One of the newsiest periods in the NFL offseason calendar is about to begin; free agency is upon us.
This is normally a time where one can get excited about the Philadelphia Eagles making new additions to their roster.
Things are a bit different for the Birds this year, however. They’re set to see a number of key players who contributed to them making Super Bowl LVII walk out the door to join new teams. The unfortunate reality is that the NFL’s salary cap prevents the Eagles from simply keeping everyone.
That being said, Howie Roseman will be able to retain some of the team’s talent. And he’ll also be able to make some signings to help offset inevitable departures. There’s a lot of pressure on the Eagles’ general manager to navigate the path forward.
This comprehensive primer has you covered with everything you need to know.
When does the action start?
March 13 (12:00 PM Eastern) through March 15 (3:59 PM Eastern) - Three-day window of negotiating, unofficial start of free agency: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2022 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 15. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 15.
March 15 (4:00 PM Eastern) - Official start of free agency: The 2023 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time. The first day of the 2023 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15.
Where can I keep track of all the rumors and updates?
Right here at Bleeding Green Nation! Duh.
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How much cap space do the Eagles have?
As of this publish time, Over The Cap has the Eagles with about $6.6 million.
They can free up more space in 2023 by converting some base salaries into signing bonuses. Lane Johnson and Darius Slay are prime candidates in this regard, though the latter is in an interesting spot as he desires an extension.
Which Eagles players could be cut/traded in order to clear cap space?
The Eagles don’t have any obvious cap casualty candidates.
That said, they should probably look to do something about Quez Watkins’ cap number. They can clear $2.7 million by either cutting or trading him. It’s possible they might be able to get him to take a pay cut in order to theoretically improve his roster security, which they did with Rasul Douglas in 2020 (although they later released him anyway).
Who are the Eagles’ own free agents?
DT Javon Hargrave
S C.J. Gardner-Johnson
CB James Bradberry
RB Miles Sanders
DT Fletcher Cox
S Marcus Epps
OG Isaac Seumalo
LB T.J. Edwards
LB Kyzir White
QB Gardner Minshew
RB Boston Scott
WR Zach Pascal
DT Linval Joseph
DT Ndamukong Suh
DE Robert Quinn
OT Andre Dillard
P Brett Kern
Who should the Eagles re-sign?
CJGJ, Hargrave, and Bradberry are the top three players set to hit the market. It would be ideal if the Eagles could keep at least one of them. But that might not be realistic since they’re all set to earn big money.
Sanders, Cox, and Seumalo are notable starters who are probably worth more to other teams than to Philly.
Epps and Edwards might be more feasibly in the Eagles’ price range.
Lower level guys like Scott and Pascal shouldn’t be too difficult to keep if the Birds want them back.
What are the Eagles’ biggest positions of need?
It really depends on who they lose.
The Eagles could need new starters at defensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback, and/or safety. The defense is primed for a makeover.
Offensively, the Eagles will likely be looking to add a new backup quarterback behind Jalen Hurts. Perhaps they’ll look to add competition for Quez Watkins as WR3?
Who are the Eagles going to sign?
Again, it depends on who they lose.
But with the Eagles bound to be playing the compensatory pick game, it makes sense to focus on players who were released by other teams. Doing so will allow them to add talent without losing future draft capital.
Several names of interest:
S John Johnson
LB Bobby Wagner
QB Marcus Mariota
RB Samaje Perine
DT Matt Ioannidis
What picks do the Eagles own in the 2023 NFL Draft?
In case you’re wondering what ammo the Eagles have to work with when it comes to potentially trading for player(s).
1 - from New Orleans Saints (No. 10 overall)
1 - Eagles’ own pick (No. 30 overall)
2 - Eagles’ own pick (No. 62 overall)
3 - Eagles’ own pick (No. 94 overall)
7 - from Minnesota Vikings via Houston Texans (No. 219 overall)
7 - Eagles’ own pick (No. 248 overall)
So, limited ammo there with only six picks. But they could get some more selections by trading down from 10 and/or 30.
We should also note that the Eagles currently own eight picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. That includes an extra second-round pick (from the Saints) and what will likely be an extra fifth-round pick (from the Vikings). They will also potentially receive as many as four compensatory picks. And they could get a JC-2A pick or two if Brian Johnson and/or Sean Desai get hired for head coaching jobs. So, they could realistically have upwards of 13 selections.
This is to say the Eagles might be willing to dip into next year’s draft pick pool to make moves this offseason.
As always, BGN will have the best possible coverage of this year’s free agency period. Stay tuned to our site for every rumor, report, update, signing, trade, etc. Check back often!