Saturday, April 2, 2016

Eagles Free Agency Report Card

The beginning of April means that the official countdown to the 2016 NFL Draft is on, but it also marks a good time to take a look back at some of the moves the Eagles made to improve their roster through free agency. I might be grading on a curve, but I am going to give the Birds a solid B for their efforts. Howie Roseman is running the show now as the De facto director of player personnel even though his actual title is Executive Vice President of Football Operations. To me, he is basically everything but head coach, which is now Doug Pederson's job title.

Some of the early moves Philly made were to lock-up the free agents on its own roster that it wanted to keep. This list included quarterback Sam Bradford, defensive end Vinny Curry and cornerback Nolan Carroll II. The Eagles also extended the contracts of tight ends' Zach Ertz and Brent Celek. All of these players have been solid contributors in the past and while I am not sold on Bradford as a true franchise quarterback, he remains a good fit until a long-term replacement can be found.

Some of the new faces we will see in midnight green next season include guard Brandon Brooks, safety Rodney McLeod and cornerbacks' Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks. This group of players as a whole add some much needed depth to the team's biggest weak spots. The Eagles also came to terms with backup quarterback Chase Daniels, who worked with Pederson when he was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City. Daniels has only started two games in his seven-year NFL career, but many football experts believe he has a chance to take Bradford's place as the full-time starter in Philadelphia. I am not ready to jump on that bandwagon, but competition at any position is always a good thing.

The main reason that I graded the Eagles so high is for their overall approach to free agency this offseason. Getting value for their dollar has replaced the mentality of paying big bucks for big named free agents. Those type of deals rarely work out as expected and all they do in the long run is chew-up salary cap space. There are still some holes to fill on both sides of the ball, but I do believe that the team under the Roseman/Pederson regime is moving in the right direction. You cannot deny that things were much more exciting with a wheelin' and dealin' Chip Kelly at the helm, but we all know how that fiasco ended.

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