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NFL Rumors: Eagles front-runners to sign Byron Maxwell in free agency

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Will the Eagles land the NFL's top free agent cornerback?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to a rumor from Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net, the Philadelphia Eagles appear to be the front-runner for the services of impending free agent cornerback Byron Maxwell. Via @TonyPauline:

"Present word has the Philadelphia Eagles as front runners for cornerback Byron Maxwell."

Pauline also reports that he's hearing the Seattle Seahawks defensive back is set to earn a big contract. Just how big?

"Yesterday I mentioned how hot the free agent cornerback market will be. Early numbers I'm hearing are $10 mill/annually for Byron Maxwell."

That's a lot of money. $10 million annually would make Maxwell the NFL's sixth highest paid cornerback on an average per year basis.

It's no secret that Maxwell has been on the mind of Eagles' fans. In a poll earlier this month, nearly 40% of voters identified Maxwell as a free agent that the Eagles NEED to sign. Philadelphia has a glaring need at cornerback with Bradley Fletcher scheduled to enter free agency (and unlikely to return) while Cary Williams could potentially be a cap casualty. Here's what I wrote about Maxwell earlier this month.

"Maxwell's name is the first that comes to mind. First of all, it seems like there's a pretty decent chance he'll hit the market considering Seahawks players such as Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner are due for contract extensions. Maxwell will be 27 by the start of free agency. His 6-1, 207 pound size fits what the Eagles like out of their cornerbacks. Even better, he has very long arms at 33.5 inches. Maxwell would give the Eagles a reliable starter. Unlike Nnamdi Asomugha with the Raiders, Maxwell was targeted often because he was playing opposite of Richard Sherman."

Seahawks' GM John Schneider indicated that Seattle would like to keep Maxwell, but also seemed aware that the market price could be too high. One Seattle reporter think there is "no way" that Maxwell returns to the Seahawks.

NFL free agency doesn't begin until March 10 (though the "legal tampering" period begins on March 7), so there is still a lot of time for things to change. For now, this rumor makes sense. The Eagles have ample cap space and a need at the position. This will certainly be a situation to keep an eye on.