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NFL free agency 2014: A case for Nate Allen and the Kansas City Chiefs - Matt Verderame, Arrowhead Pride
In case you live under a rock and missed the entire 2013 season and the subsequent chatter about it, the Kansas City Chiefs have an unbelievably pressing need for a free safety. In this vein, the Chiefs now face an offseason full of potential players to sign, draft or trade for. With the draft holding two marquee safety prospects in Hasean Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor that may, or may not, get to them at No. 23, free agency is a very viable avenue. Enter Nate Allen, four-year free safety of the Philadelphia Eagles out of South Florida. Allen's rookie contract is now up, and it is unclear whether Philadelphia has him in its long-term plans. At only 26 years old, it figures Allen's best days are rapidly approaching, making this the right time to buy some stock.
The Eagles' young players compare favorably to the other NFC East teams - JimmyK, Philly.com
Due in large part to a couple of very strong drafts the last two years, the Eagles have a lot of good players on their roster who are currently 25 years of age or younger. As an added bonus for the Eagles, the rest of the NFC East, with perhaps the surprise exception of the Redskins, lacks quality young talent.
More on the DL - Tommy Lawlor, Iggles Blitz
When Davis was in Arizona, he had Bryan Robinson (6-4, 305) at NT and athletic guys like Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell as the DEs. There was nobody that was massive. Campbell has great length, but not bulk. They did spend a 1st round pick on DL Dan Williams (6-2, 330) in 2010. What we don’t know is if Davis pushed for him or Williams was more of a target of Ken Whisenhunt or the GM. As the Eagles head into the offseason, the team could be similar to the Packers and focus on athletic, versatile DL rather than bulky guys. Davis still wants to 2-gap so he will need players who can engage blockers and shed them, but you don’t have to be 330 pounds to get that done. Something to consider as we look at potential free agent and draft targets.
All-22: The Jairus Byrd Question - Sheil Kapadia, Birds 24/7
On the surface, Jairus Byrd appears to be a near-perfect fit. That’s why he’s the free agent Birds 24/7 readers have asked about the most in recent weeks. Byrd played his college ball at Oregon, and for two seasons while he was there, Chip Kelly was the Ducks’ offensive coordinator. At 27, he is a three-time Pro Bowler and appears set to hit the open market. At this point, we don’t even need to discuss the need for the Eagles to upgrade at safety. It’s been a position of weakness for five straight years, and the personnel whiffs have led to struggles on the back end of the Birds’ defense.
Offseason outlook: Offensive line - Zach Berman, Inquirer
In the draft, the Eagles are always looking for developmental players. Considering the age of the offensive line, it would be prudent to continue adding youth. That is especially the case on the interior offensive line. The top interior offensive linemen in the draft are Stanford’s David Yankey and UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo. Alabama’s Anthony Steen suffered a late-season injury, but he started for Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland at Alabama. That familiarity could be a benefit. Penn State’s John Urschel is a potential late-round pick. It would help if the Eagles can find someone who can player center or guard, so the center prospects are also worth monitoring.
Random Thoughts, Things I Think - Dave Spadaro, PE.com
Maybe the one player who has the chance to take a really noticeable jump when practice begins again is quarterback Matt Barkley. Let's see how he looks completely healthy, with a full offseason under him and a complete knowledge in the system. The backup quarterback position is one that is hugely important, one that I'm watching closely. Who backs up Nick Foles? Barkley is going to get a lot of reps and can put himself in a good position here with a strong showing. Meanwhile, we see what free agency holds for Michael Vick.
'Punch the Commissioner': An oral history of the NFL Draft's most storied tradition - Jon Bois, SBN NFL
Every year at the NFL Draft, a player gets drafted, walks onstage, and punches commissioner Roger Goodell in the face. Here's a look back on the most time-honored tradition in football.