How League-Wide Tags Affect the Eagles

The 4 p.m. deadline to use the franchise tag has come and gone.

As expected, the Eagles did not use the designation, but moves around the league will affect the Birds. Here’s a rundown:

Dolphins tag DT Randy Starks: For the Eagles, this isn’t so much about Starks staying in Miami, but it means the Dolphins will not tag cornerback Sean Smith or offensive tackle Jake Long, both of whom are expected to hit the open market. The Eagles have already been rumored to have interest in Smith (details here).

49ers don’t tag Goldson: Safety Dashon Goldson is the one free agent I’m fielding the most questions about. Jim Harbaugh values him, but San Francisco opted not to franchise Goldson for a second consecutive year. As the top safety on the market, he could command a big payday. More here on Goldson.

Titans don’t tag Cook: Tennessee was expected to tag tight end Jared Cook, but that didn’t happen. There would have been an argument over whether Cook deserved tight end compensation or wide receiver compensation, considering how he was used. I wonder if the Eagles would have some interest in Cook. He’s 25, is 6-5 and ran a 4.5 40 out of college. Don’t think No. 2 tight end; think more slot receiver like Marques Colston.

Assuming Chip Kelly is going to run some version of the spread, Cook could line up inside, provide a big target and present matchup problems for opposing defenses. Tim wrote earlier about the possibility of Kelly wanting to stockpile tight ends. Certainly, Cook would be a name to consider, although he could attract a lot of interest.

Falcon’s don’t use tag: There was a chance Atlanta would use it on safety William Moore, but that didn’t happen. If the Falcons don’t agree to terms with Moore on an extension before March 12, he’ll be one of the top safeties on the market (more details here).

Texans don’t use tag: There was some buzz earlier today that they might tag safety Glover Quin, but that didn’t happen. T-Mac reported earlier that Quin could still stick with Houston on a long-term deal. If that doesn’t happen, he’d be a free-agent safety option.

Chiefs tag Albert: Big Red reportedly signed wide receiver Dwayne Bowe to a five-year extension and tagged offensive tackle Branden Albert. That No. 1 pick appears to be completely wide-open at this point.

Cowboys tag Anthony Spencer: He’s 29, but if the Eagles wanted a versatile 3-4 outside linebacker, Spencer could have been an option. Per Pro Football Focus, he dropped back about 35 percent of the time last year on passing downs, but still came up with 11 sacks. Instead, it looks like he’ll make the switch to defensive end for Monte Kiffin.

Ravens don’t use tag: They could have used it on outside linebacker Paul Kruger or inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbee, but did not. Both players are 27 and figure to benefit from the Ravens’ Super Bowl run. They are fits in a 3-4 defense.

Giants don’t use tag: Safety Kenny Phillips was considered a possibility, but the 26-year-old safety can now hit the free-agent market, assuming the two sides don’t reach an agreement before March 12.

Bills tag Byrd: We already knew this one, but just in case you missed it, the Bills have tagged safety Jairus Byrd, so he won’t hit the open market.

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  • laeagle

    Cook is an intriguing option. Anyone have any more info on him, such as work ethic, how he is as a teammate, etc? Stuff beyond what you see from his numbers? As a pretty dynamic receiver with some serious size, he’s certainly interesting. My question is how he would fit into what Kelly is trying to build here. Any ideas on how he’d handle the supposedly intense training regimen? Being asked to block? I figure if the receivers are required to block in Kelly’s scheme, that goes for the TEs, too, so a TE who doesn’t block would seem to be ruled out.

    • theycallmerob

      In 2011, with Hasselbeck as QB, he posted 49 receptions, 759 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Big expectations coming into last year, but I think Locker/playcalling/bad WRs/bad defense brought that whole team down. Runs a 4.50 40s, 45in vertical, and soft hands. Impressive in college, videos are still on youtube. Main issue is how to pay the guy: TE or WR.

      • laeagle

        Yeah, Cook is growing on me. He’s only 25, so if they like him, it’s a good time to pick him up. Could be a really solid addition. Again, this is without knowing anything about him as far as work ethic, attitude, etc. Not that he has to be a choir boy, but I get the feeling that they’re looking for players who will buy into what they’re building. Hard to say if he fits that at this point.

        But man, the numbers are pretty good, both in size and production.

        If I recall correctly, didn’t the Eagles have interest in him? I believe he was from the draft where we got Cornelius Ingram but I can’t remember if Cook or Ingram was chosen first. I vaguely remember being interested in him back then.

        • theycallmerob

          This is a good article looking at Cook, right before last season, with relation to A. Hernandez’s new deal:

          The same site has mentioned before his good work ethic, especially with relation to improving his blocking.
          He did make some waves by publicly questioning why some coaches were fired this offseason.

          • laeagle

            Thanks for the info! Good article. Gives some insight, along with the discussion.
            Now a good question is, do you pay someone like Cook or try for someone like Finley (if he’s available)? I don’t have an answer but it’s worth thinking about.

    • Smegga

      When he catches the ball for a first down, Cook does not act like he’s won the Super Bowl. He usually hands the ball to an official and runs back to the huddle quickly.
      Does that help?

      • 1972

        Ah someone else who cant stand celek. Lol cmon brent chill with the first down signals andstop tipping balls that turn into picks

    • I think Cook is going to be more of a target than most expect. Kelly has said he wants to keep as many TEs on the roster as possible, this team lacks any large receiving threat and the kid is athletically gifted. I think it would be a hell of a pick up. I can’t wait for FA to hit!!!!!

  • Nick M

    What they do in free agency should determine what they do in the draft. Sign Kruger and you have no OLB in Graham and Kruger so they probably wouldn’t draft Dion Jordan. I’d love to see them sign Goldson and Cook. This would still leave them open to drafting the best available players since you still would need another safety.

    Also, what if they sign a young solid OT? Then do they draft one? Still wouldn’t be a bad idea. Herrimans can move back to guard and you don’t know what Peters will be like. Worst case is you have the rookie tackle (Fisher?) backup the veterans. They aren’t winning next year anyway so an immediate impact from their first round pick isn’t as important. Going forward, it would be nice to have book end tackles for years to come (like Runyan and Thomas)

    • theycallmerob

      Cook has intrigued me for a bit (mainly for FFL purposes), but coming into this season he was reported to be blowing scouts’ minds in camp/preseason. I think having Jake Locker throwing the ball, with some knucklehead WR’s, hurt his stock. He’s the polar opposite of Celek in terms of size/speed/athleticism.

    • I like your FA ideas; however I would have to disagree on the first round pick being a first year backup. If we take a tackle there you can bet your bottom dollar he is starting. If we could find some buyers moving back in the draft is the best way to go. Take a safety or rush LB. we could very well draft Millner or the best OT at four though.

  • Eagle knowledge

    I think Cook would be a great pick up.

  • theycallmerob

    Unbelievable, Sheil. I just got home, and was about to start doing my own research on this. Thank baby jesus I checked here first.
    You and Tim are simply the best.

    • Graham

      They really are….

      It’s almost as if they are fans themselves and they know exactly what is going through the heads of other fans like you and I!

      No other journalism on the Eagles can even come close to it!

    • Mr. Wu

      I concur!

  • Mitchell

    Joekel is more likely to be available at 4 now. Looks we may have more trading down fodder.

  • Mostel

    Tagged Albert = Joekel will be there at #4!

    • ICDogg

      It’s possible. KC still needs another tackle though. Maybe they’ll take Fisher if they think he’s a better RT fit.

      • JofreyRice

        It’s possible but I don’t think so. They just ponied up big money to Eric Winston, who played very well last year. They are fairly set at guard with Jon Asamoah and Jeff Allen, and are good at Center with Rodney Hudson.

        They are letting Glenn Dorsey walk, and are going to either cut, or massively restructure Tyson Jackson’s 14 mil 2013 salary. I think if they can’t find someone to trade down with, it’s very possible they make Sharrif Floyd the #1 pick in the draft, and bring him in to play 5 technique end. I believe they are transitioning from a traditional 2 gap 3-4 that Crennel ran to a 1 gap 3-4, where they’ll want better penetrators than Dorsey or Jackson.

  • ICDogg

    Fishduck: Why Chip Kelly Will Win Super Bowls At Philadelphia

    • knighn

      Thanks for the link! Great article! We can only hope and pray that FishDuck is correct!

  • Bdawkbdawk

    Don’t forget that Andy resigned his punter! 9 million guaranteed. What a shark.

    • JofreyRice

      I’m so glad the Eagles moved on from Reid, regardless of how Kelly works out. He’s got a pretty sustained pattern of WTF decisions.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    I’m all about Phillips. Cook. Smith. And Kruger or Ellerbee…we got needs everywhere

    • I’m with you on Smith & Phillips (would take Quin also). Those are needs that must be addressed in both FA & draft. Like Cook & Kruger as added pieces. Want Ziggy Ansah in first round, Matt Elam in second. That my friend is a significantly upgraded team that is poised to compete and be a force again soon.

  • Rick H

    I believe this will be a “tell” about Chip Kelly. Meaning if he goes after anyone 27 or older. I believe he wants every single guy to buy in to his program. The last thing he needs is a guy who has been around the league/played well but has AN ATTITUDE! I I believe Kelly will not want veterans that could/might be guys that bring the business as usual frame of mind. I think he is thinking young lots of rookies and very positive veterans. PrimaDonna’s will be gone. Don’t be surprised if someone will all love gets traded. i have no idea but i sense he won’t tolerate it.

  • xlGmanlx

    The only one I would sign is cook on the cheap/team friendly. Size and decent speed at that, otherwise, pass on the rest of the “big name” FA’s