Interest In Jean-Francois; the Revis Question

Things continue to stay relatively quiet on the free agency front, but there are at least a couple items worth discussing this afternoon.

The first has to do with Ricky Jean-Francois. According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the Eagles have shown interest in the 49ers’ versatile defensive lineman. Adam Caplan is reporting that the Birds are just one of eight teams that have inquired about Jean-Francois. In other words, there is a lot of competition.

We wrote about Jean-Francois yesterday. He would most likely fit in as a 3-4 defensive end, but the 6-3, 295-pounder brings some versatility to the table and could potentially get a look at nose tackle. He only played 25.6 percent of the 49ers’ snaps last year per Pro Football Focus, but is just 26-years-old.

Jean-Francois was a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2009, and Eagles vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble is obviously familiar with him. He will be a name to watch as free agency officially gets going on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

THE REVIS QUESTION

Many of you have asked about the possibility of the Eagles acquiring Darrelle Revis. Jeff McLane of The Inquirer wrote today that there’s a rumor going around in league circles that Howie Roseman is working to put together an offer for the Jets’ cornerback.

The case for Revis is this: He’s 27. When healthy, he’s the best cornerback in the league. He would fill a need. And he’s available.

But as always, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Acquiring Revis would require two things:

1. Offering up compensation that the Jets would agree to.
2. Agreeing to a long-term deal with the cornerback.

The first requirement depends on the market. The Eagles aren’t giving up the No. 4 pick straight up, but a deal in which they switch spots with the Jets (who have the No. 9 pick) and provide additional compensation in later rounds could be possible. Perhaps a player could even be included.

The second criterion is probably more of a concern. We know Revis has been involved in multiple contract disputes with the Jets, and he’ll demand to be paid as the league’s top corner. What might that mean? $13 million per year? $14 million? $15 million? More?

“I’m not gonna pay him, or any corner, what Nnamdi (Asomugha) was making in Oakland — that’s absurd,” one NFC personnel director told Albert Breer of NFL Network, referencing the three-year deal that paid Asomugha $15 million per season. “I know it’s a passing league, but the great teams — New England, Green Bay — they spread you out, find a mismatch, and bleed you to death. You can’t tie up all that money in one guy when you need help all the way around.”

The fact that Revis is coming off of a torn ACL further complicates the matter.

The Eagles have a reported $34.2 million in cap space – fourth-most in the league. But they also have a lot of needs: two starting corners, safeties, defensive line depth, at least one outside linebacker and offensive line depth.

If I’m Roseman, I at least look into the Revis possibility. If you determine that he will come back from the ACL and be one of the top two or three corners in the game, then you inquire about what the Jets are looking for and Revis’ contract demands.

My feeling is that it’s probably unlikely that the Eagles land Revis, but as we’ve seen with this team in recent years, don’t rule anything out.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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