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Taking stock of where the Eagles stand after free agency

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Recap and analysis.

Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The bulk of the Philadelphia Eagles’ activity in free agency is over. At least, that’s what Howie Roseman recently suggested. Let’s take stock of where the Eagles stand more than one week after the start of the 2020 league year.

SIGNED WITH EAGLES

FREE AGENTS FROM OTHER TEAMS

DT Javon Hargrave - 3 years, $39 million

DB Will Parks - 1 year, $1.5 million

CB Nickell Robey-Coleman - 1 year, $1.3 million

LB Jatavis Brown - 1 year, $910,000

RE-SIGNINGS

S Rodney McLeod - 2 years, $8.65 million

CB Jalen Mills - 1 year, $4 million

QB Nate Sudfeld - 1 year, $2 million

DT Hassan Ridgeway - 1 year, $1 million

P Cameron Johnston - 1 year, $750,000 (exclusive rights free agent)

EXTENSIONS

CB Darius Slay - 3 years, $50 million (received extension after being acquired in trade)

CONTRACT DETAILS

For more in-depth breakdowns, [CLICK HERE].

TRADES

RECEIVED

CB Darius Slay

SENT

2020 third-round pick (No. 85), 2020 fifth-round pick (No. 166)

EAGLES FREE AGENTS

OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai - Signed with Lions for $45 million over 5 years

RB Jordan Howard - Signed with Dolphins for $10 million over 2 years

CB Ronald Darby - Signed with Washington for $4 million over 1 year

LB Kamu Grugier-Hill - Signed with Dolphins for $3 million over 1 year

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WR Nelson Agholor - Signed with Raiders for $1 million over 1 year

TE Richard Rodgers - Signed with Washington for $910,000 over 1 year

LT Jason Peters

DE Vinny Curry

QB Josh McCown

DT Timmy Jernigan

RB Corey Clement

RELEASED

LB Nigel Bradham

OPTION DECLINED

S Malcolm JenkinsSigned with Saints for $32 million over 4 years

CAP SPACE UPDATE

Over The Cap shows the Eagles have $28,686,646 in cap room, which ranks fifth most in the league.

DRAFT PICKS UPDATE

2020 NFL DRAFT

1 - Eagles’ own pick - No. 21 overall
2 - Eagles’ own pick - No. 53 overall
3 - Compensatory pick - No 103 overall
4 - Eagles’ own pick - No. 127 overall
4 - Compensatory pick - No. 145 overall
4 - Compensatory pick - No. 146 overall
5 - Acquired from the New England Patriots - No. 168 overall
6 - Acquired from the Atlanta Falcons - No. 190 overall

2021 NFL DRAFT

1 - Eagles’ own pick
2 - Eagles’ own pick
3 - Eagles’ own pick
5 - Eagles’ own pick
6 - Eagles’ own pick
6 - (Projected compensatory pick)
6 - (Projected compensatory pick)
7 - Eagles’ own pick
7 - (Projected compensatory pick)

OVERALL THOUGHTS

  • There are reasons to be optimistic about Hargrave’s outlook in the Eagles’ defense. The trio of him, Fletcher Cox, and Malik Jackson should be able to generate a lot of interior disruption. The Birds sure are paying for as much with three of the top nine 4-3 defensive tackle salaries. On that note, I think it’s fair to wonder if that’s the most optimal use of resources. Anything less than top notch production from that group will be a disappointment.
  • Parks is exactly the profile of free agent the Eagles should’ve been targeting this offseason. That’s to say: a young, affordable player potentially on the rise. He projects as the No. 3 safety and should be an upgrade on previous past-their-prime vets like Corey Graham and Andrew Sendejo.
  • The NRC signing is interesting in that the Eagles already had a number of players who can play in the slot. NRC is a very good nickel corner, so I’m not opposed to the addition. I do think it’s a bummer if Cre’Von LeBlanc doesn’t get a fair chance to compete for that role, though, since Strap has shined in previous playing time.
  • The Brown signing fits in the mold of the Parks signing in terms of savvy acquisitions by the front office. Take a risk on a young, athletic player who has some experience and might be ready to step up into a bigger role than he had with his previous team. Of course, it’s entirely possible Brown is this year’s token early free agent linebacker signing that ultimately gets cut (see: Corey Nelson in 2018, L.J. Fort and Zach Brown in 2019).
  • I don’t love the Eagles’ decision to re-sign McLeod. I think he was worse last season than some realize; he was a big reason why the Eagles’ secondary gave up so many explosive pass plays. The team seems to be betting on McLeod being healthier in 2020 since he’ll be two years removed from his September 2018 ACL/MCL injuries. Doesn’t seem like the best bet considering he turns 30 in June. Why not take a shot on a younger player like Sean Davis, who’s only 26 and signed a one-year deal with Washington for $4 million? I think the Eagles are overvaluing McLeod as they expect him to be more of a leader with Jenkins gone. Part of why Jenkins was so respected, though, is because he’s really good. Hard for McLeod to have that same kind of cachet if he’s not playing well.
  • Mills has been saying that he’s “going to be playing the same position” that Jenkins played in the Eagles’ defense. For a general manager who talked about how “hope is not a strategy,” Howie Roseman sure is relying on hope when it comes to Mills. I mean, the coaching staff had previously been pretty opposed to transitioning Mills from cornerback to safety. And now Mills, who hasn’t played at safety since 2015, is going to seamlessly move into a more versatile and complex role? While potentially having less practice time than usual this offseason due to COVID-19? That’s a big leap of faith to make and I’m not even among Mills’ biggest detractors.
  • Sudfeld is hardly locked in to the No. 2 quarterback job. His 2020 salary is actually down from what he made in 2019. You can’t rule out the Eagles bringing in a former Super Bowl MVP to back up Carson Wentz in 2020.
  • Bringing back Ridgeway as a fourth defensive tackle was a good move. I thought he showed some nice things in limited playing time last season.
  • I have mixed feelings on the Slay trade. On one hand, I’ve always liked the player from afar. I can envision him making some big plays (true to his nickname) for this defense. At his best, he’s easily a true No. 1 corner. But are the Eagles going to get Slay’s best? He’s 29 and he’s coming off a down 2019 season. He’s dealt with a number of nagging injuries. Giving up two draft picks just isn’t ideal when the Eagles have made the fewest selections (10) over the past two years. Giving up those picks limits the Eagles’ ability to trade up for one of the top three receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s also hard not to view the Slay trade through the prism of the DeAndre Hopkins deal (read: opportunity cost) and wonder why the Eagles couldn’t have been more aggressive when it came to acquiring a star player at a bigger position of need.
  • I wish all the best to Big V but I think the Lions could regret that contract.
  • It’s too bad the Eagles couldn’t retain Howard at an inexpensive number. The Birds should look to add a more physical back (Devonta Freeman? Carlos Hyde?) to their rotation on the cheap.
  • Darby clearly had to go.
  • Ideally the Eagles could’ve kept Kamu but the bridge was burned between the team and the player. Getting a sixth-round comp pick for him while taking a shot on Jatavis Brown instead could be the right move.
  • Agholor only signing for $1 million is pretty surprising. It really underscores how ridiculous it was for the Eagles to pay him $9.4 million in 2019.
  • Glad the Eagles are letting Dick Rod going. Hopefully Alex Ellis gets a chance to replace him as the No. 3 tight end.
  • I think there’s a less than zero chance that Peters is back as he continues to linger out there on the market.
  • Bradham’s been a free agent for over a month and still hasn’t signed anywhere. John Clark reported the Eagles haven’t been in touch with him.
  • Losing Jenkins really hurts. I don’t think his absence will be truly appreciated until we see it during the games in 2020.
  • What the hell are the Eagles doing at wide receiver? Admittedly, I didn’t expect them to spend HUGE at the position. That’s to say I didn’t see them going after Amari Cooper. But I did (rightfully, in my humble opinion!) expect them to do SOMETHING (like adding Robby Anderson or Breshad Perriman) at that spot. They’ve done NOTHING. I just don’t get it. Merely relying on Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson to be major contributors in 2020 is insane. Jeffery is 30 and coming off the worst season of his career. He’s been hurt every year he’s been in Philly. Oh, and he’s clearly been a source of drama within the locker room. Jackson is turning 34 and he’s missed an average of 5.2 games per season over the past five years. We just saw how devastating it was to Philly’s offense when the Eagles lost him in 2019. How could they not invest in a backup plan once again? And, no, you can’t just use the 2020 NFL Draft to explain away the Eagles’ lack of investment at receiver thus far. Relying on rookies to be instant difference makers isn’t a great strategy. We just saw how ill-prepared JJ Arcega-Whiteside was to contribute in his first NFL season. Maybe Roseman has a trick up his sleeve when it comes to trading for another receiver ... but I’ll believe it when I see it.
  • Can you really say the Eagles have done their part this offseason to maximize Wentz? Is drafting a receiver or two merely the solution in that regard?
  • I don’t understand why some believe Roseman is so above reproach. The Eagles’ GM admittedly hasn’t helped the team effectively over the past two years. Such is reflected by their 19-15 record since winning Super Bowl LII. Yeah, I know they’ve made the playoffs in those seasons. But they made the No. 6 seed by the skin of their teeth in 2018. They also took advantage of a historically bad division to make the postseason in 2019. And I’d ague the success the Eagles DID have was more related to their coaching staff and players stepping up than it was some masterfully orchestrated work by the front office. To win a championship in today’s NFL, you really have to be one the league’s elite teams. Gone are the days of teams sneaking in as a wild card and winning a Lombardi. The bar is set high and I don’t think Roseman has done a great job of putting the Eagles in position to clear it. This isn’t to say I think the Eagles are having some disaster offseason and he needs to be fired immediately. I do think Roseman has added some good talent to the roster. They have gotten younger in some respects, which was needed. But I do wonder about the team’s resource allocation when it comes to investing so heavily in the defense. And in that vein I worry not enough emphasis has been put on improving the offense. Overall, I’m not feeling super encouraged by this offseason. I don’t think the team has dramatically improved to where they suddenly belong in the NFC’s elite. I think they’re more in the “good but not great” tier. I’m obviously wrong all the time so maybe I’ll end up eating these words when they look great this year. In the meantime, I’m just being honest about how I feel.