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.