With the offseason officially in full swing at Philly Football Talk, today we take a look at what will be two of the most talked about positions for the Eagles: Wide Receiver and Running Back.
Will the Eagles dive into wide receiver free agent pool? Expect a lot of talk and rumors as we approach free agency, but I wouldn’t expect the Eagles to overpay and bring in a guy like Alshon Jeffery. DeSean Jackson coming back to the city is a real possibility, but he will have heavy interest from other teams and won’t be super cheap. If his desire to come back matches the Eagles desire to have him back, I think they can find some middle ground.
Some other free agent names to consider are Terrelle Pryor, Pierre Garcon, Kenny Britt, among others. One thing is certain, the Eagles CAN NOT afford to come into 2017 without adding a free agent, even if it’s a veteran guy like Anquan Boldin.
The team will likely add a receiver or two (or three) in the draft, but will they use their first rounder on the position? Corey Davis and Mike Williams are two players you will hear a lot about in the coming months.
As far as the current players, unless the Eagles can find a trade partner, Nelson Agholor will be here in 2017. According to overthecap.com, it would cost almost 5 million dollars against the cap to cut Agholor, while just over 2.5 million to keep him. The team isn’t going to cut him just to cut him and since it will cost them more to cut than keep, expect him to remain for at least 2017. A trade would work out better for the team, costing them just over 2.5 million against the cap.
Jordan Matthews is entering the final year of his contract in 2017. If Matthews is going to be here long term, you’d think that he gets extended this offseason, unless he’s asking for way more money than the Eagles are willing to offer. It’s tough because Matthews is the only legitimate wide receiver on this roster, but I don’t have a lot of interest in spending big time money to keep him. How much is he likely to ask for? Rams receiver Tavon Austin received a 4 year 42 million contract last offseason with 17 million in guarantees. Matthews has been the superior player so far their NFL careers, so expect a good percentage more than that.
Dorian Green-Beckham didn’t show much during his first season in Philadelphia, with just 36 receptions for 392 yards and 2 touchdowns, but with little receiver talent on the roster and a very manageable contract, I’d think he’s back in 2017. Paul Turner and Bryce Treggs will be competing for spots in training camp.
Even before his neck injury, Ryan Matthews was a strong candidate to be cut by the team. He’s due to count 5 million dollars against the cap with the Eagles saving 4 million by cutting him. Too much money for a guy who’s inconsistent and can’t stay on the field. The neck injury just makes it a lock that he’s not back, at least not at his current salary.
Darren Sproles signed a one-year extension during training camp and will be with the team in 2017. The big question is what the Eagles do from here. Do they roll with the young guys they have (Smallwood, Barner, Marshall) or invest a draft pick in another young back. If you survey the early mock drafts already floating around, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook’s name comes up for the Eagles quite a bit. I’m not normally a guy who holds a high value on running backs, but Cook is a dynamic playmaker who would help the offense immediately. Will be interesting to see how Howie views the situation. I’d bet that if he drafts a running back, it would be in later rounds. The Bears found Jordan Howard in the 5th round and he was spectacular in his rookie season.
Not a lot of intriguing names on the list of free agents at the position, but there might be some good value on a veteran who could come in and add experience and depth to the group.