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Top 10 best available NFL free agents

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Should the Eagles sign any of these players?

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have an open roster spot after trading Brandon Boykin to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team usually likes to be at the 90-man limit so one would expect for them to sign someone soon. (UPDATE: The Eagles signed wide receiver Mike Johnson.)

But just who might that player be? The Eagles could opt to sign a camp body just to eat up some reps, but maybe a proven veteran could pique their interest. After all, the team recently offered a deal to 31-year-old wide receiver James Jones before he signed with the New York Giants.

Here are the top 10 remaining available NFL free agents for the Eagles, in no specific order.

1) Evan Mathis, Offensive Guard

The list starts off with a familiar face. It's been a little less than two months since the Eagles released Mathis and he still hasn't found a job with a new team. It's highly unlikely the Eagles bring him back. Mathis is probably patiently waiting for the right opportunity to strike. He doesn't need to be in a rush for a new deal. The New York Jets recently said they had interest in Mathis but his price was a little too high for their taste.

2) Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver

Despite the fact he turns 37 in November, Wayne doesn't seem to want to retire just yet. The former Colts star likely wants to play for a contender at this point in his career. It remains to be seen if he views the Eagles as one, especially with their lack of a proven quarterback option. Eagles first round pick Nelson Agholor has drawn comparisons to Wayne, so some might figure Wayne could serve as a mentor. However, the Eagles already signed Miles Austin for a veteran leadership role.

3) Brad Smith, Wide Receiver

Wait, Brad Smith is one of the best remaining free agent talent out there? Not exactly, but a return to Philadelphia might make sense if the Eagles get unlucky with multiple injuries at wide receiver and/or the special teams unit. Smith is versatile, knows the system, and can contribute on ST.

4) Zach Miller, Tight End

The Eagles are mostly set at tight end with Brent Celek and Zach Ertz as the main contributors and Trey Burton as a backup. They might prefer to keep a fourth, however, as they have in the past. Burton also might not be able to provide the type of blocking that James Casey used to offer. None of the Eagles' undrafted rookie free agents tight ends have really stood out so far. For what it's worth, Miller finished with the fourth best PFF run blocking grade by tight ends in 2013.

5) Gabe Carimi, Tackle/Guard

Remember a long time ago when Gabe Carimi was incessantly being slotted to the Eagles in mock drafts? The former first round pick has been a big bust in the NFL. He's had more experience at tackle than guard and might not be the best scheme fit, but he's 27 and a low-risk flyer couldn't hurt.

6) Roc Carmichael, Cornerback

Haha, just kidding. But ... the team brought him back for a little bit during the season last year so who knows?

7) Dawan Landry, Safety

The Eagles are dangerously thin at safety, especially if one of the two starters goes down. Here's what I wrote about Landry earlier this offseason: "Landry, brother of LaRon, will turn 33 in late December so he's not the most attractive option for the Eagles. The 6-1, 215 pound veteran would be a stop-gap. One thing Landry has going for him is that he hasn't missed a game since 2008. Aside from that season, he's never played less than all 16 games."

8) Dwight Freeney, Pass Rusher

The 35-year-old Freeney recorded the third most quarterback hurries of any 3-4 outside linebacker last season, according to PFF. He can still provide value as a pass rusher. The Eagles might not be able to rely on him as a run defender, however, and Philadelphia wants outside linebackers who can set the edge.

9) Charlie Johnson, Offensive Guard

BGN's Mark Saltveit wrote about the 31-year-old Johnson earlier this offseason: "Johnson plays both guard and tackle, which might make him an attractive depth addition, though he missed the final 2 games of 2014 with an  injury.  PFF ranks him #52, not quite as bad in run blocking (-3.5) as in pass pro (-5.0), with 4 QB sacks and 8 QB hits. Zone blocking experience."

10) Michael Vick, Quarterback

Oh hey, remember this guy? The 35-year-old Vick doesn't seem to want to retire just yet. In an ideal world, Vick would make for a great third string quarterback behind Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. He'd be an upgrade on Tim Tebow and/or Matt Barkley. But Vick didn't seem to do well with handling the backup role with the Jets last year.


So that's the list. Obviously not a bunch of great options, but that's how the market always is at this time of year. Who do you want the team to sign?