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Eagles News: Marcus Williams in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/11/22.

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New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

2022 NFL Free Agency: Top landing spots for New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams - PFF
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. Both of Philadelphia’s starting safeties from 2021 — Anthony Harris and Rodney McLeod — are set to hit the open market next week. Harris struggled in his one year with the Eagles, earning a 61.6 PFF grade across 834 snaps. He transitioned to a more versatile role, playing closer to the line of scrimmage despite his proven track record as a deep-lying safety. McLeod was the primary deep man, and he was only marginally better, with his 64.8 PFF grade just edging out Harris. A change in personnel would be good for this unit, which ranked 25th in successful pass rate allowed last year.

Eagles free-agent shopping guide: On defense, there are safeties in numbers - The Athletic
Marcus Williams is No. 5 on Kapadia’s list and will be 26 this season. Maybe the Eagles just think of New Orleans as their safety feeder system. Writes Kapadia: “The Saints surprisingly used the franchise tag on Williams last offseason. He played well once again in 2021 and will now get a chance to test the market. Williams will fit best on a team in need of help in the back end of its defense. He played roughly 89 percent of his snaps at free safety for the Saints last year. Williams is young and durable (he’s started 76 of a possible 81 games over the past five seasons).”

Report: Eagles were close to completing Calvin Ridley trade - BGN
But what if Ridley’s gambling wasn’t discovered until after the Eagles got him? That would’ve been pretty tough for the Eagles. Talk about dodging a bullet. The Eagles’ interest in Ridley is, well, interesting. Philly certainly needs more help at wide receiver considering DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins are their only viable options at that position. Ridley is obviously a talented player. The 2018 first-round pick (No. 26 overall) was second-team All-Pro in 2020 with 90 receptions for 1,374 yards (15.3 average) and nine touchdowns. With Julio Jones traded to Tennessee, he could’ve posted big numbers again in 2021 had he not stepped away for mental health reasons after playing in just five games. But while Ridley’s talent isn’t in question, one can question the sense in the Eagles trading for him.

Projecting what the Eagles’ free agents will make in free agency, and their compensatory pick values - PhillyVoice
If my above projections are correct, then the Eagles could have three departing players who qualify toward the compensatory pick formula in Barnett, Nelson, and Harris. The player with the best chance of qualifying for a worthwhile compensatory pick is Barnett, who could sign a contract somewhere in the fifth-round level. However, comp picks are only awarded for the number of qualifying players lost minus the number of qualifying players gained. The Eagles are still working their way through an unhealthy salary cap, so they won’t be going buck wild in free agency this offseason. However, they’re also not just going to sit on the sidelines either. Because they are likely to sign at least three qualifying free agents, it’s unlikely that they will have more qualifying players lost than gained. As such, I wouldn’t worry about compensatory picks this offseason.

Falcons were reportedly close to Calvin Ridley deal with Eagles before learning about suspension - The Falcoholic
The Falcons, of course, are keen on not becoming a team with a reputation for trying to screw other teams over, which could damage them in future trade talks, so you can understand why they didn’t try to ram a trade through after learning the news. The temptation must have been there given that the Falcons knew they’d soon lose Ridley for the upcoming season with absolutely nothing to show for it, which had to be insanely frustrating for Terry Fontenot and the front office. They are gearing up for free agency with exactly one receiver on the roster—second-year pro Frank Darby—and a couple of players signed to reserve/future deals. That’s quite the dropoff from a couple of years ago.

Panthers remain interested in Deshaun Watson - PFT
It’s unknown whether Watson would waive his no-trade clause for the Panthers. Coach Matt Rhule is currently believed to be on the hot seat entering 2022, raising the possibility that the Panthers could be looking for a new coach in what would be Watson’s second season. Ultimately, the decision may come down to the other teams that want Watson, and how he feels about those other teams. Before any of that becomes relevant, he needs to emerge from the grand jury procedure with no felony charges. We could learn the answer to that one as soon as Friday.

Raiders cutting linebacker Cory Littleton - Silver And Black Pride
The Raiders signed Littleton to a three-year, $35 million deal in free agency in 2020. The former Ram was signed to be a cornerstone of the Las Vegas defense. However, he was a bust with the Raiders and lost his starting job in 2021. [BLG Note: As pointed out in the past, Howie Roseman reportedly likes Littleton.]

49ers announce one-year extensions for 4 players; re-sign QB Nate Sudfeld - Niners Nation
The 49ers announced they’d signed DT Kevin Givens, RB JaMycal Hasty, DT Maurice Hurst, and OL Colton McKivitz to one-year extensions. The team also announced they signed QB Nate Sudfeld to a Reserve/Future contract.

Cowboys free agency: DE Jadeveon Clowney could make sense as a potential DeMarcus Lawrence replacement - Blogging The Boys
If the Cowboys really are going to make the decision to get rid of DeMarcus Lawrence, they’ll need to use some of the money they save to replace his pass-rush production. If they are willing to open up the checkbook, Jadeveon Clowney would be one of the best options on the open market to replace the void left by Lawrence’s potential departure.

Washington Commanders expected to release Landon Collins after he wouldn’t take a pay cut - Hogs Haven
The Washington Commanders have been trying to “renegotiate” Landon Collins contract which meant taking a pay cut. Collins didn’t agree to that, and those talks reportedly didn’t well last night. He was set to count for $16 million against this year’s salary cap. His release will save the Commanders $6.5 million this year, and they now have around $12.5 million as they head into free agency next week. They will have a $9.6 million dead cap hit this year. Landon Collins said the negotiations changed after Washington traded for QB Carson Wentz yesterday who has a $28 million cap hit this season. That wiped out Washington’s cap space, and forced them to make moves before free agency. Collins will now be a free agent before the NFL’s legal tampering period starts on Monday, and free agency starts on Wednesday at 4pm.

NFL free agency: Grades for every big signing and trade of 2022, plus draft outlook for each move - ESPN+
An honest question for the Commanders: Is Wentz an indisputable upgrade over Taylor Heinicke, the backup quarterback who replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick for most of last season? We can probably agree that Wentz has a stronger arm and has put up better statistics in his career. But how many additional wins will he deliver? And would those extra wins be worth the sizable difference in their 2022 salaries? The guess here is that the Commanders won’t do much better with Wentz than they would have with Heinicke or a quarterback of a similar profile. And even if it gets them an extra win or two, it won’t be worth the extra cash and cap space. Wentz has now been shown the door twice in two seasons by franchises that had every reason to try to make it work — the Eagles because he was the No. 2 pick of the 2016 draft, and the Colts after they gave up what turned out to be a first-round pick to acquire him last year. The Colts dealt Wentz without having a path to an obvious replacement. Something here is broken, and it clearly has to do with more than Wentz’s inconsistent play on the field.

Sterling Shepard staying with Giants on re-structured deal, per reports - Big Blue View
Sterling Shepard, the longest-tenured member of the New York Giants, will return to the team on a re-structed contract, per NFL.com. Shepard, coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon that ended his season, was scheduled to make a base salary of $8.475 million this season with a cap hit of $12.495 million. In 2023, those numbers were scheduled to be $9.475 million and $13.495 million. Terms of the re-structured deal have not yet been reported. Ralph Vacchiano of SNY reported that the final year was wiped off Shepard’s contract, meaning Shepard could head to free agency next offseason. A 2016 second-round pick, Shepard is the last remaining connection to the Giants’ 2016 playoff team — the last time they went to the playoffs.

The best NFL free agents at every offensive position group, ranked - SB Nation
With Davante Adams franchise tagged and Mike Williams re-signing with the Chargers, these are the best players we have left. It was an atrocious down season for Robinson II in Chicago, but it really wasn’t his fault. The Bears offense was a dumpster fire, and he never meshed with Andy Dalton. Juju Smith-Schuster was a victim of circumstance too, and I expect he can return to being a Top 15 receiver on a team that can use him the right way. Seriously, put him on the Chiefs and he’s going to eat teams alive. OBJ serves as the reliable veteran here, though I expect he’ll end up returning to the Rams, unless someone is willing to throw huge money at him.

The Look Ahead #80: The Colts deserve criticism + Top 5 teams to watch in free agency - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and RJ Ochoa don’t understand why the Colts aren’t getting more criticism for what went down with Carson Wentz. Plus, Stats has the five teams that he expects to be most active once free agency begins next week. Crazy week of QB moves (:50). The phenomenon that caused Washington to overpay for Wentz (6:45). Why aren’t the Colts getting criticized more for this disaster? (12:14). Top Five Teams to Watch in Free Agency (19:39).

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