Free Agency Preview

Posted: March 13th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

Free agency officially begins Wednesday at 4pm. Teams began “officially” talking to agents/players on Monday, but some of those talks really got started at the Scouting Combine in Indy. Normally the Eagles would be very active shoppers, but this isn’t a normal offseason.

The Eagles are above the cap and have some serious work to do. There was a report on Monday that the team was close to re-signing CB Patrick Robinson. I thought that was a long shot to happen, but it would be an excellent start to free agency. Keeping Robinson would help the roster, but it will only make the finances tougher on Howie Roseman and the front office. I’m sure Howie can live with that to keep an outstanding slot corner.

I’m not going to get into all the moves the Eagles will make to get under the cap. They can restructure contracts. They are going to ask some players to take pay cuts. Some players will be released. You can bet the Eagles have a good plan with lots of different options. Cutting Vinny Curry would save the team $5M. They would prefer to trade him, but that’s far from a sure thing. Trading Ronald Darby would also free up some money, but trades won’t help the cap situation until after the league year starts.

The Eagles don’t just need to get down to the cap limit, they need to get under it enough to be able to make some moves. While the roster is in good shape, they need to add some veteran players for depth. Don’t expect any big names. The Eagles will be bargain shoppers this year. With that in mind, let’s talk about some players that make sense for them.


The Eagles have a terrific pair of starting DTs. They have a pair of young backups in Destiny Vaeao and Elijah Qualls. Beau Allen was the number three DT last year and is probably looking for a starting job. While the Eagles like Vaeao and Qualls, I don’t know that either guy is ready to play a lot if there is an injury to Fletcher Cox or Tim Jernigan.

The Eagles could look to the draft for help, but with a limited number of picks, they ought to bring in a veteran DT who can at least compete for a backup role. Jenkins had 4 sacks for the Bears in 2015, when Joe Douglas was with that team. Jenkins will turn 30 in April and he’s meant to be a role player so the price should be right. He’s 6-4, 300 and has the ability to make plays in the backfield so he does fit the Eagles scheme. Jenkins is a solid athlete. He reminds me a bit of Jernigan as a guy who can get upfield or do the dirty work.


The Eagles need help at LB, assuming Nigel Bradham goes elsewhere. And that seems to be all but a done deal. Jordan Hicks will be back at MLB, but you have to be careful about relying on him too much. Mychal Kendricks played well for the Eagles and seems likely to return. The Eagles could cut him to save money, but that would be a major risk with the other questions at LB. The Eagles play the vast majority of their snaps with just one or two LBs on the field so Hicks and Kendricks, if healthy, will be good enough. But they do need a third LB in base sets and also need someone who can play if called upon.

Bynes would be ideal. He’s a veteran player with solid size at 6-1, 235. He’s versatile, with the ability to play in the middle or outside. Most importantly, he can cover. Schwartz needs LBs who can drop back and cover more than he needs run stuffers.

Bynes will turn 29 this summer. He has played for three teams and in multiple schemes. I think he could fit in and be just what the Eagles need. He shouldn’t cost much money.


The Eagles love Mack Hollins. Do they love him enough to rely on him as the starter in 2018? That’s the key question. Hollins was 16-226-1 as a rookie and showed good potential. The Eagles know that young receivers take time to develop. Howie has talked about this in his press conferences. They may want to play it safe and add a veteran for one year.

If that’s the case, Brown would be an interesting fit. He’s coming off his best year as a pro (31-477-4), but those aren’t gaudy numbers. You do have to remember that Arizona didn’t have great QB play last year. Over the past two seasons, Brown has averaged 16 yards per reception so he can get down the field. He’s 6-2, 204 and runs in the 4.4 range.

The sales pitch to Brown would be to come to Philly for a year on a cheap deal so that he can play in an explosive offense and get more exposure. I know scouts grade snaps from every game, but coaches, GMs and owners are human beings. They can fall in love with players they see on TV. Brown played for $1.3M last year so he might be willing to sign a short, cheap deal. He just turned 28.

You would probably have to let Brown test the market in free agency, but if he’s still there in a week, he would be an interesting target.


Here are more players that make some sense for the Eagles.

Jaron Brown
Michael Campanaro
Cody Latimer
Brian Quick
Jeremy Butler

Campanaro is a slot receiver who can also return punts. Douglas was with the Ravens when they drafted him. Latimer is a size/speed guy the Eagles had interest in, but he’s been a flop in Denver. He is coming off his best season. Quick was a star at Appalachian State. That alone makes him worth signing. Mike Groh coached him with the Rams. That could be a good or bad thing.

Bruce Ellington

Ellington would be an upgrade on Kenjon Barner as a RS. He has played WR and RB and has some value as a pass-catcher.

Levine Toilolo
Lee Smith

If the Eagles cut Brent Celek, they need to add a veteran TE who knows how to block. Some people have asked about Martellus Bennett. I can’t see that. He is a volume receiver. The Eagles are going to feed the ball to Zach Ertz. The number two TE needs to be a blocker/receiver. Luke Willson would be ideal, but I don’t think the Eagles can afford him. Smith is a pure blocker. Would be interesting to see him in this offense.

Jarvis Jenkins
Jordan Hill
Quinton Dial
Clinton McDonald

The Eagles could use a veteran DT to add to the mix. All of these players have some pass rush ability, something Schwartz loves in his DTs. Dial is huge at 6-5, 318. He’s been mostly a 3-4 player to this point, but his size would make him an interesting addition to the DL.

Josh Bynes
Derrick Johnson
Keenan Robinson
Tahir Whitehead
Emmanuel Lamur
Akeem Ayers

Johnson is a fascinating target. He would be ideal for a title contender, but I’m not sure the Eagles can promise him enough playing time. Robinson is a former Giant with good size. Whitehead isn’t much of a cover LB. Lamur and Ayers offer size.

Korey Toomer
Christian Jones
Gerald Hodges
LaRoy Reynolds

The Eagles could consider playing Jordan Hicks more as an OLB and go after someone to play in the middle. Toomer is a solid athlete with good size at 6-2, 235. Jones is a player I loved coming out of FSU, but he’s more of a run-stuffer these days.

Nickell Robey-Coleman
D.J. Hayden
T.J. Carrie

This is a moot point if the Eagles are able to bring back Patrick Robinson.


The Eagles could look to add a punter, but they may try to save money and go with Cameron Johnston or a rookie.

I’m sure the Eagles will surprise me with a name or two that they show interest in, but I don’t expect them to be too active. I do think they will be patient shoppers. If some interesting players are still on the market in a couple of weeks, that’s when we may see the Eagles make an unexpected move or two.