Chip Kelly broke his longstanding offseason silence on Friday night when he spoke to the Philadelphia media at the Maxwell Football Club Awards in Atlantic City. Kelly was there to receive his MFC Coach of the Year honors. He touched on a number of topics, all of which Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com covered here.
One thing that stood out, which may come as a disappointment to some, was a question if there's still more come for the Eagles in free agency. Kelly's response: "I really don't think so." Kelly's quote far from precludes the Eagles from being involved in more signings or trades this offseason, but it's true that the Eagles are probably done making the bulk of their moves.
Kelly doesn't think the Eagles' roster is without its' needs, though. "We still have some holes in terms of being a complete football team. You can fill some of them in free agency, but we still have a ways to go," Kelly explained. So what specific areas of need are Kelly talking about? He didn't elaborate, of course, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate as to what he meant.
Entering free agency, safety was the biggest need for the Eagles from a body standpoint. They only had two safeties on the roster with the release of Patrick Chung. The Eagles added a new starter in Malcolm Jenkins and a backup/special teams player in Chris Maragos. It looks like there is one more starting spot up for grabs. Perhaps the Eagles could bring in one of the free agent safeties still available, or take one in the 2014 NFL Draft. Or both.
Wide receiver was a huge need prior to free agency until the Eagles re-signed both Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper. The team made a subtraction by releasing long time slot receiver Jason Avant. Darren Sproles, who is "officially" listed as a running back, was brought in via trade. Sproles lined up in the slot ~40% in 2013. This position looks solid, but I'm not sure the Eagles are completely done here. Maclin is only signed to a one-year deal and Cooper is coming off what some would call a possible one-year wonder season. Not to mention there's the DeSean Jackson trade speculation which just won't die. The Eagles could still look to add a receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft given the talent and depth in the draft class.
Pass rush is definitely an area where the Eagles need to improve upon in 2014, but so far nothing has been done to address the position this offseason. The Eagles have been linked to a number of pass rushers this offseason but haven't landed any. Rumored interests include: Jason Worilds, Dion Jordan, Michael Johnson, and Mike Neal. It looks like the Eagles will be bringing back both of their OLB starters from 2013 in Connor Barwin and Trent Cole. But finding Cole's replacement, and playing him in rotation, could be a priority for the Eagles in the draft as well.
There are some other areas where the Eagles could use improvement too. The offensive and defensive lines could both use more depth behind the starters. The backup QB picture needs to be solved. The Eagles need to find a future replacement for DeMeco Ryans on the inside. A new kicker will be brought in to compete with Alex Henery. And so on.
Before free agency started, BGN took a poll asking "What is the Eagles biggest need heading into the offseason?" Safety was the top answer, and pass rush came in second. Now that free agency is (mostly?) over, let's revisit that activity. Vote in the poll below.