Three Free Agents That Fit

We asked NFL analyst Brian Baldinger to identify three free agents that are a match for the Eagles in terms of both need and scheme fit. Here are the three players he would go after (assuming they hit the market):

OLB Brian Orakpo

Baldinger: I think he’s just a solid outside linebacker. I believe he’d be a great fit opposite Connor Barwin. He plays the run well, he’s strong at the point. I know in 2012 he got hurt but for the most part he’s been very durable. And when he’s durable he’s giving you 10 sacks or more a year and I think that’s what you’re looking at. I think Connor and Orakpo, if they lined up and played 80 percent of the snaps next year, I think you would get 20 sacks out of those guys.

[He would fit into Billy Davis‘ scheme] and you also weaken the Redskins at the same time.

Safety T.J. Ward

Baldinger: First of all he is an exceptional tackler. I think he has really good instincts. He has good speed — maybe not great speed — but he has good speed.  If you want to get an eighth guy in the box, he’s as crafty and talented as any player in the league at doing it. And he’s been durable.

Chip [Kelly] knows him. I think you still have to draft a guy and draft a guy high, but I’d feel a lot better [with him on the roster]. If you look at the teams that improved their defenses this year, if you look at Tennessee, they fixed their safety position first. I believe he can cover well enough. If teams are playing the slot position against you  he can drop down and cover slot receivers well enough. I think he can play free safety if you want to interchange and I think he’s an exceptional tackler, a very physical player. He’s not Earl Thomas because I don’t know that anyone has that speed, but he’s Earl Thomas’ size and I think he likes the game as much as Earl.

QB Josh McCown

Baldinger: I would be interested in Josh. I know the kid really well. He won games for Chicago and played extremely well. He’s very coachable. Even though he’s in his 30’s I still think he has a young body. Josh would upgrade the IQ of any quarterback room. I believe he would be good for Nick [Foles].

Josh is a very good athlete. He threw the ball exceptionally well on the run in Chicago this year, he was pinpoint accurate…If Nick was the guy he would take the backup role perfectly well, or even if they kept [Matt] Barkley as the backup I think he would fit in well at whatever role. Of all the quarterbacks that are out there, he’s the guy that intrigues me the most.


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  • Randy

    Wow Orakpo and Ward? Really going out on a limb here. I hate when analysts just give us obvious answers. C’mon Brian, wow me. Teach me something.

    • GEAGLE

      Who wouldn’t be a good fit for a probowl OLB and safety?

    • aub32

      You do realize that’s it Baldy you’re asking right? I don’t know why you would’ve expected some 2nd level analysis.

  • johnr

    Don’t think any of these guys sign here. Too much money already committed to OLB to sign Orakpo. Ward is likely to get tagged. And McCown is looking for a team that he has a better chance of starting.

    • Token

      Theres probably a 3% chance either of those guys get away from their current teams.

      Some reporter on twitter threw out the idea that maybe the Browns would let go of Ward because Pettine wants Byrd to run his defense. Cant see why Byrd would leave the Bills and go to another black hole of the NFL in Cleveland.

    • peteike

      I kept reading that they would tag Mack, their center. Just saw this though, they may want to sign Mack and Ward.


    I’ll give you guys 3 GUARENTEED names the Eagles sign in in Take it to the Bank type of prediction:
    1) Malcom Jenkins.. Starting safety

    2) Corey Graham will lead our ST and be Colt Anderson’s replacement. he isn’t being signed to play Safety or CB..although he can be used if injuries mount up
    3) Alex Carrington DL..27yrs old, 6’5 305lbs,.he will be a quality member of our rotation, and play a lot of Nickle pass rush situations next to Cox(Thornton and Logan go to bench). “Missed a lot of this season with a Torn Pec, but was an interior pass rush force in 2012..won’t be expensive, but will be a quality addition to our DL. Buffalo is going to let him hit the market

    These are NOT names that would be on my wish list, they aren’t names any fan should be excited about this time of year, but I honestly am expecting all 3 to become Eagles in March. Don’t shoot the messenger!!

    • Tikkit

      Gotta disagree a bit here. First Cory Graham is a starting CB not a ST guy. He’s going to get second tier CB money IF the Ravens let him go, which John Harbaugh said they didn’t want. Secondly, Malcom Jenkins? Why do you keep banging this drum? He’s an injury waiting to happen and didn’t excel at CB or S. Honestly, I don’t see either of those two being signed.

      • GEAGLE

        I hate Malcom Jenkins,,,hate him. Just expect him to be the safety we sign……CG is not a starter. Someone may offer him a chance to compete, but no one is signing him thinking they got a starting CB or Safety…a little birdie mentioned CG to me..
        Like I said, these aren’t players I’m high on, or that I hope we sign. My wish list has much sexier names on it,,,these are names I expect us to sign. But we can certainly agree to disagree

    • LombardiTime

      You went through all that effort to convince us of your sound reasoning. I’m sorry you wasted your time. If your list contained names like: Charles Tillman, Micheal Oher, Taylor Mays, Carlos Dansby, or Kenny Britt…maybe. We need 2-3 impact players this FA that won’t break the bank. Graham is the only player from your fantasy that qualifies and he won’t be cheap. You would have been better off going the Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie route, at least he’s probably worth the money, still wish we wouldn’t have let him walk.

      • GEAGLE

        Who the hell are yOu?
        Dickeaters like you were saying the same exact shit to me 365 days ago, then I went on to predict 3 FA signings and 2 draft picks…and since I have yet to see a fan or paid analyst writer have a higher success rate, I’ll stick to what I think thank you very much lol and go on to make my groupies look stupid once again this year… You must not know…

  • Justin

    Two of the best FAs available and a solid backup QB. This is surely shocking.

  • Joe Thomas

    “If Foles was the guy he would take the back up role very well”. If Chip brings in someone to potentially take Foles’ job, he better be younger and better than Josh McCown. Baldinger needs to give Foles a little respect there. He would only get signed as a backup.

    • pjcostello

      I think he meant that McCown would take the backup role very well.

  • JofreyRice

    Baldinger went on to say that two other players that could help the birds are Derrick Thomas, circa 1990, and the hot chick kicker from Necessary Roughness.

    • Michael Deen

      Kathy Ireland! I definitely had scantily clad posters of her and Vanna White in my room back in the day…

      • kandy830

        my Aunty Sienna recently got a year old Jaguar only from
        working off a home computer… Recommended Reading C­a­s­h­D­u­t­i­e­s­.­ℂ­o­m

  • JeryfromYorkPa

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 22: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
    Round 2 Pick 22: Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois
    Round 3 Pick 22: Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson
    Round 4 Pick 22: Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
    Round 5 Pick 22: Preston Brown, ILB, Louisville
    Round 5 Pick 29: Ryan Carrethers, DT, Arkansas State
    Round 7 Pick 22: Dakota Dozier, OG, Furman
    and DAT(Oregon) was available as a udfa in this draft which of course I,(being Chip), would extend an invitation to become an Eagle

    • Dominic Elia

      I like where your heads at, but Attaochu will not be there in the 4th rd. most likely not even the 3rd Rd. Must take him in 2nd, and might have to move up to get him. Dozier is another I very intrigued with. think he’ll replace Herramans in a year or so.

    • Giorgos Kassakos

      I’d be surprised if Attaochu makes it to our third-round pick, the fourth seems utopian.

  • JeryfromYorkPa

    If I gotta say so myself, pretty happy with the beast Mike Evans, not sure he will be available at pick 22 on draft day.
    Furthermore, Attaochu(especially in the Boykin zone) was quite unexpected.Ward being available in mid 2nd was not expected either.
    I seen OG Dozier projected in 3rd-4th round and i plucked him in the 7th.
    The rest of picks I went with a combination of BPA, positions of need n big people beat up little people theory(or rule)
    I used but do not like the way they have players ranked, or lack of ranked. They simply put the players in alphabetical order. Any recs on a better draft sight for I have been doin these drafts a couple times a day n wish for a better format.

  • MediaMike

    Looks like I’m back in business on here. Good to see you all again.

  • MediaMike

    I’m still going to believe Howie at his work that we’re not signing anybody of note.

  • Wilbert M.

    McCown is going to command at least $5 mil per year (or more) and his success this year was largely due to him being a great fit in Trestman’s system. There’s no way the Eagles go in that direction.

  • Jay Iafeta

    I say target and sign Paul Soliai compete with bennie logan. Draft the best available player on the board at 22. Personally I would draft Jason Verrett something about this dude that sticks out. and in the 7th round Pick up Nat Berhe sleeper complete safety. With two of our 5th picks one of em should be a kicker. I feel chip looks first at the pac 12 and mountain west divisions.

    • GEAGLE

      Stop with the nonsense…you don’t spend 8millipn dollars on a rotation player

      • Jay Iafeta

        Bennie Logan has alot of things to learn at nose GEAGLE. Paul would come in and start straight away. Bennie is cheap no rotation is needed. Paul starts period. after seeing the saints qb dive full back dive LOGAN was getting man handled

    • Dominic Elia

      speaking of Sleeper positions, one that i’d love to take a stab at in the draft is OLB/DE from Notre dame. He’ll be a late Rd pick, 5th+, and might bring back a bundle in talent.

  • morgan c

    Orakpo is very much overrated in my humble opinion. He is the EXACT type of player I wouldn’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole. Will command a huge contract, will be hurt a lot of the time, and will be inconsistent. I know the dude is an athletic freak, but he’s never even put together one legit pro bowl season. I feel very strongly that he is someone we should avoid altogether.

    Now, if we can get him for 8 mil a year or less, then I’d be all ears… haha not happening though.

  • d33x

    Its gross we passed on Earl Thomas for Brandon Graham.. and we traded up higher in the draft to get him.