The offseason has arrived and the Eagles have work to do. Aside from finding a new offensive coordinator, the team must target a few free agents.
Pro Football Focus recently released its list of the Top 50 Free Agents available heading into the 2020 NFL season. The Eagles have a laundry list of wants and needs, none greater than at the key positions of cornerback and wide receiver. They will also have some tough decisions to make about their own free agents, namely Jason Peters, Jalen Mills and Nelson Agholor.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman has made it clear that the team is committed to winning now. They aren’t interested in a full-on rebuild, not in the prime of Carson Wentz’s young career. Philadelphia will have nearly $44 million in cap space to work with.
One main point of emphasis for Roseman will be “infusing the roster with youth,” via the NFL Draft. The Eagles have 10 picks to burn this April. But, there are a ton of options out there on the free-agent market that needs to be considered, too. Let’s take a look at the best fits for the NFC East champions.
“We think we’re going to have 10 draft picks in this draft and we’re excited about that,” Roseman said at this end-of-year press conference. “When we look at what the young players did for our team down the stretch, it’s a great tribute to them; it’s a great tribute to our coaching staff and it’s a great tribute to our developmental program that we take a lot of pride in.”
Top 7 Free Agent Fits for Philadelphia Eagles
Logan Ryan, Titans
The long-time Patriots cornerback — and current Titans defensive back — will turn 29 in February so he wouldn’t be the most youthful addition. However, the Eagles have always been adept at marrying solid veterans with promising young talent (see: 2017 Super Bowl). Ryan, in his third season with Tennessee, has been one of the most reliable slot corners in the league.
He has 17 career interceptions and 78 pass break-ups over his seven-year career, including four picks and 18 pass deflections this year for the Titans. His former coach in New England, Bill Belichick, called Ryan “one of the better starters” in the league.
Robby Anderson, Jets
If the Eagles really wanted Anderson, then they probably should have traded for the Jets speedster at the trade deadline. Of course, they didn’t do that. Maybe they were waiting to see how he performed down the stretch for a bad Jets team. Anderson, who ran a 4.36 in the 40-yard dash, recorded his second-best statistical season despite playing without his starting quarterback for three games.
The receiver hauled in 52 balls for 779 yards while posting 15 yards per reception. According to Pro Football Focus, Anderson has the 15th-best grade in the NFL on 20-plus yard throws since 2016 and ranks 11th in deep receiving yards (1,311). Oh, he went to Temple University in Philadelphia, too.
AJ Green, Bengals
Green will turn 32 in July and he hasn’t played more than nine games in a season since 2017, including sitting out the entire 2019 campaign in Cincinnati. It would be a bold move to gamble on him staying healthy in 2020. But, the talent is undeniable as Green racked up seven straight Pro-Bowl selections in his first seven years in the league.
His numbers during that span are other-worldly, in the same conversation with Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown and Julio Jones, as evidenced by his 602 catches for 8,907 yards and 63 touchdowns. The problem is that Green is going to want to get paid — looking at $15 million per year — and his injury history makes him a huge question mark.
Bradley Roby, Texans
No one will ever forget Roby’s incredible interception on Tom Brady back in December. He also recorded an impressive sack on Brady in that game. The 28-year-old cornerback is a stud in the making and could be easily had for the right price. Roby signed a one-year “prove it” deal last year with the Texans worth $10 million.
Did he prove it? Kind of. He finished with two interceptions and eight pass break-ups but he missed six games with a nagging hamstring injury. Houston will probably want to move on from Roby after trading for Gareon Conley and signing Vernon Hargreaves III.
Jadeveon Clowney, Seahawks
How would this play out in Philly? It would be the ultimate irony to sign the guy who knocked out Carson Wentz and spewed venom at Eagles fans in the playoffs. However, Clowney will fill a legitimate need as a powerful edge rusher for a defense predicated upon pressuring the quarterback.
Clowney had a down year, by his standards — three sacks in 13 games. More than stats, Clowney would provide the in-your-face attitude lacking in the Eagles’ locker room. Pairing him with Brandon Graham would be a lethal one-two punch, maybe the best in the entire league.
Phillip Dorsett, Patriots
This wouldn’t be the flashiest move but it would be a solid one. Dorsett saw his snaps reduced dramatically last year after New England traded for Mohamed Sanu and incorporated rookie N’Keal Harry into the passing game. Prior to that, Dorsett was arguably the Patriots’ most reliable wide receiver not named Julian Edelman.
He hauled in 29 balls for 397 yards and five touchdowns while averaging a pretty astounding 13.7 yards per reception. Again, Dorsett isn’t a sexy name but his cheap price tag might be his biggest asset. Let’s be honest, the 27-year-old would be an upgrade over anyone currently on the Eagles’ roster.
Kyle Van Noy, Patriots
Van Noy was the second-leading sack artist on the Patriots with 6.5 on the year. In fact, the defensive end-linebacker hybrid had a breakout 2019 season and finished with 6.5 sacks, 56 combined tackles and three forced fumbles. According to Pro Football Focus, Van Noy was used almost exclusively as a pass-rusher, and he picked up 60 pressures (eight sacks, nine QB hits, 43 hurries) on 464 rushes. He will turn 29 years old in March.
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