Years in the past, the Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the most active teams in the NFL during the free agency period. Eagles General Manager, Howie Roseman is one of the key parts for the team being so aggressive. Last year we saw Roseman worked around the cap to acquire Alshon Jeffery, Nick Foles, Corey Graham, Patrick Robinson, LeGarrette Blount, Chris Long, Torrey Smith and Chance Warmack. I don’t expect the Eagles to make a big splash in this year’s free agency class due to the team not having many needs and being once again limited with cap space. As of right now the Eagles are $9.3 million over the cap. Now I would anticipate Howie to focus on trading and restructuring a few contracts on this team the next few months. The players that I see as possible restructures/trades include; Fletcher Cox, Malcolm Jenkins, Vinny Curry, Torrey Smith, Nick Foles, Zach Ertz, and Brandon Brooks.
The Eagles are only going to lose possibly two starters in free agency (Nigel Bradham and Patrick Robinson). The Eagles are still going to have address a few positions this offseason which include; running back, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, linebacker and safety. With the Eagles only having one pick in the first three rounds of this year’s draft Howie Roseman is going to sign a few free agents this year. Here are the next three players that should interest the Eagles:
Taylor Gabriel – Wide Receiver (Age: 27)
Gabriel is an interesting player that I think could fit with the Eagles next year. Gabriel is only listed at 5’8” (I think he’s even smaller than that), but he might be the fastest player in the NFL. Carson Wentz does struggle with his deep ball – occasionally missing long, but with Gabriel that will be hard to over throw him. The Eagles are probably going to go look for cheaper options at receiver with Torrey Smith expected to be moved. Gabriel might not have the ideal size for an outside receiver, but his route running ability is what gets him open. Gabriel is only 27 so there is still upside with him. Doug Pederson likes gadget type players and Gabriel is a guy that you can do a lot with. A contract for Gabriel would look something like 2 years, $6 million with nearly none guaranteed.
Crockett Gillmore – Tight End (Age: 26)
If the Eagles lose Trey Burton then tight end becomes a big need. Doug Pederson likes using multiple tight ends in 12 and 13 sets. I don’t think the Eagles have the resources to draft a playmaking tight in this year’s draft so I look to a guy like Gilmore to be the replacement for a year or two. Gilmore was drafted by the Ravens in the third round when Joe Douglas was a scout in Baltimore. Gilmore has been a relatively productive player when on the field for the Ravens ranking up 604 yards in three years while being used as the second tight end. This past year Crockett missed the season due to a MCL injury. Gilmore has missed 32 games in his four year career so that is the one things that is worry some. Gilmore, when healthy, can be similar to Trey Burton as a athletic tight end that has really nice hands. Gilmore might not be as good of a blocker as Burton, but I think if Doug Pederson puts him in the right situations he can become another productive player in this offense.
Cedric Thornton – Defensive Tackle (Age: 29)
Thornton was signed by the Eagles after the 2011 NFL Draft. Thornton became a productive player as a 3-4 defensive end for the Eagles before they let him walk in free agency. The Eagles let him walk was due to Vinny Curry also being a free agent that same year. The Eagles gave Vinny a five-year extension worth north of 47 million. Thornton signed with the Dallas Cowboys and he didn’t live up to the contract he was given. Thornton failed to become a starter for the Cowboys and was released before the 2017 season even through his contract was fully guaranteed. Thornton signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bill and he had a relatively good season with a career-high 2.0 sacks. Signing Thornton isn’t for his pass rush, it is for his run stuffing ability. Just like Kyle Williams (who I talked about last week as an option for the Eagles), Thornton makes sense for the Eagles if they lose Beau Allen in free agency. Cedric would provide the Eagles with a guy that can stop the run and rush the passer a tad. Remember, Cedric Thornton made 45 starts with the Eagles in his four year run.
Currently a junior at Penn State. Broadcast Journalism Major. Processor enthusiast, Carson Wentz is my dad.