With the Eagles’ offseason already in full swing, arguably the biggest acquisition has already been made in hiring Chip Kelly. With the next phase being free agency, let’s look at a few players the Eagles could and should bring in. First and foremost, the ultimate goal in free agency this year should be for the Eagles to sign Dwayne Bowe (6’2" 221 lbs). I’m so sick and tired of our undersized receivers who get jammed at the line of scrimmage and perpetually avoid contact. I don’t think either DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin would be a number one receiver on very many teams. Hell, I think each of them would be a number three receiver on two teams in our own division with the Giants and Cowboys. Bringing in Dwayne Bowe would give us a big, true number one receiver who would pay huge dividends in the red zone. If Dwayne Bowe were to be signed, I would think long and hard about trading DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin. Look at the top receivers in the league; Calvin Johnson (6’5" 235 lbs), Larry Fitzgerald (6’3" 218 lbs), Andre Johnson (6’3" 230 lbs), AJ Green (6’4" 207 lbs), Dez Bryant (6’2" 220 lbs) and compare them with DeSean Jackson (5’10" 175 lbs) and Jeremy Maclin (6’0" 198 lbs). I’d be willing to bet DeSean Jackson doesn’t weigh 175 lbs in full uniform and pads. Having a big WR that can go up and get the ball makes life so much easier for the QB. Just look at what Calvin Johnson does for Matt Stafford and even what Anquan Boldin did in the AFC Championship game.
Another key area of the offense the Eagles could look to upgrade is RT or RG. Given that Luke Joeckel could very well be taken by Andy Reid’s Chiefs with the number one overall pick, we could stand to find a solid tackle or guard; especially given that there likely could still be some question marks about Jason Peters’ health. I don’t think the big name tackles that people are interested in like Ryan Clady of Denver and Jake Long of Miami will be options. Most reports I’ve read and indicated that resigning Ryan Clady will be Denver’s primary objective. Jake Long’s production has taken a huge hit, not to mention a myriad of injuries, and will likely demand a lot of money. Probably a lot more money than the Eagles are willing to spend for a RT. I also think that if the Dolphins are willing to let a guy like him walk, that says something. A guy I would look at is Buffalo Bills’ guard Andy Levitre. Levitre has been a huge factor in the run game and at age 26, would be a nice young player with a proven track record.
Now, let’s talk about the defense. This defensive unit had so much promise going into the 2012 season and came up short in almost every way imaginable. I can’t tell if it was coaching, personnel, or just a pure lack of heart; probably a combination of all three. The first thing I do this offseason is cut Nnamdi Asomugha. He will likely go down as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, free agent bust in Eagles’ history. He will most certainly not be missed. I think DRC needs to be resigned or at the very least, franchised. There really aren’t any better options on the free agent market than him so why not at least sign the guy you already have? I’d hate to see them have to replace both corners. We all know that the ceiling for DRC is through the roof. I’m hoping he just needs a coach who can light a fire under him and motivate him to play. The safeties are the next big question mark heading into 2013. Both Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen have proven time and time again that they just aren’t NFL material. I’d like to see Kurt Coleman kept around for special teams because I love the passion he plays with; I just don’t want him as one of my starting safeties. There are a number of stud safeties who could be free agents this year but the biggest question is whether or not they actually hit the market. Dashon Goldson of San Francisco and Jarius Byrd of Buffalo are the big names out there but from what I’ve read, I just don’t see Jarius Byrd becoming available and Dashon Goldson will command big bucks. I’m not sure I would want to pay a guy like Goldson who will turn 29 this season. We need to get younger. William Moore of Atlanta could be a guy to bring in and help shore up the secondary, and would come with a much smaller price tag. He seems to have all the attributes you look for in a safety but again, will he become available?
At the end of the day, if the Eagles could sign Dwayne Bowe, Andy Levitre and William Moore, I’d say free agency would be a huge success. These signings would instantly upgrade this team before the draft even starts. They don’t need to be extremely active. We saw what happened in 2011 when you sign every big name out there. They just need a few pieces to fix glaring holes.