It’s that time of year where free agency, the draft, OTA’s, and mandatory minicamp, have come and gone, leaving us to sit and wait. Like the calm before the storm, most players have gone back to the respective areas they were raised. They will all keep their workouts at a high level, as they know that training camp is right around the corner.
As you look at the roster the Philadelphia Eagles sit with, you see a list of talented prospects from top to bottom. Every player that has gone off into the sunset of downtime, keeps in the back of their mind that they are in for a fight for the season…and for their jobs.
Despite the Eagles having a relatively strong looking roster, there are a few question marks left and like every other team in the NFL, they will be looking for ways to answer them. With the season rapidly approaching, there are less and less players out there whom could help the birds roster. There a still a couple of ways to build however. Trades or free agency being the two in question…with the second of the two more likely the road to travel.
With that said, we decided to scan the free agent market to find players who could fit this talented Eagles roster and help contribute this season.
CB Darrelle Revis:
Once considered the best, or one of the best corners in all of football, Revis Island has looked more like a landing strip as of late. Despite his recent struggles, the 31-year old, still has the talent to help the Eagles young CB core. While his style may see him perform better as a hybrid safety type, there is no denying he could help either on the field as a playmaker, or in the locker room as Chase Daniel and Stephen Tulloch did one year ago.
The birds could bring him in as a veteran leader to help teach these young budding stars in Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. In his career 140 games, Revis has been a real issue for offenses collecting 29 interceptions and taking away a side of the field each game. He may not be the same guy he once was, or maybe last season was just a fluke, who knows? But it wouldn’t hurt to bring him in on a team friendly deal, to find out what he has left.
CB Alterraun Verner-
In 2014, Verner was the prize corner on the free agent market before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 5’10, 190 lbs, former 4th round pick in 2010 has had a strong career up until now, showing his ability to play inside, outside, and at the safety position. He is also not shy about helping in the run game, with his 436 career tackles to go with 15 interceptions. The pro-bowler, has not had the career with Tampa Bay he hoped to have, but can still help boost the Eagles defense.
There have been talks, like those of Revis, that he might have lost a step in coverage, which may make him more suitable to play safety at this point. Regardless of where he would line up, Verner would be an upgrade to the birds depth and could serve as a strong veteran presence…at the very least on Fipp’s special teams unit. The Eagles brass did a great job at attending to their weakest spot on the Defense, but they should not feel comfortable stopping there. Verner could be a player that could come in day one and help the team without breaking the bank.
LB Perry Riley-
Riley has always been the other guy when you look at his teams. Although he has had a good career up until now for the Redskins and Raiders, he has always seemed to be underrated. Since being drafted in 2010, he has collected 502 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 27 pass deflections, 3 interceptions and four forced fumbles. Since being drafted by Washington, Riley has been a presence on his defense and been a force in the run game.
Considered a leader by his teammates and coaches alike, Riley has always been a film nerd. His talent and leadership could help a LB room, as well as bring a depth to a spot with a couple of question marks. After Jordan Hicks, there are a ton of unknowns. Nigel Bradham could be suspended, Mychal Kendricks could be released or traded, Rookie Nate Gerry is new to the position, Joe Walker looked good, but hasn’t played anything meaningful and is coming off of an injury. So you could see how Riley, could serve as strong depth, and a above average starter, if he needs to play.
The question is, would the Eagles be able to use Riley enough to justify the spend? Without Kendricks last year, the Eagles relied on two-LB fronts and a lot of nickel looks, instead using Malcolm Jenkins in the slot. It’s an interesting call to make, but it at least gives the Birds optionality, something Howie Roseman has spoke consistently of wanting to find.
Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports