NFL free agency hasn't started yet. Neither has the three day window that starts tomorrow (Saturday 3/8) where teams can start negotiating with free agents. But the rumors are already starting to appear.
Tim McManus of Birds 24/7 is reporting that the Eagles are showing interest in a big name free agent, and no, it's not a safety. According to McManus, the player the Eagles are interested in is Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson. Johnson just recently turned 27 and has great size at 6-7, 270 pounds.
The Eagles, among other teams, are reportedly looking him as a 3-4 outside linebacker despite his current status as a 4-3 defensive end in the Bengals' scheme. Another concern is the type of money Johnson will demand. He's one of the top players on the market, so he won't come cheap. The Eagles will have to be willing to spend big in order to get him. It's worth noting the Eagles do have a lot of cap space to work with.
Johnson has recorded a career 26.5 sacks in 79 games played (45 started) with the Bengals. He's been with the Bengals since they drafted him with the 70th overall pick in the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Another name McManus mentions the Eagles could have interest in is Packers LB Mike Neal. Neal, 26, converted to OLB last season for the Packers. McManus notes a move for Neal would be more of a less-expensive depth option.
It's no surprise to see the Eagles interested in upgrading their pass rush, which was pedestrian in 2013. It is interesting to see the Eagles willing to spend big money on an outside linebacker. Current starters Trent Cole and Connor Barwin are already in place. Barwin seems like a lock to return, but Cole's future isn't as clear.
Either way, Johnson and Neal are just two names to keep an eye on for now. Free agency is almost here... are you excited yet?