We knew it was going to be a quiet free agency period for the Eagles with their limited amount of cap space. Three signings later, and it would appear Howie Roseman’s free agency work could be over for the 2021 offseason.
Since there likely won’t be anymore significant signings, I figured there’s no time like the present to grade each acquisition based on the contract and the player’s projected role with the team.
Let’s get into it.
Safety, Andrew Adams
Contract — One year; Base salary: $990K; Cap hit: $987,500
The first signing of the offseason for the Birds, Andrew Adams will likely be nothing more than a special teams ace who provides depth at the safety position.
Adams has started 32 of his 73 career games and has recorded 6 interceptions during his time in the NFL.
The most notable aspect of this signing is that the Eagles are not tied to Adams at all financially. Howie utilized the veteran salary benefit with Adams’ contract, which allows teams to offer a qualifying contract to any player with at least four years of NFL experience at a reduced cap hit. Adams’ guaranteed money was all lumped in with his signing bonus, meaning he has already been paid that money. If the Eagles cut him during camp, they’ll face no cap ramifications.
Ideally, Adams is a solid depth piece who is a solid contributor on special teams. It’s the reason Howie signed him. But if it doesn’t work out, the team can cut their losses and move on.
You can read my full breakdown on the Adams signing here.
Safety, Anthony Harris
Contract: One-year, $5 million
For most fans, including myself, signing someone of Anthony Harris‘ caliber felt like a reach this offseason. But, Howie was able to pull it off, and the Eagles got their hands on one of the better defensive free agents entering this offseason.
While Harris had a bit of a down year in 2020 playing on the franchise tag, he still recorded a career high in tackles with 104 and allowed just 58.3% of passes thrown his way to get completed.
In 2019, Harris was one of the best safeties in all of football. He led the league in interceptions (6), while deflecting 11 passes and allowing a 44.2 passer rating when targeted. At 29 years old and just two years removed from a career year, Harris should be a very solid starter in the Eagles secondary. And if he doesn’t perform, the Eagles can let him walk at the end of the year and re-assess the safety position next offseason.
If Harris does come in and prove himself, the Eagles will have the first opportunity to re-sign him and pencil him as their starter for the next few years. It’s a win-win signing for the Birds and clearly the best acquisition of this offseason for the team.
You can read my full breakdown of the Harris signing here.
Quarterback, Joe Flacco
Contract: One-year, $3.5 million. Up to $7.5 million in incentives
With Jalen Hurts being the only quarterback on the team since the beginning of free agency, the Eagles needed to add a quality backup. Insert Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.
While I do have a soft spot for Flacco, the contract he was given is bit much. He played with the Jets last season under a one-year, $1.5 million deal. He went 0-4 as a starter and posted a QB rating of 80.6. For reference, here are some of the other backup quarterback signings around the NFL this offseason:
Mitchell Trubisky: Two-years, $4 million.
Jacoby Brissett: One-year, worth up to $7.5 million with incentives.
Mike Glennon: one-year, $1.35 million
Each of these signal callers are on the same level as Flacco right now, and they all got less money — except for Brissett, who’s a better backup at this point.
Flacco fills an obvious need for this team, and he’ll play the mentor role for Hurts. But his hesitancy to be that mentor veteran for Lamar Jackson in Baltimore does give me some cause for concern here. While I’m sure he was told he was going to be that for Hurts, I’m also sure he wasn’t going to get a contract with this kind of money anywhere else.
Something tells me Cool Joe saw the figure the team was offering and signed immediately. Only time will tell.
Simply put, the team overpaid for a backup quarterback, and essentially put the rest of their remaining cap space into this deal. Not great!