Moving Forward in Free Agency and the Draft

Posted February 25, 2013

Watching some of the combine this past weekend got me to wondering what the Eagles roster will look like going into camp, who the Eagles will draft two months from today and also who they could possibly target in a couple of weeks when free agency opens. No matter what we think this team needs there always seems to be a surprise or two and changes are constant right up until the draft. If the rumors are true and the Chiefs have a deal already done with the 49ers for Alex Smith than Geno Smith could very well be on the board when the Eagles draft at 4...but is he worth it? Could the Eagles use the number 4 pick and get Kelly his man this year instead of waiting and gambling next year? Do they wait until round two and hope that no other team falls in love with EJ Manuel who the Eagles seem to like? Do they ignore quarterback going forward this year and go into the season with what is already on the roster? The hands on favorite for the Eagles in this years draft seemed to be Luke Joeckel but he seems to have climbed the boards and many mocks and analysts have Andy Reid and the Chiefs drafting him #1 overall...if they already made a move to aquire Alex Smith Joeckel certainly could be their man. DT Star Lotulelei seemed to be a player most would have liked at #4 but with a questionable EKG going into the combine stopping his workout how does that affect his value? OG Chance Warmack seems to be climbing, CB Dee Milliner is an option and a need (does he have that elite speed?) and there are plenty of DE/OLBer hybrids that seem like they could help the Eagles make that transition to a 3-4 if that is what they are set on doing. You all know that I would like to see the Eagles move on from Vick so if the Eagles ended up taking a chance on Smith I wouldn't be upset...I'd rather they wait and take a chance on Manuel in round 2 and he should be there but you just never know. It's hard to get a read on what this new coaching staff wants and values right now (will they even draft a QB especially if no team wants to deal for Foles). We'll be able to have a more informed opinion on what the Eagles will do after free agency.

Free agency will be a little tougher than some think in my opinion. According to reports the Eagles have roughly 25 million to spend this year right now. That obviously will go higher with either restructuring Asomugha's deal or cutting him and I expect the Eagles will let go of one of their current high priced DTs (Patterson or Jenkins) but after that more money comes hard to find. They could clear another million by cutting Allen but I want to see a new, hungry coaching staff working with some of these younger players (yes, I want to see what Stoutland can do with Watkins). Regardless I expect that the Eagles could have close to 40 million  after the cuts and contracts are re-done. This is where it gets tricky and some fans refuse to be open to the fact that teams need to look at where they are in next year's cap (and the next). Most of the money they have this year is due to the carry over money (23 million, I think). They will still be able to use this money but most of it should be used in front loaded contracts. I look at the Eagles needs (we all know they have many) and OLBer Paul Kruger would be great,  OT Andre Smith would sure up the RT spot and allow Herremans to move back to guard, Sean Smith would be an upgrade but his asking price of 8 million a year could be a bit much and there are better CBs available and Jarius Byrd would get everyone excited if the Eagles decided to go after him (he is an Oregon grad). One of these FAs would be great, a combination of any of them would have to be deemed a success but keep in mind that they also could be a stretch when looking at the Eagles cap space going forward. Next year the Eagles are looking at a pay hike of 5 million for Lesean McCoy, 3 more million for Desean Jackson after a 6 million pay raise this year. It seems that redoing Michael Vick's contract may have pushed back (and increased) his dead money to 2014 (a possible 5 million dollar hit from what I've seen). Trent Cole's new deal keeps him locked up at about 5 million this year, 6.5 million next year but jumps to over 11 million in 2015 which leads me to believe that the Eagles don't intend for him to be here past next year unless he kicks it in on the field and renegotiates his contract. Forget about letting him go this year because if they do they get hit for over 6 million in dead money. Seems like they will be forcing Cole into a spot this year even if the transition is a tough one for him and after struggling last year that is a possibility. Looking at some of the contracts that Roseman has done lately I almost miss Joe Banner. The Eagles may have made players happy but I never remember seeing this type of mess and eventually the money to pay some of these players that got extensions that truly didn't need them (Cole, Herremans) will have to come from somewhere...possibly even with them losing their jobs in a season or two. Getting back to this year. I will hope the Eagles make a big splash in free agency, Sean Smith would be a start if they do indeed have OT or an OLBer like Kruger would be outstanding...Byrd (a buddy of mine is guaranteeing this happens although I'm skeptical) or some other top safety would have to be the icing on the cake since the Eagles have had extreme difficulties trying to replace Dawkins but I would be surprised to see the Eagles make too many BIG name moves this year. I just can't see how they can afford it. There are moves they can make going forward...Ryans could be cut at no cost and save them almost 7 million a year and Jason Peters could be let go or they could restructure his deal which wouldn't surprise me either but at what point does the bleeding stop? Where do you draw the line because just hacking away at every contract could only be detrimental to the team in the long run especially since the Eagles seem to be trying to sell the "not many changes are needed with the personnel" angle to the players and the fans? Hopefully they can find the money going forward to help their new coach be successful. I honestly can't wait to see what this team looks like come the end of April...that is when we truly see what this team's plans are.

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  • And now the Eagles released DT/DE Cullen Jenkins... more holes to fill.
  • Just like I stated above and before I expected Jenkins or Patterson to be released although I honestly thought it would be Patterson since Jenkins has experience in a 3-4. It could still happen and I wouldn't be stunned.
  • I wouldn't mind seeing them trade down and acquire more picks. If the I wonder in the Chiefs are posturing and trying to lower the price on Foles with this leak on a deal already being done for Alex Smith. I still don't get why people think the Eagles a hell bent on trading the guy? We don't truly know what offense they are running, and his contract is extremely cap friendly. If the Eagles aren't happy with any of the quarterbacks in this draft they might as well wait on drafting one next season. There are a lot of roster holes to fill. We don't have the most ideal QB situation, but maybe they can just wait to find their guy next season. Truthfully Chip Kelly should be more concerned with experimenting with players on his roster and trying to see what aspects of his offense and style of play work in the NFL. He may want to sell out for a running quarterback only to find that a passer is what he truly needs.
  • You're right, Eazy. We just don't know if the Eagles like any of the QBs in this year's draft (we hear and see rumors) but the thing that scares me the most is that MAYBE that starts your sentence that the Eagles could get their QB in next year's draft. I've stated it before, IF the Eagles like one of the QBs this year I would like to see them make a move for him if he is there when they draft in the 1st or 2nd. I honestly do believe that the Eagles aren't happy with the thought of Foles as their future or they wouldn't have put their asking price for him out there (and they may just settle for less). Sure, the Eagles can wait and go after a QB next year and it seems like there may be some mobile options available (Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville, Tajh Boyd out of Clemson...doing my homework lately) but we don't know for sure that these players will be available for the Eagles when they draft nor if the players will be rated higher than this year's crop of QBs. I get what you are stating about Kelly maybe wanting a pocket passer to fit this group of players but I'm going on the pretense that Kelly's system will work better with a mobile QB and that is probably what he wants. If Foles isn't traded of course I want him to have a fair shot at winning the spot and he should have one...I'm just not sure that's going to happen.
  • EJ Manuel running a 4.65 wasn't exactly a burner, but everyone feels that he has really improved his stock. That could mean the Eagles might actually need to trade back into the first if they really like him That means giving up picks on an already depleted roster. As much as quarterback is a need for this team (and it is) I am doubting this is the best time to make a move for one.
  • They may have to trade back into the 1st round but if the Eagles like Manuel enough than I would be okay with that. You do realize that they could spend the number 1 overall pick on a QB next year and he may be a bust, don't you? I recently posted the history of the Ravens QBs before they struck gold with Flacco when I was having a discussion with hollywood. They went through 16 QBs in 12 years before they drafted Flacco in 2008. 12 years...Kelly will be long gone if the Eagles take that long. The Cowboys used two #1 picks in 1989 when they drafted both Aikman and Steve Walsh (supplemental pick) to make sure they got their guy. I just don't get the thinking that the Eagles have other needs so they should just stand pat at QB this year...there are no guarantees...Manuel and even Smith may end up being busts...but so could that guy they waited for next year. I do know that Vick isn't Kelly's long term answer and I honestly don't get the feeling that even he thinks that Foles is a fit...maybe I'm wrong but I'm not the only one that feels that way.
  • The thing is nobody seems to be in love with any of the quarterbacks in this draft. There is a lot of talented players who could be had. If we have to trade into the first round to get a guy who some consider to be at best the third best option at quarterback in this draft seems kind of silly when we will most likely be in a position to draft the best prospect and he doesn't have some of the work ethic issues the other guy has. I understand the right quarterback choice could put a team on the fast tract to returning to respectability, but I'm not sure if that guy is here.
  • I'm all for trading Foles (2nd and possible late round pick) and drafting a player like Tennessee QB Tyler Bray in the 3rd round. Chip Kelly is smart enough to know that Vick isn't he future, and there might be too much value in trading Foles to fill the roster in a deep draft. Plus, acquiring a player like Bray would shore up the future QB questions.
  • I question whether any team besides the Chiefs would value Foles that highly. He played well for a rookie and developed but has he done enough for some other team to not just take a chance on a rookie in the 2nd round this year themselves? If the Chiefs do have their QB in Alex Smith I think the Eagles may have to settle for less than a 2nd (3rd) and possibly a later pick...I think they may have to even if the rumors of the Chiefs-49ers deal are proven false and the Chiefs make another push for Foles. I have stated earlier that I thought the Chiefs 3rd would be good compensation for Foles with maybe switching spots in the 2nd as part of the deal. That first pick in the 2nd could be an extremely desirable pick for a team that doesn't want to wait on a player that made it out of the 1st or it could give the Eagles top choice on who they want on day two. When looking at Foles value to other teams the Eagles past two trades of QBs have to be kept in mind...not many teams are going to want to be the next Redskins (2nd and a 4th for McNabb) or Cardinals (2nd and DRC for Kolb). Teams will be leary no matter how much development Foles showed throughout his games as a starter last year.
  • I agree with you. I don't think there is a big market out there for Nick Foles. If the Chiefs have their man I seriously doubt the Jets would make a move to get Foles. If they would they certainly wont pay a high price for him. Besides most teams are going to be skeptical about dealing with the Eagles when it comes to quarterbacks. Everybody knows the history on how none of those guys panned out for their new teams. The Eagles giving up on Foles after one season would be a red flag for any team other than the Chiefs who have some history with the guy. To top it off everyone knows how suspect Mike Vick is. If the Eagles are willing to give up on Foles for Dennis Dixon, Mike Vick and a rookie to be named later then if I were that team I would think Foles is a suspect commodity.
  • Looks like the Chiefs traded for Smith (2nd rounder this year and possibly more next season). Looks like Foles is going to stay unless another team decides to jump on the QB. I would have preferred the Chiefs 2nd rounder, but apparently Foles wasn't as highly regarded as Smith, or the Eagles didn't want to part with Foles. Either way, SF Now has the first pick in round 2.
  • Either Foles wasn't as highly regarded or the Eagles think highly of Foles. You see the Chiefs chose to give up the second for a guy who has has success in the NFL. I don't begrudge them for doing what they needed to do, but obviously from the Eagles perspective they weren't willing to hedge off what they consider the value for Foles.the Chiefs could have offered less for Foles, but the Eagles weren't budging. That means all of the Foles talk by Chip Kelly wasn't just coach speak. He really feels that way.
  • And now DT Mike Patterson is toast. Next! lol
  • The more I look at this draft, the more I think the best option is to trade down and acquire more picks. I don't see any absolute top 5 picks in this draft and many of the middle first round guys have a lot of value. They should trade down to help fill the holes.
  • I have to agree that FA this year will be harder than it has been in the past, but not because of money, but because of our new coach.

    In the past it was easy for them to attract big names because we had a team that had a tendency to win and see the playoffs under our old coach. Guys wanted to come here and help this team over the hump.

    Now our coach is unproven by every NFL standard, and the fan and media output won't help convince a FA on the fence between here and elsewhere, to come here.

    THAT is why I keep talking Draft. FA only gives a rookie coach a bunch of established vets with no loyalties to him, and contract guarantees which could make it hard to reign in a guy who decides to be a headache.

    If they can get Jarius Bryd, great. Do it. It would save us a Draft pick, and if it works out he could be the answer there for the next 7-9 years. The FS spot needs fixing, and you'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

    So take the shot.

    Other than that, I'd leave FA alone until July. At that point I'd just shop depth in the form of vets with 5-8 years who are still hoping to become regular contributors. (Like Evan Mathis and Derek Landri were.)
  • They keep releasing players the way they are money won't be an object even though 23 million is carry over money. I think signing players like Byrd (guys that are earning their first big payday) aren't the problem, it's signing those last big payday guys like the Eagles did in 2011 that hurt them. I think there may have been that "I've made it and now I can cruise" attitude with that influx of older free agents (it also seemed like none of the vets they brought in wanted to lead, they felt uncomfortable with it on a new team). I do agree somewhat with your thinking that Kelly may have a harder time than Reid did because of his inexperience and also because of the unknown but most of the free agents go where the money is or they stay in the city they are currently playing in...if the Eagles want a free agent bad enough I would guess that most of them wouldn't have a problem playing for the Eagles. They will have to outbid other teams so we'll see how serious the Eagles are about giving Kelly what he needs to win. My main worry before today's cuts was that although they had 25 million to spend this year they were only actually about 2 million below the cap. They couldn't tie all that money up on numerous contracts because they would once again be in the same boat next year that they were to start this year...over the cap. I knew they had Asomugha's money to look forward to depending on what they do with him and I was pretty certain that they would do something with Jenkins and/or Patterson but the money they have to spend will look like more than it actually is. Front loaded contracts should be their best way to go but they will probably go into the season without spending it all once again.
  • I'm with flip on this. Sign one big name if possible n look to role players who love the game. Personally I want William Moore but he's likely to get the tag. Walker from the 49ers would fit great as our TE/fb in kellys offense. He's hungry n wants to prove he can be the man, plus he's great on special teams. A safety (Byrd moore delmas) would be great adding walker would be amazing. I think Andre smith is a guy that gets his money n gets fatter n lazier ill pass on him. There's no reason to repeat what we did before it hasn't worked for us the skins anybody. U build through the draft. In the draft I would go joeckel is possible or trade back draft Sheldon Richardson n look for lineman later maybe flip n kellys boy Kyle long. No matter what I want Eric Reid though.
  • I get what you are both stating and I would guess that is pretty close to what they do. In the past it's exactly what this team has done most years...signed a Runyan and filled in in 1999...signed Samuel and filled in. The two years under Reid that they changed their free agent philosophy was 2004 with Kearse and TO and in 2011 when they got a little crazy. I know that won't happen again...but they will want to show they didn't make a mistake in signing Kelly and they do have plenty of needs (and if they keep releasing players the money probably will be there to make a couple moves if they want to do that). Besides, would you complain if they signed Sean Smith AND William Moore (if he is available)? Would you think they made a mistake if they somehow convinced Byrd AND Paul Kruger to buy what they are selling? I read the same concerns that you have with Andre Smith somewhere else on the internet but the man has played well enough to deserve a big contract so who is to say he becomes lazy? I think that the Bengals are well under the cap anyway so they probably end up keeping him but a good RT would sure up two positions for the Eagles. I agree that the draft is the way to go and if Roseman has a nice draft again than the confidence in the picks will start to build but as of right now I'm still a little leary. I just hope there are no more surprises more Daniel Teo Nesheims. no more Bryan Smiths, no more Jaquan Jarretts. Last year Roseman went after known names and didn't reach for the most part and many rookies made it onto the field (of course the team was 4-12 but...) more players that the Eagles THINK they found and swoop in and "steal" out of the draft.

    On a different note, Dee Milliner ran a 4.31 40 at the combine today...he just solidified himself as the top corner taken and should be a top 10 pick come April...he will have surgery for a torn labrum after the Combine but should be ready for camp from what I read. Could he be the Eagles pick at 4?
  • That's pretty impressive time. I thought he was slower than that when watching games idk if the 4.31 is official n it could drop him alot when its adjusted just ask tavon austin. It's a need pick n with slotted contracts it isn't like he can hold out for more. I'm just not sold on him. If he's our guy I hope I'm wrong if he's not I hope he sucks. That injury worries me though. New coaching staff trying to teach plus he's a rookie who's gonna miss alot of camps. It may hurt his draft stock maybe back to the teens.

    I wouldnt mind getting Moore Byrd n smith but trying to figure out the money factor is where it gets complicated.
  • I just saw that he dropped a lot of passes in the D-back on field drills but that 40 was MUCH better than most people expected. Your boy Mathieu had a very nice workout from what I heard. Ran a 4.43 40 and looked good all around (bench sucked but who cares about a corner's bench?). Could have climbed the boards a bit but his character concerns have to limit how far he will climb for most teams...we'll see.
  • We have bigger concerns on the OL/DL than to consider a CB with the 4th overall pick. While Milliner may be a solid pick for most teams, I think the top talent in the draft is with the boys in the trenches.

    The Eagles will probably not go buck wild in Free Agency, but they could have their eye's set on OT Brandon Albert and S Jarius Byrd as their main targets (assuming neither get franchise tagged). Either one of these players would be a great addition and give us more flexibility in this years draft.

    If they can't land a "big fish" I think the Eagles will sign a few players to provide competition/depth/good value and then fill out the rest of the roster in the draft.

    And now that Mathieu has had a good combine workout. His draft stock probably went from a 4th/5th round "gamble" to probably a solid 4th round pick. He's not very tall, and there are some character flaws, but Kelly loves playmakers who can get the ball back to the offense. Mathieu fits the bill. So it will be interesting what happens if the kid interviews well and can keep his nose clean.
  • I agree with your thoughts on Milliner but his 40 made me a little easier on the thought that the Eagles could draft him. I've stated it over and over, Latin...we have no clue what the Eagles thoughts truly are. We all post who we want in free agency, who we think looks and sounds like a fit in the draft but they may totally shock us with their first move (I hope not). They may bring in Byrd as a starter at safety or maybe they go for injury concern Laron Landry (stayed healthy last year so you never know). Maybe Kelly thinks his coaches can work with current starters Coleman and Allen (god, I hope not) and leave safety alone. I doubt that but my point is that we truly aren't sure where the Eagles top priorities lie. This team has many needs. A top safety and/or a top OT would be solid moves. Hopefully it happens.
  • Trade our 4th pick and Nnamdi to the Jets for their 9th and Revis.

    Then draft Johnson, OT, or Vaccaro, S if he drops to nine.

    If we go offense in the 1st round we should try to get Elam, S with our 2nd round pick. Bdawk was hyping him up on NFL Live last night so he must be a stud.
  • Why do the Jets want an overpaid underperforming Nnamdi? Why do we want the headache of Revis and his constant holding out for more money?
  • Anyone else see that story that came out about Nnamdi needing "me time"? Not front page worthy for sure, but definitely a sign that he's not long for Philly. As a matter of fact, I would be absolutely fine with them dumping Nnamdi and taking Millner in the draft.

    Preferably we could get something for him in the form of some draft picks for this year and the next. We're gonna need all the picks we can get to fix this mess.
  • Trying to trade Nnanmdi would be a nightmare. He would be in control as nobody would take on his contract as it is. He would need to renegotiate it he would just as soon tell the Eagles to puns sand and cut him. He gets 4 mil and can sign with any team he chooses.
  • I agree, Eazy. The Eagles can't just turn around and try to trade every underperforming player that they are possibly looking to cut. Who would want the headache of trying to renegotiate with him and what is the current value of an over 30 player who seems to have forgotten how to play his position all of a sudden?
  • Pound sand,
  • I'll take the headache of Revis wanting more money over the headache of Dez Bryant lighting us up for the rest of the decade.
  • Dee Milliner can handle that. With that being the case if Revis is holding out wanting more money he won't be there shutting Dez down anyway!
  • Im getting alot of censorship these days . is there a problem. Fact is I always stick to football.
  • I typed a response to you yesterday but this wonderful site deleted it immediately even though I typed nothing wrong...must have been because I mentioned the site by name. Your censorship is probably nothing but this site being at times mixed in with their rules about how often we can post. I run into the same crap from time to time...I would guess that this site will be die before they do anything about it.
  • *nothing but this site being slow at times
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • If I was calling the shots the offseason would go:
    1) resign DRC for roughly 5 million if he doesn't want that goodbye onto the next one
    2) redo asomo to roughly 7 million with incentives that can get him to 10 million( ones that have looked hard for him to meet)
    3) sign a safety- Byrd or Moore
    4) sign delanie walker- he fits perfect
    5) sign role players
    6) trade back in the draft to acquire more picks in the second or third with a team around 6-9
    7) draft picks:
    Warmack- joeckel will go first
    Reid- we may have to trade back into the first to get him especially with San Fran at 33 since they may lose goldson
    Jesse Williams- if we can acquire a second round pick high
    Darick Rogers- showed he can play at the combine would be a good third rounder for us ( if not mark Harrison out of rutgers in the later rounds)
    Gerald hodges- had a decent workout nothing to brag about but can be a stop gap LB for us next to ryans as the main cover man in a 3-4
    Tyrann matheiu- hopefully we can land another 4th maybe even a third for foles n take the honeybadger who looked great pr man safety n slot corner. Everything we ask Boykins to do just better
    Tj barnes- he's freakin huge 6-7 375 he can play NT for now if Dixon can't or he can play goal line run stuffer if we go 4-3 under too big to not try
    Ricky Wagner- he wasn't impressive my guess is he falls to the 7th but he is a good football player so he well worth picking this late
  • T.J. Barnes has great measurables, but he isn't instinctive or strong at the point of attack, as he gets stood up and pushed of the line a lot even in his highlights

    He uses his 6'7", but not his 375. It's a shame too because he doesn't look fixable with coaching. His legs are so long that he's awkward in his 3-point stance. It's why he *pops* right UP, instead of firing OUT at the snap.
  • I think the pop can be fixed. If kids can be taught out of it grown man can learn it too, none of this can't teach an old dog new tricks. Plus at worst put him n bring back Dunlap for fg blocks n tell them to jump with arms straight up. There's gotta be a way to use that size. I know dunlap says no size isn't everything but maybe the coaching wasn't right. He should atleast be able to swat passes n fgs

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