The official start of NFL free agency is just days away. As it stands right now, the Eagles still have about $18 million to shed to get under the cap. With the trade of Zach Ertz looming and the potential release of Derek Barnett, the team should be able to comfortably get under that margin by the start of free agency on Wednesday.
Still, the Eagles will have very limited room to maneuver once free agency begins. Look for the team to target more under the radar players, or guys who have low-risk, high-reward potential.
I already took a stab at potential defensive free agents the team could target — you can read that here. So this time around I’m going to focus solely on the offensive side of the ball.
Here are five offensive players the Eagles should take a look at once free agency begins.
Wide Receiver, John Ross
The former first round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals never truly lived up to his potential, but John Ross still has something that every team desires — back breaking speed.
In 2019, Ross averaged 18.1 yards per reception, and 10 of his 51 career receptions have gone for a touchdown. He may not be a move-the-chains type of guy, or someone who’s going to consistently get 4-5 catches per game even, but he has big play ability. His stats speak to that.
At just 25 years old and coming off a season in which he started just one game, Ross will be a cheap option at wideout. Signing a one-year “prove it” deal feels like the probable outcome for Ross in free agency this year, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Eagles were the team to give him that chance.
Running Back, Marlon Mack
I wrote about the possibility of signing Marlon Mack more in depth a few weeks ago, so click here if you’d like to check that out.
Simply put, Mack is obviously a guy who the Eagles should keep an eye on. His connection to Nick Sirianni, along with the fact that he shouldn’t be too expensive makes this a good match.
The Eagles need a more consistent backup to Miles Sanders and someone who can lighten the load on first or second downs. Mack can certainly be that guy.
Running Back, Tevin Coleman
If Howie Roseman strikes out on signing Mack, Tevin Coleman is another veteran free agent back who would be a very nice backup to Sanders.
Coleman’s 2020 campaign never really got off the ground, as he suffered an ankle injury early in the season and never found his way back into San Francisco’s RB rotation. In the season prior where Coleman started 11 games, he rushed for 544 yards on a 4 yards-per-carry average and found the end zone six times.
At 27 years old and coming off a year in which his workload was very low, Coleman certainly still has a few years of good football left in the tank. He’s the type of back who fits nicely into Sirianni’s west coast system. He’s not the best pass catcher out of the backfield, but he’s capable and willing to use his body in pass protection as well.
Signing Coleman to a one or two year deal would be a nice contingency option if the Mack pursuit falls through.
Wide Receiver, T.Y. Hilton
Noticing a theme here? There will be a lot of former Colts on the Eagles radar this offseason — it just makes too much sense for them not to be.
I wrote about T.Y. Hilton possibly signing here about a month ago. Here’s a snippet of what I had to say:
Hilton isn’t the deep threat receiver he once was. Now 31 years old, Hilton has shifted his game to being an efficient, move the chains type of receiver. 42 of his 56 receptions this year either went for a touchdown or a first down. He’s as sure-handed as they come as well, only dropping six of his last 101 catchable passes, per Pro Football Focus.
Hilton is the exact type of receiver I’d like to see the team pursue in free agency, if that’s the route they decide to go at that position. He’s a proven veteran who knows the system, and his skillset would be nice to pair with the likes of Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins.
He’s not a burner anymore at this stage of his career, but Hilton still has great route running ability and his football IQ is top notch.
If the Eagles want to add a smart veteran guy who’s going to be nothing but a positive for this position group, signing Hilton is a no-brainer.
Quarterback, Jacoby Brissett
If the Eagles are serious about rolling with Jalen Hurts as the starter next season, signing a guy like Jacoby Brissett makes a ton of sense. It would be very similar to the Chase Daniel signing in 2016. Daniel and Doug Pederson spent the past few years working together in Kansas City, and he ended up following Doug to Philly to be Carson Wentz’s backup for a year.
Sirianni spent the past few years working with Brissett in Indianapolis. He knows the system, he’s played relatively well in the system, and he’s a veteran presence for Hurts to learn from.
Reports surfaced Monday morning from NFL insider Adam Caplan stating that the Eagles have interest in signing Brissett. “[The Eagles] have interest I’m told by multiple sources in Jacoby Brissett,” said Caplan via InsideTheBirds.com. “Not surprising, obviously the connection with the Colts coaches but he doesn’t have an agent. He hasn’t used an agent in years. He actually did his two-year extension and did a pretty good job on it by the way. Now, what I understand is Bill Parcells is his advisor, legendary Hall of Fame coach. I think Monday afternoon they could talk to him because he’s not an agent, technically.”
With the Colts allowing Brissett to test the free agent market, following Sirianni and the handful of other former Colts coaches to Philly just makes sense. Brissett is about as good of a backup quarterback as you can get in this league, and as we all know, backup quarterback carries a lot of value here in Philly.
Of all the players mentioned above, Brissett feels like the most likely signing.
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