Previously, I covered the Eagles Offensive Free Agents. You can view that here.

Now we’ll take a look at the other side of the ball.

With a much longer list of defensive free agents, let’s dive in to what the Eagles will be looking at when Free Agency starts in less than two weeks.


Defensive Tackle

Fletcher Cox

The 11 year Eagles defensive tackle is up for another contract. With 7 Sacks and 7 Tackles For Loss, they’ll have to make a decision on the 6x Pro Bowler and 4x All-Pro tackle. Cox was previously cut entering last off-season, saving the Eagles 2.1M before getting signed to a 1-year, $14M contract the following day.

Spotrac’s market value has Fletcher Cox projected to receive a 2-year, $28M deal. Leaving him at the same annually salary as the previous season. With the Eagles cap situation, they might have to make a tough decision on who their returning Defensive tackles may be.

Javon Hargrave

Hargrave finished his 3rd season with the Eagles with a career high in Sacks (11). The 1x Pro Bowler was robbed of another nomination. A huge snub around the NFL as he had already hit 10 sacks by the time the Pro Bowl rosters had been announced.

Javon Hargrave is projected for a 3-year $60.4M extension. However the Eagles drafted a Nose Tackle in the first round of last years draft. None other than Jordan Davis, a presence that was missed along the defensive line during his absence from an ankle injury.

It’s uncertain which Pro Bowl Defensive Tackle the Eagles might re-sign, but they have a replacement who’s already got 1 season under his belt. The decision won’t be simple, but it seems unlikely both Pro Bowlers return.

 

Ndamukong Suh

Signed after the Eagles first loss. Ndamukong Suh was brought in to support the Eagles defensive line with more rotational pieces during Jordan Davis’ injury.

With his 2023 prediction coming true. The 13 year vet is back on the Free Agent market. If Suh decides to hang out on the market and search for another ring as he tried to this season. Who’s to blame him? The Eagles weren’t going shopping Week 9 for long term contracts anyways.

 

Linval Joseph

Another depth signing after the Eagles first loss. Brought in on another 1-year contract similar to Suh, it will be unlikely the Eagles prioritize re-signing Joseph.

If another depth signing is needed down the road, anything could happen with these two veterans.

 

Defensive End

Brandon Graham

There’s only one way for this to end, it’s most likely with BG remaining in an Eagles uniform, with Kelly Green jerseys right around the corner.

Only projected to receive a 1-year $5.7M contract. It seems likely the Eagles will bring back the 13-year veteran. Even after a career high 11 Sack season.

BG is near the top of my priority list for contracts. Along with a few others we’ll get to.

Robert Quinn

Howie Roseman’s early trade deadline acquisition didn’t pan out as well as Eagles fans hoped. The previous season, having put up 18.5 Sacks looked like a steal for Philadelphia. However Quinn only ended up playing 6 games for the Eagles. Getting shut down for five weeks for a knee scope. Quinn returned in week 18 and played through the playoffs. Unlike Ryan Kerrigan’s lone sack against Tampa in last years playoffs, Quinn was held to 0 sacks in the Eagles 3 postseason games.

It was clear Quinn was a trade deadline move to reduce snap counts from Sweat, Reddick and Graham due to Barnett’s week 1 ACL injury.

 

Linebackers

Kyzir White

White signed a 1-year deal to come to Philadelphia. A promising prove it deal that gave the Eagles some long needed depth in the LB room. No longer were we subject to Nate Gerry on Chase Claypool.

The biggest downside to White and Edwards eating the majority of snaps was that it stunted Nakobe Dean’s playtime. The projected 1st round pick was a steal for Philly in the 3rd round amidst some injury concerns. Dean only played 34 defensive snaps throughout the entire season, and the majority came during the blowouts against the Titans and Giants, with some promising highlights to boot.

Philadelphia currently doesn’t have a long-term solution at LB, but with Dean under contract for 3 more years it’s most likely he’ll takeover a starting role in the upcoming season.

With a projected 2-year, $8.5M contract. I could see the Eagles having Edwards as a higher priority this off-season.

 

T.J. Edwards

Edwards has seen an increased workload every season he’s been with the Eagles. Most likely returning to the team. There’s a big decision to be made though. Spotrac projects Edwards contract to be a 4-year, 47.9M deal. It’s not a matter of if the Eagles will pay that contract. It’s a matter of if the y want to pay that much for a linebacker, a position the Eagles haven’t invested heavily in for years.

While I welcome Edwards back to the team if that’s the outcome, the undrafted free agent could be replaced with Dean if the Eagles want to look elsewhere like the draft or other free agents. The Rams recently cut Bobby Wagner, and while the contract might be expensive, the level of play the Eagles should receive could be worth allocating that money.

Cornerback

James Bradberry

Bradberry is most likely to move on from Philadelphia. Signing a 1-year prove it contract with Philly after getting cut from the Giants was an amazing solution to the CB2 issue the Eagles had. With a rather successful year (minus the holding penalty) Bradberry proved he may still be worth an upcoming big contract.

While unlikely to get an extension with the Eagles, a projected 3-year $45M market value will see the Cornerback playing in a different jersey. Perhaps the Lions are looking for a corner?

The Eagles currently hold the 10th pick in the draft, with big names like Kelee Ringo and Christian Gonzalez potentially available. The Eagles could have a draft solution for their CB of the future.

 

Safety

C.J. Gardner-Johnson

Gardner-Johnson tops my priority list on who the Eagles should re-sign. A 4-way tie for the Interceptions with Minkah Fitzpatrick, Justin Simmons and Tariq Woolen. Philadelphia hasn’t had consistency with returning Safeties since Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. With Marcus Epps also up for contract, the Eagles will once again face an important decision on who they’ll bring back.

Reed Blankenship was a positive that was able to emerge during Gardner-Johnson’s injury, but the defence still missed the presence of 23.

Spotrac’s Market Value has C.J. Gardner-Johnson projected to sign a 5-year $66.6M contract. While I’d love to see the Safety locked up long term in Philly. With the current cap situation the Eagles are working with, it wouldn’t surprise me if the reports of a Franchise Tag end up being the final solution for the upcoming season.

Marcus Epps

The Eagles claimed the 6th Round Safety off of Waivers in 2019 from the Minnesota Vikings. Starting all 17 games for the first time this season, Epps was a big part of the Eagles defence. But, with cap crunches come big decisions. Epps might not be searching for a big payday like Gardner-Johnson is, but for the cost of a 5th and 6th round pick, you’d be hopeful the Eagles can find a way to extend Gardner-Johnson.

With the emergence of Reed Blankenship that fans asked for all pre-season, at least the Eagles are in good condition with a rather deep position in the secondary.

Special Teams

Rick Lovato

Lovato has spent the last several years as one of few remaining members of the Super Bowl 52 roster. Similar to Boston Scott’s contract, Lovato hasn’t been holding a massive cap hit. The Eagles shouldn’t be worried about bringing their tenured Long Snapper.

 

Free Agency is 12 days away. What big names are you hoping the Eagles bring in, if they can’t re-sign any of their big names that could be hitting the market?

Go Birds!

 

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today Sports

 

 

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