Buyer Beware

Posted: March 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 32 Comments »

Free agency can be a great way to add talent to your roster. It can also lead to bad decisions, bad deals and a lot of headaches. Caveat emptor…let the buyer beware.

Tashaun Gipson has 14 INTs in the last 3 years. That’s impressive. Put on the tape and you won’t see a guy who wows you. I watched several of his games and saw talent, but not a “must-have” type of player. Check out this video from 2014.

Gipson catches passes that come his way, but those aren’t exactly Brian Dawkins picks. You give Gipson credit for having good awareness and good hands. We see way too many DBs who can’t catch the ball (right, Malcolm Jenkins?). When you find a DB who can catch, that’s valuable. but it doesn’t mean that he’s jumping routes and making great plays.

Oddly enough, as I watched Browns games this guy wearing #33 caught my eye multiple times. I had no idea who it was so I looked him up. That turned out to be Jordan Poyer, former Eagle. I’m not saying Poyer is now some great player, but he did have some impressive plays.

Back to Gipson. Is he a solid starting Safety? Yes, absolutely. Is he worth big money? No, not from what I’ve seen. A team that is hurting at S might be willing to overpay. The Eagles had to do this last year with Byron Maxwell.

How much is WR Marvin Jones worth? He is a one-year starter coming off a career high 65 catches. He played with a good QB, good OL and on the same field as AJ Green, Tyler Eifert and Mohamed Sanu, as well as talented RBs. Jones has legit talent, but he’s not a Brandon Marshall type that you force the ball to and he can carry a passing game.

Free agency is best when a team gets good value. That doesn’t mean being cheap. It means getting what you pay for. When the Eagles made Jon Runyan the highest paid OL in the league, they got a terrific player that solidified the right side of the OL for years.

The Eagles need to make smart decisions in the next week. There is no reason for this team to throw huge money at anyone. Focus on getting good players at a good price.


There was a report last week that the Eagles could bring back CB Nolan Carroll. If true, you wonder what he would play. Is this about moving Eric Rowe to Safety? Would Carroll be the Nickel CB? Would they consider him at S?

I wonder what the future is for Thurmond and Carroll. I don’t think Thurmond is meant to play S in the new defense. I do think he could be a good Nickel CB.

I’m not sure what the Eagles are thinking at that spot. JaCorey Shepard could fill that role. Jenkins played there quite a bit last year, but I think the new staff will probably want him to focus on playing S.

The Eagles might hope Shepard can handle the role, but they do need competition for him at the very least. There is logic to bringing back Carroll or Thurmond because of their versatility. Neither is great anywhere, but both can play all over and they have a good amount of experience.

I’m guessing Thurmond will want a decent contract so he will likely be testing the market. If things don’t pan out for him there, maybe the Eagles will give him a call.


I wrote a free agency preview for

I’ll be posting a longer preview here on Monday.


32 Comments on “Buyer Beware”

  1. 1 Buyer Beware - said at 6:00 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor Free agency can be a great way to add talent to your roster. It can also lead to bad decisions, bad […]

  2. 2 Media Mike said at 6:05 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    Good call across the board. Get the right guys at the right prices!

    Seeing Iloka on somebody else’s team might be tough.

    Good caution on Gipson.

    Still wish Mitchell Schwartz was in the mix.

  3. 3 Greg Richards said at 6:30 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    I remember last year tons of people connecting dots and thinking Rahim Moore would be a nice get for the Eagles. He ended up lingering on the FA market, signing a modest deal with the Texans, losing the starting job, and being cut this year.

  4. 4 wee2424 said at 10:05 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    Safties are extremely hard to judge when it comes to switching teams as evidenced by Moore, Bryd, etc. It’s a scary position to invest a lot of money in during FA. Jenkins was a brilliant move by Chip/Howie. So was Thurmond as well. One thing the past coaching staff had was the ability to spot safeties.

  5. 5 Mitchell said at 12:43 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    I often wonder why it is so hard to judge. Safeties need to know how to play in cover’s 0-4, be able to flip hips and wrap up tackle. Perhaps the biggest catch is the versatility needed in today’s NFL. Not only do you have to cover but tackle as well, which used to be divided into FS and SS but recently the lines have blurred. Its hard to be big AND fast, usually there is a bias toward one of the other. That being said, I think instincts can make up for deficiencies in either. There’s more ground to cover and faster opponents covering the same turf, making good safeties harder to find, that’s my theory anyway.

  6. 6 bill said at 8:52 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    All that, plus the fact that safety is not a “sexy” position. Big $$ and fame tends to go to CBs and WRs, who are the guys who tend to have the requisite athletic abilities. Plus plus, I think S (especially FS) is the closest thing to QB on the defense – you have to make so many different reads so quickly that the mental side of safety is huge.

  7. 7 wee2424 said at 11:05 PM on March 7th, 2016:

    A safties success can be highly depended on by other factors such as scheme, the safety across from him, pass rush, the CBs, and the LBs.

    You take a successfull safety out of a situation in which he is surrounded by good players and put him in a slightly or highly different scheme, coupled with less successful players around him may make him look like a completely different player.

  8. 8 A_T_G said at 10:42 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    So you are saying he is available?

  9. 9 BobSmith77 said at 1:44 AM on March 7th, 2016:×576.jpg

    Roseman has been preparing the FA board for weeks now with multiple trips to Staples for adequate supplies

  10. 10 Insomniac said at 7:42 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    Can you do one on Illoka too Tommy?

  11. 11 Media Mike said at 5:26 AM on March 7th, 2016:


  12. 12 Mitchell said at 8:02 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    Not gonna base a ton of a highlight video but it does seem like he has a knack for the ball in that vid. I do wonder how much is catching balls coming his way as opposed to him being in a good spot to catch balls. I dont have a strong opinion on Gipson overall, the highlight vid is the most I have ever seen of him.

  13. 13 cliff-Partying w/ Dez' Monkey said at 8:17 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    down here in SC and cant stand gamecock fans (worst fans most delusional bunch you’ll ever meet) so became Clemson fan. want eagles to draft baby bambam cam in Kearse. he is a beast. plus, think he’ll be there in 3rd.
    i’d much rather see rookie strong safety and use money to get a SAM. LBs have me bit nervous. it doesnt take a ton of bad what-ifs to put that crew in a bad way. love kiko, seems like a nutbar but who knows if he’ll ever be ’13 version. Hicks is legend’d himself in eagle lore for crushing dallas. he could run over my mother tomorrow and i’d blame her for walking recklessly walking on the sidewalk. and MK, who knows if Topgun will ever stop doing his flybys.

  14. 14 Mitchell said at 8:59 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    I watched some of Kearse games, he really didn’t impress at all. In your opinion, what makes him special besides being REALLY tall? I think if the Eagles were interested, he’d be there in the 6th-7th.

  15. 15 Media Mike said at 5:26 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    I’d love Kearse.
    I would not love people asking for Clemson’s QB in 2017.
    You can also upgrade to College of Charleston for rooting purposes.

    Good call on lacking a true SAM backer on this roster.

  16. 16 Greg Tulino said at 10:46 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    Obviously we do not expect the Eagles to be players for the top free agents. I am concerned ,however, that middle of the pack FA’s will get top dollar $$ because of how much cap room so many teams have. I believe over 20 teams have 40+million in cap room this offseason. I can’t envision a scenario where we come away with both a starting guard and a starting safety to pair with Malcolm Jenkins. With so much money out there to spend for teams it is more likely we come away with just one or the other. I predict we get an upgrade at Guard in the first few days of FA and then after the first 2 waves of free agency spending is over we will find a veteran at WR and perhaps some depth at LB or DE. I have a sneaking suspicion we will be moving Erik Rowe to safety and counting on Shepard to be a CB . The good news is that we really do not have the cap space to overpay anyone which means we will probably not make any big money mistakes this year. One last thing I could see HR doing to try to improve the team is trading some of our veterans for mid-round draft picks ( possibly Barwin or Sproles or both?) which could help us strengthen other areas and giving us more chances to hit on our draft choices.

  17. 17 solid said at 11:55 PM on March 6th, 2016:

    I believe what the eagles do at the safety position during FA will show their hand with regard to what they want to do at DB. If they sign Iloka, Weddle, Abdul-Quddus, etc., Rowe is staying put at CB. If not, I think the Rowe moves to safety and perhaps the eagles look to re-signing Carroll. Sean Smith, who the eagles were linked to in the past, may also be a placeholder option.

  18. 18 SteveH said at 1:18 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    Our drafted DB’s seem to do a lot better elsewhere than in Philly, oddly enough. Except for poor Earl Wolff, I think he’d probably prefer Chip mismanaging his injury and publicly disparaging his toughness over being kidnipped.

  19. 19 Ankerstjernen said at 3:24 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    Honestly you have to feel bad for the guy. He seemed to be the kind of dude who only always ever wanted to play football and buy a house for his mom. Had talent too. And he just got hurt beyond repair right at the beginning of his career despite all the things doctors can fix up these days. And then kidnapped fo course. Thats a pretty rough way to begin your adult life. I hope he lands on his feet.

  20. 20 SteveH said at 9:42 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    Yeah Wolff earns some serious sympathy points I think. Never seemed like a bad dude, the whole way his injury was handled on the Eagles end was just strange.

  21. 21 A_T_G said at 6:33 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    I have noticed a number of our draft failures have caught on elsewhere also. I makes me hopeful that the problems were in the past two coaching staffs and not the talent evaluation.

  22. 22 Ankerstjernen said at 7:39 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    The way I recall it, the knock on Poyer in training camp was a lack of ability to read routes and employ the right technique. He was described as one of those athletic DBs with poor football IQ. In this regard, you might be right. we cut him at a time where we desperately needed young DBs to develop too..

  23. 23 D3FB said at 9:27 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    Poyer actually has a good football IQ. He was a first team all american. But he was a bit on the unathletic side (so Chip didn’t love him). He got caught in a bit of a numbers game at CB. The team wanted to keep him and move him to S but there was an injury issue at RB so they had to make room for Tucker.

    They thought he would clear waivers.

  24. 24 Ankerstjernen said at 6:01 PM on March 7th, 2016:

    With the needs at DB at the time, they clearly didnt think highly of him as a prospect at all, letting him go. Maybe that was a mistake. You have to wonder, if the DB coach had been someone else back then, if things would have been different..

  25. 25 Gian GEAGLE said at 8:50 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    Part of the problem is our no patiemce nature, and desire to get rid of every player the first time he has a down year or DOESNT produce how we want him to

  26. 26 eagleyankfan said at 7:22 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    Every year – it’s don’t over spend for that guy. Don’t over spend for this guy. Not a fit. He’s too tall. Too short. He only catches the ball for a DB.
    If Brandon Marshall was on the market – there would be an article saying he’s too expensive anyway – so that’s a bad example….
    Isn’t there a safety in Denver that nobody wanted on this team?
    The only question should be — would Gibson be an upgrade?
    Smart money. If you overpay and it’s smart(proper evaluations) = the right move. If you over spend because of bad talent evaluation or assume that player will go from one scheme and automatically fit in your scheme(Nnamdi) = the wrong move.
    Spend wisely, whether it’s overpay for upgrades or spending less on lesser talent. Either way – spend wisely.

  27. 27 Bert's Bells said at 8:04 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    It’s only overpaying if the contract causes the team issues signing other players/dealing extensions. DeMarco Murray is “overpaid”, for example. Even if he ran for 2500 yards and 16 TDs, his contract in an albatross.

    If Maxwell makes more money than “he should”, who cares? As long as that doesn’t prevent, say, Fletcher Cox from re-signing or acquiring more talent that can win football games.

  28. 28 eagleyankfan said at 7:35 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    Is this how this works? Today – teams can negotiate but not meet FA or official sign FA’s?

  29. 29 Fufina said at 8:09 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    Teams can talk with agents, and discuss ‘outlines’ of contracts. They cannot meet players or discuss directly with players, nor are they allowed to formalize contract offers, or get players to sign them.

    So theoretically, you can phone an agent and say… Hi Iloka’s agent, we would really like your client in philly and we value him as a $9mil a year guy, but discussions should go no further than that.

    In reality players and agents thrash out pretty much complete deals and in many cases commit to signing during these tampering days, so they can sign paperwork at 4:01pm on the new league year.

    Howie has played pretty fast and loose before with deal making, so i would imagine our 2 priority free agent signings of Safety and a Guard will be done before free agency officially starts.

  30. 30 eagleyankfan said at 8:31 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    Thanks. That’s what I thought (re the 3rd paragraph).
    I guess this gives the agent time to see “what’s best(most money)” for his agent. Wonder how many times a team gets burned during this “period”….

  31. 31 Gian GEAGLE said at 8:45 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    If we bring back Nolan I assume it’s to play nickel or Dime, and because a year from now we could be dumping Maxwells contract

  32. 32 Gian GEAGLE said at 8:54 AM on March 7th, 2016:

    All the rumors these next two days will be unbearable…