Which Eagles Free Agents Will Be Back?

Philadelphia Eagles LB Akeem JordanWe’ve started to preview free agency in the past few days with breakdowns of the cornerbacks and the safeties.

And we’ll continue to look at other positions the rest of the week. But for now, here’s a peek at the Eagles’ own pending free agents, with some thoughts on who could be back.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – As you know by now, the Eagles chose to not franchise Rodgers-Cromartie. He has size, speed and a Pro Bowl under his belt, yet Rodgers-Cromartie seems destined to be on his third team in four years. Given the cornerback depth in free agency, it’ll be interesting to see what the demand is like for DRC. There could be a slim chance that the Eagles consider a short-term deal after letting him test the market. But more likely, another team will see his age and talent and take a shot on him.

Jake Scott – He was out of the league until the Eagles’ ninth game of the season in 2012. But Scott got seven starts at right guard, taking over for Danny Watkins. While he wouldn’t be a bad option for depth/competition, my guess is the Eagles will go with a younger option. Scott turns 32 next month.

Derek Landri – He was really good in 2011, but that production did not carry over to last season. Landri was part of the defensive tackle rotation (46.1 percent of the snaps, per Pro Football Focus), but didn’t have a sack all year. Even though he had seven tackles for loss, Landri struggled against the run also. I would be surprised if the Eagles brought the 29-year-old back.

King Dunlap – I’ve seen arguments by people who think he deserves a legitimate shot to start somewhere, and I have to disagree. Dunlap, a seventh-round pick in 2008, deserves credit for having stayed in the league this long. He’s a complete non-factor as a run blocker and had nine penalties, tied for the most among Eagles offensive players. Dunlap demonstrated competency as a pass blocker on occasion, but it’s highly unlikely that his body could hold up as a 16-game starter. The 27-year-old will look to find a roster spot elsewhere.

Akeem Jordan – It seems like the Eagles try to get rid of him every year, and he just keeps finding his way back on to the 53-man roster at the end of training camp. Jordan has played in 82 games the past six seasons for the Eagles. Last year, he ranked third in special-teams points and led the Birds with 15 special-teams tackles. Jordan played 36.6 percent of the team’s defensive snaps last year, per PFF. Even though it feels like Jordan has been around for awhile, he’s only 27. Right now, the Eagles only have two linebacker spots nailed down with DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks. The likelihood is that Jordan will be gone, but depending on what the Eagles do in free agency and the draft, perhaps he could get another look as a depth/special teams option.

Darryl Tapp – I think we can safely say the Seahawks got the better of this trade. The Eagles sent Chris Clemons and a fourth-round pick to Seattle for Tapp back in 2010. Tapp has had six sacks in 39 games with the Eagles as a rotational defensive end. Clemons has 33.5 sacks in 48 games as a key member of the Seahawks’ defense. Tapp played 28.5 percent of the Eagles’ snaps, per PFF, but managed just half-a-sack and eight hurries. At 28, he’ll try to catch on elsewhere.

Jon Dorenbos – I’ll admit to not knowing the intricacies of the long-snapper market these days. Dorenbos turns 33 in July and has appeared in 101 games in seven years for the Eagles.

Colt Anderson – He’s the only restricted free agent in this group, meaning the Eagles can match other teams’ offers. Of the eight players listed, Anderson is the most likely to be back. He battled back from a torn ACL, led the team in special teams points and was OK in four starts at safety towards the end of the year. If Chip Kelly is making special teams a priority, he’ll hold on to Anderson as the team’s fourth safety.

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  • whattheDEUCE22

    If Dorenbos doesn’t come back then I’ll consider it a lost season.

    • laeagle

      “He’s a magic maaaaan! He’s got magic hands…”

    • Average__Joseph

      If we don’t resign him can we at least resign his wife?

      Just An Average Joseph

      • jabostick

        I have googled this and I second the motion

        • Average__Joseph

          She provides two very good reasons for us to keep him.

          Just An Average Joseph

  • Alistair Middlemiss

    We had better resign Dorenbos – the man is a living legend. Dorenbos for MVP!

  • Bob A

    The only thing you need in a long snapper is a guy that never makes mistakes and Dorenbos never makes mistakes.

  • JofreyRice

    Why can’t they just freaking teach someone who has some other use on an NFL roster to snap the ball? Is it really that hard? What’s Danny Watkins doing with his useless self? Maybe they could get him to envision he’s throwing a bucket of water onto an apartment fire. Seems weird that Chip Kelly is trying to “exploit inefficiencies” but is going to use up a roster spot on some boob that can snap a football and guess the card you’re thinking of.

    • knighn

      “Why can’t they teach someone who has some other use…?”

      What “other use” does Danny Watkins have? You point it out yourself that Danny Watkins is useless.

      Long Snapper is one of those underrated positions on an NFL football team. If you CAN find a guy who serves some other purpose (like Mike Bartrum) then go for it. But the first priority for the Long Snapper is someone who can actually, you know, snap the ball! It does come in handy if the team needs to Punt, Kick Field Goals or Kick PATs at some point during the game.

      • JofreyRice

        He’s probably at least as useful as Julian Vandervelde, at this point–a backup G, albeit one that is now a humiliated first round pick. Teach him to snap the ball and he becomes much more valuable! You’re right though, it’s virtually unheard of to have a guy that’s any viable use to the team as the Long Snapper. Must be some magical skill you’re either born with, or not. Come to think of it, that does line up with his ability to do magic. In that case, I’d say that Howie and Company would be foolish to get rid of an actual Magical Wizard.

        • Token

          If you have a kid, teach them to long snap. It pays pretty well and has great job security.

        • knighn

          You’re comparing Danny Watkins to Julian Vandervelde? You’re harsh, man! What did Vandervelde ever do to deserve that?!

  • Token

    Colt is the only guy on that list id like to see back. Hes a ST ace. Draft a lineman that can actually play on the line if needed as well as long snap. Enough of wasting that roster spot.

    • GoBirds1

      thats what the Giants thought when the lost to SF in the playoffs

  • Guest

    Repost!!! haha JUST KIDDING GUYZZZ

  • peteike

    wow Clemons killin it. That was an awful trade, I didnt know. Also, who are these people making arguments for Dunlap, did they watch him play, just not athletic enough. Kind of a stiff but some of the calls against him were kind of weak in his defense. He was just so much taller and bigger that his hands would come up on guys getting leverage at times

  • barry_nic

    Who the heck knows where we are going? DRC doesn’t tackle, he plays defense and when there is a tackle to be made to save a touchdown, he’s even gotten alligator arms. Our special teams stunk except for Anderson, keep him. Scott too if he’s cheap enough, guards at 33 years old are more common than you think, until the new barganing agreement.

  • Michael Adam Bennett

    Having been a long snapper in high school and a coach now, it is a skill that is way harder to come by than one thinks. Its not just all about throwing the ball through your legs. Additionally, it is a skill that is pretty tough to teach. You can teach someone to snap the ball to the punter/holder, but being able to do it with velocity and accuracy is hard. And being able to do it consistently is damn near a miracle… Resign Jon, please.

    • peteike

      resign or re-sign, ha. Good post

  • ICDogg

    Well, now we’re getting into the minutia of the roster decisions. They could keep Colt and/or Akeem for special teams, they wouldn’t make the team on the basis of their defensive skills. And the long snapper.

    • theycallmerob

      Of the two, I think Colt brings at least a little bit more to the table while playing defense, particularly at a position the Eagles are lacking any true quality. I’d rather have him than Sims, and even Coleman if it came down to it, while I feel a general depth/ST linebacker can be found almost anywhere, and cheap; in fact, that’s how we signed Jason Williams last year.
      For what he would cost, I don’t see why re-signing Colt would be of any concern. But Reid kept Jordan on the team all these years because he seemed to hate linebackers like I hate clowns. And keeping a known variable around was just easy. Kelly can do better.

  • theycallmerob

    Ryan Rau > Akeem Jordan

  • Dorenbos and Colt will be back.