NFL free agency 2018: Five veterans the Super Bowl champion Eagles could target
With 13 of their own players hitting free agency, Philadelphia could be in the market for depth
When free agency kicks off in March, the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles could have as many as .
A total of 13 Eagles, in fact, will be unsigned once the 2018 league year begins, so this season's title-winning front office Carson Wentz., especially as it gears up for a potential repeat run with
There's a lot to be done from now until then, but as we prepare for a flurry of offseason activity, here's a look at five veterans that could draw the Eagles' interest in the coming months:
Fullbacks have been phased out of today's game, yes, but Doug Pederson was adamant early in his Eagles tenure that he at least wanted to toy with the position. With an aging Brent Celek likely on the way out and Trey Burton also set to hit free agency, Philadelphia might be pressed for blocking help, and Sherman, a diamond in the rough for old pal Andy Reid in Kansas City, offers just that. The former All-Pro, who could aid in clearing holes for a rushing tandem of Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement, is also a special teams standout, which always makes for 53-man value.
Hey, his name looks familiar! Less than a year after the Eagles traded him for cornerback Ronald Darby, Matthews makes sense as a low-risk veteran on a prove-it deal. We know now that Nelson Agholor is more dynamic in the slot, but with Alshon Jeffery manning one outside spot and Mack Hollins also in the fold, the pressure would be off J-Matt to be the star of the WR corps. This only works if Torrey Smith heads elsewhere, but that seems likely unless the latter slashes his $5 million salary for 2018, and no one in the locker room would be complaining -- Matthews is still close friends with Agholor, Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz.
If Smith departs and Matthews' injury history keeps the Eagles from reuniting with him, here's another low-risk option out wide. Hollins, of course, could step up right to the No. 2 WR job, but Philly would be wise to pad its depth chart just in case. Brown has a checkered medical resume of his own, but he's also got the speed to stretch defenses and potentially warrant a role on special teams, where Kenjon Barner's impending free agency could open a returner job.
If the Eagles can retain Burton, that puts them in a far better position at the TE spot entering 2018. But with or without an extension for him, the team also figures to replace Celek. Willson's a guy who could come on the cheap, and yet he's got starting experience from a Super Bowl run, stepped up his blocking game in 2017 and still managed a way to catch four touchdowns behind Jimmy Graham. At the very least, he'd be worth a look as relief for Ertz.
Whether or not the Eagles re-sign starting outside linebacker Nigel Bradham, whose Pro Bowl-caliber stretches in 2017 make him a candidate for a decent deal, they should be on the lookout for depth at the core of their defense. They simply need bodies behind Bradham, Mychal Kendricks and Jordan Hicks, whose season-ending injury during the team's Super Bowl run left the MLB spot all but barren. Spence has already been on Philly's radar, working out for the club in the fall, and has spot-start experience.
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