Wake-Up Call: The Eagles After Day 1
There was plenty of chatter surrounding the team Tuesday but they ended up signing just one free agent — New Orleans’ safety Malcolm Jenkins. They also re-upped punter Donnie Jones and cut Patrick Chung.
Jenkins should be an upgrade over Chung but the Eagles are still thin at the position. Earl Wolff and Keelan Johnson are currently the only other safeties on the roster. The Eagles could very well add another another piece in the coming days. A lot of safeties came off the board Tuesday, including Donte Whitner (Cle), Antoine Bethea (SF) and Mike Mitchell (Pit). Chris Clemons is still available. Same for Nate Allen. The top five remaining free agent safeties, per Rotoworld, are:
3) Major Wright
4) Charles Woodson
5) Steve Gregory
— From Jairus Byrd to T.J. Ward to DeMarcus Ware to Darrelle Revis, the Eagles were routinely linked to the biggest names on the market. But Ward signed with the Broncos (4 years, $23 million, $14 million guaranteed); Ware could also very well be headed to Denver ; and Byrd got $28 million of guaranteed cash from Saints.
Philly was mentioned as a possible destination for Revis, but his financial demands are expected to be high. So far, the Eagles have stayed away from the big-ticket free agents as they suggested they would.
— The pass rush still needs to be addressed. Brian Orakpo and Jason Worilds never made it to free agency, while the likes of Michael Johnson and Everson Griffen already received hefty pay days.
The Eagles were interested in Mike Neal at the beginning of the free agency period, we were told. Rob Jackson of the Redskins is a target that makes some sense, but the Eagles hadn’t expressed interest as of Tuesday. Perhaps they start to address that area today.
— Howie Roseman and company signed five players — James Casey, Chung, Jason Phillips, Isaac Sopoaga and Bradley Fletcher — on the first day of free agency last year. This time around they were a little slower out of the gate, likely due in part to the steep price tags around the league. Players didn’t come cheap on Day 1, but the expectation is that prices will start to normalize moving forward.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Jenkins on moving on from New Orleans, courtesy of the Times-Picayune.
“For me, this was an uncomfortable process,” Jenkins said Tuesday night. “You invest and give five years to a place. You invest so much into the team, into the community. We won the Super Bowl there, I met my wife there, I had a daughter there, I have a home there. And then the business part of free agency comes and it just didn’t work out.
“I know they had a lot of money tied up. I completely understand the business part, but the Saints didn’t offer me anything. So I really had no choice but to move.”
Mike Florio provides the latest on Michael Vick.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Vick plans to be patient in his search for a new job. He realizes that this is likely his last chance to find a starting job, so he’s looking for the right fit.
In this regard, a very real concern becomes the possibility that his new team would acquire a quarterback in the first round of the draft after signing Vick. Vick could, in theory, go from being penciled in as the starter until May, at which time a hot-shot rookie acquires the inside track to the job. For that reason, it’s possible Vick will wait until after the draft to make a decision.
Jenkins is scheduled to meet with the media at 6:15 this evening. There is sure to be some activity between now and then.