Re-Setting Free Agency: Who’s Left For the Eagles?

NFL: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

It seems like free agency has been ongoing for weeks, but really, this is only the fifth day.

That means there are still a lot of players searching for teams and deals to be made.

First, let’s take a look at the latest buzz:

* Hakeem Nicks inked a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Colts, according to Mike Garafolo of FoxSports.com. Nicks is only 26, but he hasn’t had a big year since 2011. At that price tag though, he seems like a good person to take a flier on.

Riley Cooper’s 2013 stats: 47 catches for 835 yards and 8 TDs.
Nicks’ 2013 stats: 56 catches for 896 yards and 0 TDs.

Obviously the touchdown numbers are different, but I was surprised by how the other two categories stacked up. One year of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Nicks could have been interesting.

* After some drama, Brandon Browner has agreed to a three-year deal with the Patriots. New England and Denver are clearly trying to load up for a 2014 run while they still have Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, respectively. It might hurt them long-term, but I can’t say I blame either franchise.

* I’m guessing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s agent wasn’t thrilled about his retirement talk during Super Bowl week. DRC has had a soft market, but will visit with the Jets and Giants, per NJ.com. If I’m a team in need of corner help, I’d try to convince DRC to take a one-year deal. That might be the best way to continually keep him interested.

* Cam Thomas, a space-eating nose tackle, has signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

SO, WHO’S LEFT?

* Rotoworld has a great master list up of available free agents. The area where the Eagles are most likely to add bodies at this point is probably the defensive line. They need six guys who can play and several more to go to camp with in the spring. Some of those will come through the draft and undrafted free agents, but depending on how the market plays out, they could still make a move or two there in free agency.

* And they might not be done at safety. The Eagles have Earl Wolff and Malcolm Jenkins as potential starters. Chris Maragos should take up a depth/special teams spot. But that still leaves one or two spots remaining to be filled through the draft or free agency.

* OK, let’s get to some names:

Alex Carrington, Bills (27) – We’ve mentioned Carrington on several occasions, but he still has not been linked to the Eagles. Carrington (6-5, 301) only played in three games last year because of a quad injury and is considered a rotational player. He would play 3-4 defensive end and potentially move inside on passing downs. He was a third-round pick in 2010. Carrington’s only reported visit has been with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that runs a similar scheme to the Eagles.

Corey Wootton, Bears (27) – Wootton (6-6, 270) played in Chicago’s 4-3, but GM Phil Emery told reporters earlier this offseason that he’d be a fit in a 3-4 as well.

“Corey is one of the guys that would transcend scheme,” Emery said. “I was in a 3-4, a pure, straight 3-4 defense in Kansas City and he could have been the right end. If he put a little weight on, he could be the left end. He played under-tackle for us. Actually Corey was most disruptive as a pass rusher, between the d-end and d-tackle, at d-tackle this year.”

Wootton had 10 sacks, six passes batted down and three forced fumbles the past two seasons. He had hip surgery in January and has not had any reported visits.

Terrence Cody, Ravens (26) – This would strictly be a move to add a space-eating nose tackle. Cody (6-4, 340) is a former second-round pick. He played 28.9 percent of the Ravens’ defensive snaps last year and never turned into an impact player in Baltimore. But if the Eagles see potential and want a young, big-bodied nose tackle, Cody could be of interest.

James Ihedigbo, Ravens (30) – Ihedigbo (6-1, 214) almost never came off the field for the Ravens last year, playing 99.6 percent of the team’s snaps, per Pro Football Focus. His playmaking numbers were good. Ihedigbo broke up 11 passes, had three interceptions and forced two fumbles. He also held up well against the run and has good size. This one comes down to what the Eagles’ confidence is in Wolff and Ihedigbo’s price tag. Ihedigbo turned 30 in December, but didn’t start a game during his first three seasons in the league. He could compete with Wolff for the starting job and provide depth if the price is right.

O’Brien Schofield, Seahawks (27) – There’s certainly a question mark here. Schofield (6-3, 242) originally agreed to terms with the Giants, but the deal died presumably because of injury concerns. Schofield suffered an ACL injury at the Senior Bowl when he was coming out of Wisconsin and fell to the fourth round in 2010. He started to come on in 2012, notching four sacks in nine games, but Schofield then suffered a season-ending ankle injury. He went from a full-time role in Arizona to a rotational role in Seattle last year, playing just 20.3 percent of the Seahawks’ snaps. If the Eagles want to add a rotational player who’s played in a 3-4 before, he could get a look.

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