5 NFL Free Agents That Could Fit with Philadelphia Eagles
Five NFL Free Agents that Could Fit with Philadelphia Eagles
It's no secret the Philadelphia Eagles are a franchise in transition.
For the first time in 14 seasons, there is a new sheriff in town, in the form of head coach Chip Kelly. As a result, general manager Howie Roseman spent the offseason, along with VP of Player Personnel Tom Gamble, adding complimentary pieces to this roster that would fit Kelly's style of offense and who would fit the beginning stages of a rebuild on the defensive side of the ball.
Linebacker Connor Barwin, signed away from the Houston Texans, headlined the moves on defense as an addition that should bolster an Eagles pass rush that totaled just 30 sacks a year ago. The Birds also picked up corners Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams to go with newly-minted safeties Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung, along with nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga.
In the draft, meanwhile, the front office by and large turned their attention to the offense, using three of the team's first four picks on that side of the football.
The result of the Eagles' overhaul is a roster that features just six players over the age of 30, with an average age of 25.3 years old.
As training camp and the regular season approach, there are still talented pieces available on the open market that could further supplement a defense that will likely be a hybrid of a 4-3 and 3-4 fronts. Besides, there simply cannot be too much veteran leadership on a team in the position Philadelphia finds itself in, with a first-year head coach looking to establish a culture of winning.
Defensive End Israel Idonije
Versatility will be the biggest component to the Philadelphia Eagles defense under new coordinator Bill Davis Jr.
Already, veterans Trent Cole and Brandon Graham will be asked to play defensive end in 4-3 situations and pick their hands off the ground in pass rushing situations as outside linebackers in the 3-4. Should the Birds brass deem a need for more depth on the defensive side of the ball, Israel Idonije could be a fit.
Idonije can play defensive end in the 4-3 or be a five-technique player in the 3-4. Last season for the Chicago Bears, the 32-year old totaled 48 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Linebacker Daryl Smith
On the surface, linebacker does not seem to be a need for the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, if injuries occur during training camp or the pre-season and Daryl Smith's price tag drops, he could be an attractive option for depth purposes.
Last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Smith played in only two games. However, he is versatile enough to play all three linebackers in the 4-3 scheme and be a productive nickel linebacker in passing situations.
Safety Kerry Rhodes
The Eagles' search for a dominant safety continues since allowing Brian Dawkins to walk via free agency in 2009.
Yes, the team signed Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung in free agency and tabbed Earl Wolff in last month's NFL draft. However, Chung remains a question mark and Phillips has yet to suit up during OTA's, and it is expected that he will be brought along slowly given his battles with ACL injuries in recent years.
Should Davis Jr. not see enough from Phillips, or Andy Reid-era holdovers Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson, a player like Kerry Rhodes could be in play if his price tag drops and he remains on the market come preseason.
Last season, Rhodes notched 58 tackles and four interceptions.
WR Brandon Lloyd
Lloyd nearly crossed the 1,000 yard receiving yards plateau last season with the New England Patriots, which would have placed him tops among Eagles receivers in 2012.
It's unlikely that the Eagles add another wide receiver, given the fact that Jason Avant was lining up in some situations at the safety position in OTA's last week, but in Kelly's uptempo offense, there certainly will be plenty of passes to go around and should the team choose to add another receiving option, Lloyd could fit.
OL Jake Scott
With Jason Kelce coming off of an injury, Scott, who finished the season with the Eagles in 2012 and who has played center in the past, could be someone that the team could add as offensive line depth in the event of another injury to the team's starting center.