Bang For The Buck

Posted: March 15th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 2 Comments »

NFL teams can start making moves on Wednesday. Agreed upon trades become official. New trades can happen. And of course, teams can sign free agents. Fun for the whole family!

Unfortunately this offseason won’t be as much fun for Eagles fans. Howie Roseman loaded the team down with bad contracts in recent years and the bill is finally due. To be fair, the cap number is much lower than anyone could have anticipated due to Covid, but a smarter, more disciplined team wouldn’t be in this position.

The Eagles still have a few financial moves to make in order to create cap space. This is a formality. The Eagles recently told Lane Johnson they wouldn’t need to re-work his deal so obviously they feel confident in their plan.

The team not only has to get to the cap, but under it so they can actually make some moves. The Eagles have made some splashy signings over the years. I’ll never forget how happy I was when I refreshed ESPN’s site and saw the headline “Philly Phreak”. Jevon Kearse was an Eagle and I was on cloud nine.

This won’t be a year of high end shopping. The focus is going to be getting the most bang for the buck. Howie will be taking us to Taco Bell and pointing at the Value Menu.

“Whadda ya want?”

While it won’t be exciting, the Eagles can make some smart moves. A lot of teams have cap issues so free agents might be signing one-year prove-it deals, hoping to hit the market again next year when the cap will be higher and there will be more money to spend.

Let’s talk about some positions and players of interest.

QB

The Eagles will add a veteran signal-caller. It wouldn’t shock me to see them bring back Nate Sudfeld. The price would certainly be right. Tyrod Taylor is a veteran who would make some sense. He played for OC Shane Steichen last year.

The player who would make the most sense is Jacoby Brissett. He played for Nick Sirianni in Indy the past few years, starting 15 games. The problem with Brissett is that he could cost too much. It hurts to type that statement, but here we are. The Eagles can be creative with the deal, but doing too much of that got them in this position. I tend to think they’ll be a bit more fiscally responsible.

RB

There isn’t a definite need to add a free agent back, but there should be some cheap options so the team should see what they can find. Samaje Perine is 25-years old, 240 pounds and coming off a solid year as a backup. That’s the kind of bargain shopping the Eagles will be doing. Marlon Mack would be an interesting option, but he’s coming off an injury. He was a workhorse RB in Indy and I’m not sure they’re looking for that.

WR/TE/OL

The Eagles could add players at any of those spots, but I don’t anticipate that. You can certainly make the case for a veteran receiver. Greg Ward is the old man in the current group so they are young. If the Eagles think there is a good chance they go receiver at six, signing one doesn’t make a lot of sense, unless we’re talking about someone just coming to compete for a spot.

Backup TEs Richard Rodgers and Josh Perkins are both free agents. I can see the team bringing either back. If the price is right, they could bring both back.

The team could take a flier on a backup OL to come in and compete for a spot. Overall, this is an area where the Eagles are in good shape.

DE

The Eagles have a good trio of rushers, but need depth. Al-Quadin Muhammad was a good role player for the Colts last year. He would make sense. Solomon Thomas and Jordan Willis are draft busts who could be cheap and worth taking a look at.

DT

The team absolutely needs depth here. There are some good options, but the Eagles are already paying a lot to Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave so they may have to focus on price here as well. Jaleel Johnson would be an ideal target. He’s young and talented and has some starting experience. DeMarcus Walker is a good interior rusher and would make some sense. I’ve always liked Maliek Collins. He was a bust for the Raiders last year, but has talent.

LB

Alex Singleton deserves a chance to start. T.J. Edwards has been effective as the MLB in three-LB sets. There is a need for a WLB, unless the team is ready to roll the dice on Davion Taylor as a starter. That would be a shocker so I’ll assume they’re going for someone at that spot.

Would the Eagles spend money on Jayon Brown, a young, athletic, productive LB? Eric Wilson just had a breakout year for the Vikings, but that could take him out of the picture. Anthony Walker has been a solid, productive player in Indy. He’s nothing special, but could still be an upgrade for the Eagles.

SS/FS

Rodney McLeod’s injury means right now the projected starters would be Marcus Epps and K’Vonn Wallace. That doesn’t inspire great confidence. The player that would be a dream target is John Johnson of the Rams. He is 25-years old and still ascending as a player. He would give the Eagles a terrific foundation in the back end. If the team is going to spend on a player, he’d be the guy to go after.

Damontae Kazee is coming off an Achilles injury, but is supposed to be healthy by August. I’ve liked him since his college days. Karl Joseph has been a solid player.

There is also the possibility of re-signing Jalen Mills.

CB

Michael Davis would be a smart target for the Eagles. He has started 35 games over the past three years and is solid. Chidobe Awuzie never stood out in Dallas, but he’s been a reliable starter. If the Eagles want big corners, they could target Ahkello Witherspoon or Kevin King.

We really aren’t sure what the new DC will want. We can make some guesses based on what he had in Indy and Minnesota.

The Eagles have so little at CB that this feels like a position they must address. Darius Slay will start outside and Avonte Maddox could be in the slot. There isn’t much outside of that.

*****

Sheil Kapadia did his ranking of the Top 150 free agents for The Athletic. Great stuff, as usual. Some CB thoughts…

48. Michael Davis, CB, Los Angeles Chargers (26)

After originally signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Davis has developed into a quality starting corner. He has size (6-foot-2) and athleticism. Davis was on the field for 92 percent of the Chargers’ defensive snaps in 2020 and has been a contributing player for three seasons. Teams will likely view Davis as a number two corner, but his best days could be ahead of him.

70. Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Dallas Cowboys (26)

He has 42 career starts, but injuries limited Awuzie to eight games last season. He could be looking at a one-year deal where he builds his value back up and tests free agency again next offseason. Awuzie could be a nice short-term, relatively inexpensive option for teams in need of an outside corner.

*****

Sheil, Zach Berman and their intern (Bo somebody) put together a list of some Eagles targets.

Kapadia:  DT Roy Robertson-Harris

The Eagles have money sunk into this spot with Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave. But they could still use some interior pass rush. Robertson-Harris missed eight games for the Bears last season due to injury. He has 7.5 sacks and 30 QB hits in 52 career games, and he would be a nice rotational option to add to the mix.

I like RRH. Good interior rusher.

Berman: LB De’Vondre Campbell

Of the linebackers in this article, Walker and Wilson would be options I’d sooner peg for the Eagles. Outside of those two, Campbell is someone on Philadelphia’s radar who would make sense. He turns 28 in July and has 70 career starts, which should be considered an asset for a defense that lacks experience. He can drop into coverage and blitz when needed. Campbell settled for a one-year contract with Arizona last season; did he do enough to earn a bigger deal this year? Also, there’s an under-the-radar Eagles connection: He was a college teammate at Minnesota with linebackers coach Nick Rallis.

Campbell always feels highly erratic. There are games when he is terrific and others where he struggles. He is talented and experienced. I’d be fine with him.

Wulf: QB Geno Smith 

Tyrod Taylor and Jacoby Brissett are better players and mentors for Jalen Hurts, but spending real money on a backup quarterback would be a misallocation of resources for the Eagles. With limited cap space and no expectations of being a real contender, the Eagles should spend what money they have on younger players with upside to be contributors in 2022 and beyond. At the bottom of the veteran backup market, Smith makes sense given that both offensive coordinator Shane Steichen (with the Chargers in 2018) and passing-game coordinator Kevin Patullo (with the Jets in 2015 and 2016) have been Smith’s position coaches in the past.

Get this lunatic away from a keyboard!!!

Smith would be cheap and that is a huge factor this year. I wouldn’t be high on this signing, but there is some logic to the idea.

_


2 Comments on “Bang For The Buck”

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