The Eagles would love to add a big time Safety. Unfortunately I don’t expect the Browns to let T.J. Ward hit the market. The Bills used the franchise tag on Jarius Byrd last year, which made me doubt they would do that this year. Ian Rapoport shot down that notion with this tweet.
The #Bills still want to do a deal with S Jairus Byrd. If not, I’m told they plan to franchise tag him. Won’t let him get away for nothing
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2014
I don’t know if the Eagles were going to make a play for Byrd, but it would have been nice to have the option. The Bills putting the tag on Byrd hurts the Eagles in a couple of ways. It takes a good target off the free agent market. And it affects Nate Allen. My guess is that the Eagles would like to re-sign him to a cheap deal. Fewer guys on the market helps Allen from a negotiating standpoint. No one is going to pay much for him, but all it takes is some other team offering a few more bucks.
I think ideally the Eagles would like to keep Allen and add a high draft pick so that there are multiple options at Safety. Earl Wolff is already in place, but you want depth and competition. You can’t add one player and consider the situation solved.
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Eagles general manager Howie Roseman brushed off the notion that the Eagles need to upgrade the nose tackle spot during a chat with Philly reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
He said Logan, a third-round pick out of LSU in 2013, can carry another 20 pounds on his frame and said Logan’s lack of height – he stands 6-foot-1 – is tempered considerably by his freakishly long reach.
“When you talk about Bennie, it’s kind of funny, because when you first see Benny, he’s 6-1, but he’s got a frame that can easily withstand 320 pounds,” Roseman said.
“He’s got 34-inch arms, he’s got really big hands, his wingspan is actually six inches longer than his height, so he has the wingspan of a guy who’s 6-3 or 6-4.”
We don’t know how much of the comments is fluff and how much is legit. Because the Eagles had such a high grade on Logan (Top 50) and because the defense played well with him in the lineup, I could see the Eagles liking him more than some realize. I don’t see NT as a need, but there are plenty of people who disagree with me.
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Some of you are big PFF fans. I have very mixed feelings. For those who like their info, here is a list of the top free agent pass rushers according to their rankings.
Seattle DE Michael Bennett is #1 on their list. We haven’t discussed him much. I think Bennett is better suited to the 4-3, but you never know if the Eagles might see him as someone who could make the move to 3-4 OLB. We know he can definitely rush the passer. Bennett turns 29 this year so giving him a big deal is tricky.
The only player on the list who the Eagles would have definite interest in is Brian Orakpo. The Skins have already started talking to him about a new deal, but I don’t know if Orakpo wants to stay or is tired of that dysfunctional organization. If he does hit the market, there could be a bidding war. I go back and forth on whether he’s a guy you go after aggressively. Orakpo feels like a player that you will have to overpay for and I’m not sure that’s wise with Trent Cole, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham already in place. The Eagles need pass rush help to be sure, but I wouldn’t say this is a desperate situation (see the 2003 Eagles for an example of that).
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I’ll write about the Combine for early tomorrow.