Earlier today, there were reports that the Patriots had traded away guard Josh Kline and a conditional 2018 4th round pick to the Eagles in exchange for 2015 2nd round pick DB Eric Rowe.
It was a good deal that worked for both sides, but now there’s a wrench in the plan:
Whatever this unannounced #Eagles trade involving Eric Rowe is, my understanding is that Josh Kline no longer is involved in any way...— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) September 6, 2016
It would appear that Kline is not going to the Eagles at all in exchange for Rowe. This changes a lot of things.
1. The Eagles were expecting to immediately trade Kline away:
New Eagles' OL Josh Kline might not be in Philly long -- or at all. Eagles already in deep discussions to trade Kline, sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 6, 2016
2. Even Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had confirmed that the Patriots sent Kline and a draft pick to the Eagles for Rowe:
Bill Belichick confirms the trade the Patriots executed today with the Eagles. Kline (and a pick) for Rowe.— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) September 6, 2016
More from BB on EEI: Has a lot of respect for Kline. "We've won with him. But we felt like Rowe would give us some depth in the secondary."— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) September 6, 2016
So perhaps he failed his physical, even though he has played the entire preseason. This is pure speculation.
Whatever the reason, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Kline is remaining with the Patriots.
OL Josh Kline no longer will be included in trade sending CB Eric Rowe to Patriots. Kline remains Patriots property and could be released.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 6, 2016
This reminds me a lot of what happened earlier this offseason with center Bryan Stork.
The Patriots told Stork they were going to release him, but then traded him to Washington. Stork mulled retirement, but ultimately went to Washington where he failed his physical and reverted back to the Patriots, who subsequently released him.
If Belichick was already talking about life without Kline on WEEI, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kline were released or traded away now that teams know he is available and that the Eagles had potential buyers on the other line.
For the sake of clarity, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports that Rowe is still coming to the Patriots.
We’ll continue to watch this story as it develops. What a weird time to be a Patriots offensive lineman.
6:51 PM EST UPDATE:
It looks like Kline didn’t fail a physical, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
G Josh Kline, who didn't practice Tuesday, has remained in New England today. Thus, his removal from trade isn't tied to any physical in PHL— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 6, 2016
Which, to be honest, makes this even more confusing.
7:04 PM EST UPDATE:
So apparently Kline was “simply” removed from the deal, per CSNNE’s Tom Curran.
No failed physical for Kline. He simply was removed from the deal. The rest of it remains - Eric Rowe in exchange for conditional 4th— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) September 6, 2016
This makes me think that director of player personnel Nick Caserio was pulling some strings behind the scenes while Belichick was giving his interview on WEEI, or perhaps Kline was only going to be included if the Eagles found a willing trade partner- and if they couldn’t find anyone, Kline would revert back to the Patriots.
Hopefully we’ll find out.