The 2013 NFL free agent market is open for business as all 32 teams embark on the mission of adding the missing pieces that they believe will be the key to earning a trip to the playoffs and possibly the conference championship game. The way that parity has gripped the NFL over the past decade or so, it is very conceivable that a team could go from worst to first next season if it adds the right pieces over the next few weeks.
Two years ago the Eagles proved that the free agent process is not all what it is cracked up to be. As a result of a prolonged labor dispute, the free agent signing period was delayed to August and reduced to two weeks. Like a drunken sailor on leave, they went out and spent everything they had in their pocket in an effort to buy a NFC championship and possible Vince Lombardi Trophy. The results were a complete disaster as all this high-priced talent never gelled. It also marked the beginning of the end for the Andy Reid era in Philadelphia with an 8-8 record that year.
Heading into this season’s free agent frenzy, the new boss in town, Chip Kelly brought this tragic chapter in franchise history to a close by parting ways with a number of those free agents including Cullen Jenkins and Nnamdi Asomugha, who just so happened to be two of the biggest names signed back in 2011.
So far, the Eagles have taken a pretty conservative approach to this year’s free agent market by adding a piece here and there that is hopefully the first step towards a return to a winning season. Overall, the Birds remain a mild longshot at best to win the NFC next season, but that is actually a good thing. With players like Jenkins and Asomugha on the roster, they were opened as one of the top three or four favorites to win a conference title and proceeded to prove the Oddsmakers completely wrong by crashing and burning in grand fashion.
A few weeks back I wrote a piece for Bang the Book covering the opening futures odds for winning the NFC in 2013. While it may be a bit outdated considering some of the player movement over the past few days, it should still paint a pretty good picture of the legitimate contenders for next season’s conference crown.
2013 NFC Championship Futures Odds