2015 NFL free agency is almost here. The chaos all officially begins today, Tuesday, March 10 at 4:00 PM ET sharp. While we wait, let's take a look at some predictions. Evan Silva of Rotoworld released his annual free agency forecast. His stated objective is "to give you a feel for the best players available, where they might fit, and how much money they might cost."
Here's a look at who he predicted the Eagles to sign and my take on the predictions.
"3. Cornerback Byron Maxwell -- 6-foot and 202 pounds, Maxwell is a plus-sized press corner with experience guarding both the perimeter and slot. He has six interceptions over the past two seasons and is a former standout college special teamer with plus tackling ability. There were whispers of the Seahawks making a late push to re-sign Maxwell, but he's destined for cornerback-needy Philadelphia. Cary Williams is expected to replace Maxwell in Seattle.
Free Agent Forecast: Eagles on a six-year, $63 million contract."
This one is obvious. The Eagles have already reportedly agreed to a deal with Maxwell. The Birds were really in desperate need of cornerback help so he immediately fills a huge need. He really fits the ideal profile of a Philadelphia corner with his size and length. Maxwell may no longer have Earl Thomas playing behind him but he'll also no longer be playing across from Richard Sherman, meaning teams won't necessarily be throwing at him as much.
"26. Cornerback Tramon Williams -- A savvy veteran corner entering the twilight of his career, Williams turns 32 next week and may soon sign his final NFL contract. The Packers are expected to choose between re-signing Williams and Davon House, who is six years younger. The Eagles and Seahawks have been expected to pursue Williams. With Cary Williams reportedly headed to Seattle, Tramon (no relation) figures to land in Philly if the Packers pick House.
Free Agent Forecast: Eagles on a three-year, $18 million contract."
As Silva notes, the Eagles are reportedly interested in pairing Maxwell with veteran Tramon Williams. The veteran would certainly be an upgrade on what the Eagles had last year. A Maxwell and Williams duo wouldn't be too shabby.
"43. Running back Ryan Mathews -- The Eagles traded LeSean McCoy, then pursued Mark Ingram and Frank Gore in free agency. It seems Chip Kelly is intent on implementing an inside zone-power run game emphasizing north-south running after McCoy's east-west style left yards on the field last season. Mathews is as fragile as they come, but his running mentality would fit the revised system. I also fully expect the Eagles to use a draft pick at running back, quite possibly in the early rounds.
Free Agent Forecast: Eagles on a two-year, $8 million contract."
I don't disagree that the Eagles are probably looking for a power runner. Gore backing out of his contract is an annoyance for the Birds. Mathews' durability issues are a big concern.
What about former Eagles players?
"5. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin -- Maclin reportedly agreed to terms with the Chiefs on Sunday, and will head to Kansas City on a deal worth $11 million annually. His fantasy football outlook will take a major blow playing in Andy Reid's spread-the-wealth passing offense with risk-averse quarterback Alex Smith.
Free Agent Forecast: Chiefs on a five-year, $55 million contract."
Yeah, this one has already been reported. The Eagles didn't want to pay Maclin the $11 million so he got it from the Chiefs instead.
"41. Edge rusher Trent Cole -- Cole was cut by the Eagles, but still has gas in the tank at age 32. Pro Football Focus gave him positive pass-rush and run-defense grades last season. Cole has a history with Colts GM Ryan Grigson -- a former scouting director in Philadelphia -- and Indianapolis is in severe need of edge-rush help.
Free Agent Forecast: Colts on a three-year, $15 million contract."
Todd Herremans has already landed in Indy. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Cole join him.
Here's where Silva projected some of the players who I think the Eagles could target in free agency:
S Rahim Moore - Giants
RB C.J. Spiller - Jets
CB Antonio Cromartie - Jets
OG Clint Boling - Vikings
CB Davon House - Packers
RB Frank Gore - Colts
WR Michael Crabtree - Texans