10 Free Agents Who Could Still Interest the Eagles
The initial flurry is over, but as I write this, we’re not even 48 hours into free agency.
After adding five players on Tuesday, the Eagles will look to continue to build their roster in the coming days. They have the cap space to make a splash (several big names are still available), or perhaps more likely, take advantage of value.
Having said that, here are 10 names (in no particular order) who could still be on their radar:
1. Connor Barwin, OLB (6-4, 268) – There have been multiple reports indicating that the Eagles have at least shown some interest in the 26-year-old who spent his first four seasons with the Texans. Some are wondering why the Eagles would want Barwin when they have Trent Cole, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry on the roster. But the truth is, we don’t know what the Eagles’ scheme is going to be in 2013. Cole, Graham and Curry have zero pro experience playing outside linebacker in a 3-4. Barwin played in a 3-4 in Houston and stayed on the field for over 94 percent of the Texans’ snaps, per Pro Football Focus. He had 11.5 sacks in 2011, he’s young, and he has good length. Barwin has not made any free agent visits (that have been reported).
2. Victor Butler, OLB (6-2, 245) – At the beginning of free agency, it looked like Butler could present good value. He’s only 25 and was stuck behind Anthony Spencer in Dallas. Like Barwin, he brings experience as an outside linebacker in a 3-4. Butler might not be on the market for long, though. He’s visiting the Steelers today, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
3. Antoine Cason, CB (6-1, 195) – I’d be surprised if the Eagles are done making moves in their secondary. They are likely still in the market for a starting cornerback, although as T-Mac detailed earlier, the options are starting to thin a bit. Cason spent his first five seasons with the Chargers, but the former first-round pick never lived up to expectations. However, he’s young (26), has size and is durable (never missed a game due to injury). If the Eagles are able to sign him to a low-risk deal, there could be some untapped potential worth considering. Cason has visited with the Cardinals, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, but he did not sign yet.
4. Keenan Lewis, CB (6-0, 208) – Another starting cornerback option. Lewis, 26, was a 16-game starter for the Steelers last season. Chip Kelly should have some familiarity with the Oregon State product, who was originally a third-round pick in 2009.
5. Jake Long, OT (6-7, 319) – There were reports on Tuesday that the Eagles had shown interest in the four-time Pro Bowler. But Long spent Wednesday visiting with the Rams and getting checked out medically. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Rams saw no red flags with Long, who has dealt with triceps, biceps, knee and shoulder injuries. It’s possible that St. Louis signs Long today, but if he leaves town, perhaps the Eagles will get back in the mix. The Dolphins are reportedly still interested in bringing him back too.
6. Sebastian Vollmer, OT (6-8, 320) – Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reported yesterday that the Eagles have expressed interest in the 28-year-old right tackle. Vollmer has dealt with back issues and an ankle injury, having missed 11 games the past two seasons. Given his age and injury history, Vollmer is a “if the price is right” candidate. He very well could end up back in New England, but it seems clear that the Eagles wouldn’t mind adding a tackle and pushing Todd Herremans back inside to guard.
7. Eric Winston, OT (6-7, 302) – Because the Chiefs cut him, Winston had a chance to sign before free agency started. There appeared to be quite a bit of interest right off the bat, but Winston clearly didn’t get the offer he was seeking, and he remains on the market. At 29, he’ll be on his third team in three seasons, so there are question marks. But he’s someone who could still be in the mix for the Eagles.
8. Louis Delmas, S (5-11, 202) – The Eagles added Patrick Chung to the fold, but the safety market is worth monitoring in the coming weeks. The Birds have struck out time and again at this position in the past few years, so if they identify high upside options who can be signed for little risk, they have to consider them. Delmas has missed 13 of 32 games the past two seasons, but he’s only 25. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he left his visit with the Rams and is now talking to the Niners. The Eagles have not been linked to Delmas, but he’s still a name to keep in mind.
9. Kenny Phillips, S (6-2, 217) – He falls in the same category. Phillips is only 26, but has had injury issues and only played in seven games last season. Again, if healthy, he’s shown he can be productive. Up to this point, Phillips has not taken any reported visits, and the market seems to be cool.
10. Ricky Jean-Francois, DL (6-3, 295) – He was in town for a visit yesterday, but left without a deal. That’s usually not a good sign, but as we’ve learned in the past, never say never. The Eagles clearly had interest in him, but Jean-Francois is apparently looking for the best offer. The 26-year-old defensive lineman offers versatility, but would probably be most useful as a 3-4 defensive end.
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