Sources: Eagles looking to trade No. 4 draft pick

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

The Eagles have been calling other teams looking for partners to trade out of the No. 4 spot in the NFL draft, according to two NFL sources.

General manager Howie Roseman has reached out to at least two NFL general managers in an attempt to have a deal in place in case the Eagles don't like the players left on the board, the sources said.

The draft begins Thursday evening with the first round. Rounds 2-3 will occur Friday, with the final four rounds taking place Saturday.

Roseman's willingness to unload the fourth overall pick comes as little surprise. Many analysts consider the top of the draft devoid of premier talent. Eagles coach Chip Kelly said last week that there weren't any "can't miss" prospects in the class.

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  • Roseman's willingness to trade back could be fueled by increasing speculation that the top two tackles - Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Central Michigan's Eric Fisher - will go to the Chiefs and the Jaguars with the first two picks.

    With over-30 tackles Jason Peters and Todd Herremans recovering from injuries, the Eagles need to add some youth to their offensive line. They would be hard-pressed to pass on Joeckel or Fisher if either fell to No. 4.

    There has been recent buzz connecting the Eagles to Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson. It could, however, be a smokescreen designed to entice an offensive line-needy team like the Cardinals (No. 7) or the Dolphins (No. 12) to exchange picks with the Eagles.

    The Eagles own nine picks in the draft - one in each of the first five rounds and four in the seventh. Many consider the second and third rounds the strengths of this draft and Roseman may be angling for an additional second- or third-round selection.

    Will he find a partner? If the Eagles aren't intrigued by the possibilities at No. 4, wouldn't other teams feel the same way?

    Weaver retires

    Although he played only 17 regular-season games here, fullback Leonard Weaver retired as an Eagle on Tuesday and no one batted an eye.

    Weaver earned Pro Bowl honors after his one full season with Eagles in 2009. He left more of a lasting imprint with local fans through community outreach programs and the courage he showed after suffering through a gruesome leg injury in the 2010 season opener against the Packers.

    "Philly fans, they're known as the blue-collar fans," Weaver said during a small ceremony at the NovaCare Complex. "They work hard. They're gritty. They're going to talk bad about you. They're going to tell you to your face what time it is. At the same time, they're going to get it done."

    It's been nearly three years since Weaver played his last game. His knee was bent back so awkwardly that aside from tearing ligaments he suffered nerve damage. Weaver attempted a comeback but said he came to the realization a year ago that it was time to hang up his cleats.

    "I've accomplished a lot as a football player," said Weaver, who played four full NFL seasons, the first three with the Seahawks, plus that one game in 2010. "I was the highest-paid fullback thanks to the Eagles organization. Also going to the Pro Bowl, going to the Super Bowl in 2005, I'm very happy with it and I don't have any regrets."

     


    Contact Jeff McLane at jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.

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