NFL free agency is only one week away, but some of the big names have already come off the market. BGN recapped the flurry of franchise tag tenders/non-tenders yesterday. One of the key takeaways from these moves was that the top two free agent 3-4 outside linebackers were tagged.
The Redskins placed the franchise tag on Brian Orakpo, which means he won't be leaving D.C. this year. The Steelers, however, placed the transition tag on Jason Worilds. That meant any team could sign Worilds to an offer sheet to try to pry him away from Pittsburgh. That won't be the case now. Worilds has signed his tender and he won't be leaving the Steelers anytime soon.
Interestingly enough, Worilds was rumored to be an Eagles target. The report comes everyone's favorite NFL insider: Jason La Canfora. While the Eagles could use an upgrade at 3-4 OLB, it's fair to question the validity of Canfora's report. It would have taken a big offer sheet to leverage the Steelers into not matching the price. Then there's the matter of finding a starting role for Worilds in the defense. Connor Barwin isn't going anywhere, so the Eagles would have to part ways with Trent Cole in order to open up a starting spot. It remains to be seen if the Eagles are ready to part with Cole. Signs seem to indicate he will be around for at least one more year.
In any case, this all means that the 3-4 OLB market is really thinning out. Here are the top 5 remaining free agent OLBs as ranked by Rotoworld:
It's hard to see the Eagles dishing out big money to players like these. Perhaps their best course of action will be to bring in depth through free agency and hope to come away with a more long-term answer in the 2014 NFL Draft.