Who’s the one free agent your favorite NFL team must sign this offseason?
That’s a question that Pro Football Focus set to out to answer in a recent article for ESPN In$ider. Here’s who they said the Philadelphia Eagles must sign:
Philadelphia Eagles: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
2018 team: Buccaneers | Age: 36
Fitzpatrick started the 2018 season in a magical way, earning 96-plus overall grades in each of the first two weeks. His gunslinger mentality paid off early, but his magic fizzled later in the season. However, he still did enough to earn an overall grade of 84.4, which ranked 10th out of 39 qualifying quarterbacks last season. When kept clean, Fitzpatrick completed 121 of 172 attempts for 1,824 yards, nine touchdowns, five interceptions and a passer rating of 110.2, ranking 10th in the NFL. Fitzpatrick is 36 and would merely be an insurance policy in case Carson Wentz gets injured again.
Fitzmagic seems like a realistic signing based on last week’s report that the Eagles are targeting a veteran quarterback in free agency to replace Nick Foles as Carson Wentz’s backup.
Fitzpatrick also fits the Foles mold of being a high-variance player. That’s ideally what you want in a backup as opposed to someone who’s consistently mediocre.
The Eagles recently saw first-hand how Fitzpatrick is still capable of playing at a high level. Fitzpatrick was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for completing 81.8% of his attempts for 402 yards (12.2 yards per atttempt), four touchdowns, one interception, and a 144.4 passer rating in Week 2 last season.
Signing Fitzpatrick should be financially reasonable. He only accounted for a $3.3 million cap hit last season. He shouldn’t be making too much more than that in 2019.
One question that comes with signing Fizpatrick is: what happens with Nate Sudfeld? The 25-year-old quarterback is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason. It’s expected that he’s going to be tendered at the second-round level, which is worth just over $3 million in 2019. Are the Eagles comfortable with paying that amount to a potential third-string quarterback? And is Fitzpatrick willing to sign in Philly if Sudfeld is back? Does the veteran want to be guaranteed a second-string job or is he okay with merely competing for one?
In any case, I do like the idea of Fitzpatrick being in the mix to serve as Wentz’s backup this season. The Harvard alumnus should definitely be on the Eagles’ radar.
Do you want the Eagles to sign Ryan Fitzpatrick?
This poll is closed
Elsewhere on PFF’s list, some of the Eagles’ own free agents are featured as “must sign” players for other teams.
PFF believes the New York Jets must sign Ronald Darby, the New England Patriots must sign Golden Tate, the Pittsburgh Steelers must sign Jordan Hicks, and the Jacksonville Jaguars must sign Nick Foles. It’s an exodus to the AFC.