Day One of free agency saw the Philadelphia Eagles sign five players. However, there are still potential targets available and below is a list of the latest rumors on players who have yet to sign anywhere…
Dan Graziano of ESPN’s NFC East Blog tweeted earlier that the “Eagles are looking at the OT market. Jake Long appears unlikely, but they will check in on Andre Smith, Sebastian Vollmer.”
Since that tweet, Long has signed with the Rams so he’s definitely “unlikely”. Also, I can’t envision the Eagles signing someone like Smith, whom I have a hard time seeing as being a good fit with Kelly’s offensive style.
Vollmer, on the other hand, would be a good fit given that New England has some of the same offensive traits that Kelly will likely run. His natural position is right tackle as well, so his transition into Kelly’s offense should be smooth.
DE/NT Ricky Jean-Francois is still in Philly today (last I heard) for a visit and the feeling is that he won’t leave without a deal. His primary role would likely be as a five-technique defensive end, though he offers versatility across the line in a 3-4 front.
Jason La Canfora tweeted that the “Eagles still hunting for pass rush, have been talking to Connor Barwin and Victor Butler, among others.”
Both Barwin and Butler were edge rushers (OLB) in their team’s respective 3-4 defense, Barwin as a starter in Houston and Butler as a backup in Dallas.
If we go by the grades given to players by Pro Football Focus, Butler is rated significantly higher. However, he was graded on just 300 snaps while Barwin played 1,020. Barwin, actually, was graded rather poorly as PFF had him as their third worst 3-4 OLB.
With that said, Barwin is still the more attractive player between the two and would fit in nicely with the Eagles’ new defensive scheme (likely as the SAM). With Trent Cole and Brandon Graham on the roster, it seems unlikely that either Barwin or Butler would be a starter
A player that is apparently part of the “among others” La Canfora was referring to is OLB Antwan Barnes, the former Raven, Eagle and Charger. However, apparently the Eagles are just “monitoring” him (hopefully from far, far away).
There was also a report by someone I’ve never heard of, but works for NFL Network, of the Eagles being interested in Baltimore CB Cary Williams. However, I have yet to see a local beat writer cofirm this report.
As far as the aforementioned players go, Vollmer and RJF would be the nicest additions followed by Barwin. I’m not at all interested in Butler or Barnes and only lukewarm on Williams.
Of the free agents still available that I’d like to see come to Philly, but with no rumored links to the Eagles, are S Kenny Phillips and CB Keenan Lewis. They would help round-out a new secondary…albeit not the exact players I would have chosen from the start.