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March 15, 2017

Eagles free agency rumor and report tracker

Eagles NFL
102616AlshonJeffery Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

The new NFL league year began March 9, and the start of free agency kicked off at 4:00 p.m. with a flurry of activity. All along, we've been rounding up all the Eagles' free agency rumors and reports, which we'll update anytime there are new developments.

March 15: Eagles interested in 49ers CB?

According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the Eagles have shown interest in CB Marcus Cromartie.

The 49ers are keeping their eye on some of their own free agents, including receiver Rod Streater and running backs DuJuan Harris and Shaun Draughn. Another player in that category – and one getting attention from other teams – is cornerback Marcus Cromartie, who visited the Lions over the weekend. He also has received interest from the Seahawks, Jets and Eagles.

The 49ers declined to tender Cromartie as a restricted free agent, which would have meant a $1.8 million salary.

The Niners currently have an awful roster from top to bottom to go along with the most cap space in the NFL at over $84 million, and they didn't at least want to place a non-guaranteed restricted free agent tender on this guy? Eh, OK.

March 11: Eagles tried to trade Malcolm Jenkins?

Huh? According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the Eagles offered Jenkins, a third-round pick, and a fourth-round pick for Brandin Cooks.

That doesn't pass the smell test even a little. To begin, Jenkins is better player than Cooks. So there's that. But also, Jenkins just signed a contract extension last offseason. If the Eagles were to trade him, they would have $6 million in dead money. And they offered a three and four to go along with him?

March 10: Eagles tried to trade Chase Daniel

According to Jason LaCanfora, the Eagles tried to trade Chase Daniel, but "nothing made sense."

From the Eagles' perspective, trading Daniel for literally anything and recouping $6 million in cap space would make sense. 

March 10: Bennie Logan to visit Washington

According to Adam Schefter, DT Bennie Logan is visiting the Redskins.

A season ago, the Redskins ran wild for 230 yards against an Eagles defense that was missing Logan. With Chris Baker having left to sign with the Buccaneers, the Redskins need interior defensive line help.

We've long speculated that Logan would be moving on this offseason. It would be a major surprise if he somehow ended back with the Eagles.

March 9: What's the Eagles' asking price for Mychal Kendricks?

According to Jeff McLane of the Inquirer, it's a fifth-round pick.

As McLane notes, teams aren't willing to give up much for a player if they sense the other team is just going to cut him. A fifth-round pick is a reasonable asking price, but I agree it's likely they'll receive less.

March 9: Alshon Jeffery leaning toward Eagles?

When the Philadelphia Eagles signed Torrey Smith earlier today, they were hardly done shopping for wide receivers. Expect at least one more to be added this free agency period.

Oh, and hey, look. According to Josina Anderson of ESPN, Bears WR Alshon Jeffery is leaning toward signing with the Eagles when free agency begins.

Jeffery is regarded by most as the best available free agent wide receiver. He is a legitimate "No. 1 receiver." Over his last four seasons, he is averaging just under 80 receiving yards per game. He's a big target in the red zone at 6'3, 218, and he does a great job on 50-50 balls down the field. Jeffery would give the Eagles' passing offense an instant and significant boost.

March 9: Eagles making strong push to sign Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

According to Ian Rapoport, the Eagles are hot on the trail of Alshon Jeffery.

We've covered Jeffery at length (just scroll down), but if the Eagles were able to get a deal done, it would be in addition to the Torrey Smith signing. Certainly, the Eagles will not just be content adding Smith only.

March 9: Allen Barbre expected to be back with the Eagles

About a month ago, PhillyVoice reported that Allen Barbre wasn't safe this offseason, and sure enough, at the NFL Combine, it was reported that he was given permission to seek a trade. Presumably not finding any takers, Barbre will be back with the team.

For now.

Barbre proved to be a versatile player in 2016, playing multiple positions along the offensive line. At a minimum, he is a competent reserve. However, he has a history of injuries, he'll turn 33 in June, and his quality season last year has not been the norm over his career.

March 9: Don't rule out a Nick Foles return to Philly

If the Eagles are somehow able to trade backup quarterback Chase Daniel, then don't rule out a return of Nick Foles, according to Mike Garafolo of

Foles was once MVP of the Pro Bowl.

March 9: The Patriots reportedly considering making a strong offer for Brandin Cooks

According to Dianna Russini of ESPN, the Patriots are considering trading their best corner for Cooks, who has also been pursued by the Eagles.

Butler, if you'll recall, made the game-sealing interception of Russell Wilson in the Super Bowl. This would be something close to a blockbuster trade.

March 9: Eagles open to trading Jason Kelce

This was first reported by PhillyVoice way back in January, but now others are beginning to hear the same.

The Eagles would save $3,800,000 if they traded or cut Kelce. A team in need of a short-term fix at center could have interest, especially since Kelce would only cost $5 million against the cap in 2017, and he has no guarantees left on his deal. This is a move that may not happen right away, as the Eagles would be wise to make sure they have a replacement at center or guard (Isaac Seumalo would take over at center in that scenario) before they move on, but if a good enough offer came along they'd certainly pull the trigger.

March 9: Kenny Britt to sign with the Browns, not the Eagles

Wednesday night, it was reported that the Eagles were going to sign Kenny Britt on Thursday.

Whoooooops. Turns out Britt will be signing with the Browns instead, via an actual reporter.

Britt will be immediately inducted into the Frank Gore Hall of Fame.

March 9: Stephon Gilmore to sign with Patriots

The Eagles were never reportedly linked to Gilmore, but because the Eagles signed three former Bills defenders last offseason (including two cornerbacks) who played for Jim Schwartz in Buffalo, it was easy to label Gilmore as a logical Eagles free agency target. Instead, Gilmore will be headed to New England.

Ian and I disagree on the phrase "worth it."

March 9: DeSean reportedly to sign in Tampa

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, DeSean Jackson is poised to sign in Tampa with the Bucs, as was widely speculated over the last few days.

Another one down.

March 8: Dolphins WR Kenny Stills to stay in Miami

Interestingly, Stills will "only" get $8 million per season, per reports.

It was previously reported that Stills could fetch as much as $12 million per season. Nope. It would also appear that Stills' seemingly modest price tag would indicate that the Eagles were not serious players for him.

March 8: Eagles interested in Bengals DT Domata Peko

According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer press, the Eagles are interested in Bengals DT Domata Peko.

If this report is true, it's yet another indication that the Eagles expect to lose Bennie Logan in free agency.

Peko is 32 years old (he turns 33 in November). He is thought of as a good locker room guy, but a player whose career is in decline. As a player on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, Peko makes some sense as a body who can fill in at DT in the short term while the team figures out a long-term plan to replace Logan. Otherwise, I don't get it.

March 8: Brandin Cooks rumors continue

According to John Hendrix of the Sun Herald in Biloxi, MS, the Titans offered the 18th overall pick for Brandin Cooks, which the Saints turned down.


March 8: Texans fear losing A.J. Bouye to the Eagles

According to Ed Werder of ESPN, the Houston Texans fear losing cornerback A.J. Bouye to the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency, but are poised to make a counter-offer.

After a breakout season in 2016, Bouye is widely considered to be the prize of this year's free agent cornerback class, despite starting just 19 games in four seasons in the NFL. In the very recent past, the Eagles have been burned twice when signing "the prize of the free agent cornerback class" when they handed out big-time money to Nnamdi Asomugha and Byron Maxwell.

At the NFL Combine last Wednesday, Howie Roseman seemed to hint that the Eagles would not be big players in the cornerback free agent market this year, after having learned lessons from previous misses.

"You’ve seen in the last couple of weeks, and certainly in the next couple of weeks, a lot of guys that have been signed (in free agency) the last couple of years have been cut and been in a position where they’re going back on the market," said Roseman. "You’re just trying to find guys who fit your scheme, fit what you’re trying to do from an offense-defense-special teams perspective. When you’re bringing in a guy who played in a different scheme, it’s all projection. It’s hard. That’s why there’s not a great hit rate on free agents and high-priced free agents."

Bouye will not come cheap.

If the Eagles were to pay that kind of money to Bouye, it would significantly restrict what they can do at other positions in free agency.

March 8: Saints still begging for someone to up their offer for Brandin Cooks

According to Ian Rapoport of ESPN, the Eagles, Titans and Patriots are still in on the Brandin Cooks sweepstakes.

That's great that the Saints want draft picks, or players who can affect the quarterback. Every team wants that. The only player the Eagles have who would be appealing to another team in that regard would be Brandon Graham, and I can't imagine the Eagles would want to part with him for Cooks when so much of their defense relies on the front four getting pressure on the quarterback without the help of a blitz.

March 7: More DeSean stuff (via Master Tesfatsion, Washington Post)

All of the following teams have been linked to DeSean already, but we'll update the rumor tracker anyway.

Whenever you see, "Teams A, B, C, and D are interested in Player X," it's coming from an agent. We've already beaten to death how DeSean would fit into the Eagles' offense, but just for poops and giggles, let's take a look at how he might fit in with the other teams on this list:

  1. Cowboys: Yikes. How are you going to keep eight in the box to defend against Zeke and that run-blocking offensive line, while still covering Dez Bryant and DeSean Jackson? The problem for Dallas, however, is... How can they afford DeSean?
  2. Buccaneers: Pairing DeSean with Mike Evans would really give Jameis Winston a potent passing attack, as noted in an earlier entry.
  3. Patriots: The rich get richer.
I guess the "sort of news" here would be that DeSean and the Redskins are expected to go their own ways, although that's not exactly a new thought either. That would certainly help the Eagles finally beat the Redskins, a team they have lost to in five straight games.

March 7: Eagles interested in Broncos CB? (via Brandon Krisztal of KOA NewsRadio in Denver)

According to Brandon Krisztal of KOA NewsRadio in Denver, the Eagles have shown interest in Broncos dime corner Kayvon Webster.

Webster has a weird career trajectory. His numbers have decreased every year he's been in the league.

To date, the Eagles have been connected with every wide receiver with two hands and a heartbeat. It's been a bit of a surprise that the same hasn't happened with corners, but that is beginning to pick up.

March 7: Eagles interested in CB A.J. Bouye? (via Eliot Shorr-Parks,

During the NFL Combine, we opined that the Eagles probably wouldn't spend big on cornerbacks in free agency, seeing as (A) the 2017 NFL Draft is loaded with cornerback talent, and (B) the Eagles have missed brutally on free agent corners over the last half-decade or so. Since 2010, the Eagles have counted on seven free agent corners, many of whom were highly paid, to start for them. That list includes Ellis Hobbs, Nnamdi Asomugha, Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Nolan Carroll, Byron Maxwell and Leodis McKelvin.

According to Eliot Shorr-Parks of, the Eagles are interested in Texans CB A.J. Bouye.

Bouye is a former undrafted free agent corner who had a breakout season in 2016, and is likely going to cash in big-time in free agency. Some have estimated that Bouye could make in the ballpark of $12 million per season, which would make it difficult for the Eagles to also sign a high-priced wide receiver.

March 7: Buccaneers to make a strong push for DeSean Jackson

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Buccaneers are primed to make a strong play for DeSean.

"DeSean to the Eagles" was a storyline that has been beaten to death over the last few months, but he would also make a lot of sense in Tampa, where he could potentially team with Mike Evans to give the Bucs an incredible 1-2 punch at wide receiver for Jameis Winston.

March 6: 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith will become a free agent

According to Steve Smith (the good one), who is apparently breaking news now, 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith will become a free agent.

In 28 games since signing a lucrative deal with the 49ers, Smith averaged a paltry 33.2 receiving yards per game. In 2017, Smith was set to count for $9,600,000 against the Niners' cap, $4,800,000 of which they will save by releasing him.

While Smith's numbers were bad with an incompetent 49ers team, he has shown that he can be productive in a better environment. In his first four years in the NFL with the Ravens, Smith averaged 53 catches, 898 yards, and 7.5 TDs per season.

Smith fits the profile of a deep threat the Eagles are seeking to add, hence their interest in him near the trade deadline this past season. He ran a 4.41 at the 2011 NFL Combine and has a 17.0-yards per catch average over his career.

Smith could be an inexpensive alternative to DeSean Jackson or Kenny Stills, both of whom are expected to garner big pay days, or to Brandin Cooks, should the Eagles and Saints fail to agree to a trade.

Smith is reasonably aged, as he just turned 28 in January.

March 6: Eagles interested in Rams WR Kenny Britt (via Tim McManus, ESPN)

Add another one to the list. According to Tim McManus of ESPN, the Eagles are expected to have interest in Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt.

After seemingly a new arrest every other week early in his career, Britt has become a more stable person off the field in recent years, and a more productive player on it.

In 2016, Britt caught 68 passes for 1002 yards and 5 TDs from guys like Case Keenum and Jared Goff. His 68 catches and 1002 yards were highs over an eight-year career. Despite Britt's long NFL tenure (comparatively speaking), he is still only 28 years old (he'll turn 29 in September). 

Britt could be an option that makes sense for the Eagles, but they should be careful about paying too much money for a player with only one 800-plus yard season in eight years.

McManus notes that the Eagles want to find a bigger receiver to pair with a speed receiver.

Ideally, the Eagles would like to pair a speedy receiver with a big target on the outside. Britt (6-foot-3, 223 pounds) fits that latter description. He scored four touchdowns on 11 red zone targets last season (and has 16 career red zone touchdowns in all). In theory, he would be able to help Wentz out when the field shrinks.

That's an approach that makes sense, and Britt would probably be a lower-cost option than all of the names noted above.

March 6: Eagles among teams interested in Browns WR Terrelle Pryor (via Mary Kay Cabot, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Eagles are among four teams (not including the Browns themselves) who interested in Pryor:

After a breakout season in which Pryor had 77 catches for 1007 yards and 4 TDs in Cleveland's dumpster fire offense, the Browns decided to allow Pryor to test the free agent waters.

Pryor is an extraordinary athlete, but he is still learning the wide receiver position at age 27 (he'll be 28 in June) after being converted from quarterback. He has a high ceiling, but there's bust potential, in my view.

March 4: Eagles interested in Falcons LB Paul Worrilow (via Jeff Howe, Boston Herald)

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Eagles are among four teams interested in Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow.

As PhillyVoice first reported a month ago, the Eagles are likely to trade Mychal Kendricks this offseason. While Kendricks only played about 27 percent of the Eagles' snaps in 2016, the Eagles will still need to replace him, and replenish their linebacker depth.

Worrilow was a starter for the Falcons his first three seasons in the NFL from 2013 to 2015, playing in 47 games. During that span, he racked up 364 tackles. In 2016, however, Worrilow had a smaller role with the emergence of rookie linebackers Deion Jones and De'Vondre Campbell. Worrilow played in 12 games in 2016, starting just one, and managing just 21 tackles.

He could be a low-cost option for the Eagles to "start" in Kendricks' soon-to-be vacated spot as the third linebacker.

March 3: Eagles in the lead for Cooks? And it'll only cost a 2? (via Alex Marvez of Sirius XM)

According to Alex Marvez of Sirius XM radio, the Eagles are the favorites to land Saints WR Brandin Cooks:

And the cost will only be a 2?

This would of course conflict with the information provided by Chris Mortensen of ESPN, who noted that the cost for Cooks could be the Tennessee Titans' first round pick, at 18th overall. (The Titans are the other team heavily rumored to be in on Cooks).

March 3: Eagles are working on a contract extension with DT Beau Allen (via Jeff McLane, Inquirer)

According t Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Eagles and DT Beau Allen are working on a contract extension. McLane believe (and I agree) that this development might logically suggest that the Eagles are preparing for Bennie Logan to leave via free agency.

Extending the fourth-year defensive tackle would fall in line with the team's philosophy of retaining its own talent, especially at an affordable price. But in this case it would also suggest that the Eagles are preparing for the likelihood that homegrown Bennie Logan will walk via free agency.

This past offseason, the Eagles handed out a lot of shiny new contract extensions to players already on the roster, such as Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Sam Bradford, Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox, and Malcolm Jenkins. The one notable omission from the Eagles' attempts to secure their own players was Logan.

The agent for Logan is Todd France, who also represents Cox. If you'll recall, Cox's negotiations took forever and weren't exactly the smoothest. Logan could be pursued by both 4-3 and 3-4 teams on the open market, as he has had success in multiple defensive schemes. It's looking more and more like Logan won't be with the team in 2017.

March 2: Eagles one of two teams reported to have interest in trading for Saints WR Brandin Cooks

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Eagles are in trade talks with the Saints for WR Brandin Cooks:

In his final season at Oregon State, Cooks had 128 catches for 1730 yards and 16 TDs. He led the nation in receiving yards and was second both in receptions and touchdowns. That impressive production has carried over into the NFL. Over the last two seasons, Cooks has 162 catches for 2311 yards and 17 TDs, albeit in a pass-happy offense.

Oh, and hey, he's only 23. He's still younger than a handful of players who will be drafted in April.

So why would the Saints want to trade him? Apparently because of reports that Cooks was unhappy with his role in the offense after a game against the Rams last season in which he wasn't targeted. Show me a receiver who isn't pissed that he didn't get any targets, and I'll show you Nelson Agholor a receiver you don't want.

The Saints would be utterly stupid to consider trading him for anything less than the Eagles' first-round pick, and probably more.

Cooks is a very good ascending young player that any team should covet, but it's wholly unrealistic to think the Saints would just give him away for peanuts, unless he's a colossal jerk. This one is from Mortensen though, so stay tuned.

March 2: Chase Daniel getting some trade interest

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Chase Daniel is someone to watch as a trade target for teams around the league.

As we reported a month ago, the Eagles are looking to clear significant cap space this offseason. Daniel is scheduled to count for $8 million against the Eagles' cap in 2017, $6 million of which they would save if they traded him. That would, of course, leave a hole at backup quarterback for the Eagles, but with a bona fide franchise quarterback at the helm in Carson Wentz, the Eagles can afford to go a little cheaper there. 

March 2: Eagles among four teams to be suitors for Alshon Jeffery

According to Josina Anderson of ESPN, the Eagles, Titans, 49ers, and Bears are "potential suitors" for soon-to-be free agent wide receiver Alshon Jeffery:

The four teams noted should come as no surprise at all, if indeed this report is accurate.

March 1: Browns won't franchise tag WR Terrelle Pryor

The deadline to franchise tag players was at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and the Browns have opted not to slap the tag on wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, according to Mary Kay Cabot of

"The reality at this point is if you're not going to use the tag, the guy's effectively in free agency and will be solicited by other teams through the week here in Indy,'' Executive Vice President Sashi Brown said during his Combine interview. "We're realistic about that. We'll work through the process with Terrelle and his representatives. He's a priority. We won't be panicked if things don't work out and he's not on our roster.''

In his first full season as a receiver, Pryor has been really good, catching 77 passes for 1007 yards and 4 TDs in Cleveland's dumpster fire offense, and he's only going to get better.

Pryor previously left an impression on Jim Schwartz, who admitted that Pryor caught him off guard Week 1 of the 2016 season. Leading up to the Eagles' first matchup against the Giants, Schwartz was asked how you defend a player like Odell Beckham Jr. Schwartz responded that the Eagles faced quality receivers all season, beginning with Pryor as his first example.

"We've had some good receivers this year, really starting with Pryor," Schwartz explained. "He flew a little bit below the radar in that first game; made a couple of plays that I think that maybe we sort of looked as fluke plays. Now we've seen over the course of the season, they weren't fluke plays."

It was expected that Pryor would not be a player who would escape the franchise tag this offseason, but now that he has, he too is in play among a host of other wide receiver options for the Eagles in free agency.

February 27: The Bears are not expected to franchise tag Alshon Jeffery (via Ian Rapoport, NFL Network)

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Bears will allow Jeffery to test the free agent waters.

The Bears franchise-tagged Jeffery last offseason, which cost Chicago $14,599,000 at the time to retain him. (That number is now smaller due to Jeffery's suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs). If the Bears were to tag him again in 2017, that would cost them 120 percent of his previous year's salary, or $17,518,800.

The Eagles will be able to pursue Jeffery in free agency if they have interest, it would appear.

February 21: DeSean Jackson thinks that returning to Philly would be "a great story" (via ESPN, or more specifically, Adam Schefter's podcast)

In an interview with ESPN's Adam Schefter, DeSean Jackson said that returning to Philly would make for a "great story." Via ESPN:

"It definitely is a great story or ending, I guess you could say," he said.

"Starting your career somewhere then going to a division rival team [and] having the possibility of maybe going back. You just kind of think about all of that when you start somewhere maybe you could finish it. There is just a lot of speculation of a lot of thoughts. It all sounds good, but you really never know until the final decision is made," he said.

In the interview, Jackson also spoke in glowing terms about Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, saying that Wentz "has all the intangibles in being a big-time quarter in this league."

Jackson also said that he can still run a 4.3 40-yard dash. Earlier today, we noted that the Eagles are going to target speed receivers in free agency and the draft.

February 18: Eagles will have suitors if they want to trade Connor Barwin (reported by Mark Eckel,

In his first three seasons with the Eagles, Barwin posted very good numbers overall while playing in a 3-4 scheme that put his diversified talents to good use. However, in Jim Schwartz's 4-3 scheme, Barwin was asked to beat left tackles mano-e-mano, which is not his strength. Here are Barwin's numbers in his four years with the Eagles:

 Connor BarwinTackles Sacks FF Pass breakups / batted passes 
 201359 10 
 201464 14.5 
 201634 2 

Playing in a defensive scheme that has historically been very stat-friendly for defensive ends, Barwin posted the worst numbers of his Eagles career, across the board.

In the opinion of Eckel's source, teams around the league would have interest in trading for Barwin.

"If they cut him, teams will be lining up for him,'' a pro personnel man with another NFC team said. "He wouldn't be out of a job for long. I would think they could trade him and get something back. He has value. His deal this year isn't that bad.''

Eckel volunteered the Colts, Packers, and Ravens as teams that could potentially have interest. 

In 2017, Barwin will count for $8,350,000 against the cap, $7,750,000 of which the Eagles can save if they cut or trade him. That is a figure that the Eagles simply cannot keep on their books for the production Barwin has provided. Barwin himself is not oblivious to that notion, as he has stated on television that a pay cut would be reasonable. However, it is our opinion that even a pay cut should not prompt the Eagles to keep him.

We respectfully disagree with Eckel's source that teams will be willing to take on Barwin's contract while also giving up something in return, especially when it's a near certainty that he will be released. But, you never know.

February 12: Eagles likely to trade LB Mychal Kendricks (reported by PhillyVoice)

From 2012 to 2015, Kendricks was a regular starter in the Eagles' defense. However, in his first year under Jim Schwartz, he was the third linebacker in the Eagles' pecking order, behind Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, who both played far more snaps.

Eagles LBs Snaps Percentage of snaps 
 Nigel Bradham990  97.1%
 Jordan Hicks971  95.2%
 Mychal Kendricks273  26.8%

While Kendricks has been bad at times, he has flashed his athletic ability at other times. Unfortunately for Kendricks, Schwartz was unable to find creative ways to use him to the best of his abilities. For example, in the view of many talent evaluators, Kendricks' best trait as a linebacker is his blitzing ability. In 2016, Kendricks rushed the passer a grand total of just nine times, according to ProFootballFocus.

Kendricks will count for $6,600,000 against the salary cap in 2017, $1,800,000 of which the Eagles would save if they released or traded him. He would count for $4,800,000 in dead money.

No specific indication was given from the source as to what Kendricks could fetch in a trade, but it is our opinion that his value would be a mid- to late-round draft pick.

February 10: Eagles could have interest in Bears WR Alshon Jeffery; Eagles were previously pursuing 49ers WR Torrey Smith at last year's trade deadline (reported by Jason La Canfora, CBS)

Per La Canfora:

Several league sources anticipate the Eagles being in on Alshon Jeffery (Bears) and Philadelphia was aggressive in exploring trade options in-season on other receivers as well, like Torrey Smith (San Francisco), and they need to add more than one pass catcher this offseason.

Alshon Jeffery:

Jeffery is a legitimate "No. 1 receiver." Over his last four seasons, he is averaging just under 80 receiving yards per game. He's a big target in the red zone at 6'3, 218, and he does a great job on 50-50 balls down the field. Jeffery would give the Eagles' passing offense an instant and significant boost.

Some believe Jeffery could fetch "Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas money." Bryant and Thomas both signed five-year, $70 million deals. Thomas' contract included $35 million fully guaranteed, while Bryant's was $32 million fully guaranteed.

Jeffery will turn 27 this offseason and is a player who should be in the prime of his career.

Torrey Smith: 

In 28 games since signing a lucrative deal with the 49ers, Smith averaged a paltry 33.2 receiving yards per game. In 2017, Smith will count for $9,600,000 against the Niners' cap, $4,800,000 of which they can save if they release or trade him. It is highly unlikely they will keep him on their books at $9,600,000, especially when he showed a desire to be somewhere else. He's as good a bet to be released this offseason, as, say, Connor Barwin.

While Smith's numbers were bad with an incompetent 49ers team, he has shown that he can be productive in a better environment. In his first four years in the NFL with the Ravens, Smith averaged 53 catches, 898 yards, and 7.5 TDs per season.

Smith fits the profile of a deep threat the Eagles are seeking to add, hence their interest in him near the trade deadline this past season. He ran a 4.41 at the 2011 NFL Combine and has a 17.0-yards per catch average over his career.

A trade for Smith makes no sense, but as a free agent target, he could be an inexpensive alternative to DeSean Jackson or Kenny Stills, both of whom are expected to garner big pay days.

Smith is reasonably aged, as he just turned 28 in January.

February 9: Eagles named as one of five teams expected to pursue Redskins WR Pierre Garcon (via Mike Jones, Washington Post)

This one does not pass the smell test to us. First, a look at Garcon's career numbers:

Pierre GarconRecYdsYPCTD
2008 - Colts4235.80
2009 - Colts4776516.34
2010 - Colts6778411.76
2011 - Colts7094713.56
2012 - Redskins4463314.44
2013 - Redskins113134611.95
2014 - Redskins6875211.13
2015 - Redskins7277710.86
2016 - Redskins79104113.23
TOTAL 564 7068 12.5 37 

As you can see from his numbers above, Garcon has averaged a modest 12.5 yards per catch over his career. He also has never once scored more than six touchdowns in any season. Garcon's role is pretty well established at this point in his career. He is a good possession receiver who is not going to give you much in the way of big plays down the field. 

Players like Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz, and whatever running backs are on the roster in 2017 would benefit from a player who is a threat to make plays down the field. Another receiver who can make catches in short to intermediate areas of the field is not going to stop opposing safeties from camping out near the line of scrimmage, like they did in 2016.

The Eagles are cash strapped, so they have to be very careful where they allocate their dollars this offseason. Garcon would be about as disappointing a solution as imaginable if he were the answer at wide receiver in free agency. As an "additional" free agent acquisition, as in a second guy the Eagles might bring in, that would be fine from a football standpoint, but he's likely going to be way too expensive for what the Eagles have in their coffers if they're already spending big money on a difference-maker at wide receiver.

Garcon will be 31 before the 2017 season begins. If you're going to spend money on a player that old, he better have some kind of dynamic skill set (cough, the other Redskins free agent receiver, cough) that is going to help make the younger players around him better. I just don't see that in Garcon.

February 8: Eagles release Leodis McKelvin (story here via PhillyVoice)

In 2016, McKelvin had 43 tackles and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He was hampered by a hamstring injury for a chunk of the season, however, his play was bad, injury or not. McKelvin had the best season of his career playing for Jim Schwartz with the Buffalo Bills in 2014, but he could not get back to that form after falling down the Bills' depth chart in 2015. At 31 years of age, McKelvin's career was clearly in decline.

In 2017, McKelvin was scheduled to count for $3,450,000 against the salary cap. The Eagles will save $3,200,000 by releasing him, a no-brainer decision.

February 7: Eagles ask Jason Peters to take a pay cut (reported by Adam Caplan, ESPN)

With so many holes on the roster, if Peters plays in 2017 as he is expected to do, the Eagles could put off addressing the offensive tackle position for one more year. Peters and Lane Johnson would give the Eagles a high-quality bookend tandem and would allow Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Dillon Gordon to continue to develop behind the scenes.

If the Eagles released Peters, offensive tackle would instantaneously become every bit as big a need as wide receiver or cornerback, perhaps even more so.

The Eagles have almost no leverage, unless they are legitimately serious about moving on from Peters if he does not take a pay cut. The Eagles could save $9,700,000 if they cut or traded him.

February 2: Eagles will target Dolphins WR Kenny Stills in free agency (reported by Eliot Shorr-Parks,

Stills is the younger, less talented version of DeSean Jackson. In 2016, Stills had 42 catches for 726 yards and nine TDs. His career numbers:

Kenny Stills Rec Yards YPC TD 
 2013 (Saints)32 641 20.0 
 2014 (Saints)63 931  14.8
 2015 (Dolphins)27 440  16.3
 2016 (Dolphins)42 726 17.3 
 TOTAL164 2738 16.7 20 

The appeal of Stills is that he's still only 24 years old (he turns 25 in April). If you believe that Stills has uncapped potential, then I can certainly understand the argument that he makes more sense than Jackson as a long-term play.

January 30: Redskins will pursue Eagles DT Bennie Logan (reported by Mark Eckel,

This past offseason, the Eagles handed out a lot of shiny new contract extensions to players already on the roster, such as Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Sam Bradford, Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox, and Malcolm Jenkins. One notable omission from the Eagles' attempts to secure their own players was Logan.

The agent for Logan is Todd France, who also represents Fletcher Cox. If you'll recall, Cox's negotiations took forever and weren't exactly the smoothest. It feels unlikely that the Eagles are going to get a long-term deal done with Logan prior to the start of free agency. If indeed they cannot, Logan could be pursued by both 4-3 and 3-4 teams, as he has had success in multiple defensive schemes.

The Eagles will be tight on cap space this offseason. My read is that Logan is going to hit free agency, and there will be some team out there that pays him more than the Eagles can afford.

The Redskins do make sense as potential suitors, from a football perspective, as they could certainly use an upgrade at NT. However, the Redskins face many difficult decisions on their own free agents, such as the their upcoming decision to franchise tag Kirk Cousins (or not), and whether or not to make strong plays to retain DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Chris Baker, Vernon Davis, and Junior Galette.

January 25: Eagles expected to free up significant cap space (reported by PhillyVoice)

The Eagles are expected to free up quite a bit of cap space prior to the start of free agency this year. Of course, any close observer of the team would deem that to be common sense for many players, however, the team may have more available spending money by free agency than is presently perceived by many.

Here is a list of players the Eagles could look to make actionable moves on to add to their cap space (all dollar figures via

Release or trade:

  1. Connor Barwin: $7,750,000 
  2. Ryan Mathews: $4,000,000 
  3. Jason Kelce: $3,800,000
  4. Leodis McKelvin: $3,200,000
  5. Allen Barbre: $2,100,000
  6. Mychal Kendricks: $1,800,000
  7. Ron Brooks: $1,600,000

Restructure or pay cut:

  1. Jason Peters: TBD.

January 17: Eagles considering moving on from Jason Kelce (reported by PhilyVoice)

Kelce is scheduled to count for $6,200,000 against the salary cap in 2017, $3,800,000 of which the Eagles would save if they traded or released him. Kelce is the 11th-highest paid center in the NFL, according to

The most likely candidate to fill in for Kelce would be Isaac Seumalo, who the Eagles selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Seumalo sat for most of his rookie season, but he started games at three different positions -- LG, RG, and RT -- late in the year, displaying impressive versatility.

December 4, 2016: Eagles likely to pursue Redskins WR DeSean Jackson in free agency (reported by Adam Schefter, ESPN)

Earlier in the 2016 season, Jackson left the door open for a return to the Eagles, noting that his distaste was for Chip Kelly, not the city or the organization.

In 2016, Jackson had 56 receptions for 1005 yards (17.9 YPC), and four touchdowns. Those numbers would have looked even better if Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has missed an open Jackson on several occasions early last season, squandering opportunities for big plays.

Jackson turned 30 in December, but he can still run and would, of course, fit the speed receiver profile the Eagles unsuccessfully tried to add last offseason. The Eagles would just have to be careful not to commit too far down the road, as Jackson's usefulness will likely fall off a cliff once he loses his speed, unlike other older receivers who can adapt.

From a football standpoint, Jackson would be a great fit for the Eagles' offense, giving rookie quarterback Carson Wentz one of the premier deep threats in NFL history. Jackson could not only produce the big plays the Eagles offense missed badly in 2016, but his mere presence on the field could open things up underneath for players like Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz, and Darren Sproles.

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