Eagles 2014 Free Agency Rumors and Reports: Mike Mitchell Makes Sense | Eagles Addict
Mike Mitchell

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Since the legal tampering period has begun, there have been some rumors and reports about whom the Philadelphia Eagles could be targeting once the market officially opens Tuesday at 4pm ET.

We have to take everything we hear with a grain of salt at this time of year as most of these rumors and reports could be from players’ agents that are just trying to generate buzz about their clients (aka, create a market and drive up the price).

With that said, here is a list of players that the Eagles have apparently “checked into” or have some interest in:

DE Michael Johnson

OLB Mike Neal (Tim McManus reported the interest in Johnson and Neal, which I commented on here.)

DE Lamarr Houston (Geoff Mosher report)

Safety Mike Mitchell (Joe Person/Charlotte Observer report)

CB Champ Bailey (Report from Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report)

That’s about it for the actual “reports” I’ve seen up to the moment of this writing.  There has been a ton of speculation that the Eagles will be interested in Safety Malcolm Jenkins, but I have yet to see an actual report linking the two.

Obviously, these reports suggest the Eagles are keying on pass rushers, but the players themselves don’t make sense.

Subsequent reports have come out saying the Eagles have dropped out of the “race” for Johnson and most likely Houston due to salary demands getting too high.  But, why would they have had interest in them in the first place?

I get that the Eagles are forced to choose from the only players available, but Johnson and Houston are players that don’t appear to be a good fit.  Both are 4-3 defensive ends and don’t fit the mold of what we think the Eagles’ envision from their 3-4 OLBs.

Neal transitioned to outside linebacker this past season after spending his first three as a 3-4 DE.  And that was after spending his college career as a defensive tackle.  So, he went from DT to DE to OLB.

Maybe the Eagles like that “versatility” but he hardly fits the profile of “edge rusher” and certainly not as a guy that can drop into coverage effectively.  Perhaps he could be a role player, but that’s about it.

Champ Bailey?  That is the most ridiculous one of the bunch.  What, he would sign on to be our fourth CB?  I seriously doubt that.  I just can’t foresee that Eagles addressing the CB position in any way of significance during free agency.

The only reported interest that makes any sense is Mike Mitchell.  I’ve previously talked about him here and he was also my main safety target in my initial plan for free agency.

We’ll begin to see where the Eagles’ interests truly lie after 4pm Tuesday.


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5 Responses to Eagles 2014 Free Agency: Only One Report Makes Sense So Far

  1. tval says:

    Mitchell is very tough..id take him before overpaying byrd

  2. Barry says:

    Their interest in Bailey was the possibility of him converting to safety. There was a report that said that he wouldn’t mind converting to safety, too.

  3. David says:

    I agree with Michael Johnson not being a fit. Though I’m sure Roseman and especially Kelly were at least intrigued at his potential with his size (6-7, 270). However I do believe that Lamarr Houston to the Eagles would make sense due to his versatility; he could play tackle or end. I think there’s a good chance that the Eagles sign a versatile defensive lineman in free agency, but the priority will obviously be adding talent and depth to the secondary. Unless Byrd brings down his asking price, then I think the probability of him signing the Eagles will be slim. I’m actually very confident that the Eagles will Mike Mitchell instead. It just makes too much sense. He’s an extremely underrated 26 year old safety with all of the tools to succeed. He has great size (6-0, 220), he can cover, and he’s a very smart player who brings an intensity to the game. He would probably warrant a multi-year deal worth around $4-5 million/year. Mitchell and Wolff would be a very promising tandem at safety… As far as the pass-rushing options available in free agency, the cupboards are rather bare. There’s a good chance that they could add an outside pass-rusher for depth purposes, but there really isn’t anyone who would be a significant upgrade over Brandon Graham. Nonetheless, it should be interesting to see how the circus that is free agency plays out.

    – David

    • Johnson definitely has intriguing size but would seem to be out of place at OLB. If they were looking at Houston as a 5-tech DE, then that would be fine. Although I just can’t see them overpaying for that position. They need an OLB and yeah, the cupboards are certainly bare in free agency. I think O’Brien Schofield would be a decent addition for depth and rotation.

      We agree about Mitchell, he has been my top safety target assuming we don’t pay for Byrd.


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