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What Do The Eagles Need To Do This Offseason?

They say a sequel can never match the original.  That’s one of the reasons Chip Kelly and the Eagles have their work cut out for them in 2014.  Birds fans are expecting the Kelly and company to not only match what they did this season, they’re expecting to surpass it.  Anything less will be a tremendous let down, so GM Howie Roseman and Kelly will be under pressure to make the right moves to improve this football team.

In 2013, the Eagles had one of the best free agencies in team history, hiring Chip Kelly and making additions like Connor Barwin, Cary Williams, and Donnie Jones. It also produced another solid draft that saw players like Bennie Logan, Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, and Earl Wolff all see extended playing time.

So what will the Eagles do to hit another home run? Here are the areas that need improvement and some possible moves that could be made.

On offense, the Eagles need to improve depth at several positions and figure out what they need to do at wide receiver.

JairusByrd1With Michael Vick likely departing to seek a starting job elsewhere, Chip Kelly needs to find a dependable veteran to back up Nick Foles, in case he where to go down with an injury. Matt Barkley is a project player at this stage of his career, and G.J. Kinne is too much of an unknown to be relied on as the number three. Chad Henne is a free agent, and has starting experience. He would be a solid number two behind Foles.

Even though LeSean McCoy is the best running back in the NFL, the Eagles could use a more dependable backup. It’s not that Bryce Brown or Chris Polk are bad players, but you would like someone more dynamic in case McCoy gets injured. Remember how many times you gasped when it appeared McCoy got a serious injury? An intriguing signing would be Darren McFadden. McFadden has star potential, but can never stay healthy. With Chip Kelly’s radical health program, perhaps McFadden can stay healthy and be a productive backup.

The biggest hole for the Eagles on the offensive side of ball is wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper are both free agents. Maclin tore his ACL last summer, and while he is expected to recover, one should not assume he will be back to regular form. Cooper enjoyed a productive stretch in the middle of the season, but he trailed off at the end of 2013. It would be wise to bring back both and have them compete for the number two job behind DeSean Jackson. If Cooper or Maclin walk this offseason, the Eagles should look to bring in Denver’s Eric Decker. Decker is the same height as Cooper (6’3″) and has been very productive since he joined the Broncos. He will likely cost $8 million per year, but he would be worth every penny. Also, the draft is loaded with receivers, notably Sammie Watkins of Clemson. Watkins is rated high by scouts, but off the field issues could see him drop.

On defense, the Eagles desperately need to bring in a safety, add another pass rushing outside linebacker, and acquire a run stuffing defensive tackle.

The safety position has been a sore spot since the Eagles let Brian Dawkins walk as a free agent several years ago. Patrick Chung is likely to get cut, while Nate Allen is scheduled to become a free agent. The Eagles can go two routes: go after big ticket free agents TJ Ward or Jairus Byrd, or draft Calvin Pryor or Ha-Ha Clinton Dix (yes, that’s his name). Ward and Byrd will likely command big dollars and both are eligible for the Franchise Tag. It is unlikely that both will become available, unless via trade. Pryor and Clinton Dix are both ballhawks and play the run well. Both will likely be taken in the first round of the NFL draft.

Connor Barwin and Trent Cole did a good job this past season at OLB. However, Barwin had only five sacks, while Cole had eight (and almost all of them came in the last month of the season.) Plus, Trent Cole is turning 32 next season and isn’t getting any younger. The Eagles should look to later in the draft to draft someone like Jeremiah Attaochu, a projected third round pick out of Georgia Tech. Attaochu is fiery player who is very aggressive when he rushed the passer. As a third down specialist, he can thrive teeing off on Quarterbacks.

Finally, the Eagles should look to add more size to their defensive line. Despite ranking as one of the better defenses against the run, the Eagles’ defensive line is a bit undersized for a 3-4. In the wild-card game against the Saints, the veteran offensive line of the Saints bullied Fletcher Cox , Bennie Logan, and Cedric Thornton. Linval Joseph of the Giants is a space eater at 6’4 323 lbs and plays the run well. He can be plugged at Nose tackle and allow Bennie Logan to play more at Defensive End. DC Billy Davis loves to rotate his lineman and Joseph would be a very nice addition to the D-line.

On Special Teams, there are two major holes the Eagles need to solve, kicker and punt returner.

Alex Henery isn’t the most popular guy in Philadelphia right now. He has taken a lot of flak for his play in the recent wild-card game, missing a makeable field goal and hardly getting any touchbacks on his kickoffs. In fact, Henery’s touchback percentage ranks him 24th in the NFL. If the Eagles want to bring in someone who excels at kickoffs, look no further than to Graham Gano. Gano led the league in touchback percentage, and made 21 of 24 field goals. He seems to be much improved than when he played for the Redskins, where his kicking was far more erratic.

The Eagles lack a dynamic returner who is solely a special teams player. DeSean Jackson, the team’s number one receiver, shouldn’t have to return punts all the time and should be used only in desperate situations. If the Birds want to make a splash, Devin Hester is a free agent. Hester was used as a special teamer solely by the Bears and is still a threat when he gets the ball.

Got all that? If the Eagles want to repeat as NFC East Division champs and ascend to NFC contenders, there are moves that need to be made. Training camp can’t come soon enough.

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Posted by on Jan 11 2014. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

46 Comments for “What Do The Eagles Need To Do This Offseason?”

  1. To get of them we would be broke

  2. Kidnap Earl Thomas

  3. Man…wanna talk about a QB being bailed out by his RB and Defense?? Big game for Russell Wilson……hahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!

  4. And that’s how the Seahawks win, but yet he is hailed as a stud QB?? I don’t see it……..

  5. fox – Police say a burglar stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the South Philly home of Eagles star receiver DeSean Jackson. Only Fox 29 was there as South Detectives spent all morning outside his place on Pietro Way looking for clues. “It’s awful, it’s awful. DeSean, not only has he done so much for the organization with his incredible play, but he’s done a lot for the community,” Eagles fan Tom Hogg said. A source tells Fox 29 Jackson was out of town when the crime was committed. Wearing a hoodie, only Fox 29 was there when it appears Jackson returned home Saturday afternoon. The source says Jackson’s mother went upstairs and found the place ransacked sometime overnight, and called police Saturday morning. They say one of his safes was taken and two others were cracked open. We’re told they got away with $250,000 dollars worth of cash, $125,000 in jewelry , and two semi-automatic handguns. “I would think with the contract that he has, that he probably has some nice things, so who knows what goes through people’s minds,” neighbor Philip Sabella said. Our source says there were no signs of forced entry into Jackson’s in season residence. They say Jackson’s mom told police that DeSean’s friends have access to the place when he is home, but the second floor is always locked.

    • Why am I not surprised

    • That’s what happens, when you are a greedy, selfish bastard, wanting to renegotiate a contract, after just getting one, a year & half ago. People that live in hardship, in this economy, need little excuse to rob your dumb @$$! This city has progressively gotten worse over the last 5-10 years, & shows no signs of improving. I’m not excusing the POS’s that robbed him, but how stupid is this jack@$$, to leave over $400K worth of $$$$ & jewelry, in a house, that he only uses in season? Also putting his Mother in danger, by doing so! WTF DJax? Bolt the safes down, or get better ones! Wise up!!!!

  6. Darren McFadden is terrible and I’ll take a cooper at 4 mill or less a year over decker at 8 mill

  7. Hey John A, your wrong about the sequel never matching the original, did you ever hear of Godfather 2? It’s a no brainer our biggest need is Safety, we all know Chung is gone and even if they resign Allen it’s not set in stone he’s starting, they want to get Wolff in there to start and theirs no way their going to pair him with a rookie, expect a big free agent signing, remember last year, they picked up one high end FA ( Conner Balwin) who they put money out for and the rest were second tier guys, expect the same this year with the Safety position being the high end they put out for.

  8. What is in this article, that hasn’t been suggested, and discussed by the GCobb family for months now?

    Can you get some original material, or better yet,….. your own???

  9. Darren McFadden is not coming here to be a backup. He would probably get hurt on the flight here.

  10. Pryor can be had in round 2 – maybe even round 3 (ranked 4th)

    • I’ve been talking about Calvin Pryor since September as he has been one of thesafeties I want the Eagles to target. He is actually rated ahead of HaHa Clinton Dix on some boards now. He will not make it to the 3rd. Some boards have him as a end of the first round pick. He will probably slip into the secon,however,I think he will not make it to where the Eagles select in the second at this point.TheEagles should be able to get Deone Bucannon with their second. I’m hoping I’m wrong about Pryor(for selfish reasons). I don’t think I am though.

      • Yes you have Eagles, and for good Reason,
        Pryor is rolling up the Big Board and most likely will be the first Safety selected.. I see Teams like the Steelers, Bears, Cowboys,Packers in that 15th-20th Range all taking a hard look at him.. And definitely Teams like the Colts, Broncos & Patriots as well if he still is on the Board when they Pick
        He will go 1st Round no doubt about it
        I think Dix goes late First/early 2nd.. Buchannon/Dixon from Baylor and the kid from Kansas State all going in the 2nd Rd

  11. Anyone notice what’s happening in the NFL?? Where are all the franchise QB’s?? There are 2 left… no Brews or Rogers and Brady won because of the run game.notice that its not 1 guy winning it all? Notice it takes a TEAM? Notice it takes running? I think back to the simpletons… how many years will it take for solid D and running games winning it all to prove to u?

    Its clear that the Eagles are moving in the right direction on D…. in the run game and 3rd… with Foles.

    Ya dont need a top 5 qb to win….. thought it helps…. we may have the best of both worlds.

    • I hope chip paid attention to the pats smash mouth runs last night…. chip needs to get better at runs under center

  12. Mhenski- I think chip gets that we need big guys ok on D. Think about what they did this year… we are moving closer to the Hawks and further from whatever the hell we had under andy. Happy days ahead. Yes!!!

  13. On a positive note… Our young qb is absolutely on par with the other young guns.

  14. Thank you everyone for the feedback. I have enjoyed writing here for the past few weeks and reading everybody’s comments. Go Birds.

  15. The play of Wilson and newton tells us nick foles is as good as either of them or better, but the expectation here fior foles is that has to be great, hall of fame on every start, these guys get benefits of doubt, luck also, not foles, there is money, careers to be made to trash him, just listen to some of these jock sniffers, putrid , pusses, but I will bet that nick foles will be the best of these young qbs, not even close

    And I will wager money on it with any one of you clown detractors

    • Notice, there is a an absence of certain frauds on here (Songs..Kool)who stated that we would see great, clutch play from both QB’s during the 1:05 game. If that had happened they would be lighting this board up about it. They set the bar for these guys, and when they do not perform up to what they boast they will, they become coackroaches and go back in there holes.

  16. Jake- I’d take Foles over kap any day and I honestly have not seen enough of cam to judge. These guys have good ds.

  17. Beautiful eagles, they are cockroaches

  18. Remember the vitriol when Foles didn’t get in on a sneak from the one yard line. I saw it happen twice with Newton today, on the same set of downs.

    • Double standard. Imagine if Foles played Like Brees, Newton, Wilson or Kaepernick today as far as stats, interceptions, TD passes thrown and points scored. He would be called Ass, Shit Foles andall kinds of other names. Where’s the same criteria of measure for the aforementioned QB’s? This is why you know there’s an agenda! Not to help the team..but to wish for a QB that meets the ideological perception of what a QB is and should be in Philadelphia. Change from what has been the norm is hard for the small minded!

  19. Keep preaching eagleshaslanded, we are listening ….

  20. Players that would be immediate upgrades & perfect fits.
    Safety- FS Byrd, SS Ward, SS Whitner, SS Ihedigbo, CB Verner, CB Talib, CB Davis, NT Joseph, NT Soliai, OLB/DE Johnson, OLB Orakpo. Probably not going to make a huge splash, but according to what I’ve heard from Chip, & Roseman, this past few weeks, Safety, size, & pass-rush will be top priority. The way I see this going, is we sign FS Byrd, SS Ihedigbo, OLB Orakpo/ OLB/DE Johnson, K Folk. Cole, Graham, &/or Curry get traded. Williams restructures or gets released. Herremans, Celek restructure. Peters will also be asked to restructure. He could go too. Henery gets released. Chung gets exiled to Siberia. None of our FA’s but Thornton, Cooper & Jones get brought back.
    Draft
    1st- DE Steven Tuitt- ND- 6’6″ 320.
    2nd- WR Jordan Matthews- Vandy/ WR Allen Robinson- PSU- Both 6’3″ 205-210.
    3rd- CB Terrance Mitchell- Oregon/ CB Louchiez Purifoy- Florida- Both 6’0″ 195.
    4th- NT Daniel McCullers- Tennessee- 6’6″ 350.
    5th(1)- OT Billy Turner- North Dakota State- 6’6″ 315.
    5th(2)- De’Anthony Thomas- Oregon- 5’10″ (Lightning).
    7th- OG Ryan Groy- Wisconsin- 6’5″ 325.
    With possible trades, we can receive additional picks.

  21. Foles is fine and may be a top 5 QB in time…He just finished his first season.

    I would re-sign Maclin and then see if I could nab Hakeem Nicks while deciding whether to keep Cooper and renegotiating Jason Avant’s contract to a lower number. Maclin plays great on the outside, but he’s a natural slot receiver and I’d like to see him play some slot. Bringing in Nicks would help Maclin move around more within the system and it will give him time to ease in after a year out of football. Anquan Boldin is another WR the Eagles should look at. I don’t care how old he is he’s the most physical WR in football and gets major RAC yards.

    Bryce Brown and Chris Polk are fine both just need more carries.

    Surprisingly I would re-sign Nate Allen. I actually think he’s turning the corner and if the Eagles can get a lights out free safety he might be able to accomplish more. I’m not sure what the Bills want for Jairus Byrd, but the Eagles definitely need to get on that.

    Linval Joesph would be a nice pick up, but Justin Tuck might be a better pick up and then Fletcher Cox could move inside.

    At that point the Eagles could focus the draft on DBs, OL and linebackers. I can see the value in trying to get an elite pass rusher out of the draft, but picking late in the first round yields no guarantees. I’ve mentioned earlier, but the Eagles would be better off keeping the pass rushers they have and getting some athletic OLBs that can cover.

    • hakeem nicks stinks, he has terrible ball skills, rarely gets separation, and is always hurt. i want 0 parts of him unless he costs less than 4 million/year

      • Nicks will be heading home to NC and sign a deal with the Panthers who will overpay for him.. His Body has broken down and is a marginal NFL WR anymore and has lost the explosion he had when coming into the NFL and has had 2 poor Seasons in a Row…

  22. If the 49ers called the Eagles asking Foles for Kap straight up, what do you think they do? And what would you do?

    • Would never happen JH, why even think or discuss the impossible
      Kap was a 2nd Round Draft Pick hand-picked by Harbaugh, who saw lot of himself in the young Kap, though Kap is much more Athletic than Harbaugh was himself as an NFL QB.. Why would he ever think about Trading him…

  23. 49ers will win the super bowl this year against the patriots in a great game

    No way the 49ers trade kap for anyone, if he stays healthy and if he keeps his gigantic ego in check, and that’s a huge if, kap will be the greatest dual threat qb to play the game

  24. Money Talks…Celek and Ryans have big cap numbers next year, but if the Eagles cut them it will cost nothing. Thus I think they both are gone unless they restructure. If Avant is cut it will cost the Eagles 700K which is basically nothing so unless he restructures I think he is gone as well.

    The Eagles would get hit with a 3-4 million dead money hit if they cut Carry Williams, whereas they lose nothing if they cut Fletcher. Wish it was the other way around. Thus, I think they keep both corners for next year.

    Safety is where we have to make a splash. I agree with others in that the draft isn’t strong this year for safeties. The FO has to bite the bullet when it comes to paying big money for Byrd/Ward. Getting one of those guys is a must. BTW Kerry Rhodes was available all year. He may be gay but at least he is better than the combo of Chung/Allen.

    I think (hope) the safety position will be completely different this upcoming year.
    I think Graham gets traded for a low round pick
    Cole will cost 5 million in dead money if we cut him…so i think we keep him under a restructured deal.
    Casey will cost 1-2 in dead money. Think he stays and restructures.

    • They keep both CB’s Cary Williams and B Fletcher..
      Fletcher earns $2.9 Million so not a huge deal outlay for a Starting CB..
      then Draft one or Sign another inexpensive CB like W Thurmond from Seattle to go along with Boynkin and that’s not a bad group..
      They need 2 Safeties,
      1 with Experience and a pure Strong Safety like
      TJ Ward, Mike Mitchell or even Donte Whitner, then Draft a Free-Safety Type for the Future to go along with Wolfe and re-sign Nate Allen to a
      1-2 Year inexpensive Deal and they are good to go
      If Wolff beats out Allen next Summer Camp, then so be it..

      Do you see what Trent Cole’s Deal ballons to 2015/2016 ($11 & 12Million)
      Cole’s Dead $$$ Hit is 4 for 2014 and $4.8 Million in 2015 so Eagles may be keep him around for one more Season

  25. Ryans and Celek aren’t going anywhere.

  26. Nicks has great hands and if you hadn’t noticed the whole offense went down the sh!#er. Anquan Boldin is another option and a better option in my opinion, but Hakeem Nicks would be an improvement over Riley Cooper.

  27. Butch/Paulman personally I like Ryans/Celek esp for their leadership, they are still talented but both can be obviously upgraded. There is no way they come back at their cap numbers right now, which combines for about 14 million together. These guys also know that they can be cut without the team facing penalty, and that they would probably get at best half of what they are getting right now for 2014 in free agency, plus they would have to do the whole relocation thing late in their careers. I think if they want to be an Eagle in 2014 they will need to restructure. Its all about bargaining power and they don’t really have much when you think about the money.

    Cole is the big problem here. He is definitely not worth that money and we need a better fit for the 3-4 on the other side of Barwin. It would make the whole defense so much better esp guys like Cox (ppl bring up Poe but yet forget to mention that guy has Houston/Hali rushing the edges on each side of him making his life easy).

    Problem is who the hell would want Cole at that number in a trade? And its a big number to eat if you cut him…My guess is they get him to restructure at best and maybe trade/cut him next year. Hopefully somebody will just trade for him this year

  28. Cokes Contract makes him impossible to Trade
    Just like Chung, Avant & Herremans, Ryans so these Players
    Will have to be cut/released if Eagles believe they no longer fit in
    future Plans
    I see them keeping Celek/Ryans for at least 1 more Season

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