Five Questions: Eagles Free Agency Primer

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Here are five questions to get you ready for free agency.

When can the Eagles sign players?

Starting today at noon, teams can (officially) talk to agents and negotiate deals for free agents. However, players can’t sign until Tuesday at 4 p.m. In other words, there is a three-day “legal tampering” window. Of course, the worst-kept secret in the league is that agents and teams have already been talking now for weeks.

Last year, the Eagles struck fairly quickly, signing Isaac Sopoaga, Bradley Fletcher, Patrick Chung, James Casey and Jason Phillips on the first day of free agency. They let the market play out a bit with guys like Connor Barwin. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: The Shadow Of the 2012 Draft

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When Howie Roseman was asked last week whether the team was still in position to be aggressive in free agency given the extensions he handed out to current players, the Eagles’ GM offered a short response.

“Yes,” he said.

But before the next question was asked, Roseman clarified.

“It will affect other things going forward, but yes.”

It doesn’t take a detective to figure out what those other things going forward are. In fact, they have names: Nick Foles, Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin. You’ll notice the common thread among those four players is that they were members of the Eagles’ 2012 draft class. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Weighing In On DeSean

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) returns a punt return against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter of the Snow Bowl

In the past week or so, there’s been a lot of talk about DeSean Jackson’s future with the Eagles and the possibility of the organization moving on without him.

Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com offered his take over the weekend on why trading Jackson could make sense. Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com and Jeff McLane of The Inquirer weighed in yesterday.

The way I see it the only thing that really matters in this scenario is Chip Kelly’s opinion. Forget Jackson’s salary, the team’s decision to re-sign Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper and everything else. The bottom line is simply if the head coach – for one reason or another – thinks trading Jackson is the right move to get the organization closer to a Super Bowl, then that’s what the Eagles will do.

But barring a slam dunk deal, I think such a move would be an enormous mistake for the following reasons: Read more »

Six Safeties the Eagles Could Target

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

It’s time to ramp up the free agency coverage. In the coming days, we’ll take a look at some key positions of need, starting with (what else?) safety.

Below are six players who could be options, starting with the highest-profile and ending with the sleepers. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Free Agency Buzz

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We start today off with a roundup of the latest league-wide news that affects the Eagles.

In a somewhat surprising move, Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds has already signed his transition tag offer. That means other teams can no longer attempt to lure him away.

With Brian Orakpo franchised, Worilds figured to be a hot commodity. And according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, the Eagles would have had interest: Read more »

Eagles Release Jason Avant

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers

The Eagles have released veteran wide receiver Jason Avant, the team announced.

“In the year I spent with Jason, he was unbelievable in terms of his work ethic and his selfless nature,” said Chip Kelly in a statement. “He was a great teammate. We know he will have a chance to sign with another team and by releasing him now, he will have a full offseason to make the necessary adjustments. I had a chance to speak with him today and he handled himself like the true professional he is.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: ‘We Don’t Want To Force Anything’

NFL: Combine

When it comes to adding new pieces, NFL personnel people often fear the unknown.

The condition usually stems from past mistakes: wasting money on a player who didn’t fit, reaching on a draft pick who failed to pan out, etc.

The draft requires the most challenging projections. But free agency, in theory, should be easier. Coaches and GMs can watch as much tape as they want of the players going up against pro-level competition; they can talk to guys who have coached or played alongside the free agent; and they should be able to get a decent idea of how they’re spending their money.

But, as Howie Roseman often points out, it’s still an arranged marriage. Until the player and team are living under the same roof and get to know each other up close and personal, there is a degree of uncertainty.

That’s one of the reasons the organization has been sending out signals for weeks indicating it’s not going to make a big splash in free agency. In some ways, Roseman sounds a bit gun-shy after what happened in the summer of 2011. Read more »

Kelly’s Influence Felt Behind the Scenes

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

In the days leading up to the scouting combine, the NFL sent out a media schedule detailing when coaches and general managers would hold press conferences at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

In the release, nine coaches were missing: Chip Kelly, Bill Belichick, Joe Philbin, Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Mike McCoy, Jason Garrett, Sean Payton and Pete Carroll.

Among that group, seven ended up eventually deciding to chat at one point or another (even if it was only to the team’s Web site or a single media outlet). The exceptions? Tomlin and Kelly.

Last offseason, Kelly was available at the Senior Bowl, the combine and any time the Eagles made significant personnel moves (re-signings, free agents, etc.). This year, we haven’t heard from him since the day after the season ended.

Instead, he has taken more of a behind-the-scenes approach. But Kelly’s fingerprints were on every move the team made last week. Read more »

Report: Byrd Unlikely To Be Tagged

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills

With the start of free agency just nine days away, the chances of Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd hitting the market appear to have increased.

According to Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 in Buffalo, the Bills are unlikely to sign Byrd to a long-term extension, and the franchise tag is not in their plans either. Byrd played last year under the franchise tag, and per the report, the team might not want to use another one-year rental before losing the Pro Bowl safety next offseason. Read more »

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