Eagles Mailbag: Adding Allen, Odd Men Out

Jeff Allen. (USA Today Sports)

Jeff Allen. (USA Today Sports)

Now that Doug Pederson is settled in at head coach with most of his staff on board, including both coordinators, we thought it’d be a good time to dig into the mailbag. To submit your question, follow us on Twitter (@Birds247) or email us at any time.

The way I see it, there are three elements that go into this:

1. Is it realistic to think Allen will leave Kansas City?

From a distance, this appears to be a yes. When asked about his interest in returning to the Chiefs, the offensive guard told media: “I would like to be back here, but honestly it takes two sides. I’ll leave it at that.”

That second part seems to be the key element: even if Allen wants to remain with the Chiefs, will Kansas City bring him back? The team now has a bit of a reputation for letting offensive linemen walk — a pair of guards left in free agency two years ago — and some Chiefs reporters seem to think that may happen again.

Former agent and salary cap expert Joel Corry, however, isn’t so sure.

“I don’t think they can afford to make the same mistake they did a couple of years ago when they let both guards leave,” Corry told the Kansas City Star. Corry added that Allen could command a multiyear deal worth around $4 million per year.

2. Would the Eagles be interested in Allen?

This looks like another yes.

When Allen returned to the Chiefs’ starting lineup after recovering from a knee injury, the team went 11-1. He reportedly allowed zero sacks in 12 games, and just 14 pressures. For comparison: Matt Tobin, who played more than one snap in 14 games, gave up eight sacks and 31 hurries.

Allen is versatile enough to play multiple positions, and he’d certainly be an upgrade over what the Eagles currently have. But we also don’t know where he ranks on the Eagles’ board of available offensive linemen.

3. Would Allen be interested in the Eagles?

One reason Allen said he’d like to return to Kansas City is because of the relationships he’s developed with the people around him, so it’s reasonable to think that applies to his former offensive coordinator as well.

However, he also talked recently on a podcast about what he’s looking for in his potential team, and the first part doesn’t exactly line up with where the Eagles are right now.

“First off, I’m looking for a team that’s ready to win,” Allen said. “I’m looking for a team that’s going to be a Super Bowl contender. A team where I’m gonna be comfortable with the guys in the room. I want one position where I know I’m going to be playing going into the offseason so I can focus on one thing.”

“It would seem we have one too many inside guys at LB and too many interior lineman (Logan, Cox, Thorton, Allen, etc.). In your opinion who are the odd men out?” — Eagles 1018 (via email)

I briefly touched on this in my Jim Schwartz All-22, but here’s how I think the front seven could shake out:

Defensive tackle — Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan start, with Beau Allen rotating in while Cedric Thornton leaves in free agency.

Defensive end — Vinny Curry re-signs and plays a lot of snaps along with Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham. Marcus Smith doesn’t play much, but he gets a shot at proving he has some value as a situational pass-rusher.

Middle linebacker — Jordan Hicks starts in his second season, and DeMeco Ryans — despite a 2016 cap hit of $4.5 million, per Spotrac — is retained for depth, his intangibles and to help Hicks, Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks develop.

Outside linebacker — Both Alonso and Kendricks are capable of playing on either side of Hicks, but I’d guess Kendricks will play on the strong side and Alonso will be on the weak side as they each have history at those positions.