Eagles Free Agency Candidates

whitnerThe weather is warm, the sun will stay out later, and football has returned to the world. Praise be to Allah!

As I mentioned the other day, the team looks really good prior to the start of the league year. The Eagles enter into free agency with an estimated cap room of roughly $29 million, which will be the 8th best in the league. This space gives the team the type of flexibility to do whatever they’d like and, consequently, the dreamers are dreaming.

What big move will the Eagles make?

The problem, however is that EVERYONE has a ton of cap space. The Eagles have $29 million dollars in cap room…and they’re 8th in the league. Last year, when the cap was $125 million compared to this years $133, the Browns had the most cap space in the league with $25 million. The eighth highest team had only $8.4 million.

There’s going to be a ton of money in the market. So, given the likelihood of sky-high prices for the top of the class, who should they be looking to spend on?

To me, it comes down to their window. The Eagles have possibly the best left half of an offensive line in the league. They’re 31 and 32. LeSean Mccoy is the league’s best back. He’s 26 when the season starts. Maclin (25), Cooper (26), Jackson (27), and Celek (28) are currently in or just hitting their primes. This is their time to win a Super Bowl with this team.

That means the Eagles need to find appropriate balance in adding free agent pieces. The team needs similarly aged players to step in and contribute right away, but cheaper, short-term veteran contracts as well in order to keep the space necessary to extend Shady, Nick Foles, and everyone else deemed worth keeping.

So here are some of my picks for the Eagles as free agency starts:

Donte Whitner: Jairus Byrd and TJ Ward are considered the top free agent safeties and they will likely be overpaid thusly in a player’s market. Donte Whitner, however, will cost less than both players and, at age 28, would be able to provide the Eagles with great safety play through their best window. Offering Whitner a four year deal is a good way to put money into the other safety position and still upgrade significantly. Plus, him nearly changing his name to Hitner makes me a big fan.

mojoMaurice Jones-Drew:  Mojo is hitting the market at an interesting time. He’s 28, coming off of another terrible season with the Jaguars, and considered to not have much left in the tank due to his career carries (1804). However, you pair that with the fact that the running back market isn’t supposedly very active and I smell a good deal.

Mojo is a complete package in the backfield–including his exceptional pass blocking–and would form a super-talented duo with Shady. If the Eagles were to throw him $2-3 million a year for two years Mojo could regain some value and still be in line for another deal, which can be tough for older backs. Like I said earlier, people are dreaming and I’m going to dream too goddamnit!

Steve Hauschka: Alex Henery, who was a fourth round pick with a fantastic college career, is a dud on the professional level. Hauschka, however is quite the opposite. He made 94% of his 35 field goal tries last season including 23 of 24 kicks over 30 yards. My only concerns with signing a kicker is that the extra point duties may change (or be non-existent). That would affect the value a little, but not enough for me to back off. Bring him in!

Stevie Brown: This pick is both fitting for the Eagles MO and spite. Brown, who performed admirably with the Giants in his first year as a starter in 2012, tore his ACL and missed the entire 2013 season. If the Eagles were able to nab him, he’d be a cheap 26 year old starting option that’s taken from a struggling rival. The Kenny Phillips signing last year was pretty much a worse version of this move.

So those are some of my favorite targets at the moment. As free agency gets underway I’ll make sure to give my take on the bigger moves of the day. Stay tuned!

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Posted on March 10, 2014, in Eagles, Posts, Vince Quinn and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Jim McLaughlin

    First of all, Vince, it is still freezing out. Its just a different level of freezing, but its still cold.

    Nobody ever mentions Stevie Brown as a free agent. That is impressive work by you. The man is a ball hawk and the double prize is taking him from the Giants.

    I think the player that would most benefit the Eagles is Peanut Tillman. 2 to 3 year contract for Peanut. The turnovers alone would be value enough.

    • Thanks, Jim!

      I love Peanut and if they got him as a safety/dime corner it’d be fantastic.

      The only problem would be that he’d need to play special teams. I don’t know if he’s willing at his age.

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