The Eagles continued reshaping their roster Friday by agreeing to trade wide receiver Torrey Smith to the Carolina Panthers for cornerback Daryl Worley, league sources confirmed. The move will give the Eagles much-needed salary cap savings and adds another young cornerback to their depth chart.
It was the second trade top executive Howie Roseman made this week, although the deals cannot become official until the new league year begins on Wednesday. ESPN first reported the news.
Smith, 29, started 14 games for the Eagles last season, but was not expected to be on the roster in 2018 because of a $5 million salary. He totaled 36 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns during the regular season, and he was on the receiving end of a 41-yard touchdown on a flea flicker in the NFC championship game. Smith was also a valued member of the locker room. But the way the Eagles structured Smith’s contract when signing him last March allowed them to move on from him this offseason because the second and third years of the deal were team options.
Worley, 23, is a Philadelphia native and Penn Charter alum who was a third-round pick out of West Virginia in 2016. He started 25 games for the Panthers during the past two seasons, including 14 last year. Worley finished with two interceptions and 10 pass deflections. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Worley will make $865,724 in 2018 and adds another young cornerback to a crowded Eagles depth chart. The Eagles already have Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, and Rasul Douglas on rookie contracts, giving the team a surplus they’ve seldom enjoyed at the position in recent years. It also provides the team the flexibility to trade a cornerback this offseason, if needed, or experiment with a cornerback such as Worley at safety. Worley could become the first Philadelphia native to play for the Eagles since Kyle Eckel in 2008.
By moving Smith, the Eagles will open both $5 million in salary space and 65 percent of the offensive snaps at wide receiver. Mack Hollins, the 2017 fourth-round pick, would be the front-runner to replace Smith as the starting outside receiver. Nelson Agholor, who is the No. 2 wide receiver even though he plays the slot, could also take more work on the outside. The Eagles might draft a wide receiver, too. They selected Shelton Gibson in the fifth round last season as a potential deep threat, which was also Smith’s best asset for the Eagles.
Smith became the second wide receiver the Eagles agreed to trade this week. They will also send Marcus Johnson to Seattle in the package for defensive end Michael Bennett. And those moves were only appetizers for what’s coming next week when the league year begins.
Staff writer Jeff McLane contributed to this report.