It’s the final day before free agency opens, which means as expected, there has been plenty of reports and speculation surrounding just what it is we can come to expect when the curtain opens on the new NFL season. The Eagles have been in the thick of plenty of trade talks, as well as some free agency speculation today, so we decided to once again bring you up to date with everything that’s transpired over the last 24 hours or so.
The battle for Bouye:
A.J Bouye may be the most attractive free agent cornerback on the market after a stunning 2016 campaign in Houston..and acquiring his services will come at a price. Because of the large number associated with his future, the Eagles have been often disregarded in the upcoming bidding war..but Ed Werder of ESPN tweeted something very interesting earlier today:
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) March 8, 2017
Bouye rejected a multiyear extension back in March, earning just $1.67 million this year. The 25-year old broke up 16 passes last season as well as racking up a total of 63 tackles and an interception during the regular season. Prior to 2016, Bouye played in just 185 defensive snaps. The year beforehand however, he played in 633 as a nickel corner, giving up 3 touchdowns and recording 3 touchdowns. More impressively however was the fact that Bouye averaged a total of 9.9 yards given up per completion.
The meteoric rise has drawn the interest of many..but a surprise to many, will be the Eagles following a similar rise in the suitors race. Perhaps the Birds’ have a few aces up their sleeves after all..
The first Pre-Draft visit:
After meeting with Alabama CB, Marlon Humphrey, at the Combine, the Eagles must have been impressed as they have gone on to set up a visit, that will take place on the 14th of March.
Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey's first club visit: Philadelphia #Eagles. Arrives 3/14. No private workouts scheduled yet.
— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) March 8, 2017
Humphrey set an impressive 4.41 forty time last week, adding even more justification to his high draft stock. The 6’1, 196 lbs, cornerended last season with 36 tackles, two picks and five pass breakups for the Crimson tide..earning him a reputation as one of the most NFL ready defensive backs in a draft that’s littered with talent.
NFL teams are allowed to meet with 30 prospects prior to the Draft and 20-year old, Marlon Humphrey, appears to be the first that the Eagles will bring in, on the 14th of March. One down, twenty nine to go!
Setting up shop:
Arguably the most unsurprising news of the day comes from Jason La Canfora, who stated that the Eagles are still shopping Mychal Kendricks and Connor Barwin..shocking, I know.
Eagles continuing to explore trade interest in Connor Barwin and Mychal Kendricks, according to league sources. Both could be cut otherwise
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 8, 2017
Connor Barwin has drummed up some interest as we previously noted, with the Colts and Packers both willing to part ways with something more than just a 7th round pick. However with free agency nearing and desperation clearly appearing to set in, the appeal will be decreasing and the Eagles will be forced to settle for less..or as Jason mentioned, cutting them altogether.
While Kendricks doesn’t carry a huge cap hit, he certainly possesses the higher upside of the two. Whether any moves will be made or not come the end of tomorrow will be one of the more interesting stories to keep an eye on, as it could have severe implications for the remainder of free agency and how the Eagles approach the offseason.
Stills out of reach?:
The Eagles are still said to be in play for Dolphins wideout Kenny Stills, but it feels as if the team are running out of breathing room before free agency has even begun. Brandon Marshall, Torrey Smith, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are likely all off the market already (barring a Frank Gore scenario).
This heavily hurts an Eagles team who despite being linked to Kenny Britt heavily (including the receipt saga), have made no real waves in recent days. The price for Stills is also coming down..which is actually even worse news for the front office as now it seems that the Dolphins could be bringing him back after all.
On the Kenny Stills front, The #Dolphins are trying to keep him, but at least three teams are still in the mix. The dominoes wait.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 8, 2017
Dolphins making a push to keep WR Kenny Stills. Strong offer on the table in the $8M/year range.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 8, 2017
Maybe the Eagles could throw the Cat among the Pigeons and pull off a big deal..or maybe they have already agreed to terms with Kenny Britt and are waiting for the clock to strike so they can announce it. Either way, the wide receiver market is collapsing..fast..which is either a blessing or a curse for a team now priding themselves on patience.
It has now been reported that Stills has re-signed with the Dolphins, meaning yet ANOTHER free agent wide receiver is officially off the table. At just 25-years old, Stills caught a career high 9 touchdown passes and received for 726 yards in 2016. He now rejoins a very dangerous Miami Offense on a long-term deal.
We will have a full report on what this means for the Eagles tomorrow, but Stills was thought to be among the top names on the Eagles free agency shopping list. Those names are very rapidly all becoming “out of stock”.
Surprisingly, the Eagles have also been linked to veteran defensive tackle and long-time Bengal, Domata Peko. The 32-year old had just 32 tackles in 2016 and failed to amass a single sack in what was regarded as one of his worst year’s yet…but the Eagles seem to have turned their heads.
Maybe they’re preparing to part ways with Bennie Logan and are looking to bring in some veteran depth, or maybe they’re just gauging the market..but this is definitely the most head-scratching link of the offseason so far!
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports