NFL free agency officially began Tuesday at 4 p.m. and conflicting reports have said the Eagles could act very quickly or very little. While there are a lot of spots the team needs to improve upon, particularly defense, and $19 million in cap room, the Birds may not be as aggressive as many fans want them to be.
That being said, lets take a look at some of the free agents the Eagles could spend some time talking to.
Darrelle Revis, cornerback: Does Revis come with baggage? Sure. But has that stopped the Eagles from signing a big free agent cornerback before? Lets see, there were Namdi Asomugha,Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel, just to name a few. According to League sources, Tampa Bay will likely cut ties with the one-time shut down corner for the Jets. And according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles and Patriots are two teams to watch when Revis is dropped. Three others the Eagles should consider at cornerback are Antonio Cromarte, Corey Graham and Champ Bailey.
Jairus Byrd, safety: Arguably the biggest weakness for the Eagles heading into next season was at the safety position. Byrd is among the headliners in the free agent class as far as the secondary goes. In five years with the Bills, Byrd has 22 interceptions, 33 pass breakups and 11 forced fumbles. He is a playmaker, and the Eagles would love to have a game-changer like him. Other possible safety pick ups include T.J. Ward, Malcom Jenkins and Mike Mitchell.
Mike Neal, outside linebacker: After a breakout season with the Packers, the one-time defensive end could be a good fit for the Birds and their 3-4 defense. However, Neal is not a primary pass rushing threat. Three other pass rushers the Eagles could give a call are O’Brien Schofield, Lamarr Houston and Rob Jackson. All three are durable defensive playmakers.
Devin Hester, kick returner, wide receiver: The Eagles are pretty set at receiver, but aside from DeSean Jackson, who has been a return man with more rarity, there is no special teams sparkplug on next year’s squad. The positives are obvious, he is a future hall of famer and perhaps the greatest return man of all time. But Chip Kelly puts a premium on players who are versatile and Hester will likely not contribute anywhere aside from on special teams. Speedster Ted Ginn is another possibility here.
Dan Carpenter, kicker: Last year with the Bills, Carpenter was good on 33 of 36 field goal attempts. In addition to accuracy, he has strength, posting 50-yard field goal makes in each of his six seasons. He also has a career long of 60 yards. Current Eagles kicker Alex Henery was a bit of a disappointment last season. At the very least, expect Henery to face some competition in camp for the starting gig, whether it’s Carpenter or not. Graham Gano is another candidate.