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