Eagles Free Agency: The Second Wave
The first wave of NFL free agency is over and things have slowed down both at One NovaCare Way and across the NFL. With the top of the priority list scratched off, the Eagles — like a lot of teams — are taking their time and looking for value within the remaining group of available players. But they’re not done. They still have some holes to plug and roster spots to fill before setting their sights fully on April’s draft.
Who might they be targeting? Some names to consider as we get ready for Round 2.
Andre Holmes (6-5, 208), WR, Raiders
2015 stats: 14 rec., 201 yards, 4 TDs
[Update]: Perhaps that decision has been made:
Andre Holmes close to staying with #Raiders. Deal not done yet and things can change, but right now it’s heading that way.
— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) March 14, 2016
The Eagles need to add some depth and experience at wide receiver, and Holmes is one of the available wideouts they’ve been showing interest in. The Eagles and Holmes’ camp have been talking, per a source. It sounds like mutual interest remains, though Holmes apparently has some options. He is expected to make a decision relatively soon.
Holmes’ best year came in 2014 when he had 47 grabs for 693 yards and four scores.
The Giants’ Reuben Randle is an interesting name. He is reportedly headed to St. Louis for “his first of several scheduled visits.”
Nick Fairley (6-5, 291), DT, Rams
2015 stats: 18 tackles, .5 sacks.
Fairley is the best available free-agent lineman, per Rotoworld, and it’s a bit surprising at first glance that he is not already with a team. Closer inspection shows that the former first-round pick did not start for the Rams last season and had a pretty quiet year.
Here he’d have a chance to reunite with Jim Schwartz, who drafted and coached Fairley in Detroit, and multiple reports suggest both sides are interested. Per Mark Eckel, the Eagles are in the mix for his services along with possibly the Jets and Saints.
Given Schwartz’s history of getting the most out of his players, you can see why Philly would be attractive to Fairley. And the Eagles would welcome some depth at d-line so long as the money is right.
Nolan Carroll (6-1, 202), CB, Eagles
2015 stats: 2 INT, 10 passes defensed
The Eagles are still relatively thin at corner despite signing Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks to deals. You can perhaps pencil Eric Rowe and McKelvin in at the starting outside spots for now, but they need to arm themselves with more talent before this offseason is up.
The team has remained in contact with Carroll throughout this process. A return to Philly seemed shaky at one point last week, but he left his visit to Dallas without a deal. At last check, the Eagles and Dolphins appeared to be the front-runners. As we’ve already seen, free agency is very fluid and things can change quickly.
This whole process might have been somewhat complicated by Carroll’s injury situation. He is recovering from surgery on his fibula and expects to be ready for OTAs.
The Eagles know Carroll and saw the progress he made under Cory Undlin, and Carroll likes Philly and has expressed his desire to return. The pairing still makes sense.
If the two sides can’t come to terms, here are some top available corners, per Rotoworld.
Patrick Robinson (Chargers, 28)
Brandon Boykin (Steelers, 25)
Leon Hall (Bengals, 31)
Jerraud Powers (Cardinals, 28)
Terence Newman (Vikings, 37)
Stephen Tulloch (5-11, 230), ILB, Lions
2015 stats: 74 tackles, 1 sack
Tulloch was apparently informed by the Lions a while back that he would be released, but that hasn’t happened yet. And they kept him on the roster despite the fact that a $500,000 roster bonus came due on Sunday. Could be that they’re trying to trade him.
We’ll see how this plays out, but the Eagles seem like a logical destination if he moves on. Schwartz coached Tulloch both in Tennessee and Detroit, and might very well see the value in bringing in a veteran middle linebacker that can assist Jordan Hicks while providing depth and options.