Exploring Eagles Free Agency scenarios that will impact draft plans


My Ideal Offseason and Draft

The Eagles have ten picks coming up in the 2020 NFL draft. That gives them plenty of ammunition to work with. They also have $43 million in cap space. If Bradham’s option is not picked up, that can get the number close to $50 million. We all know that Howie Roseman loves restructuring deals to create cap space for the “now”, so don’t be surprised if that cap space keeps rising. We’re in for a hell of an off-season.

With the report that Howie Roseman will pursue free agent corners, namely Byron Jones and Chris Harris, it looks like they might go offense heavy in the draft. I’ll only list my big name offensive and defensive signings and my ideal draft based off that.

Resignings: LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, S Rodney McLeod, DT Hassan Ridgeway, WR Deontay Burnett, P Cameron Johnston

You read that right. One returnee on offense. Burnett should get a shot in camp to show what he can do.

This offense needs a huge overhaul. Wentz needs weapons. Sanders needs a complimentary back (Scott is not a complement, he’s a different kind of spark). Jackson needs depth behind him and another on the field threat to allow him to get single coverage. Ertz and Goedert need the same.

Trade: WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles need to move on from Jeffery. He’s getting older and was a shell of his former self when healthy. Who knows if it’s because he didn’t like Wentz, pictures show a healthy relationship, but it’s obvious he needs a change of scenery. The only way the Eagles do this is if they agree on a restructure and release or find a trade partner for a swap of contracts. Enter Pittsburgh.

Their receivers in 2019 all averaged under 50 yards per game. Who knows how long Ben Roethlisberger will play, so they’ll need to add another receiver for him and one who could take the pressure off JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Steelers only have a little more than $1 million of space to work with to add play makers and they don’t have a first round pick.

An Alshon Jeffery for Joe Haden trade makes sense if Jeffery agrees to restructure his deal. Jeffery will cost $15 million towards the cap while Haden costs $12 million. The Steelers can cut Haden after 2020 for a $7 million savings, but he’ll be 31 once the season starts. If Howie can convince Jeffery that his best years ahead will be with another team and the only way that happens is if he restructures his deal, Jeffery can provide a late season spark for the Steelers in 2020 and allow them to have an offense of Big Ben, James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Alshon Jeffery. It would also allow the Steelers to target youth in the secondary to surround Watt and Fitzpatrick.

Joe Haden will bring experience and production to a secondary group lacking both. Howie Roseman preached youth at his press conference a few weeks ago, but this deal makes sense.

Maybe the deal is facilitated by allowing the Steelers to talk to Jeffery to see how his rehab is. The Eagles might have to throw in a conditional pick where it stays a later round pick if he’s healthy and plays a certain amount of games/snaps and it is a higher round pick if he’s not back when he’s projected to be back.

Cue the “This guy’s an IDIOT! The Steelers would NEVER DO THAT!”

In the words of the immortal Justin Beiber: “Never say neverrrrr”

Free Agents: CB Byron Jones, LB Joe Schobert, LB Elijah Lee, no big name WR additions: purely depth pieces or one year prove it deals, same for RB: purely RB3 move.

I’ve addressed my desire for both Jones and Schobert.

Elijah Lee will be 24 when the season starts and has a ton of experience in special teams. If the Eagles decide to move Singleton up to linebacker depth, then they’ll need a new special teams monster.

Draft idea #1: Trade up

As mentioned before, the Eagles have ten picks in the draft. When doing mock drafts, you’ll only see seven. The three compensatory picks have yet to be assigned. Plenty of ammunition to trade up.

In this draft, Ruggs falls to Miami’s second pick in the first round. With the Raiders skipping receiver with their first pick, they could very well be in the hunt for Ruggs. Even if they took a receiver, Jacksonville is also there looking for offense. The Eagles send their first and one of their thirds to move up to select the speedster out of Alabama.

Gladney makes three new corners for the Eagles in 2020. Him, Jones, and Haden provide talent and competition to the group of Maddox, Jones, Douglas, and LeBlanc. Maybe Maddox or Douglas move up to safety in 2020.

In a second trade up, the Eagles send the Colts one of their fourths and their sixth to move one spot ahead of the Cowboys to select Tyler Johnson. Check him out:

Justin Strnad and Antoine Brooks Jr. will both be third day stars. Get to know them.

WR depth: Ruggs, Jackson, Johnson, JJAW, FA signing, Ward

LB depth: Schobert, Edwards, Strnad, Singleton, Lee, Grugier-Hill

CB depth: B.Jones, Gladney, Haden, S. Jones, Maddox, Douglas, LeBlanc

Safety depth: Jenkins, McLeod, Brooks, Epps, possible FA signing

Draft idea #2: Stand pat and add depth through draft

10 picks. Enough to add a ton of talent.

Jalen Raegor is flying up draft boards almost as fast as he is. He’s an electric athlete that can take a screen pass to the end zone at any moment. He or Ruggs would electrify this offense and in this case Ruggs isn’t available. He tracks the ball (unlike Agholor), catches contested balls, and his quickness is off the charts.

I’ve talked about Winfield Jr.

Alton Robinson can be an elite pass rusher and provides depth at a position losing Vinny Curry and provides youth behind Brandon Graham.

Jordyn Brooks. Man, just look at his draft profile here. All you need to know.

The Eagles go back back with the Brooks selections and select their second Antonie of the draft. Antoinie Brooks provides great fourth safety potential, even if Epps is back.

Parkinson is a great TE3 developmental candidate and I’m sure he’d be excited to learn from another Stanford TE alum on the roster.

Van Jefferson may be the steal of the draft. He has height and range. His dad is a WR coach, so you know he has proper coaching. He can take it to the distance and has strong hands. Draft profile here.

With the three comp picks coming, I’d like to see the Eagles grab interior offensive linemen and maybe a corner. Cushenberry wasn’t available when I did this mock. Don’t yell at me.

WR depth: Raegor, Jackson, Jefferson, JJAW, FA signing, Ward

CB depth: B. Jones, Haden, S. Jones, Maddox, Douglas, LeBlanc

LB depth: Schobert, Brooks, Edwards, Singleton, Grugier-Hill, Lee

Safety depth: Jenkins, McLeod, Winfield, Brooks, Epps

So there you have it boys and girls. I’ve given you scenarios and how they’d impact the draft. I’ve given you my ideal* scenario. Even hit you with a trade that definitely won’t happen, maybe, but makes sense.

Let me know what you think! Which scenario is your favorite? What do you want to see? Let me know!


Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports