The first day of the legal tampering period kicked off on Monday and the Eagles suffered a couple of blows. To say it was unexpected would be a bold-faced lie but the team hasn’t responded to it just yet. Luckily, the offense is intact but the defense on the other hand will have a brand-new look in several spots.
The first to go was LB T.J. Edwards. Edwards had a breakout season with the birds in 2022 but retaining him was always out of the question for the Eagles. After using a third-round pick and stealing Nakobe Dean, it was obvious that the team was preparing itself to move on from their UDFA-turned-star.
To invest any kind of money there would’ve been counterproductive with Dean waiting in the wings. Edwards surprisingly didn’t break the bank as it seems he took a home discount to join his childhood team, the Chicago Bears.
The next blow was the toughest just because of the landing spot and the loss of impact. The Eagles allowed Javon Hargrave to walk but rightfully so. Hargrave signed a massive $84 million deal to join the San Francisco 49ers.
The Niners will now boast one of the more dominant defensive lines in all of football but you still need a QB to win it all. Losing Hargrave is bittersweet due to the production he had last season but let’s be honest, having Jordan Davis waiting in the wings is beyond comforting.
We know the level of talent that Davis possess and now get to see it bloom in Desai’s defense next season. The only unfortunate part is that the Eagles don’t have much depth behind him on the D-Line. So while the blow is big, the Eagles were prepared for Hargrave’s departure.
Last but not least is Marcus Epps. Epps has yet to truly break out but he flashed his potential with the birds last season. He was as consistent as they come at his position but his tackling was a liability at times. While his departure could mean that the Eagles are working hard to retain CJGJ, it can also mean that they believe in Reed Blankenship.
Blankenship was possibly the better version of Epps at times. Now with a new DC in Sean Desai, Reed gets a shot at a starting spot where he can truly shine. Although he is a bit more unknown than Epps once was, the Eagles benefited from his play when CJGJ went down with his injury. Epps signed with the Raiders which is closer to home for him but the price wasn’t much. The Eagles could’ve matched it if they wanted.
Can the Eagles bounce back?
While the Eagles suffered a couple of blows to their defense on Monday, it’s not expected to have the ripple effect that some outsides believe it will. The team was fully prepared for this offseason with promising talent waiting for their shot. A former first-round pick and third-round pick will anchor the defense while the team’s promising UDFA will earn his shot.
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