With just four games left and the team currently on their bye week, it’s time to look ahead at some of the Eagles pending free agents this offseason.
Howie Roseman has already done his due diligence with some of his players who were set to hit the open market. Avonte Maddox got a new deal, along with T.J. Edwards. But there are still a handful of notable names that the front office hasn’t addressed yet.
Here are all the pending free agents that likely won’t be back in 2022.
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When the Eagles picked up Derek Barnett’s option at the beginning of last offseason, it was a last ditch effort to try and salvage their 2017 first round pick. But it clearly hasn’t worked out the way they intended it to.
Barnett has struggled throughout most of the 2021 season. Even with an increased workload following the season-ending injury to Brandon Graham, Barnet has done little to persuade the front office to keep him around past this season. On 599 defensive snaps (the second-most for a season in his career), Barnett has only mustered two sacks, 10 hurries, seven quarterback knockdowns, and 37 combined tackles.
As most of us know by now, the penalties have really hurt Barnett’s value. In his career, he’s had 22 flags thrown on him, while only posting 21.5 career sacks.
He’ll be 26 years old heading into next season, so there’s still room for growth. But the team won’t spend anymore than $5 million per year for Barnett’s services, and it’s unlikely he’ll sign for anything less then $8-$10.
The Ryan Kerrigan signing was a great move on paper. He filled a need along the defensive line and it felt like a rotational pass rusher was a role best suited for his skill set. He’s been anything but a suitable pass rusher this season.
Kerrigan has totaled just three combined tackles this season. No sacks, and just two quarterback hits. His fit in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme just doesn’t work and we shouldn’t expect them to try and fix it next season.
Anthony Harris hasn’t been that terrible this season if we’re being honest about it. He’s racked up over 60 tackles, recorded one interception, and he’s only allowed one touchdown in coverage this season. He’s allowed a 51.4 completion percentage on 35 targets, which is the best mark of his career.
The only reason the team will be hesitant to bring Harris back is the asking price. He took a very team friendly one-year deal this past offseason with the hopes of cashing out next offseason. At 30 years old and with the team still a few key players away from being true contenders, shoveling a big deal over to Harris doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards.
It would actually make some sense to bring Rodney McLeod back this offseason on a one-year deal. Having two new faces at safety isn’t ideal and McLeod would bring some stability to the position. But he’ll be 32 years old heading into next season and has had a spotty injury history as of late.
That injury history won’t get better with age, and the Eagles have already proven they’re willing to move off aging talent at the safety position, regardless if he’s a leader in the locker room. Malcolm Jenkins was a better player when he left Philly and was the bonified leader of the defense.
McLeod has done some great things during his time with the Eagles, but it feels like his team in midnight green may be coming to an end.
Like Harris, Steven Nelson signed a one-year deal in Philly to bolster his value next offseason. He’s had an up and down 2021 campaign, allowing a 66.1 completion percentage on 59 targets and five touchdowns.
With the team committed to Avonte Maddox and Darius Slay long-term, along with the stockpiling of young talent at the cornerback position, Nelson is the odd man out.
Hassan Ridgeway has been a nice depth piece along the interior of the Eagles defensive line for years now. But the team will likely want to go with some of their younger talent at the position moving forward. They drafted two defensive tackles in 2021, and they’ll more than likely take another one in the upcoming draft, making Ridgeway expendable.
It’s a little surprising that Genard Avery has even lasted this long in Philly, but alas, he won’t be back in 2022. Through his 2.5-year career with the Eagles, he’s only recorded two sacks. He’s found a somewhat substantial role for himself in Gannon’s defense, but there are better options out there and the team will likely favor rookie Patrick Johnson over Avery moving forward.
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