NFL free agency is almost here! The chaos all begins tomorrow, Tuesday March 12th at 4:00 PM EST sharp. While we wait, let's take a look at some predictions.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld recently released a list of the top 100 NFL free agents. His stated objective is "to give you a feel for the best players available, where they might fit, and how much money they might cost."
Here's a look at who he predicted the Eagles to sign and my take on the predictions.
5. Free safety Dashon Goldson -- Goldson wants Eric Weddle money -- $8 million per year -- and he's earned it while emerging as the league's premier cover safety. The 49ers never gave serious consideration to franchise tagging Goldson, and appear to have washed their hands. Philadelphia has cap space to pay Goldson, and new VP of Player Personnel Tom Gamble was in San Francisco's front office during Goldson's development. He'd fill a gaping need at free safety.
Free Agent Forecast: Eagles on a five-year, $40.5 million contract.
I'm not a big fan of this move. The positives about Goldson are he can create turnovers and play well in pass coverage. He's not a great tackler though. In fact, Goldson is 54th out of 58 safeties (min. 50% snaps) in tackling efficiency (pass coverage). He had 33 tackles and 8 missed tackles in 2013. In the run game he was 22 out of 57 and had 24 tackles to 4 missed tackles. His overall combined tackling efficiency ranks him at 43rd out of 58 safeties. Also ranked 43rd is Kurt Coleman. Ranked 46 is Nate Allen. That kind of play isn't worth $8M a year.
23. Wide receiver Danny Amendola -- The Rams don't value Amendola at $6 million per year, which is probably his floor after Brian Hartline's deal. He's likely to leave St. Louis. Amendola would be a sensible Patriots fallback option if Wes Welker departs Foxboro. If not, Amendola has been linked to the Eagles as a more dynamic replacement for Jason Avant. Chip Kelly's offense spreads the field with four and five wideouts, and explosive slot receivers are a necessity.
Free Agent Forecast: Eagles on a three-year, $18.5 million contract.
Depending on how Chip Kelly decides to design his offense, this could be a wise signing. I love Jason Avant. He has amazing hands, blocks well, runs great routes, and generally does a lot for the Eagles on and off the field. Where he lacks is YAC ability and even kick/punt returning ability which can Amendola can offer. Chip might a guy like that over Avant. I'm not strongly compelled about this deal either way, but it's surely interesting one to think about.
53. Right tackle Eric Winston -- The Eagles were among the first teams to reach out to Winston following his March 6 release by Kansas City. Athletic and an impact run blocker on the move, he's a fit for Chip Kelly's up-tempo, zone-read offense. The addition of Winston would allow Philadelphia to kick right tackle Todd Herremans inside to guard, shoring up two weak spots.
Free Agent Forecast: Eagles on a four-year, $22.5 million contract.
I have my concerns about Winston as a pass blocker but his run blocking could prove valuable. PFF ranked him as the 26th best overall T and the 9th best RT. At $5.5M a year he could a solid addition to the Eagles OL.
74. Cornerback Greg Toler -- Toler appeared to be an up-and-coming star under Arizona defensive coordinator Bill Davis in 2010, starting 13 games and recording 90 tackles to go with two interceptions. An ACL tear wiped out his 2011 campaign, but Toler bounced back strong in 11 appearances last season. Davis is now the Eagles' defensive coordinator, and Philly needs corner help. The Eagles also have enough salary cap room to make interested teams go away.
Free Agent Forecast: Eagles on a three-year, $13.5 million contract.
The Bill Davis connection sure makes sense. Signing Toler could help fill one of two likely open CB spots without spending a ridiculous amount of money.
85. Defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois -- A Swiss-army-knife down lineman, Jean-Francois can play end and nose in the 3-4 and tackle in the 4-3. While not quite a special talent, Jean-Francois' versatility and age (26) make him attractive. The Niners do not expect him back.
Free Agent Forecast: Eagles on a three-year, $12 million contract.
RJF could turn out to be a valuable addition because he's a potential starter at 3-4 DE or at worst a backup at every DL position. This addition would probably also come with the approval of Tom Gamble, which is an encouraging sign.
Do you like these predictions? What would you change?