The Eagles offseason has officially gotten underway and although they’d rather be eyeing up a rematch with the Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl, there is one good thing that comes from a season that ends too early. The ability to get ahead on scouting free agents and the offseason.
Philadelphia has a long list of pending free agents and will need Howie to work the cap to perfection like always in order to bring in some dynamic pieces this offseason…Let’s take a look at some of the players on the market that could replace some of those pending free agents.
OUT: JAY AJAYI IN: TEVIN COLEMAN
Ajayi was a vital piece of the Super Bowl run last season but his health failed him once again this year. It is evident the Eagles need a reliable back to handle the workload at the top spot of the depth chart. The offense is set up for a rotation, but with the perfect piece in place, it will become that much more dynamic.
Tevin Coleman is not the perfect number one running back the Eagles need, but with no severe knee injuries through his first four years and coming off a down season, he could be that piece.
Coleman has missed just 8 regular season games since entering the league in 2014. He has averaged 4.4 yards per carry and is a dual threat – collecting 29 touchdowns in four years. According to spotrac.com, he is expected to have a market value close to 4yrs/$20 million. However, we see him getting a deal similar to Jerrick McKinnon (4yrs/$30 mil) who signed last season with the 49ers.
OUT: GOLDEN TATE IN: NELSON AGHOLOR
Giving up a 3rd round pick for Golden Tate finally paid off. As the Eagles were on life-support in Chicago, Foles hit Tate for the winning touchdown with under a minute left. Although it sounds like Golden REALLY wants to remain an Eagle, his market value when compared to other WRs his age that still productive tends to see double-digit salaries.
Emanuel Sanders, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson all earned multi-year contracts worth a base salary of at least $9.5 million per year after the age of 29 or older. Simply put, Tate is just too rich for their taste.
Nelson Agholor could be the guy to replace him as the Eagles picked up the 2019 option before last season that will pay Nelly a base salary close to $9.4 million. Agholor struggled out of the gate but did match his receiving production by year’s end. If he is inserted back into the slot, we could see him become the long-term answer for the loss of Tate.
Keep an eye out on the wide receiver market however as there are a number of young options available. Tyrell Williams is sparking interest, especially at the projected 9.6 million price tag. Williams is 4 years younger than Tate.
OUT: JORDAN HICKS IN: DEONE BUCANNON
Jordan Hicks is an elite linebacker when on the field. Unfortunately, he has been plagued by injuries since college. With Hicks struggling to finish the season once again, it is likely he will a cheap piece to keep. There will likely be a lack of interest around the league.
I actually think he remains with the Eagles in 2019 on a “prove it” deal and Philadelphia looks to draft his replacement in April. However, Deone Bucannon is one of those guys who is very intriguing. Bucannon averaged 92 tackles a season during his first four years. He is versatile and would cost considerably less than a guy like Kwon Alexander.
OUT: BRANDON GRAHAM IN: DANTE FOWLER
Brandon Graham is another veteran who deep down in his heart would love to remain with the Eagles. Unfortunately for him, there is a large list of defensive ends who will be testing the market. As a result, he will know his value pretty soon.
The Eagles are in an odd spot with the possibility that both Chris Long and Graham are not on the team in 2019. They still have Michael Bennett under contract and a returning Derek Barnett. I expect either Long or Graham to return.
Looking at the market, however, the two cheaper and younger options are Ezekiel Ansah and Dante Fowler. With Ansah excepted to get $12 million+ per year, it would be hard to pay any of these options. (Graham is expected to see $15 million+ per year according to Spotrac)
OUT: NICK FOLES IN: BRETT HUNDLEY
The Super Bowl Kid. Every day it seems more and more likely the Eagles will let Nick Foles walk. They could franchise tag and trade him, but there must be a partner in place to do so. There are quite a few names here that could be the next back up. One being Nate Sudfeld…However, he too is a restricted free agent.
There are a number of names out there, but none are really intriguing. Brett Hundley and Trevor Siemian are at the top of the list. They would likely see a 2-3 year deal for $15 million on the open market. If not Sudfeld, the Eagles may sign one of these two and draft a backup.
More to come…