NFL Free Agency, one of the most exciting times of the offseason, is almost here. The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a disappointing 7-9 season where they failed to make the playoffs for the second year in a row. Chip Kelly got fired and now Doug Pederson is the head coach. With Kelly out as a general manager, Howie Roseman is essentially back in charge of player personnel. To his credit, Roseman's done a good job of re-signing the team's own players so far. The Eagles still have a bunch of needs to address, however. It's now up to the Birds to fill those roster holes and add talent to the roster by signing players who are available out on the unrestricted free agent market.
This comprehensive 2016 NFL free agency primer has you covered with everything you need to know regarding this year's process.
Time and Dates
March 7 (noon ET) through March 9 - Three day window of negotiating, unofficial start of free agency: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2015 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9.
March 9 (4:00 PM ET) - Official start of free agency: The 2015 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time. The first day of the 2016 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9. clubs will receive a Personnel Notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9.
Where can I keep track of all the rumors?
Right here at Bleeding Green Nation, of course. Click here for the official 2016 NFL free agency Eagles rumors tracker. Bookmark that link and check back often.
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How much cap space do the Eagles have?
The Eagles have about $17.5 million after giving Sam Bradford a new contract. That ranks for the 21st most space in the NFL. It's not a ton, and a lot of teams have more, but it's enough for them to fill some holes.
Who are the Eagles' own free agents?
A total of 6 players are scheduled to hit the market.
S Walter Thurmond
CB Nolan Carroll
DE Cedric Thornton
DB E.J. Biggers
WR Seyi Ajirotutu
QB Thad Lewis
Who should the Eagles re-sign?
Here's who the Eagles should and shouldn't keep.
Which Eagles players could be cut in order to save cap space (cap casualty)?
The Eagles have already started this process by removing veterans such as Riley Cooper and DeMeco Ryans from the roster. More cuts/trades could be on the way.
What are the Eagles' biggest positions of need?
This BGN poll shows that 48% of Eagles fans think offensive line is the biggest need. The Birds need two new starting guards, and adding at least one in free agency is probably necessary. Safety is also a huge position of need if the Eagles don't bring Walter Thurmond back. They'll need a new starter to pair with Malcolm Jenkins. The good news for the Eagles is that there are a number of guard and safety options in free agency. Philadelphia also might want to add a veteran wide receiver this offseason. The pass catcher market isn't great so they might have to go bargain hunting.
Which notable free agents are there at the Eagles' positions of need?
Check out this list from Rotoworld. It includes every position. Here's a sampling of what's available at the Eagles biggest needs.
Walter Thurmond III
Who do Eagles fans want in free agency?
Bengals safety George Iloka is a popular target among Eagles fans. Over 91% of voters in this poll want Philadelphia to sign him. Chiefs guard Jeff Allen, who is reportedly on the Eagles' radar, is another popular name.
How does the NFL draft factor into free agency plans?
The Eagles own nine picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, including No. 13 overall. They obviously don't own their second round selection, so that hurts a bit. This year's safety class isn't too heavy at the top so that could pressure the Eagles into getting their guy in free agency. On the other hand, there's a lot of offensive line talent in this draft. The Eagles won't necessarily have to sign two new guards because they might be able to find a rookie. Ideally the Eagles will be able to plug their roster holes in free agency so that it frees them up to take the best available player at any position in the draft.
Question about Marcus Mariota even though it makes no sense in this post?
Once again, BGN will have full coverage of this year's free agency period. Stay tuned to the site for every rumor, report, update, signing, trade, etc. The news will happen fast, so check back often. It should be a fun off-season for the Eagles. Let's spend it together.