More Sports:

March 14, 2023

NFL free agency: Day 1 NFC East recap

The first day of NFL free agency saw the Eagles lose key defenders in Javon Hargrave, T.J. Edwards and more. See how the NFC East did a whole.

Eagles NFL
03132323JavonHargrave Maria Lysaker/USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles lost Javon Hargrave and T.J. Edwards on Day 1 of NFL free agency.

Day 1 of NFL free agency is in the books, and the NFC East was one of the quieter divisions in the league, as neither the Philadelphia Eagles nor the Dallas Cowboys added any outside free agents. We'll go in order of each teams' finish last season.


Notable players gained/retained

C Jason Kelce: As expected, Kelce will play for the Eagles for at least one more season, anchoring the Eagles' elite offensive line. With Kelce's return, the Eagles will keep the following offensive players in place for 2023:

QB Jalen Hurts
WR A.J. Brown
WR DeVonta Smith
TE Dallas Goedert
LT Jordan Mailata
LG Landon Dickerson
C Jason Kelce
RT Lane Johnson

The Eagles should also have a suitable replacement for RG Isaac Seumalo in Cam Jurgens should Seumalo leave in free agency. There will be legitimate questions on the defensive side of the ball, but their offense will put them in a good position to defend their NFC title.

Notable players lost

DT Javon Hargrave: Hargrave is one of the best pass rushing defensive tackles in the NFL, and the most damaging of the Eagles' losses on Day 1. He also signed with one of the Eagles' biggest threats in the NFC in the 49ers, though it cost them, as Hargrave scored a four-year deal worth $84 million.

LB T.J. Edwards: Edwards was literally the first reported signing of free agency, and he'll go home to Chicago to play for the Bears. The Eagles will have to find a new signal caller for the defense, and I imagine that they hope that will be 2022 third-round pick Nakobe Dean. Edwards had 159 tackles, 2 sacks, and 7 pass breakups in a breakout season for Philly in 2022.

S Marcus Epps: Epps was a serviceable-but-unspectacular starter for the Eagles who was arguably outplayed by undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship last season. He found a new home in Vegas on a two-year deal worth $12 million. It was a little surprising that Epps signed on Day 1, but Chauncey Gardner-Johnson did not.

OT Andre Dillard: Dillard was a first-round bust for the Eagles, but the Titans evidently believe that he can be an answer for them at left tackle. They signed Dillard to a three-year deal worth a surprising $29 million. 


Notable players gained/retained

• None. The Cowboys have a reputation as a wildly spending team, but the reality is that they like to draft and develop. Their inactivity on Day 1 is not out of the ordinary at all. They probably don't take enough swings in free agency, frankly.

Notable players lost

OG Connor McGovern: McGovern was the Cowboys' starting LG in 2022 who also filled in at times at C. Just a guy. The Bills signed him to a three-year deal worth $23 million. Still, the Cowboys are light on offensive line depth and could be looking to add some bodies in the draft.


Notable players gained/retained

LB Bobby Okereke: Okereke was a nice player for the Colts in 2022, collecting 151 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 5 pass breakups. Okereke landed a four-year deal worth $40 million, while comparable off-ball linebackers like Edwards and Germaine Pratt signed deals for under $7 million per season.

DT Rakeem Nuñez-Roches: Nuñez-Roches is going to be 30 in July, and he's not much more than a depth guy. I'm not sure why the Giants felt he was a priority Day 1 signing at $4 million per season.

P Jamie Gillan: Gillan re-signed for two years, $4 million. He had one of the highlights of the 2022 NFL season:

LS Casey Kreiter: The Giants re-sign Kreiter, their long snapper. I won't pretend to know how well Kreiter threw the ball between his legs for the Giants in 2022.

Notable players lost

iOL Nick Gates: Gates suffered a gruesome leg injury and faced the prospect of retirement, but he was able to return and start eight games for the Giants in 2022, and even got some votes for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Gates has some guard/center versatility, but he has had seven leg surgeries. He signed a three-year, $16.5 million deal with Washington.


Notable players gained/retained

OT Andrew Wylie: Wylie was the weak link on the Chiefs' offensive line in 2022, as PFF had him down for nine sacks allowed on the season. He signed a three-year deal worth $24 million, and will presumably start at RT, with Sam Cosmi moving inside to RG.

iOL Nick Gates: Again, nice story, but I think this is the correct #analysis: 

Notable players lost

• None

Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @JimmyKempski | thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader