Training Camp is just days away for the Philadelphia Eagles and excitement has never been higher. The signing of Darren Sproles pushed the roster total to 89, leaving the team with one more vacancy they can optionally fill. Are there any free agents who could come in and compete for a roster spot?
DE Connor Barwin
The Eagles seemingly have a plan in place with their former pass-rusher. Barwin has been vocal about wanting to return to the Eagles in recent weeks and this recept report from Alex Marvez seems to hint at more progress.
Barwin spent four years with the Eagles before becoming a cap casualty and matching his 2016 sack total of 5 with his new team, the Rams, one year later. He then signed a deal with the New York Giants that saw the 32-year old take on a more rotational while in an absolute train wreck of a season, while younger players took the heavier loads.
The Eagles lost a lot of production and depth from their DE group this year and while Vinny Curry’s return will at least balance the scales, there’s unproven potential in Josh Sweat and Shareef Miller that would almost be relied upon in an EDGE4 role; something that Connor Barwin may be able to take on and relieve the pressure off the younger guys until they’re ready to step up and make that situational impact.
S Tre Boston
How Tre Boston is a free agent is startling at this point. Unless there’s something we don’t know with regards to his attitude, effort levels in practice, or lingering health issues, it just doesn’t make sense.
He’s still just 26 years old and after the free agency market dried up last year, his 79 tackle, 5 interception season wasn’t enough for teams to somehow want to take the plunge. Boston gambled on himself and took a late prove-it contract with the Cardinals, in a season where he (shockingly) exceeded expectations again. Boston tallied another 79 tackles, 3 interceptions, a career-high 9 passes defensed and forced a fumble. Yet here he is, unsigned.
The former fourth-round pick now has more than a solid resume at free safety and the Eagles may want an extra insurance policy at a position that’s light on guys who have defensive experience behind McLeod.
If the Eagles do decide to part ways with Andrew Sendejo in order to bag an extra compensatory pick for next year’s draft, there’s little in the way of proven depth who could take Corey Graham’s 2017 role (in 2018 he filled in for the injured McLeod), and Boston’s instinctive play would be a cheap and cheerful fit.
As we learned last year, you can never have too much defensive back depth…and Boston just seems to constantly shine, even if the world does refuse to notice.
DT Corey Liuget
The Eagles have a really solid defensive tackle corps after the additions of Malik Jackson and Timmy Jernigan, but depth stung them massively last year. In 2017, Beau Allen and Destiny Vaeao played such underrated roles in keeping the position afloat, that when absent one year later and without replacements who could perform as needed, it showed. Cox had to man the entire fort by himself and he still somehow managed to have a career year. Monstrous.
Anyway, the Eagles won’t want to let that happen again and while there are plenty of developmental options to work with, there’s no substitute for experience.
Liuget’s 2018 campaign was cut short due to a season-ending knee injury and a suspension, resulting in just 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. But he was the longest-tenured Chargers player going into last season and has made 103 starts for the Bolts, compiling 275 tackles and 24 sacks. He’s only 29-years old which is huge in terms of the free agency prototype Roseman now aims for, and is the perfect type of person for this locker room.
Liuget earned a nomination for the Walter Payton Man Of The Year award thanks to his dedication to helping the American Heart Association, a cause close to his heart after his son, Corey Jr., was born with several heart defects. He recently donated $250,000 to his alma mater.
Liuget would maybe be a slightly more expensive signing, but would give the Eagles a solid DT4 to partner with Timmy Jernigan.
Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports