Here are 5 Defensive UFA names that the Eagles should absolutely target this offseason. None of the 5 is a "big name" player, yet all are fairly young (in their prime, or entering their prime) and will be very reasonable to sign, financially.
With these free agents, we get a whole new linebacking corp. I like Dunbar manning the MIKE, Hawthorne as the SAM, and Wesley as the WILL. Chaney's health is a question mark. I like Rolle, but I have to wonder if he has the size to hold-up an entire season. Matthews needs more time for development. Clayton is best suited for passing downs, or in nickel formations. Jordan should be kept as a reserve/ST player. Let Jordan and Clayton battle it out in training camp. Fokou is gone.
With these moves, our LB depth would look like this:
WILL-Woodyard, Rolle, Clayton
MIKE-Dunbar, Hawthorne, Chaney, Matthews
SAM-Hawthorne, Chaney, Jordan
DT-Jason Jones makes perfect sense for the Eagles. He is very familiar with Washburn, and the Wide 9. He is still fairly young, and his potential is not yet fully tapped.He could possibly even start over Patterson, depending on Patterson's health after surgery. And, he provides us with great depth:
DT-Jenkins, Patterson, J. Jones, Dixon, Landri
S-Steve Gregory is exactly what the Eagles need. A player with solid experience, and who can play either safety position. Do I want Gregory to be our starter in 2012? No, I want our high draft picks (Allen and Jarrett) to pan out. Do I want the intensity that Gregory will bring with him to training camp, to help push these young players? Absolutely. Do I want him as solid depth to our Safety corp? Yes please. And, he would do just that:
SS-Jarrett, Coleman, Gregory
5 players on defense...5 relatively inexpensive players on defense. This would make a world of a difference for this unit, and it provides the FO to truly draft the best player on the board in this year's draft.