NFL rumors: Lions asked for Aaron Donald, so Eagles should ask Colts and Bears for...

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Adam Hermann
·3 min read
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Could Eagles try to land Pro Bowl LB in Wentz deal? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

As the Eagles reportedly barrel towards a franchise-altering Carson Wentz trade in the coming days, two teams have emerged as leaders in rumblings: the Colts, and the Bears.

And if Eagles leadership is looking to the recent Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade for lessons on how to approach the swap, they might want to borrow a bold but wise tactic from the Lions:

Swing for the fences, because why not?

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Lions at one point in their trade talks with Los Angeles asked for Aaron Donald in return.

Yes, Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald:

Look, was there ever a chance of the Rams actually considering trading Donald? Probably not. But you're never going to know unless you ask, and there's no harm in giving it a shot.

If Howie Roseman and the Eagles want to give the bold request approach a shot, here's one player from Indy and one from Chicago that they should ask for:

Colts: ILB Darius Leonard

Swapping a former Pro Bowl quarterback for a Pro Bowl linebacker sure sounds logical, right? Ignore the fact that the quarterback had a miserable season in 2020 and carries an onerous contract, while the linebacker is one of the best at his position with one year left on his rookie deal.

Leonard is a stud young defender who plays the game at an elite level, and would elevate any team's defense. The Eagles have an insane need at linebacker, and Leonard would instantly help Jonathan Gannon's unit immensely.

The Birds would, of course, probably want to negotiate a long-term deal before the trade went through to keep the 25-year-old in Philly after 2021.

And, to be clear, the Colts will almost certainly tell Roseman to try again. But Leonard is worth the money, and worth a shot.

Bears: OLB Khalil Mack

This idea actually feels... maybe doable? Mack, a Pro Bowler this season, turns 30 in a couple weeks, but he's still one of the best linebackers in the NFL, which again is a huge position of need for the Birds.

And unlike Leonard, Mack has already signed a big-money deal - the priciest LB deal in the league - and carries a $26 million cap hit next year. But he's not a long-term money liability, giving the Eagles flexibility to cut and run after one year if he's not still in All-Pro form next season. 

Some might be wary of bringing in an older, pricy linebacker when the Eagles seem to be multiple years away from any sort of Super Bowl window, but you never really know when that window could suddenly become next season. Remember 2017? 

Mack fills a position of need, and his physical style and outsize personality would make him an instant fan-favorite in South Philly.

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