2015 Philadelphia Eagles Free Agent Targets | Eagles Addict
Davon House could be a main target for the Eagles.  AP Photo/Mike Roemer

Davon House could be a main target for the Eagles. AP Photo/Mike Roemer

Before the NFL Draft takes place, there’s this crazy time period between March 10th and mid-April called “free agency.”  Maybe you’ve heard of it?  It’s a time when mediocre players get paid like studs and studs get paid like Gods.

Much of the attention right now is on the NFL Combine, the upcoming draft and whether or not the Eagles will (or should) trade up for Marcus Mariota.  The Mariota debate will continue to dominate headlines for the next 10 weeks.

However, free agency is just under three weeks away and it will be the first opportunity for the Eagles to improve their team.  The problem is, and has been for quite some time, that just how good is player X if he actually makes it to the open market?

Rarely do you ever see difference-making players make it to free agency so most times we’re left with middle-of-the-road players with some being slightly better than others.  The trick is identifying which of these players can flourish in your scheme.

The other trick is trying not to grossly overpay for a player who becomes a “hot commodity” due to the scarcity of talent  and overwhelming demand at his position, but is really just average starter material.

Sure, that player can come in and start for you, but when you measure their productivity against their paycheck, there may be some serious discrepancies.

In any case, this isn’t to say that a team can’t make themselves better by adding some quality free agents.  And this year may be the most important year for Chip Kelly and his Eagles.

Kelly will be entering Year 3 with two 10-win seasons and one playoff appearance under his belt.  There are still several question marks on the roster at high profile positions.  He needs to start definitively answering them and that begins on March 10th.

We all know that defense is the biggest need for this team.  So, the expectation is that’s where most of the attention will be come free agency.  However, there could be some offensive guys of interest as well depending on any changes the coaches decide to make.

All of these players could be of interest to the Eagles should they be available when the clock strikes 4pm on March 10th…

CB Chris Culliver, 6′ 199 lbs, 26 years old, San Fran

Four INTs and one FF in 2014.  Was a college safety and converted to corner.  Has experience in both man and zone coverage.  Sparked wide criticism with what was perceived as “anti-gay remarks” back in 2013 (Michael Sam) but hey, we have Riley Cooper.

He fits the bill as far as size and offers some versatility.  The main question is if he can hold up in man coverage most of the time since that is Bill Davis’ preference.

CB Davon House, 6′ 195 lbs, 25 years old, Green Bay

One INT, one FF and 10 passes defensed in 2014.  Has been primarily a backup in Green Bay with only 14 starts in four seasons.  Has size, speed and loves to be physical with receivers in man coverage.  Could be seen as an up-and-comer who needs a chance to start.

Could also be a cheaper option since he hasn’t been a starter.  Also plays on special teams, which you know Kelly will love.  I’d really watch for this guy if he hits the open market.

CB Byron Maxwell, 6′ 1″ 207 lbs, turns 27 next week, Seattle

This is everyone’s premier free agent cornerback and is probably the guy most Eagles fans are hoping for.  He does have the qualities the Eagles look for, no doubt, but I can’t help but question exactly how much he benefitted from his mates in the secondary.

Maxwell will be highly sought-after in free agency and I’m not sure the Eagles will engage in a bidding war for him.  I think they’ll have interest, but once his price goes up too far they will bow out.

S Rahim Moore, 6′ 1″ 195 lbs, just turned 25 years old, Denver

Four INTs, two FFs and five passes defensed in 2014.  Moore has been a key piece in Denver’s improved secondary and is a player still on the rise.  He is a smart player with an excellent work ethic, two qualities that will endear him to Kelly and Davis.

S Da’Norris Searcy, 5′ 11″ 207 lbs, 26 years old, Buffalo

Three INTs, two FFs and five passes defensed in 2014.  Took over a starting position after Jairus Byrd left last offseason.  Is more of a strong safety type, which might limit the Eagles’ interest, but does have cover skills and versatility as he has been used as a quasi-linebacker in sub packages.

OLB Jason Worilds, 6′ 2″ 262 lbs, turns 27 in March, Pittsburgh

7.5 sacks, one FF, one INT and two passes defensed in 2014.  Worilds was apparently high on the Eagles’ list of FA targets last offseason before he decided to re-sign with the Steelers before the start of free agency.

Versatile defender that would give Davis more flexibility with which OLB to drop into coverage.

OLB Brooks Reed, 6′ 3″ 254 lbs, turns 28 this month, Houston

Three sacks, one INT and four passes defensed in 2014. Given how much the Eagles are enamored with former Texans, Reed is basically a lock to be an Eagle next month.  I kid, of course, but it’s still a decent possibility.

Reed hasn’t had an overly productive career and was actually slated to move to ILB this past season after Houston drafted Clowney.  However, he’s shown some versatility, will be a cheaper option and would be a decent fit for the Eagles’ defense.

OLB Sam Acho, 6′ 3″ 257 lbs, 26 years old, Arizona

One sack, one INT and three passes defensed in 2014.  Older brother of current Eagles LB Emmanuel Acho, he could be an under-the-radar target of the Eagles.  However, I’d view him as more of a Brandon Graham replacement rather than being brought in as a starter (unless the pickings get slim).

OLB Pernell McPhee, 6′ 3″ 280 lbs, 26 years old, Baltimore

7.5 sacks, one FF and four passes defensed in 2014.  If the Eagles let Trent Cole go, I could see them looking at McPhee as a replacement.  Like Cole, though, coverage is not a big part of McPhee’s game as he was rarely asked to do so in the Ravens’ defense.

Rather, he excels more as a pass rusher and is solid against the run.  He is capable of rushing from the outside as well as the inside which gives him some versatility in other ways.

RB C.J. Spiller, Buffalo

The Eagles reportedly attempted to trade for Spiller last offseason and were still rumored to be interested prior to the trade deadline during the season.  The attempted trade was prior to acquiring Darren Sproles but if the Eagles have any intention of trading LeSean McCoy, Spiller could be viewed as a replacement.

RB Mark Ingram, Saints

I could see the Eagles being interested in Ingram, but only if they trade McCoy (same reasoning here as the interest in Spiller).  Ingram looked pretty good this past year when given a chance to be a feature back and he’d fit nicely with Kelly’s scheme.

He’s still young, not much wear and tear, and has a 4.2 yard per carry average over his four year career with the Saints.  Power runner and has the ability to catch passes out of the backfield.

WR Torrey Smith, Ravens

I’ve been eyeing-up Smith for a while now.  However, I’d like him much more if he was in addition to (not a replacement for) Jeremy Maclin.

Smith’s average of 16.9 yards per catch over his four year career isn’t that big of a difference when compared to DeSean Jackson’s 17.7.  And that’s how I view Smith…as someone who can revive Jackson’s old role in Kelly’s offense.

Smith is still young (just turned 26), has good speed and is a decent deep threat.  He’s also a better red zone threat than Jackson was.  He shouldn’t break the bank in terms of money either.

OL Orlando Franklin, Denver

The only way I see the Eagles being interested in any starting caliber offensive lineman in free agency is if they decide to cut ties with Todd Herremans.  If that were to happen, Franklin would be a key guy to look at.

He’s proven to be one of the more versatile linemen in that he played LT and LG in college, then played his first three seasons in Denver at RT before moving to LG last year.  He’s played well in every position and could easily slide in at RG and provide flexibility along the OL.

He’s five years younger than Herremans and would provide some beef to the interior (Franklin is listed at 6′ 7″, 320 lbs).  OL is an area the Eagles need to address with some youth so I’m more expecting them to attack this area in the draft.

****************************************************************************************************

There are a few popular perspective free agents I left off the list such as Devin McCourty and Kareem Jackson.  I expect McCourty to re-sign with the Patriots and while Jackson could be a target, he doesn’t fit their physical profile for outside corners.

I also tried to keep my list to younger players who are just entering their primes.  So, players like Tramon Williams, Charles Tillman or Brandon Flowers were disregarded.

In an ideal world, I’d love the Eagles to land Maxwell, House, Moore, Worilds and Franklin. That’s probably not realistic though as that will require significant money.

Perhaps more realistically we could expect House, Culliver and Worilds.  In any case, I hope they get at least one of the defensive backs from the above list.

 


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25 Responses to Free Agents That Could Interest the Eagles

  1. jon says:

    when maclin tests FA and get 9 mil, we sign crabtree for 4-5 mil

    • Crabtree hasn’t been the same since his Achilles injury. However, he’ll be two years removed from it this season so maybe he will bounce back more in 2015.

  2. Chinaman says:

    Regarding your comment on Orlando Franklin…
    OL is an area the Eagles need to address with some youth so I’m more expecting them to attack this area in the draft.

    Agreed that we need to add some youth to the offensive line, but I’d like to see the Birds go after Franklin. 3 of 5 current starters are on the wrong side of 30. Meaning that we should really be looking to address at least 2 positions along the line. Peters is a physical freak, so that leaves us with finding replacements for Mathis and Herremens. Considering all of the holes that we have on this team; it seems to me that we’ve got to use both FA and the draft to address this quickly aging unit. Our limited number of draft picks makes it highly unlikely that we can address OL twice in the draft. Hate to bring the cowturds into this coversation, but you’ve got to be a little jealous of that OL that they put together. I’m not recommending that we follow their blueprint (first round picks 3 years in a row), but I do believe that we’ve got to find a way to meaningfully address our OL before it becomes a glaring weakness .

    • I agree Chinaman, but if you sign a guy like Franklin you’re signing (paying) him to start. Vets like Herremans or Mathis will not take kindly with being demoted to a backup so if they went after Franklin, they’d be doing it with the intent to cut one of the current starters (likely Herremans). If they don’t plan on cutting a current starter, then the draft is where they’d have to look.

      • Chinaman says:

        Agreed. I’m actually ok with cutting bait with Herremams.
        Just out of curiosity…
        Anyone know Herremans and Mathis’ cap number?

  3. tval says:

    “But hey, we have riley cooper” haha!! Love it

  4. Chinaman says:

    Riley Cooper…
    Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch…

  5. Berdj Joseph Rassam says:

    I agree, there’s a lot of talent available that would improve the Eagles in 2015.

  6. Matt says:

    Out of all those, I’ll take Maxwell. He is the physical presence this secondary is in dyer need of!! Hearing his price will be 10 mil/yr or more though, too much for a Db if you ask me. Would love Worilds as well.

  7. tval says:

    Id like moore the most for the right $..but i see reed most likely as well..would hate to see trent leave but hes been amazing for a while. The ‘westbrook of the d’ for eagles in recent memory

    • Matt says:

      Yea, I hope we can find a way to keep Cole. He’s still playing at a good level. Can’t keep his current contract though. Looked on eagles cap, can’t believe he’s due to make close to 12 million this year!! Need to get that down to around 7-8 million. If we restructure some guys, don’t resign Graham, cut Williams, cut Cooper. We COULD get Maxwell and Moore. Would be awesome but gotta feeling ol chippy is about to have a one track mind- Mariotta!! Short change everything else!!

      • tval says:

        I sorta have the same feeling..however, like ive said, i think chip is trying to help marcus some. Maybe create a little buzz to keep him in top 5-10 range. If not, he could really slide, imo..i agree totally on restructuring cole (think he would) and cutting williams and cooper..id try to get brandon to do the same actually. Good player just doesnt get the reps. And i want more curry anyway

      • Yeah, Cole is going to have to at least restructure. If he’s not agreeable he could be gone. Can’t really cut Cooper, it would be “cost prohibitive” to do so (far more dead money to the cap than savings). Williams will be interesting as well. Can’t see keeping him at his cap figure.

        I’d cut Williams and go for Maxwell and Davon House. Would love Moore too.

    • Yeah, I like the idea of getting Moore…but if not, I think there are some decent options in the draft at safety (even though most analysts say it’s a weak safety class).

  8. nelson3144 says:

    If we were to cut ryans and celek that would free close to 13m just those to then don’t resign graham cut Williams cooper that’s puts us over like 23m in cap space we have the new Te who is proving himself and ryans is hurt and over age. That would give us plenty of room to take who we want in fa and ryans and celek cost nothing to do so according to overthecap.com

    • That’s a lot of cutting nelson! Why Celek though? I’m up in the air on Ryans…I’m all for replacing him but I’m not so sure Chip is ready to get rid of him.

  9. Mattyice says:

    The Eagles need to make decision on where they mainly want to improve. Is it at QB? WR? or RB for the offense and where on the defensive side? Too much cap space all around. I’m all for trading Shady and Foles maybe as a package deal to the Titans or Bucs for a pick to get Mariota. Can always get another running back no big deal. Need a good quality safety or corner. Someone like a Lito or Brown from a couple years ago. Hopefully in second round we can pick one up. And then with the rest of the picks we can fill in the gaps. Along with free agency if cap space is there. Need to do someting drastic to get us to “Next Level”.

    • The secondary is where the most improvement is needed, no question. I expect them to focus in this area in free agency and then the draft will be all about Marcus Mariota – right tval and Matt? ;)

  10. #1phillyphan says:

    I could also see them going after Perrish Cox who played opposite Culliver in SF. I believe he had 5 INT’s last year and is also 6’1. Another option to be a back-up/situational starter that I like would be Zack Bowman (he’s 30 but he has the length they like and shouldn’t cost much at all)

  11. nelson3144 says:

    Celek doesn’t need to be cut u could pair him with foles and try for next years first and r second this year for there first round 12 browns they need Te and QB also need de Trent cole could play in same with rams or add shady and cole there’s many possibilities to combine to move up and not only move up but add another and ryans don’t cost any to cut but those players listed above and Williams gets u close to fort five mil in cap space

  12. nelson3144 says:

    As far as frew agents go though I like Cox Maxwell worlids Moore on reed as well we seem to do well with Texans we i wouldn’t mind Thomas I’d he’s available or smith and spiller would be a good replacement for shady

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