Eagles Wake-Up Call: Setting Up the Offseason

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Eagles players cleaned out their lockers Monday and had their exit interviews with coaches. In all likelihood, we won’t hear from Chip Kelly again until March.

Keeping that in mind, it’s time to set up the offseason. We’ll be represented at all the major events: the Senior Bowl in January, the combine in February and the owners meetings in March. Below are some notes on where things stand for the Eagles going into the next few months.

Free Agency

The following Eagles are unrestricted free agents: WR Jeremy Maclin, OLB Brandon Graham, S Nate Allen, CB Bradley Fletcher, QB Mark Sanchez, ILB Casey Matthews and WR Brad Smith.

The priority there is Maclin. By all accounts, he wants to be back, and the team wants him back. But there are no sure things. If Maclin were to hit the open market, he would have plenty of suitors.

Graham is a wild card. Kelly said he wants the former first-rounder back, but Graham wants a chance to start somewhere. That might be Philadelphia, but it could easily be somewhere else. It would be a surprise if Graham didn’t at least test the market to see what the interest is.

In all likelihood, Allen and Fletcher will be let go. The Eagles’ QB situation is up in the air, so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Sanchez returns in a backup role. Matthews and Smith were backups/special teamers. Of the two, Matthews is probably more likely to re-sign.

Cedric Thornton and Chris Polk are restricted free agents, meaning the Eagles can match offers to either player. Both will probably be back. It would make sense to sign Thornton to a long-term deal.

Jeff Maehl is an exclusive rights free agent. If the Eagles want him back, he’s back.

Free agency starts at 4 p.m. on March 10.

The draft

The Eagles have eight overall picks: one first-rounder, one second-rounder, one third-rounder, two fourth-rounders, one fifth-rounder, one sixth-rounder and one seventh-rounder.

The extra fourth-round pick is from last year’s trade with the Buffalo Bills involving Bryce Brown.

The Birds pick at No. 20 in the first round.

The three-day draft will take place from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago.

2015 opponents

The schedule will be announced in the spring, but the Eagles’ opponents are set. The Eagles get the NFC South and the AFC East.

Aside from the division foes, they face the Bills, Dolphins, Saints, Bucs and Cardinals at home. Only one of those teams (Arizona) is in the postseason.

The Eagles travel to New England, the Jets, Carolina, Atlanta and Detroit. Three of those teams (the Patriots, Panthers and Lions) are in the playoffs.


Trent Cole says he’s willing to restructure his deal, writes T-Mac.

Nick Foles says he expects to be the Eagles’ starting QB in 2015.

Kelly on Foles and the Eagles’ overall QB situation.

Kelly on Howie Roseman, Tom Gamble and Billy Davis.

T-Mac on Jaylen Watkins, Brandon Boykin and the Eagles’ secondary.

The Day After: LeSean McCoy wonders whether he’ll be back in 2015.


Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz with some thoughts on Sanchez:

Mark Sanchez is a tough subject. Part of me wants him gone ASAP. Then another part of me remembers that the Eagles backup QB led the team to 426 yards and 27 points. There are some teams who would kill for numbers like that. Sanchez mostly played well on Sunday, but his lack of field vision and his erratic accuracy are utterly frustrating. We regularly see open guys not getting the ball. Sometimes we see open guys getting off-target throws. We saw both issues on Sunday.

Andrew Kulp of The 700 Level offers his thoughts on Graham:

As previously discussed, the Eagles may need Graham at this point. Trent Cole’s cap figure is set to sky rocket to over $11.6 million in 2015, and while the two-time Pro Bowler recently expressed his desire to stay, he’ll turn 33 next year. Nor can Philadelphia count on the development of 2014 first-round pick Marcus Smith, who barely saw the field in his rookie year. Graham was very productive in limited playing time, matching his career high with 5.5 sacks, not to mention has become a solid special-teams contributor. The issue is he may fetch an expensive contract on the free-agent market, but given the Eagles’ other options at outside linebacker, it might be wise to pony up, as at least the organization knows what it has here.


We’ll offer an evaluation of the job Kelly did in Year 2.