Eagles Rumors: Top 6 Free Agents to Replace Brandon Brooks

Ronald Leary with Cowboys

Getty Ronald Leary with Cowboys

No one would have thought the Eagles would be looking for reinforcements this soon. Not before training camp even started. Then, the unthinkable happened.

Brandon Brooks is done for the entire 2020 campaign, courtesy of a freak Achilles tear at the team’s practice facility. The Eagles’ starting right guard — and arguably their best offensive lineman — is out. Jason Peters’ name will no doubt be blaring loudly on sports-talk radio tomorrow morning. He’s a good bet to land on the roster at left tackle, with someone else jumping over to right guard.

There are also other options for Philadelphia to investigate in free agency, including a four-time Pro Bowl selection. They could also let their rookies and young veterans fight for the spot. Either way, the right guard position just became the best battle to watch at camp.

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Eagles Rumors: Top 5 Free-Agent Guards or Tackles

1. Jason Peters: The obvious and most logical choice, depending on what kind of money the 38-year-old left tackle is asking for. The Eagles were rumored to be in talks to bring him back anyway. Now, his price likely went way up. Peters earned $6 million last season and started 13 games. He wants to return only as the starting left tackle but maybe someone could convince him to switch to left guard. He did briefly mention it at one point in 2019.

2. Richie Incognito: Controversial, mean, semi-retired, often suspended … this ex-Raider checks all the wrong boxes in terms of what the Eagles like in terms of culture. However, in terms of talent? Incognito would be a Pro Bowl-sized band-aid. He’s made the trek four times. The 36-year-old allowed just one sack in 12 games in 2019 while earning a 74.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. He’d be a good fit in Philly if he curbed his attitude.

3. Larry Warford: Another guy with serious credentials having made three straight Pro Bowls at right guard in New Orleans. The Saints released Warford last May in an effort to save $7 million in cap space after drafting his replacement, Cesar Ruiz. The 28-year-old is a baller, though. Warford is a former third-round pick who started 101 career regular-season games. Plus, he’s young enough where the Eagles could sign him to a multi-year deal as insurance on Brooks.

4. Joe Thuney: This is the longest shot on the board. The Patriots placed the franchise tag on Thuney back in March with the intention of signing him to a lucrative long-term contract. Never happened. The deadline for the two sides to reach an agreement is July 15 and Thuney has two options: play out the one-year tender — a move that would make him the second-highest salary cap hit on the Patriots — or somehow force a trade out of Boston. For a durable starting guard (64 straight starts in four seasons), you won’t find anyone better. But he’s going to want big money and require giving up huge draft capital. The only Eagles scenario for this happening is if the team truly believes it might be time to move on from Brooks.

5. Ronald Leary: The former Cowboys guard is considered a “mauler” in the run game and helped pave the way for 1,000-yard seasons for both DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott before leaving Dallas in 2016. Leary has spent the previous three years in Denver but the Broncos declined a fourth-year option on the oft-injured guard. The 30-year-old has been openly lobbying for a Cowboys reunion. Maybe the Eagles will crash the party.

6. LaAdrian Waddle: Hear this one out. Waddle is a left tackle and an underachieving one who missed the entire 2019 campaign due to a torn quad muscle. The Eagles had already been linked to him as a possible backup plan at left tackle, in case Jordan Mailata doesn’t pan out and/or for Andre Dillard insurance. Now his name is even more intriguing. What if the Eagles tried to convert him to right guard? Or move Lane Johnson over to left tackle, put Dillard at right guard and Waddle at right tackle. Just a thought.

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