Free agency starts on Tuesday, but there is plenty of activity and news to cover.
DE Michael Bennett signed a 4-year extension with Seattle today. I didn’t have him down as an Eagles target since I saw him more as a DE than OLB. It was reported that the Bears were going to go hard after him. You wonder who they will shift their attention to.
An idea occurred to me the other day. The Bears have a young player named Shea McClellin that played DE for them. They’ve been disappointed with him as a DE and plan to move him to OLB this year. You wonder if the Eagles could ship Brandon Graham to Chicago for him. That would give the Bears a boost at DE and it would add an athletic guy to the Eagles mix at OLB. I don’t normally speculate about trades like this, but the Eagles quietly had a lot of interest in McClellin in the 2012 draft. I don’t know if that was based more on what Howie Roseman and the scouts thought or if it was Jim Washburn who coveted him for the Wide-9. If Roseman was a big fan, that could mean the Eagles still have some interest.
To be clear…this isn’t an active rumor. This is just me speculating.
A sidenote to this is that the Bears are reportedly shopping Julius Peppers. He is 34 and expensive. I don’t know if there will be any takers. I also don’t know if the Eagles would have interest in trying to convert him to OLB.
Peppers former teammate in Carolina, WR Steve Smith, is reportedly being shopped. This has been rumored for a few weeks. The Panthers site has removed his jerseys from the team store. This doesn’t really tie in to the Eagles, but it is an interesting note. Can you believe he’ll turn 35 this summer? Smith is a declining player, but it will be interesting to see where he goes.
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There are some reports that Jairus Byrd’s desire for $9M per year is scaring some teams off. That could be good news for the Eagles. If Byrd lowers his number a bit, the Eagles might make a run at him. They do have interest, but aren’t going to hand him a blank check.
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Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com reports the Eagles are interested in CB Nolan Carroll of the Dolphins. I haven’t heard anything specific on Carroll, but I think that would be an odd move. Is he clearly better than Cary Williams or Bradley Fletcher?
Carroll is coming off his best season and has the size the Eagles like (6-1, 205) so there is logic to adding him. I just don’t know if he’s an upgrade and therefore someone worth spending money on. This feels more like an agent trying to drum up interest in his client, but the report has enough logic to it that it’s certainly worth passing on. CB is a bit of a mystery position for the Eagles. They’re okay there, but not nearly as good as they want to be. I’m still thinking they address that spot in the draft.
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Eagles are actively looking into the safety position.Mike Mitchell has been mentioned. Antoine Bethea also a name to keep in mind.
— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) March 10, 2014
Interesting. Honestly, I haven’t thought much about Bethea. He’s getting ready to turn 30. He isn’t special in terms of size, production or athletic ability. But he is one solid, reliable veteran DB. There is something to be said for adding a guy like that. I’ll try to watch some tape and see how he looks.
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The Eagles have looked into Raiders edge rusher and pending free agent Lamarr Houston, I'm told. He'll attract a lot of interest.
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 10, 2014
Another one that I’m not sure what to think of. Lists at 6-3, 300. That’s a DE in the 3-4. Where are you playing him? Are you moving Ced Thornton to NT? Good pass rusher for his size, but I don’t know what the plan for him would be.
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Could the Eagles have interest in…
* Darren Sproles – I doubt it.
* Dexter McCluster – I doubt it.
* Devin Hester – Possible. Not what he was, but still a talented PR/KOR.
Jason Babin hit the market today. I’m sure the Eagles are calling him over and over.