defensive back trades, the Dolphins received a first-round pick in 2020, as well as a fifth-round pick in 2020 and seventh-rounder in 2021. Jacksonville received two first-round picks (2020 and 2021) and a fourth-round pick in 2021. Also, Oakland received a third-round pick for cornerback Gareon Conley.

Philadelphia would more than likely have to be willing to trade a first-round pick in exchange for Peterson, as well as a low-end draft pick.

Gaining a talented player like Peterson would be a significant boost to the Eagles’ secondary. Prior to this season, Peterson never missed a game in the NFL, and his time away this season is due to violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy rather than injury.

It is still unclear if Peterson is on the trading block, as the Cardinals have been adamant in saying the talented cornerback is not for sale.

According to Pro Football Focus, Peterson is one of the only cornerbacks in the NFL who have allowed a sub 100.0 passer rating his entire career. Peterson had an 82.5 passer rating allowed, along with an 83.7 coverage grade.

At the halfway mark in the NFL season, general manager Howie Roseman and the Eagles must decide on whether they should boost their secondary or ride with what they have.

If Peterson isn’t the ideal move, the Eagles could also pursue cornerbacks Xavien Howard of the Dolphins and Chris Harris Jr. of the Denver Broncos.

The NFL Trade Deadline is on October 29.