Taking Care of Their Own
The Eagles currently have 20 players set for free agency. The biggest name of them all may be Brandon Graham. But do the Eagles think they can afford to bring him back? What about the other positions? Let’s see who will still don the Eagles colors next season.
The Golden Tate era was one of ups and downs this year. Coming from the Lions for a third round pick, his production during the season did not live up to that price tag. In four games with the team, Tate averaged 25.3 yards per game, down from his 73.9 yards per game with the Lions prior to the trade.
He did make up for his season woes with these two spectacular catches in the Bears game:
— TRSN NFL (@TRSNNFL) January 6, 2019
NICK FOLES DELIVERS 🦅🦅🦅
Golden Tate with the touchdown catch to give the Eagles a late lead pic.twitter.com/OGewMvolZD
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) January 7, 2019
I honestly do not think Howie Roseman would’ve paid such a steep price for a three month rental of a player. I do believe Roseman wants him back and will take him over Agholor. Tate has also expressed interest in coming back:
— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) January 20, 2019
Prediction: 4 years $24 million deal with $8 million guaranteed & $7 million signing bonus
Cap (in March): $19.491 million
To say this secondary was decimated with injuries this season would be an understatement. The team lost Rodney McLeod, Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas for a period of time, and Avonte Maddox for a period. The silver lining is that the Eagles may have found their starting nickel corner next season in Cre’Von LeBlanc, who has been ProFootballFocus’ highest graded corner this offseason:
Cre'von LeBlanc is the highest-graded cornerback this postseason pic.twitter.com/o7lob7A6GM
— PFF (@PFF) January 23, 2019
But even with him in the fold, the only healthy member of the secondary under contract for next season is Malcolm Jenkins. At only 25 years old, it makes sense for Darby to take a one year deal to reestablish his value for 2020 free agency and cash in at 26.
Prediction: 1 year $4 million deal with $1 million guaranteed and $1 million signing bonus
Cap (in March): $14.491 million
Another player with injury issues at a position with depth issues, Jordan Hicks has shown flashes of excellence in his four-year career with the Eagles, but he has only played in 16 games once.
In his second year in the league, Hicks played all 16 games, totaling 86 tackles and five interceptions. This was after a rookie year that saw him play eight games.
The arrow was pointing up for Hicks, but a ruptured Achilles in 2017 ended his season after seven games.
This year was a productive one for Hicks, despite missing four games. He totaled 91 tackles, five more than his 2016 season, and no interceptions. But despite that productivity, the injury bug bit again.
So could Hicks still break the bank with another team? Sure. But I’d expect he’d want to shed the injury label and bet on himself in 2019.
Prediction: 1 year $3 million with $1 million guaranteed and $1 million signing bonus
Cap (in March): $10.491 million
Nick Foles is gone. But the Eagles have another quarterback decision on their hands, whether or not to retain third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld as their back up for 2019.
This shouldn’t be a hard decision. Sudfeld is talented, and as our own Liam Jenkins wrote, Doug Pederson is a big fan of him.
I could see the Eagles allowing Sudfeld to test the market, but with a second-round tender attached to his restricted free agent status. Thus, allowing the Eagles to retain him as I do not expect a team to give up a second round pick for Sudfeld.
Prediction: Second round tender for $3.1 million
Cap (in March): $7.876 million
Other FA expected to re-sign: Jake Elliot, Paul Worrilow, Darren Sproles, Rick Lovato
Estimated cap going into Free Agency: $5.056 million
If Chris Long retires: $9.786 million