Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com thinks the Eagles make the most sense for Jairus Byd:
The possibility of a reunion with Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine is real. The connection with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is even more obvious after Lovie Smith hired Jairus’ father, Gill, as cornerbacks coach. If Byrd wants to play for a winner, though, why not team up with former college coach Chip Kelly? Having locked up their offensive nucleus, it would behoove the Eagles to add a difference-maker such as Byrd in the secondary.
KC Joyner of ESPN.com throws out a new safety name for the Eagles to consider:
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has indicated he isn’t likely to get into a bidding war for players and his free-agent history shows he looks for value players who can make an impact. Stewart fits that bill, as he excelled last season for St. Louis while filling in for strong safety T.J. McDonald in Weeks 5-10. The Rams gave up only 19 receptions for 189 yards and zero touchdowns to opposition tight ends in that time frame.
Joyner has Michael Vick on his “buyer beware” list of upcoming free agents:
A potentially compounding factor to the questionable on-field performance is Vick could also be the most polarizing figure in free agency, an attribute that could be amplified if he ends up playing in the New York market. There just may not be enough upside in this equation to justify the risk in signing Vick.
Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com has the Eagles taking Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman:
At some point in the first round the best available athlete drives the bus. Hageman is a 6-6, 315-pound athlete who needs to be more consistent.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has the Eagles taking Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby in the first round:
Roby is arguably the most gifted corner in the 2014 class. He is a natural No. 1 corner with the skills to match up with elite receivers.
Charles Davis of NFL.com also thinks Roby would be a nice fit:
A strong finish to his season coupled with an impressive combine sends him to the NFC East champs.
Eric Edholm of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner offers his offseason blueprint for the Eagles:
The offense could go supersonic this season in Kelly’s second year. Foles is in place with a great supporting cast that includes LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper (and maybe Maclin, who appears close to returning), a few good tight ends and an offensive line that is strong across the board and signed through 2016 now. Defensively, there are holes for sure, and a few salary-cap cuts could cause a little more bloodletting. But Fletcher Cox and Trent Cole are strong rushers, Mychal Kendricks appears to be ascending and there are a few serviceable corners to keep around.
Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com has the Eagles taking Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix in his latest mock draft:
Chip Kelly wants to get faster and tougher on defense and adding an impact safety would help. Clinton-Dix is a rangy player with a good feel for coverage and filling run lanes.
John Clayton of ESPN.com sizes up the salary cap situations of NFC East teams:
Only the Philadelphia Eagles have been able to build during the past two years. They have recovered from the 2011 Dream Team fiasco and have an early edge in the division this offseason. Last week, they re-signed wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper and extended the contracts of offensive linemen Jason Peters and Jason Kelce.
They did all that and still have more than $20 million of cap room. Because they have transitioned from Michael Vick to Nick Foles, they can follow the lead of the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks and leverage a couple of years with a low-priced starting quarterback to add an extra high-priced player or two to get them over the top.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com also thinks Byrd makes sense for the Eagles:
Did you see their problems on the back end last season? Byrd is a ball-hawking safety who would give them star power there.