With the NFL Draft now six days away, let’s refresh our memory and look back to see who the Philadelphia Eagles have added and lost so far during the Free Agency period and what it could mean for draft day.
Free Agency Losses:
C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Miles Sanders, Kyzir White, T.J. Edwards, Javon Hargrave, Andre Dillard, Isaac Seumalo, Marcus Epps, Zach Pascal, Gardner Minshew.
Total on Offense: 5
Total on Defense: 5
It was no surprise that the Eagles would face multiple key losses this offseason. Many of which were key defensive starters (Gardner-Johnson, White, Edwards, Hargrave, Epps). All of these players are very hard to replace, but one in particular still stings Eagles fans, and that is the departure of C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
Gardner-Johnson was a shining star in the Eagles’ stacked secondary from last season and was a top priority going into the offseason. Throughout free agency, it seemed as though the Eagles and CGJ were slipping farther and farther away, to the dismay of the fans. CGJ wanted his payday, and the number that Howie Roseman offered was not good enough for him. So he decided to take his talents to Detroit on a one-year prove-it deal (which made Eagles fans even madder).
The other significant loss to note is the Eagles’ linebacker and safety core. Linebackers Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards were key contributors in both run and pass defense. This leaves a large gap in the center of the Eagles’ defense, with only Nakobe Dean left to fill the void. Philadelphia lost in the Super Bowl because of their run defense, and losing two starting linebackers does not help that cause. And with the loss of CGJ and Marcus Epps, the Eagles were left without their two starting safeties. Reed Blankenship played nicely in his rookie season, but is he the man to take the starting job, or will they have to look elsewhere?
On the offensive side of the ball, the only thing to note is the departure of running back Miles Sanders. Sanders is coming off of his best season as a pro, even though he was outshined at times by Kenny Gainwell in the post-season. This now leads to the drama we see today. Will the Eagles take a guy like Bijan Robinson in the draft? Or will they rely on the bullpen that pulled through last year?
Free Agency Additions:
Terrell Edmunds, Nicholas Morrow, Justin Evans, Marcus Mariota, Greedy Williams, Rashaad Penny, Olamide Zachheaus, Extending Darius Slay, Extending Jalen Hurts.
Total on Offense: 4
Total on Defense: 5
How was the Eagles’ patch-up job?
Most of these names that Roseman added aren’t flashy by any means, but they will serve as reliable pieces that fill in the left gaping holes. Edmunds and Morrow will quickly be placed in starting roles where two players at the position left. Both are veterans that Roseman knew could be relied on while saving cap room for Hurts’ contract.
The signing of Rashaad Penny seems to answer the running back question. The running back room now consists of Penny, Gainwell, Boston Scott, and Trey Sermon. Gainwell played like the team’s starter during the playoff run, while Scott always found a way to make an impact. The addition of Penny is a cheap high-ceiling move that can prove to be a steal down the stretch. But as the draft gets closer, the hype for Bijan Robinson at No. 10 keeps getting louder and louder…
One of the biggest storylines this offseason was the almost departure of Darius Slay. Slay requested for a trade which caused uproar amongst Eagles fans. At the end of a confusing few days, Slay was extended to stay in Philly, which allows the Eagles to not worry about the cornerback position in the early rounds.
And, of course, Jalen Hurts got paid. His five-year $255 million contract says it all. This was the Eagles’ No. 1 priority this offseason, and it seems to have gone smoothly. Having a player like Jalen Hurts lead your team for the long-term future will cover up many holes on the offensive side of the ball for many years to come.