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Eagles News: One overpriced and one underpriced impending free agent

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/7/23.

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

2023 NFL free agency: Players who could be underpriced, overpriced -
OVERPRICED: Ceedy Deuce is ranked in the top 10 on my top 101 free agent list, but NFL teams have still been slow to pay hybrid safety/slot corner types. It probably won’t help Gardner-Johnson that there are so many safeties available this offseason, but his versatility and aggressiveness make him more valuable than the rest. [...] UNDERPRICED: On his first run in Super Bowl LVII, Sanders bounced to the outside even though he didn’t need to, a mistake he’s been making throughout his career. He’s a boom-or-bust player with terrific production. It was telling that the Eagles trusted Kenneth Gainwell to play 12 more snaps than Sanders on football’s biggest stage.

Projecting what the Eagles’ free agents will make in free agency, and their compensatory pick values - PhillyVoice
Gardner-Johnson played out the final year of his rookie contract in 2022, and is a free agent this offseason. The Eagles would no doubt like to retain Gardner-Johnson, but that should prove to be difficult, as he is likely to attract lucrative offers from other teams around the league. There was some recent scuttlebutt that Gardner-Johnson would be franchise tagged if he and the Eagles could not reach a long-term deal before the start of free agency. That is simply not a realistic option. To begin, the Eagles only have $3.8 million in cap space, as of this writing, according to The cost to tag safeties this year is roughly $14.5 million, so the Eagles would have to clear up significant space just to tag Gardner-Johnson, and keeping him on the cap at that number for the bulk of the offseason would limit their flexibility with the rest of the roster. Stay or go: Last offseason, the Eagles were motivated players in the free agent safety market, but they came up empty when prices got to be too high. They were interested in signing Marcus Williams, for example, who instead inked a five-year, $70 million deal with Baltimore, and also missed out on guys like Justin Reid and Tyrann Mathieu. And that was when they had money to spend. Now, they don’t. Go.

What the Eagles should do at tight end - BGN
REVIEW: This was the first year Goedert entered a season as the Eagles’ undisputed top tight end. No more sharing snaps with Zach Ertz. There was every reason to believe Goedert could thrive in a bigger role ... but it was important to see it happen. And it did! Goedert was an incredibly efficient target. Eagles quarterbacks had a 123.7 passer rating when throwing his way. Goedert also ranked fifth in his position when it came to yards per route run and yards after the catch per reception. He really should’ve made the Pro Bowl and he probably would’ve if the NFL didn’t have a dumb system where he was ineligible to receive votes while he was on injured reserve. And he was only hurt because a Washington Commanders player blatantly face masked him ... and somehow didn’t get called for it. Goedert’s great catches in the Super Bowl will be overshadowed by the unfortunate outcome of the game. OUTLOOK: Goedert is signed through 2025, his age 30 season. He’s an elite-level player in his prime. They can rely on him to be a big part of the offense for years to come.

Scouting Combine – Offense - Iggles Blitz
The most interesting prospect for the Eagles would be Stetson Bennett. He gives off some Minshew vibes with his confidence, but is a different player. Bennett is a good athlete and has a good arm. The two main drawbacks are his age (25) and his size. Bennett is only 5-11, 192. That is small. I don’t project him to start in the NFL so I wouldn’t take him before the late 3rd round. Bennett threw the ball very well in some of the drills. I was especially impressed by his deep balls. They were accurate and had good touch. He ran a 4.67 and was good on RPOs at Georgia. Bennett led the Dawgs to consecutive national titles. That will get the attention of scouts and coaches. If the Eagles want a QB later in the draft, UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson would make a lot of sense. I watched a decent amount of him the past two years with so many UCLA games on late on Saturday nights. DTR was fun to watch. He is an athletic playmaker and highly competitive player.

Spadaro: 4 things to keep in mind before free agency begins -
I know how difficult this can be because we live in a “NOW” world and we all want instant gratification. Last year’s proceedings were a prime example of the importance of having some patience, as the Eagles opened free agency with a big swing and connection on Day 1, signing linebacker Haason Reddick to a three-year contract. That move changed the course of the Eagles’ defense, as it turned out, and there was probably no greater impact free-agency signing anywhere in the NFL last offseason. It was a big Day 1 for the Eagles and they were lauded for the move. But in a matter of days, media and, thus, fans, were scratching their heads. Why haven’t the Eagles done anything of significance beyond Reddick? When is this team going to address its holes – the secondary, running back, etc. – that media members opined existed? When Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman and Head Coach Nick Sirianni addressed the media during the NFL Annual Meeting in late March, they were repeatedly asked about addressing the roster, as in, the Eagles just hadn’t done enough to that point for this team to take a big leap forward in 2022. “We’re constantly building, so right now it’s just a little portion of it,” Sirianni said. “We’re built through free agency a little bit, but we have a lot of draft picks that are about to come up and there always could be guys added to the roster later on, so it’s building. I never really think you’re ever a finished product, you’re always building and trying to get better. I am excited about the pieces we’ve added so far.” A lot more were on the way, obviously. That’s not to set an expectation for what Roseman could do throughout the season ahead, but it’s just a reminder: The roster is never totally finished.

Here is why the Cowboys franchising Tony Pollard hurts the team - Blogging The Boys
The main potentially negative impacts of the Pollard tag are hurting the overall talent by inhibiting the team from using free agency more aggressively and relying too much on the running game this season. We will hope that Mike McCarthy and Brian Schottenheimer can make this work. Bringing Pollard back on the tag just makes it all harder than it should be.

Cowboys Tag RB Tony Pollard - Over The Cap
The Cowboys now have over $27 million in cap charges set aside for running backs on the roster, $8 million more than the next closest team in the league. Elliott currently has a $16.702 million cap hit but would leave Dallas with $11.86 million in dead money if he was released. Dallas seems to like having the two back system with the two splitting time and keeping Pollard fresh, which most likely means that Dallas would look to bring Elliott’s salary down this year with a chance to earn it back in incentives or perhaps by also guaranteeing a small portion of salary in 2024 on a completely reworked contract. A $5 million reduction in salary would have the same cap impact as cutting him this year.

Should Giants pursue newly-released LB Eric Kendricks? - Big Blue View
Minnesota did not release Kendricks solely based on his play. The move was more salary cap oriented, as the Vikings saved $9.5 million after releasing Kendricks. They still have work to do, for they’re $24.4 million over the cap, so the move was all but necessary irrespective of Kendricks’ play. At his age, with solid other linebackers in the market, I don’t believe Kendricks will command a big contract. If he were to sign with the Giants, he’d have little resistance earning a starting role in sub-packages - a position he’s thrived in throughout his career. It would behoove the Giants to add a veteran linebacker like Kendricks who can tutor Micah McFadden and Darrian Beavers. The 2023 NFL Draft doesn’t have many sure-fire linebacker prospects; the class has a lot of athletes who played linebacker, sans Iowa’s Jack Campbell.

Washington Commanders free agency options: Offensive Tackles - Hogs Haven
Once the season was over and Ron Rivera started talking about the road ahead, he promised that the front office and coaches would prioritize the rebuilding of the offensive line. There’s so much work to be done with this group that it will almost certainly require a couple of free agents and one or two draft picks. It will be partially financed by the $26m cap savings that resulted from the release of Carson Wentz, but more releases, restructures or renegotiations will be needed to have the cap space required to sign a couple of difference makers.

Derek Carr inks a four-year deal worth $150M with $100M in total guarantees - Canal Street Chronicles
It’s official! Derek Carr has agreed to a four-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, per multiple reports. It is worth $150 million with $100 million in total guarantees. He gets $60 million at signing and provides security for the QB with money vesting in year three.

Derek Carr is a schematic fit in New Orleans, but questions linger - SB Nation
Given the Saints’ cap position — according to OverTheCap the team is $18 million over the cap right now — that could open the door to Thomas being released as a post-June 1 cut, which would help the organization somewhat financially. Then there is the Alvin Kamara legal situation. The running back is facing a felony criminal charge following a fight in Las Vegas in 2022, and recently-released video shows Kamara throwing multiple punches in the altercation. Kamara, who is also facing a civil suit as a result of the altercation, pled not guilty to the criminal charge and his attorneys maintain that he is innocent, and that the video does not tell the entire story. So, from an Xs and Os standpoint, the fit for Carr in New Orleans makes sense. The issue the team now has to figure out is this: Who are the “Jimmies and Joes” that Carr will be throwing to next season?

2023 NFL draft rankings: Todd McShay’s top 32 prospects - ESPN+
7. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon. Prev. rank: 16. Gonzalez was a two-year starter at Colorado before transferring to Oregon, and he has an impressive blend of size, length and speed. There’s room for improvement when it comes to turning to locate the ball, but he’s an effective press corner. Gonzalez is strong and long enough to reroute receivers, and he’s fast enough to stay in their back pocket. He can also get off blocks and flashes good stopping power as a tackler. And he’s versatile enough to line up over the slot and play safety, though he fits best on the outside. Gonzalez had four interceptions and seven pass breakups in 2022.

Six Observations From the 2023 NFL Combine - The Ringer
And perhaps the biggest Buckeyes winner was wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith-Njigba has had a fraught cycle going back to the beginning of the 2022 season, as a hamstring injury kept him on the sidelines for much of it. It was easy to forget, then, just how sudden and controlled of a mover he is. A 6.57 three cone and 3.93 short shuttle, both of which were far and away the best times among receivers this week, helped remind the league of his talent. Smith-Njigba didn’t run a 40-yard dash, and long speed is his greatest concern. But guess what? Most of the receivers didn’t run very well, and in a generally smaller wide receiver class, Smith-Njigba’s 6-foot-1, 196-pound frame starts to look a little bigger. Smith-Njigba is, to me, the best wide receiver in the class.

Monday Football Monday #127: Top 10 storylines out of NFL Combine Weekend - The SB Nation NFL Show
Pete Sweeney and Jeremy Reisman discuss the biggest takeaways coming out of NFL Combine weekend including QB Derek Carr signing with the New Orleans Saints, thoughts on drafting a QB in the first round and Anthony Richardson’s stock on the rise.


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