Thoughts On The Eagles And Free AgencyBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Monday, March 11th, 2013
The NFL free agency period begins this week, and with a boatload of salary cap room at their disposal, the Philadelphia Eagles are in a position to go after anyone on the open market that they desire. What moves could the Eagles make in the coming weeks? What moves should they make? Here’s my take on the upcoming free agency period.
The Eagles Need To Spend Wisely
As mentioned above, the Eagles have more money to spend this offseason than any other team in football. However, that doesn’t mean that the Eagles should go crazy with their money and sign every top player available.
This team’s biggest additions should come through the draft. The draft is where the core of any successful football team is built. Free agency can be used to improve the team, fill some holes here and there, or provide you with the final piece of the puzzle, but it shouldn’t be where the backbone of your team comes from.
Philadelphia learned from their 2011 spending spree that you can’t pull a boatload of talent off of the free agent market and expect high-priced superstars to gel together.
However, just because the team got burned during their 2011 spending spree doesn’t mean that they should shy away from bringing in more big names. They just need to be careful about who they handout big contracts to.
What Players Should The Eagles Target?
If the Eagles are going to throw big money around, I think they should put into their secondary.
There are a lot of good names that could make a difference in this secondary.
The Eagles have tried to fix the safety position with high draft picks (Nate Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett), and have failed badly. They desperately need some proven, veteran talent at this position.
DaShon Goldson may be the best name (and the best fit) out there. Goldson has been an important part of the San Francisco 49ers defense over the past few seasons. He’s an All-Pro safety, and a two-time Pro Bowler. He plays a physical style of football that the safety position has been badly missing ever since Brian Dawkins left town. The 28-year old is said to be seeking a huge payday, and the Eagles are one of the teams that could give it to him.
Another option could be Louis Delmas from the Detroit Lions. When Delmas is on the field, he’s been an impactful figure on the Detroit defense. The problem is that Delmas has proven to be injury-prone, and has missed 13 games over the last two seasons.
If the Eagles want to go for temporary fix, Adrian Wilson could be an option. Wilson is getting older, but he’s been a very underrated safety out in Arizona that could provide valuable leadership for a young defense that could use some quality veteran guidance.
At the cornerback position, the Eagles also have a number of veteran options that could bring some stability and improvement to the position.
Charles Woodson would be a nice stop-gap option, but I don’t think he’d have any interest in coming to Philadelphia. At this point in his career, I think Woodson goes to a team that offers him the best chance at another Super Bowl ring.
Aquib Talib’s playmaking ability is intriguing, but he can be an absolute headache off of the field.
Brent Grimes is an attractive name, but he’s a bit of a risk coming off of an Achilles injury. That being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Eagles take a gamble on him even if he isn’t quite 100% yet.
Sean Smith has been a name that has come up a lot for the Eagles, and of the notable cornerbacks on the market he probably makes the most sense for this team, but he’s not a guy worth breaking the bank for.
What Is Nnamdi’s Fate?
As of this writing, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is still a Philadelphia Eagle.
There’s been a lot of talk about what’s going to happen to the former highly-paid corner. Will he agree to a restructured contract, or will the Eagles cut their losses and move on from the free-agent bust. The stories coming out of the organization in recent weeks have sent mixed signals about his status.
Chip Kelly doesn’t sound like he wants Asomugha on his team. When the head coach was asked about the veteran, he didn’t exactly give Nnamdi a glowing endorsement, only stating that the former Raider has “a skill-set that can play football.”
However, the front office seems to have a different view on Asomugha. The Eagles have reached out to Nnamdi about a restructured contract, but the two sides have been unable to come to an agreement to this point.
The only thing that’s clear is that Asomugha won’t be making the $15 million that his current contract calls for.
So why haven’t the Eagles released Asomugha yet?
I think the Eagles are waiting to see what happens with free agency. If they can sign one of the top available corners, it makes it much easier for them to release Asomugha. Right now the team’s secondary is just completely devoid of any talent. If they cut Nnamdi right now, your starting cornerbacks would be Brandon Boykin and Curtis Marsh.
Even though Nnamdi’s play was absolutely dreadful last season, the Eagles probably wouldn’t feel comfortable going into the season with a defensive backfield made up of draft picks and unproven players. They want to have some kind of veteran presence, and even though the former Pro Bowler isn’t a leader, he’s still achieved a great deal of success and the past and the Eagles might take a gamble that he’ll be able to regain some confidence this season and at least give them passable performances. I don’t agree with such a line of thought, and I think the Eagles shouldn’t hesitate to move on from one of the biggest free-agent busts in franchise history, but I believe that this is the logic that they’re using to keep Asomugha in the fold for now.
With all of their available cap room, the Eagles should be able to attract one of the free-agent corners, and then nothing will hold them back from pulling the plug on Nnamdi.
- There have been reports that the Eagles are interested in bringing back wide receiver Danny Amendola. I like Amendola, but I don’t see how that signing makes sense for the Eagles. This team doesn’t need another small receiver, they’ve got too many of those as it is. If Amendola does come here, it probably means Jason Avant’s time is at an end.
- The Eagles could use free agency to make a number of low-key signings to get some 3-4 defensive lineman and linebackers on the roster. Some names to watch are Terrance Knighton from Jacksonville, Alan Branch from Seattle, and Connor Barwin from Houston. Knighton and Branch are a couple of big defensive tackles that could fill the nose role, and Barwin is a linebacker with 3-4 experience that has played with current Eagle DeMeco Ryans in the past.
- I’d rather see the Eagles address the offensive line through the draft rather than hand out big contracts to guys like Eric Winston or Andy Levitre.
- Some other free agents I don’t have interest in? Cliff Avril and Paul Krueger. Quality 3-4 defenders, but both guys are going to get more money than they’re worth.
- Tight end is another position that the Eagles could look to upgrade, and guys like Delanie Walker or Jared Cook could fit that bill.
- Anthony Gargano of 94 WIP floated out the idea of the Eagles signing James Harrison today, with the idea that Harrison could help bring some toughness back to the Eagles defense. I’m completely on board with that idea.
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