Eagles Watching Tag Game Closely

There have been some moves (and non-moves) around the league in recent days that could have an impact on the Eagles’ offseason plans.

Teams have until Monday to use the franchise tag. So far, five clubs have opted to do so:

Bengals — DE Michael Johnson
Bears – DT Henry Melton
Broncos – OT Ryan Clady
Bills – S Jairus Byrd
Colts – P Pat McAfee

With the Bengals’ tag going to Johnson,  right tackle Andre Smith remains unprotected.  The 6-4, 332-pounder was the fourth-highest rated tackle in the game last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He was selected sixth overall back in 2009 out of Alabama. Jeff Stoutland did not join the Tide until 2011 so their paths would not have crossed, but surely the O-line coach could call his former boss, Nick Saban, to get the lowdown.

Smith is reportedly seeking a contract that will pay him $9 million a year. Then again, so am I.

Similarly, the Bills’ decision to tag Byrd means 6-2, 306-pound guard Andy Levitre will become a free agent assuming he doesn’t strike a deal with Buffalo prior to March 12. A 2009 second-round pick out of Oregon State, Levitre was PFF’s ninth-rated guard in 2012, yielding one sack.

Both Smith and Levitre are 26.

Age could be a factor in Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman‘s thinking when it comes to free agency this year. They are looking big picture, and may not want to allocate resources to players who are entering the twilight of their careers.

Also of note:

– Atlanta released John Abraham, Dunta Robinson and Michael Turner. These moves should help the Falcons in their effort to re-sign some of their own free agents to-be, including safety William Moore and cornerback Brent Grimes.

– The Cardinals released 28-year-old cornerback William Gay, formerly of the Steelers, as well as linebacker Stewart Bradley.

– The Titans are expected to use the tag on tight end Jared Cook.

– The Niners reportedly will not tag safety Dashon Goldson. The 28-year-old has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons, coming up with nine picks and 20 passes defensed in that time. Billy Davis mentioned the Niners’ physicality when talking about the kind of defense he would like to bring to Philadelphia. Former San Francisco personnel man Tom Gamble now works for the Eagles.

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  • joethomas215

    Goldson would be a great addition plus Keenan Lewis and Milliner or Trufant out of the 1St or 2ND rounds respectively and I think,we come out with a strong secondary, and Trufant, would allow us to take a play maker for our front 7. In 2 years our defense could be quite good

    • 1972

      i agree, mill and gold are a major upgrade. and i say give the passrushers that are already on the team a shot to shine.. graham and curry are high draft picks… we need a nose tackle offensive tackle and a saftey out the draft. Damn i hope they get elam.. his combine was subpar, i watch the games.. hes baby dawkins!!!

      • Dilleria

        Elam is a beast….he’s a must have!

        • http://www.facebook.com/todd.orange.1 Todd Orange

          Very likely that he could be had in the second round

  • Graham

    Lets bring in Goldson and kick of this secondary rebuilding with a bang. Goldson is no Nnamdi

  • nicksaenz1

    Did I misunderstand something? I’m not seeing how being 26 is entering the twilight of one’s career. I was always under the impression that 26(ish) was entering the prime of one’s career… Either way, landing Goldson would be huge. If we pick up one of these O-lineman (lord knows we have the cap space) it reduces the need to draft OL with the 4th and can land a good OLB/DL. It should be noted that Flacco’s deal is going to make it impossible for the Ravens to sign everyone on there RFA UFA list, likely leaving out Paul Kruger as they’ll need Ellerbe to replace Lewis. They only had 17mil including the carryover prior to the deal. Lot of restructuring/cutting needed on their part just to bring back guys like Ellerbe, Reed, McKinnie, etc. I think Reed’s going to the Pats now.

    • bentheimmigrant

      Yes. It was a new paragraph, noting that age will likely be a factor. As in, don’t expect any more 30 year old free agents.

    • CAEagle

      26ish is entering prime, but if they are looking @ “big picture” in rebuilding, then by the time the team is hitting its prime (2-3yrs) the player now signed is entering the twilight of their career.

    • Dave Haley

      They were saying that 26 is a good number and that they won’t go for the 30 yr olds anymore. Atleast not while they are re building! That is how i read it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508479001 Richaud Jeaffreson

    Stew Bradley would add some depth at ILB. Wouldn’t mind seeing him back here.

    • http://twitter.com/ChurroTom Churro Tom

      No. He’s frail and can’t play STs. He has no value here.

      • Cali bleeds Kelly green

        Amen

    • PaoliBulldog

      The Bradley of old, yes. The old Bradley, no. It was a shame how the knee injury ruined him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd.orange.1 Todd Orange

    I want to enter into the FA period and come away with two impact starters. I think that is realistic. Two targets that make the most sense would be Goldson and Levitre. Sean Smith from Miami is also a good potential talent to bring in. My only reservation is that Goldson is already 28. Targets for this team should be 26 or under.

  • jon

    trade trent cole to the falcons for a 2nd or 3rd rounder

  • Sensei

    Free agency will have to play a large part in the teams plans this offseason. Starters must be found as there are too many holes to patch in the draft alone to be passive in free agency

    • Token

      Fans have not yet learned their lesson with free agency apparently.

  • Token

    I dont get the Goldson love. The guy is not a very good safety. He gets abused. We already have guys that can get abused just fine. He takes penalties and misses tackles. People are in love with this guys name without ever paying much attention to how he plays.

    There really are no FA safeties I would look at. Not when the draft looks so interesting at that spot. Oline is really the only spot I want them to grab a guy at.

  • http://twitter.com/JerryP2375 Jerry Pomroy

    I don’t think that the Eagles “need” to spend big dollars this year on the OL in FA. Depth yes, big money starters, no. Not yet anyway. But I wouldn’t be opposed to it if they signed their RT that will nail down the position for the next 5yrs. What they do need to spend on is the secondary because there are 4 spots needed to fill. Adding Sean Smith is a must. He’s a top 10-12 corner, big, physical and young enough to give you 5-6yrs of solid play. Goldson may be a year or two older than what you’d like, but outside of him the FA picture for safety is old or injury plagued for the most part. Throw in Milliner at 4 & then Elam at 35 & you’ve made the secondary now the strength of the entire team & a non-factor for the foreseeable future. An attacking style front seven needs a good secondary and man, I see a TON of TOs if that was the case. If they go with a stop gap player (Landry or Bell) at safety in FA, they’re still significantly better and Elam could play at FS, versus SS if they signed Goldson. They would then be open to go NT, QB, OL with the remaining rounds, in no particular order. Once their biggest weakness is addressed, then you can work to improve other positions.