“The Eagles won’t spend.”
That was a quote from the representative of a free-agent defensive player, whose client will likely command somewhere between mid-level and high-end money. Asked for his reasoning, he said that was the general understanding out there about the team’s approach to free agency.
This was one agent and his words shouldn't be taken as gospel, but I found it interesting nonetheless. It lines up somewhat with the message coming out of the NovaCare -- that the Eagles will not be purchasing items off the top shelf unless all the stars align. Several others that we spoke to are expecting the Eagles to be disciplined shoppers as well.
-- Brandon Graham is a player to keep your eye on this offseason.
The people we talked to believe he is a 4-3 defensive end, pure and simple. Not a scheme fit. Howie Roseman knows the value of pass rushers in this league so I don't think he will be in a hurry to trade Graham necessarily, but I do think he will entertain any offers that come through.
Graham would benefit from a fresh start and could be attractive to 4-3 teams looking to bolster their pass rush. The Eagles need to build this defense with pieces that fit. Not a lock, but I think there is a decent chance he gets dealt.
-- We know that measurables matter to Chip Kelly. How about these measurables out of Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin: 6-5, 240 pounds, four percent body fat; 34 7/8 arms, 10 1/4 hands. His goal is to run a 4.3-40 at the combine this weekend.
"I think that ideally when you're looking at a prototype from the receiver position, it's size, it's speed, when you talk about length, big hands, we talk about it with quarterbacks but it's important for receivers, too; when you look at drop rates, normally the guys that have higher drop rates have smaller hands," said Roseman. "The more guys you can have with size and speed and being able to break down and run a variety of routes and make mistmatches for defenses, the better you are going to be. But those guys typically go high in the draft and are hard to find. They don't make them everywhere."
Mike Mayock has Benjamin as the fourth-best receiver in the draft. Mel Kiper Jr. has the Eagles selecting wideout Odell Beckham, Jr. with the No. 22 overall pick, and Benjamin going a pick later to Andy Reid and the Chiefs.
"I just want to be physical," said Benjamin, when asked what separates him from the other receivers, "but I try to be smart, too."