On Wednesday I covered some defensive free agents that were available and some provided my outlook on who I would try to sign. Hopefully, the Eagles are able to get a few pieces added to their defense. I’m going to do something we are taught as young lads never to do: make assumptions. If we assume the Eagles release Nnamdi, sign a cornerback and 2 safeties, there should be about 25 million dollars left to spend. Subtract 9 million that will be allocated to the rookies the Eagles draft and we should have about 16 million left over. Let’s work from there on offense.
There aren’t as many problems on offense as you would expect with a 4-12 team. Here is how I view this team right now:
Mike Vick is a turnover machine, but also good enough to be starter if, and that’s a big if, provided enough protection and placed in the right scheme. No free agents out there better than Vick that fit this system.
McCoy and Bryce Brown provide a nice 1-2 punch at the RB position. No free agent signings are needed.
Maclin and DeSean are fine WR’s who should fit this fast paced offense well, but remember that Maclin is in his final year of his contract. Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson and Riley Cooper are solid back-up/special teamers, but none of them are ever going to be go-to-receivers.
Brent Celek is coming off a poor season and Clay Harbor showed some life, but was hard to appreciate do to the bad season. Depth is needed and I’d look to acquire a TE via free agency.
The protection last year was extremely bad last season, but I blame that on two things. Andy Reid forcing Vick/Foles to throw way too much and injuries. Jason Peters was THE BEST left tackle in the NFL in 2011 before injuring his Achilles in the Spring of 2012 and I fully expect him to be a cornerstone of the offense in 2013. Evan Mathis was rated by ProFootballFocus.com as one of the best offensive guard in the league in 2012 so I expect much of the same once he gets back. Jason Kelcie was expected to really make a name for himself in 2012 until he got injured. The Eagles won’t be looking for a center. Right guard was a total mess. Danny Watkins was a bust the day they drafted him. I never liked the pick for different reasons (age/need/other rookies available), so an upgrade is needed at this position. Todd Herremans is a solid right tackle who was expected to take on too much responsibility with the injuries along the line. Could move over to right guard if needed.
So when free agency comes next Tuesday I want to address either right tackle or right guard and also try to get an athletic TE. Adding to the offensive line is a must for me. TE is secondary and can be addressed in the draft, but I ‘m still going to throw out some TEs I’d be interested in and help wet your appetite.
After spending some big money to fix the defense, I am going to try to steer away from the top-tier tackles(Volmer, Smith, Long) out there. Not at all interested in Andre Smith as I don’t know if he has the work ethic and/or ability to work in a high paced offense. I want to target one of these three o-lineman.
The New York Jets are losing a good, not great, offensive guard in Brandon Moore. He can be a cheap solution at RG and is slightly above average in pass blocking and run blocking. He is 27 years old so I’d be okay with a 4 year deal.
Another right guard in New York that appeals to me at an affordable price is Booth. You may remember seeing Booth on the Giants for the last 6 years while he won 2 Super Bowls in that span. Nice upgrade over Watson.
If I am looking for someone who might be the next Evan Mathis, I would to go after Geoff Schwartz. He has started 19 games in 6 seasons and could be the cheapest and most efficient addition to the line.
I know these aren’t sexy or even trendy choices for the offensive line, but there aren’t huge issues either other than staying healthy. I’ll still add an offensive lineman for depth within the first 3 rounds of the NFL draft in April, but I like all of these lineman as upgrades over Watson.
I like the Tight Ends in the NFL draft and I am not just talking about the top 2 TE’s, Eiffert and Ertz. But I also would throw out some offers to the free agent TEs if I don’t think or if I don’t get the OL guys that I am interested in. With only 2 TEs on the roster right now, I fully expect the Eagles to draft a TE or sign a TE to get some competition in here. Maybe even both…
USC product Fred Davis is coming off a disappointing season that didn’t allow him to produce much when he was healthy. His role might be diminished in Washington and could be the reason he hasn’t been re-signed there. Athletic TE that this offense needs. Throw him a 1 year ‘prove it’ deal.
The best value in the ‘move’ TE market is Delanie Walker. He is extremely underrated and his athletic ability is impressive. He is the kind of character guy this team needs similar to Leonard Weaver. A lot of local reports suggest the Eagles would be a good fit for Walker and I’ll take it even further than that. In this offense, he could become a Pro Bowl TE. I like him that much.
I would consider in a pretty nice free agency period if the Eagles were able to lock down a guy like Schwartz or Boothe and then also sign Delanie Walker. Signing one lineman and Delanie shouldn’t cost more than 9 million combined which would leave you with 7 mil in cap space if we keep in place the assumptions I made earlier (Nnamdi, rookie allocation). This free agent market doesn’t have Peyton Manning or Mario Williams type players like last year, but there are some players out there that can add to the core. Tuesday can’t come soon enough.