Eagles Wake-Up Call: What About Tyvon Branch?
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.
Raiders are releasing S Tyvon Branch. Will be very hot in a weak safety market. Signed lucrative deal in OAK not long ago
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 27, 2015
Branch just turned 28, is in good health. Won’t take long for his market to form. Raiders gearing up for a splurge I guess. Surprising move — Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 27, 2015
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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WHAT YOU MISSED
The Eagles are moving on from Todd Herremans.
With Herremans no longer in the picture, a look at some guard options in free agency.
Sheil uses the All-22 to show why Byron Maxwell would be a good fit in Philly.
Should the Eagles be allocating more resources to the defensive side of the ball?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Josh Norris of Rotoworld released his post-combine mock draft. He has Marcus Mariota going first to the Bucs and thinks the Eagles will grab another Duck, tackle Jake Fisher, with the 20th pick.
Fisher has played everywhere during his career: right guard, right tackle and left tackle. Offensive line might be the Eagles top need, and they seem to have a type in terms of athletes at the position. Fisher has the athletic fingerprint which fits, and not just because he went to Oregon. Both NFL teams and colleges have types. Ali Marpet could also be a target in as early as round two.
If you missed it, here is some of Jimmy Kempski’s finest stick-figure work to date:
Eagles 2015 offseason, in stick figure form: pic.twitter.com/Ryo0zSRdRX
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) February 26, 2015
Action is starting to pick up. We’ll have it all covered for you.