Eagles Wake-Up Call: How the New Pieces Fit
Two trades. Six signings. Much to digest.
With a lot of moving pieces here, let’s take a quick position-by-position look at the roster to get a feel for where things stand heading into the second day of free agency:
Chase Daniel was signed to a three-year, $21 million deal that can reportedly be worth as much as $36 million with incentives.
The Eagles will be giving new QB Chase Daniel every chance to wrest the starting job from Sam Bradford, per source. Not signed as a backup.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 9, 2016
A bit of a strange tone tied to the Daniel signing, with an obvious message being pushed that the former Chief could steal the job. But the money spins another tale. If Daniel were to win the job, the Eagles essentially would be paying Sam Bradford $22 million for one year in a backup role. While Daniel is making some pretty good scratch himself, the scales will likely be tipped in Bradford’s favor.
Mark Sanchez is still on the roster. Makes sense for the Eagles to see if anything’s doing on the trade front before cutting ties.
DeMarco Murray is officially out of here, and there were reports earlier in the week that Ryan Mathews was on the block. (Though they surfaced before the Murray deal materialized). The Eagles are suddenly in play for a running back, whether it be in free agency or the draft.
The Eagles signed Houston guard Brandon Brooks to a five-year, $40 million deal. The 6-5, 340-pound 26-year old spent the majority of his time with the Texans at right guard. If we plug him into that spot with the Birds, the line could theoretically look like this in 2016 (from left to right) : Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brooks, Lane Johnson.
The Eagles are expected to continue to add to the offensive front through April, so this is not a complete picture yet.
No action. Zach Ertz and Brent Celek remain atop the depth chart.
Nothing on this front yet. The Eagles were said to have a degree of interest in Rishard Matthews, who ended up signing a three-year deal with Tennessee, but the numbers weren’t to their liking.
The Eagles are reportedly showing interest in Raiders wideout Andre Holmes, who had 14 catches for 201 yards with four scores last year.
Not a whole lot going on. Maybe the Eagles add a piece before it’s all said and done, but there are more pressing needs elsewhere. The main storyline here is all about locking up Fletcher Cox.
The Eagles signed Nigel Bradham to a two-year deal. He played SAM linebacker for Jim Schwartz in Buffalo. If that continues, you could have Jordan Hicks in the middle, Bradham at strong side and Mychal Kendricks at WIL.
The Eagles agreed to terms with veteran Leodis McKelvin, who also played for Schwartz in Buffalo. And they went with another former Bill in Ron Brooks, who is projected as more of a reserve/special teamer, it seems.
Could be McKelvin and Eric Rowe manning the outside corner spots next season. The Eagles had been in contact with Nolan Carroll about a possible return, but with the two sides still not seeing eye-to-eye on the financial end, Carroll’s camp was intending on moving on as of Wednesday evening. Things can change quickly in free agency, but it seems Carroll plans on signing elsewhere at the moment.
The Eagles agreed to a five-year deal with Rodney McLeod worth $37 million, including $17 million guaranteed. That’s a good chunk of money, but McLeod — with quality range and a willingness to mix it up in the run game — should be a fit for Jim Schwartz‘s scheme. Looks like Malcolm Jenkins has a new dance partner.
WHAT YOU MISSED
The Eagles signed cornerback Ron Brooks. And linebacker Nigel Bradham. And guard Brandon Brooks. And safety Rodney McLeod. And quarterback Chase Daniel.
Plus a trade with Miami that netted them the No. 8 pick. Here are some potential options at that spot.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
DeMarco Murray talked to the Titans website about his old squad. CSN Philly has the story.
“Philadelphia is a great place and I have a lot of respect for Mr. Lurie and Howie and we spoke, and I appreciate them, I really do,” Murray told the Titans’ official website. “There was no hard feelings it all. I just felt it is best for me and my family to take advantage of another opportunity and this gives me a chance to move on a little bit.”
Murray is ready to put his struggles with the Eagles behind him. After leading the NFL with 1,845 rushing yards in 2014 with the Cowboys, he gained just 702 yards on the ground for the Eagles in 2015 and earned just 3.6 yards per carry. The lackluster performance came on the heels of a large free agent contract with the Eagles.
“I feel like I took a year off last year, so I am fresh,’’ Murray said jokingly in a separate post on the Titans’ website.
Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz weighs in on the moves.
The move I’m happiest about is signing McLeod. Along with Malcolm Jenkins, he gives the Eagles a pair of terrific Safeties. McLeod isn’t huge, but he’s fast, hits and tackles. He’s young and should have his best years ahead of him. He played in a scheme that is somewhat similar to what Jim Schwartz will run. I think McLeod has a chance to play well right away.
The most important move was signing Brooks. The Eagles needed OL help. Brooks gives them a young, big OG to plug in right away. The line hasn’t had a physical presence like him on the inside since…Jamaal Jackson in 2009? The Eagles have had good OGs, but not big, physical players that could overwhelm defenders.
More action, I’m sure.