Five bargain free agents that the Eagles should pursue

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NFL free agency is just around the corner, and with it comes a flurry of rumors and speculation. The cash-strapped, Super Bowl Champion Eagles are unlikely to make any make any blockbuster moves, but that doesn’t mean they’ll simply sit this one out. If Howie Roseman has taught us anything, it’s that he is constantly looking for ways to improve the roster, and doesn’t mind digging around the bargain bin to find help.

Last offseason, Roseman inked CB Patrick Robinson, DE Chris Long, RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Torrey Smith, and OG Stefen Wisniewski to relatively cheap contracts after the market soured a bit for them. All of which were HUGE components of the Eagles’ Super Bowl run, and I expect Roseman to attempt to have similar success this offseason. With that being said, here are five low risk, high reward free agents the Eagles should target:

 

WR John Brown
​The Eagles receiving core is absolutely loaded, with the lethal trio of Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and Nelson Agholor leading the attack. One thing that was absent most of the regular season, however, was a consistent deep threat opposite Jeffery. WR Torrey Smith hauled in just 36 receptions and averaged 27 receiving yards a game in 16 starts for the Birds last season. These numbers are absolutely putrid, and although he was solid in the postseason, I’d expect Philly to move on from him. Speedy wideout John Brown would be the perfect replacement to play across Jeffery.

The former Pittsburgh State WR ran a blazing fast 4.34 in the 40 yard dash at the 2014 NFL Combine, and has already registered a 1,000 yard season in his young career. Brown has proven that he has no trouble blowing passed defenders, and seems to have better hands than Smith as well. Due to missing six games and only starting in five of the ten games he appeared in because of a toe injury, Brown only posted 299 receiving yards in 2017. Make no mistake, though, when fully healthy Brown is a difference maker. I think an incentive-laden, short-term contract would work out for both parties between the Eagles and the young receiver.

 

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
The Eagles are likely to lose the talented TE Trey Burton to the highest bidder in free agency, so they’ll be on the hunt for a new backup. I think ASJ is more than capable of filling that role. After being considered a bust at the time of his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ASJ found new life with the New York Jets. Seferian-Jenkins was on fire to start the year, posting 288 yards and 3 TDs in the first eight weeks of the season for the offensively deprived Jets. His production fell off a cliff in the second half, however, as he posted just 69 yards the rest of the way. Some of this was due to the emergence of Jets’ WR Robby Anderson, as well as the team not having the greatest QB situation.

In Philly, however, the creative play designs of the Eagles staff might help him continue to re-write his legacy in the NFL, and it shouldn’t cost the team too much to bring him aboard.

 

DE Kony Ealy
Ealy has had a rough go since being drafted 60th overall by the Panthers in 2014. Ealy has been on three different teams in his young career, and may be searching for a fourth this offseason. Its puzzling why he hasn’t been able to stick with a team as he has proven to be a valuable pass rusher (14 sacks in his first three seasons) and is still just 26 years old. Perhaps a move back to a 4-3 defensive system like the one he thrived in with Carolina is all he needs, which DC Jim Schwartz’s system would provide.

 

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WR Donte Moncrief
Moncrief, 24, has flashed potential over the course of his young career, but has yet to finish a season with at least 800 receiving yards. The closest he’s come to that mark was back in 2015 when he posted 733 receiving yards and 6 TDs. He’s a big body receiver (6’2, 221 lbs) with solid speed (4.4 40 yard dash) that I think could thrive in the right role. I think the Eagles would be wise to take a flier on him, and see if he could be a developmental 5th wide receiver.

 

QB Colin Kaepernick
I’ve been beating on this drum for some time now, but Kaepernick would be an excellent backup to Carson Wentz. They are very comparable in size and playing styles, and at this point I think Kaep would sign for the veteran’s minimum to get another shot in the NFL. This move, obviously, only makes sense if the Eagles decide to deal Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles while his value is high, which is a move I believe would behoove them.

S Malcolm Jenkins and DE Chris Long just proved that taking a strong political stance does not get in the way of winning, and I think this move would add another high character guy to the locker room, as well as an extremely solid starter in the event Wentz isn’t ready to go Week 1.

 

**BONUS**

RB Jonathan Stewart-
This one is cheating a bit because Jonathan Stewart is not a free agent as of this writing, but I expect him to be released by the Panthers soon. Stewart is on the wrong side of 30 and is coming off a season in which he posted 680 rushing yards on 3.4 yards per carry. Couple that with a $5M dollar cap hit, and I think the writing on the wall says there’s a slim chance he’s back in Carolina.

If he is released I think the Eagles should move on him quickly, as he would be a great physical, bruising back to have in a limited role. The RBBC approach kept all of the Eagles’ running backs fresh throughout the season last year, and I imagine they’d like to do something similar this season.

 

Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

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