NFL Rumors: Eagles Looking at Edge Rushers in Free Agency

Vegas odds have Giants as a favorite to land free agent Jadeveon Clowney

Getty Jadeveon Clowney remains a free agent

The Eagles announced they had officially exercised the fifth-year option on Derek Barnett. The Super Bowl hero is back.

It was the expected and smart thing to do to the former first-round pick. Barnett has 14 sacks in 35 games, including 20 starts. But there is plenty of room for competition at defensive end in Philadelphia with Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat as the only two other known commodities. The Eagles are in an odd situation considering they have three defensive tackles — Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson — who excel at rushing the quarterback.

The team is most likely banking on them to provide extra pressure. However, there are options out there in free agency at edge rusher. Would they consider bringing in a controversial player like Jadeveon Clowney? Or, maybe a two-time Super Bowl champion like Terrell Suggs? Let’s investigate.

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Eagles Rumors: Edge Rushers in Free Agency

Jadeveon Clowney

Keep in mind this is the guy who called Philly fans “the worst fans in the world” after he knocked Carson Wentz out of his first career playoff game. The league later ruled the hit was clean but there is no love lost. Clowney is coming off his worst year in the NFL, from a production standpoint. He registered just three sacks for Seattle after racking up 24.5 in three straight Pro-Bowl seasons prior to 2019. He’s looking for $20 million per year and reportedly already turned down an offer worth $18.5 million from the Seahawks. That’s a ton of money for a 27-year-old in decline.

Everson Griffen

Griffen bet on himself in free agency by opting out of his $58 million extension with the Vikings this offseason. It was a bold move but the 32-year-old has gas left in the tank. He tallied eight sacks in 2019 and has registered at least eight sacks in every season since 2014. The only year he didn’t hit that number was in 2018 when a knee injury forced him to miss five games. The four-time Pro Bowler made $8 million last year and that seems like a reasonable price for the Eagles to meet. The Cowboys have been linked to Griffen as well.

Terrell Suggs

He’ll be 38 years old by the time Week 3 rolls around in 2020, and has already talked about retirement. There was some thinking that the Chiefs might bring him back on a cheap one-year deal as they look to repeat as Super Bowl champions. That hasn’t happened. Suggs brings two things the Eagles value: veteran leadership and strong character. He also played at a pretty high level in 2019 and finished with 6.5 total sacks. How much money is he worth? Well, he played for $5 million last year.

Vinny Curry

Don’t rule out a Philly return for one of GM Howie Roseman’s favorite players, a guy he hand-picked in the 2012 draft. It’s no secret how attached Roseman gets to his players. Curry got off to a slow start last year but rebounded in a big way and recorded four of his five sacks in the last five weeks. The Eagles let him walk in free agency and no one has signed him yet. Curry is getting up there in age, though. He’ll be 32 by the time training camp starts.

Ezekiel Ansah

The most obvious connection between Ansah and the Eagles lies with Jim Schwartz. The defensive coordinator took Ansah with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft when he was coaching the Lions. Injuries have plagued him over the past two seasons, though. The 30-year-old has battled shoulder, back, knee, ankle, biceps and neck injuries. However, he still managed to record 6.5 combined sacks in 2018 and 2019 while posting 12 in 2017. He’s a low-risk, high-reward player.

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