Eagles Wake-Up Call: What About Tyvon Branch?

Tyvon Branch. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Tyvon Branch. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Today’s question comes from Tom via email:

What’s up with Tyvon Branch? Could he be a fit?

‘Tis the season when teams shed salary prior to the start of the new league year (March 10, 4 p.m.). The Eagles have already released Todd Herremans and James Casey.  Defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois (a one-time target of the Eagles) was cut by the Colts and has since been picked up by Washington. Other players that either have been or reportedly will be released include defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka (Giants), defensive tackle Kendall Langford (Rams), running backs Steven Jackson (Falcons),  Reggie Bush (Lions), DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) and Peyton Hillis (Giants), receivers Tedd Ginn, Jr. (Cardinals) and Jacoby Jones (Ravens), cornerback Wil Blackmon (Jaguars), linebacker A.J. Hawk (Packers) and tight end Anthony Fasano (Chiefs).

The latest addition to this growing list is Oakland safety Tyvon Branch.

Branch (6-0, 210) carried a cap number of just under $10 million this season and was due a $1 million roster bonus on March 12. The former fourth-round pick out of Connecticut has only played in five games over the past two seasons because of injury. He underwent surgery to repair a broken foot this past September and suffered a broken leg the year prior. He has been a productive player for the Raiders when healthy. From 2009-12 he missed just two games and averaged 108 tackles per season.

A cornerback on the collegiate level, Branch ran a 4.31 40 at the combine back in ’08. Despite that background and speed, reports suggest he is at his best as an in-the-box safety and doesn’t always excel in man coverage. To that end, it’s unclear whether he would be a fit for Billy Davis‘ scheme.

Good safeties are very hard to come by, clearly, so Branch would probably be worth taking a flier on for the right price. We’ll see how the market develops, and if the Eagles view it the same way.

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