Eagles Trade Johnathan Cyprien to Falcons, Acquire Duke Riley

The Eagles on Monday acquired 25-year-old linebacker Duke Riley, a third-round pick just two years ago, for veteran safety Johnathan Cyprien.

The Eagles acquired Riley and a 2020 sixth-round pick in exchange for Cyprien and a 2020 seventh-round pick.

Riley will likely have a role only on special teams. He's played just one snap on defense this year, but he did contribute 78 snaps on special teams in the Falcons' first four games. 

By cutting ties with L.J. Fort on Friday to make room on the 53-man roster for Orlando Scandrick and now Cyprien, the Eagles lost two of their four-leading special teams players in terms of snaps played. Fort played 75 and Cyprien 74. 

Cyprien, who the Eagles signed on Aug. 2, is a seven-year veteran with 70 career starts with the Jaguars and Titans, but he had played one 15 defensive snaps in four games with the Eagles.

Riley started 16 games in 2017 and 2018 but had played only one defensive snap this year, in the Falcons' season-opening loss to the Vikings. 

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The former third-round pick out of LSU was considered a huge disappointment with the Falcons after they made him the 10th linebacker taken in the 2017 draft.

So this is essentially a case of "We'll trade you our guy who can't play for your guy who can't play." 

But the Eagles did move up a round in next year's draft with the transaction.

The Eagles are now back to six linebackers, with Nigel Bradham, Zach Brown, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, T.J. Edwards and Riley.

The Eagles take over Riley's rookie contract, which pays him $726,500 this year and $820,000 next year. Cyprien is earning $805,000.

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