It’s a slow time in the NFL offseason. There hasn’t been a lot of real Eagles news lately. That should change soon, though, with the NFL Combine starting up next week. And then NFL free agency kicks off shortly after that on March 9.
While we wait for the Eagles to be in the news (do something already, Eagles!), here’s a look at a list of offseason suggestions put together by ESPN. Bill Barnwell came up with five moves each NFC East team should make.
1 - Cut or trade Connor Barwin, Mychal Kendricks and Ryan Mathews.
This is a no-brainer.
Barwin is too ineffective to return next season, even if he takes a pay cut. PFF notes he was one of the least effective edge rushers last season. The Eagles can save $7.75 million by cutting/trading him. One report suggest Barwin has trade value.
The injury-prone Mathews turn 30 years old in October. It remains to be seen if he’ll ever play again after suffering a neck injury late last season. The Eagles can save $ million by cutting/trading him.
The 26-year-old Kendricks has some talent but he’s clearly fallen out of favor with the current coaching staff in part due to his erratic play. The Eagles are reportedly looking to trade him. The Eagles can save $1.8 million by cutting/trading him.
Getting rid of these three players saves the Eagles $13.55 million.
The Eagles can save even more money by cutting/trading Jason Kelce ($3.8 million) and Allen Barbre ($2.1 million), which is reportedly possible. Add in the savings from those potential departure and the Eagles would be up to nearly $20 million.
2 - Explore the possibility of re-signing Bennie Logan.
This is a tough one.
If the salary cap wasn’t an issue (unfortunately it is), keeping Logan would be an easy call. He’s a pretty good player who gives great effort. He’s also a well-liked locker room guy who does nice work in the community. The organization loves having him around.
The problem is Logan might fetch a bigger deal than what he’s worth to the Eagles. It doesn’t seem like there’s great read (publicly, at least) on how strong his market will be yet.
For what it’s worth, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap believes Logan’s annual value will be in the $5-to-6 million range. Former Eagles president Joe Banner, meanwhile, tweeted Logan will make “twice that” amount.
Let’s say Logan’s price comes out to be on the high end of what Fitzgerald expects: $7 million per year. In that situation, Logan would be the NFL’s ninth highest paid 4-3 defensive tackle. I think that might be the most the Eagles could reasonably afford.
If the Eagles don’t keep Logan, defensive tackle immediately becomes a big need. Beau Allen has been an adequate backup but isn’t a sure-fire proven starter. It’s also worth noting Honey Beau Beau will be a free agent after this season.
I’d love the Eagles to keep Bennie, but I’m not expecting it to happen.
3 - Sign DeSean Jackson.
Here’s an original idea.
I’m not opposed to the Eagles bringing DeSean back. Philadelphia desperately needs help at wide receiver. The Eagles also really just need some guys who can generate big plays, and Jackson is obviously a play-maker.
There are clearly concerns about a potential Jackson signing. He turned 30 in December so one can question how his speed will hold up through the life of his next contract.
The Eagles shouldn’t hand Jackson a blank check. If the price is right, a return makes sense. Jackson might not necessarily be a long-term piece, but he should have at least a few good years left in him. Carson Wentz really needs weapons. Jackson’s addition could help his development in Philadelphia.
4 - Make a run at A.J. Bouye.
I’m not so sure about this one.
The Eagles have been burned by big free agent cornerback signings over the years (see: Nnamdi Asomugha, Byron Maxwell). There’s no doubt the Eagles have a huge need at cornerback; they ideally need two new starters. But drafting and developing some might be the better way to go.
If the Eagles had more cap space, making a run at the 25-year-old Bouye might be worth it. But he’s projected to get a deal worth about $11.4 million per year (or more). He could be getting top 10 cornerback money after only making 19 starts over four seasons. Not to mention the fact he finished second in pass interference penalties last year.
Houston reportedly won’t place the franchise tag on Bouye, but there’s a sense the Texans will retain him, so this discussion could all be moot anyway.
5 - Trade down in the draft.
Not a big fan of this one.
Look, I get the argument for trading down. The Eagles have a bunch of needs and getting more picks could help them fill more holes in the long run.
But I think the best thing for the Eagles is to generally stay put and take the best player available. Don’t get cute and risk missing out on talent. Here’s something to consider:
Here are the Eagles' last 8 first round picks. Note the difference in picks at 1-19 vs. 20+, for the "trade back" crowd: pic.twitter.com/snbzlVDkwf— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) January 28, 2017
I’m not opposed to the Eagles moving up or down a few spots. They should be a little flexible. But I think the Eagles can do just fine by staying where they are and taking the best player that comes to them. Whether that’s Corey Davis, Mike Williams, Sidney Jones, Teez Tabor, Quincy Wilson, Dalvin Cook, etc.