What the Eagles actually do to address their many needs this offseason is anybody’s guess right now. We all know the needs: WR, CB, RB, DL, OL, WR, CB, WR, CB, WR, CB…oh, and WR and CB.
The biggest question about how they will address all of these needs is how much salary cap space they will have. This will determine what they can and can’t do in free agency and thus help dictate their approach to the draft.
It’s been known for quite some time that the Eagles do not have a lot of cap space to play with as things stand right now (per overthecap.com, they have the 4th least amount of space).
However, according to Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice, the Eagles are expected to free up “significant” cap space by March. This also somewhat jives with a comment made by Adam Caplan on Twitter a few days before the Kempski report…
I wouldn't worry about cap space with this particular team. They'll wind up having more than you think in March. https://t.co/y8p5phaNjn
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) January 22, 2017
So, with this in mind, I thought it would be fun to think about an idealistic plan on how to attack this offseason to try and address many of these needs the best way possible.
Be sure to note I said idealistic and not “realistic” because it’s still unknown how much cap space the Eagles will eventually have. Even though this may be a dream offseason, I’m trying not to go too far over the top with fantasy-like expectations.
If you have been picking up what Howie Roseman has been putting down this offseason, we can fairly assume that the Eagles want to use free agency as the way to address the WR position.
Furthermore, his use of the word “bandaid” when describing their recent ways of addressing the CB position also lends itself to the notion he will prefer to address this position via the draft.
So, with all of the above thoughts in mind, here is my ideal offseason:
In free agency, sign WR Alshon Jeffery, WR Kenny Stills and OL Chance Warmack.
Why this is feasible:
It’s clear that giving Wentz talent at the skill positions will be high on the priority list and Roseman will prefer to do this by adding experienced players that are still young. Jeffery will be the top WR on the market, but it’s possible his PED suspension from last season will work against him since teams will have to consider the aspect that one more strike and he’s out for 10 weeks. It could result in a slightly reduced or specially structured contract.
Stills won’t be cheap, but shouldn’t be nearly as expensive as Jeffery might be. Same goes for Warmack…a mid-range contract type of player, starter money but not bank-breaking.
Why these three guys are ideal:
Jeffery and Stills are obvious. Jeffery is the big, tall and physical presence while Stills is the deep threat. They are the perfect offsets of each other and combine nicely with slot guy Jordan Matthews. Suddenly, the WR corps has some juice!
Warmack was a dominant Left Guard in Alabama under current Eagles’ line coach Jeff Stoutland. He’s played RG since being with the Titans and his play has been merely average…which is what will keep his price tag down a little bit.
Pairing him back with Stoutland and putting him back at the position he played so well at in college, he could very well regain his old form. If the Eagles replace Kelce with Seumalo at Center and have Warmack and Brooks at the Guard positions, that would make for a formidable interior offensive line.
Signing these three guys would free the Eagles up to mostly concentrate their draft resources on defense. I would love to pair that free agency with this draft:
1. CB Sidney Jones (my personal CB of choice in Round 1, but the main thing here is taking the best CB on the board)
2. CB/S Desmond King – I have King in my initial mock draft and added my reasoning there. In short, King is the kind of player I want on this defense and if he doesn’t play as well at CB, he could eventually be the future at Safety. He’s a tough, hard-nosed player that Eagles fans will love.
3. DE Derek Rivers – I also have him on my initial mock draft, but just as I predicted back then, his stock has risen. He’s now firmly in the Day 2 realm. Rivers is another player I personally like and would give the Eagles a boost in the pass rushing department.
4. Best available RB. Would it be nice to have Dalvin Cook? Sure. But using our first round pick on him is not a good decision when considering value and other needs. In Round 4 there should still be good players available such as Kareem Hunt, Marlon Mack or my personal favorite, Jamaal Williams.
The rest of the draft should be made up of depth at OL, DL, and LB.
So, what do you think? Even if you don’t like the particular players I mentioned , do you agree with the philosophy of using our free agency resources at WR and OL while using draft resources to address DB, DE and RB?
Again, it may be more idealistic than realistic in regards to being able to sign those three free agents. I mean, sign Jeffery AND Stills (plus Warmack) while working with what should be limited cap flexibility? I’m sure you’re thinking it’ll never happen.
However, I’m also sure you didn’t think that Howie could pull off trading DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell and their contracts while perpetuating moves to get to the No. 2 overall draft slot to get Wentz. I would never underestimate the magic of Howie when it comes to the offseason and making things happen. This is the area that he really shines.
Although reality might be a tad bit harsher than what I outlined above, it sure is nice to dream in the time being…isn’t it?