As this year’s season comes to a close, there are ten Philadelphia Eagles whose contracts are due to expire. Of the group, there is one restricted free agent, one exclusive rights free agent and eight unrestricted free agents. The franchise management has some important decisions to make as they assemble their roster. Which of these players will be back next season? Here is my opinion on which free agents will stay and which will go.
Nate Allen (S) The former second-round pick has had a pretty great season under Billy Davis‘ coaching. He started all 17 games and accumulated 94 tackles this season. Even though the 2013 season was arguably one of his best, I still think that it would be a better decision to let him go. Extending his contract is unnecessary; the Eagles should pick up a younger and more versatile safety for the 2014 season. GO.
Colt Anderson (S) He’s a decent special teams player but not multi-talented enough to keep around. It’s time to let him go. GO.
Kurt Coleman (S) I’m sort of indifferent about Coleman. He’s not terrible, but I doubt he would start in Philadelphia. If anything Chip Kelly would keep him as a backup safety, but I have a feeling Coleman will seek out a starting spot elsewhere. GO.
Riley Cooper (WR) This is a no-brainer. Not only can Cooper block, but he and Nick Foles are the perfect duo. Cooper is one of Foles’ most frequent targets. The two have developed a great connection this season, and I’m looking forward to what they’ll be able to do in 2014. Letting go of him would be silly. STAY.
Clifton Geathers (DE) He’s nothing special and didn’t do much this season, so Geathers could easily be replaced. GO.
Phillip Hunt (LB – Restricted) Hunt was an outside linebacker, fitting perfectly for a 4-3 defense. He’s a player that was cast off with Davis’ move to a 3-4 defense. Ultimately, there is no need for him. Recovering from a partially torn ACL injury, I doubt he’ll make the 2014 roster. GO.
Donnie Jones (P) Jones set the single season franchise record with a 40.4-yard net punting average and holds the franchise record for punts inside the 20-yard line. That left leg is gold! STAY.
Jeremy Maclin (WR) Maclin missed the 2013 season with a torn ACL. I wonder how the Eagles offense would’ve performed in 2013 if the former first-round pick were healthy. The entire offense improved under Chip Kelly’s coaching, and that makes me especially curious to see how Maclin would improve being coached by the Chip man as well. I’d like Howie to keep him to see what he’s got! STAY.
Cedric Thronton (DE – Exclusive Rights) He completed the season as one of the Eagles’ top defenders. Thornton had 60 tackles and started all 17 games. STAY.
Michael Vick (QB) Kelly loves to have a stack of quarterbacks on his roster, and he’d like to have Vick continue with the Eagles as backup to starting quarterback Nick Foles. Nonetheless, Vick wants a starting spot, so the chance of him returning to Philadelphia in 2014 is highly unlikely. The Texans and the Browns are in need of quarterbacks, and I believe one of those teams will take a chance on the 34-year-old quarterback. GO.
Emily Henning is an NFL contributor for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilyphenning