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Eagles News: Anthony Harris was PFF’s second best available free agent

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/20/21.

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Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

The 100 best available NFL free agents remaining in 2021 - PFF
2. S Anthony Harris. Anthony Harris has been one of the best safeties in football for the past few seasons, steadily earning himself increased playing time in Minnesota. He put together an All-Pro caliber season in 2019 before taking a step back this year along with the rest of the Vikings’ defense. Harris earned a 91.1 overall PFF grade a season ago, which came hot on the heels of the 89.0 mark he posted the year before that when he played 624 snaps and started half the season due to injury. He has been a perfect free safety within Mike Zimmer’s defense, which employs a lot of split-safety looks and has been particularly adept at making plays on the football, with coverage being by far his biggest asset. Harris has shown the ability to read route concepts and quarterbacks at the same time, putting himself in position to make plays. He should be primed for a big deal. Contract Analysis: Minnesota has a huge decision to make at safety with the anchor of their defense in Harrison Smith entering the final year of his deal in 2021, as well. Harris’ emergence opposite Smith has been a welcome development, and although he’s the younger player, it’s hard to imagine the Vikings letting Smith play a single snap outside of Minnesota before his potentially Hall of Fame career is over. Prediction: Four years, $56 million ($14M APY): $27.5 million total guaranteed, $16 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Anthony Harris, Eagles agree to one-year contract - BGN
Harris would’ve been one of the top free agents on the market last year had the Vikings not placed the franchise tag on him. He had a flashy 2019 season with six interceptions and 11 passes defensed. Instead, Harris entered free agency this year coming off a weaker season for his standards. Here’s a look at how Harris has graded out by Pro Football Focus since becoming a regular starter: 2018 — 5th out of 100, 2019 — 2nd out of 98, 2020 — 38th out of 99. Harris’s 118.1 passer rating when targeted in 2020, per Pro Football Reference, was significantly worse than his 44.2 mark in 2019 or 58.1 in 2018. His 8.8% missed tackle percentage was also a career-worst.

A Real Move! - Iggles Blitz
It is surprising that there was so little a market for Harris. He is still a talented safety with great ball skills. Those guys aren’t easy to find. So why would the Eagles sign a 29-year old player coming off a down season? The team desperately needed help in the secondary. Harris also is of interest because he played for Jonathan Gannon for three years in Minnesota. Gannon was the assistant DBs coach and Harris was a young DB trying to get on the field. Harris will know the scheme and what Gannon expects of his players. Harris is here to help the team play better in 2021, but also to help tutor the young DBs. The Eagles could spend a high pick on a free safety to develop for the future. Harris could be a big help in teaching the young player. This signing is a good example of the Eagles being smart shoppers. They saw a player who made sense for them on and off the field. He came at a relatively cheap price so this makes total sense. It is possible that Harris will struggle and end up being a bad signing in hindsight, but it sure makes a lot of sense right now.

Grading the move: Eagles add Anthony Harris, finally make a splash in free agency - The Athletic
Bo Wulf: Generally speaking, I don’t necessarily love the idea of a team facing a rebuild bringing in a 30-year-old safety (turns 30 during the season) on a one-year deal. There doesn’t seem to be much upside to the investment. But what I think makes the addition of Harris exciting is that we should be able to fairly judge Jonathan Gannon in Year 1. Gannon was sought-after as a defensive coordinator — more so than Nick Sirianni was as head coach. It’s fair to surmise that he was instrumental in the Harris signing, given that he was the Vikings’ assistant defensive backs coach for the first three seasons of Harris’ career. Whatever combination of Gannon viewing Harris as a culture-setter, the organization viewing him as a difference-making player and/or simply viewing the price tag as good value, the Eagles defense has enough talent to be good in 2021. There are holes, to be sure, but with players like Harris, Darius Slay, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, Gannon has plenty to work with.

FROM THE SB NATION NFL SHOW: Kist & Solak Mock the Eagles 1st Roun‪d‬ - BGN Radio
The SB Nation NFL Show brings together the greatest fan-alysts from across SB Nation’s NFL team communities in one place for the first time ever. Expect deep analysis, irreverent jokes, and plenty of bickering between rivals. It’s a show for NFL fans, by NFL fans.

Report: “nothing there” between Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles on Zach Ertz - Buffalo Rumblings
The Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles were linked together quite often this week, as the Bills were thought to be a suitor for tight end Zach Ertz. After the team signed tight end Jacob Hollister to a one-year contract, reports leaked that the teams weren’t all that close after all. According to Marcel Louis-Jacques at ESPN, a league source indicated that there was “nothing there” between the Bills and the Eagles as of Tuesday night regarding Ertz. Philadelphia’s asking price was reportedly as high as a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, a price that general manager Brandon Beane appears to have balked at paying.

2021 NFL Free Agency: Texans Sign Punter Cameron Johnston - Battle Red Blog
Earlier this week Nick Caserio released Anger to save $2.5 million in cap space. This money could then be used on a punter, and a wide receiver who could return kicks, or a linebacker, instead of on a punter alone. The Texans found themselves a new punter. Brian Anger has been replaced by former Eagles punter Cameron Johnston, who signed a three-year $8 million contract.

NFL free agency: CB Adoree Jackson to reportedly visit Giants - Big Blue View
New York could use help alongside James Bradberry at the No. 22 outside corner spot and Jackson would be a good addition. There’s no doubt his relationship with current Giants’ safety Logan Ryan probably plays into this meeting as well. A one-year prove-it deal to a 25-year-old with upside would be a smart play by the Giants. I’m not sure where the cap space is coming from as of now, but the addition of Jackson would help this defense in 2021.

Could Adoree Jackson’s release be attitude-related? - Music City Miracles
As you’ll recall, Jackson mysteriously missed 13 games in 2020 with a knee injury that we knew very little about beginning to end. It kept him out longer than anyone expected. This fan base began coming up with weird theories as to why Jackson wasn’t playing. It got silly. Jackson was obviously hurt, but this surprising cut does make you wonder if the Titans felt like he didn’t do enough to come back from injury. When he did come back, he played poorly. We wouldn’t be writing this if McCormick wasn’t such a well informed and respected member of this media community. It certainly makes you wonder.

JuJu Smith-Schuster turns down Ravens and Chiefs to stay with Steelers on 1-year deal - Behind The Steel Curtain
Additionally, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Eagles were also in the mix with a larger contract. The return of Smith-Schuster might be viewed as him signing a one-year “prove it” type deal. With the salary cap dipping to $182.5 this year, it is safe to say Smith-Schuster is betting on himself to play well, and earn more money in 2022 when the salary cap is expected to balloon up over $200 million dollars. In his four years in Pittsburgh, Smith-Schuster has seen his role tweaked as the wide receiver room has changed. Taking a league by storm his first two seasons, Smith-Schuster earned a Pro Bowl bid in 2018 when he had 1,426 receiving yards on 111 receptions. After an injury riddled 2019, as well as missing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Smith-Schuster led the Steelers in receptions in 2020 with 97. His 831 receiving yards last season was third on the Steelers behind Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, and his nine receiving touchdowns was tied with Claypool.

Report: Dallas Cowboys to visit with free agent safety Malik Hooker next week - Blogging The Boys
Hooker has indeed been playing for Matt Eberflus and the Indianapolis Colts so we know that he has gotten some great coaching. He is one of the better safeties on the market and someone that many Cowboys fans have been crossing their fingers for in terms of a potential option. We know that the Cowboys aren’t going to break the bank when it comes to adding players, but someone of Hooker’s abilities doesn’t come around a lot. Indianapolis declined to pick up Hooker’s fifth-year option a year ago which made this past season, one in which he tore his Achilles in September, his last with the organization.

The Cult Of Colt: Starting Free Agency Sexy Outside The Lines And Thrilling Between Them - Hogs Haven
On this edition of the Cult Of Colt, we dive into the first few days of free agency and first and foremost offer our thoughts on the Ryan Fitzpatrick signing. While we agree it’s not a “sexy” pick, we can acknowledge that the opportunity cost was right on the money. For all the “what ifs” and “well they could’s” ultimately Fitzpatrick represents a relatively low-dollar, veteran, stop-gap solution who, and let’s not forget this: can still win games. Given that the market has been set early with the Rams-Lions QB swap, the price to upgrade via trade was too rich for our blood (and clearly for the team’s) and the next cut of tradable quarterbacks (Sam Darnold, Marcus Mariota) could certainly not have been that much better (if better at all) than Fitzpatrick.

Fantasy football winners & losers of NFL free agency so far - Fake Teams
Winner: The Terry McLaurin Stan Club. The Washington Football Team signed Ryan Fitzpatrick. That’s it. That’s all I need to say to get you ridiculously hyped for Terry McLaurin in 2021 fantasy. No one slings the ball downfield with such careless confidence as Fitzpatrick and that’s tremendous news for any wide receiver he plays with. We saw DeVante Parker become a WR1 with Fitzpatrick under center in Miami and with McLaurin already announcing himself as one of the best young receivers in the game, his potential with Fitzmagic chucking YOLO balls at every chance he gets is just too sweet and savory to imagine. Terry McLaurin is a WR1 in 2021 fantasy. Mark these words.

Colts Free Agent LB Anthony Walker Signing with the Browns on a One-Year, $3.5M Deal - Stampede Blue
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via an agent), Indianapolis Colts free agent starting linebacker Anthony Walker is signing a 1-year, $3.5 million deal with the Cleveland Browns.He visited the Browns earlier this week on a free agent visit. Having been a 2017 5th round pick of the Colts, the 6’1”, 230 pound linebacker is coming off a 2020 season in which he had 92 tackles (65 solo), 2 tackles for loss, an interception, 5 passes defensed, and a fumble recovery in all 16 starts. Even though he wasn’t the most explosive athlete at linebacker, Walker was cerebral, instinctive, consistent, a sure tackler, and a defensive leader in the Colts locker room.

Why Has the NFL’s Wide Receiver Market Been So Slow to Develop? - The Ringer
As The Ringer’s Danny Kelly has previously detailed, the 2021 draft’s receiver class could be just as special as the 2020 group. Kelly included eight players in his top-50 March big board—LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase (no. 3), Alabama’s DeVonta Smith (no. 9) and Jaylen Waddle (no. 13), Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman (no. 29), LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr. (no. 30), Ole Miss’s Elijah Moore (no. 38), Florida’s Kadarius Toney (no. 40), and Purdue’s Rondale Moore (no. 41). And this draft has plenty of pass catcher depth as well, with guys like Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace, USC’s Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Clemson’s Amari Rodgers also drawing some attention. “I think teams are sitting there going, ‘I can find a starter in the first two rounds of this draft class at wide receiver,’” Spielberger said. “‘I’ll sign a Curtis Samuel for $11 million per year. That’s fine. But I’m not gonna go out and spend on a Golladay or go break the bank for X name.’ I think that’s really the driving force there.”

2021 NFL Draft Special #5: 1st Round Mock w/Benjamin Sola‪k‬ - The SB Nation NFL Show
Michael Kist is joined by Benjamin Solak of The Draft Network and Bleeding Green Nation to work through a full 1st round mock of the 2021 NFL Draft!


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