It's been a crazy weekend for the Philadelphia Eagles and 2015 NFL free agency hasn't even officially started. There's been so much news that there's barely been time to react or keep track of it all. Let's take stock of where the Eagles are right now.
Byron Maxwell signs with the Eagles - [Story]
The Eagles have a new starting cornerback in Byron Maxwell. They paid a lot to get him with $25 million in guarantees. Philadelphia desperately needed help in the secondary and they had the cap space to afford him so it could be worth the overpay. Maxwell really fits what the Eagles like in their cornerbacks; he's tall and long.
Jeremy Maclin is gone - [Story]
The Eagles tried their best to keep Jeremy Maclin but the free agent wide receiver is headed to Kansas City to reunite with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. His contract numbers aren't known yet, but it's expected to be above $10 million annually, and it's hard to blame Maclin for taking the big money. The problem for the Eagles now is that they have a huge hole at wide receiver and it might not be easy to fix.
Frank Gore is the Eagles new running back - [Story]
This certainly wasn't expected. Gore will be in 32 in May and that's pretty concerning. However, he's nicknamed "The Inconvenient Truth" for a reason: he keeps churning out 1,000+ yard seasons despite his increasing age. It appears he'll be the main candidate to replace LeSean McCoy in the short-term, but he'll likely split some time with Darren Sproles and perhaps one of Chris Polk/Matthew Tucker/rookie running back. Gore gives the Eagles a power runner for Kelly's inside zone run game. It's fair to question how much he has left in the tank, but he did finish the 2014 season with 302 combined yards in the final two weeks. Some of those came on this impressive run.
Mark Sanchez is back, and he wasn't cheap to keep - [Story]
The Eagles gave Sanchez a two-year deal worth a max value of $16 million with $5.5 million guaranteed. Tim McManus of Birds 24/7 seems to indicate that the Eagles could have a quarterback competition between Sanchez and Nick Foles. That's hardly encouraging for Eagles fans. Or perhaps retaining Sanchez just means the Eagles are planning to use him as a "bridge" quarterback (see: Doug Pederson) to buy time while a rookie develops. Either way, the Sanchize is here to stay.
Good to see for the former Eagles offensive lineman.
Eagles miss out on Devin McCourty despite offering more money - [Story]
Remember when the Eagles offered more money to Randy Moss but he decided to stay with the Patriots instead? Well, it turns out that's exactly what happened with McCourty. The Eagles also missed out on free agent guard target Orlando Franklin.
What is Chip Kelly's plan?
(Besides "f***ing score points!")
There's still a lot of time left for moves to be made. Again, free agency hasn't even started. Right now, however, the Eagles are a hard team to place. I just don't know what to make of them. There are hole all over the roster: outside linebacker, wide receiver, safety, cornerback, and offensive guard. At the same time, this doesn't appear to be a team in a rebuild phase because they just signed a veteran like Frank Gore.
Most critically, the team's quarterback position is unsettled. If the Eagles are truly planning to enter the 2015 season with a Sanchez-Foles quarterback competition as McManus suggests is possible... well, how is anyone really supposed to get excited about that? Those two combined to lead the NFL in turnovers last season. None of the Eagles offseason moves will matter that much if the team gets lackluster play from their quarterbacks again in 2015. Are the Birds really going to get Marcus Mariota? Is Colin Kaepernick an option?
One thing we do know is that Kelly isn't shy about investing resources in the defense. He traded for Kiko Alonso and signed Maxwell. The theory here is that Kelly is trying to stack up defensive talent to take care of that side of the ball while he tries to merely coach up lesser pieces on offense.
More of Kelly's plan will be revealed in the upcoming days.