Since the legal tampering period began, the Eagles have made one splash move and it addressed their biggest position of need, though there are still a few glaring needs to fill.
Philly has reportedly been in the running for some of the big fish on the open market. They were close to landing safety Marcus Williams before losing out on him to Baltimore, and they’ve shown interest in multiple receivers, including Christian Kirk, but none of the deals have materialized. Of all the needs still facing the Eagles, safety and receiver seem like the most logical to fill through free agency.
Here are some remaining free agents to keep an eye on at both positions.
Jayron Kearse is coming off a breakout season in Dallas. He started 15 games for the Cowboys, while tallying two interceptions and over 100 combined tackles. Standing at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he’s an imposing force at the safety position with real man coverage ability. He’s done a fine job matching up with tight ends over his career; his 76.2 coverage grade per PFF was among the highest at the safety position in 2021. PFF projects that Kearse’s deal could look something like three years, $15M total with $8.25M guaranteed. That’s certainly doable for Howie Roseman.
At just 25 years old, Terrell Edmunds may make the most sense of any safety remaining on the market. He can be a long-term option and his contracts probably won’t break the bank. Since getting drafted in the first-round by the Steelers backs in 2018, Edmunds has been a viable starter, but he hasn’t made the impact that is expected out of first-round safeties. He’s totaled four interceptions over the last two seasons and has amassed 157 combined tackles during that time. Edmunds would be a low-risk, high-reward signing.
Can you believe Jabrill Peppers is still just 26 years old? He’s played five full seasons now and has been a viable starter every step of the way. His size has always been a question mark, and he’s been somewhat of a liability in coverage because of it. But, he’s still a great third safety to have on your roster, as he provides a lot of thump around the line of scrimmage. Coming off an injury shortened season, Peppers can probably be had for relatively cheap. If the Eagles are going to look to find a long-term safety option in the draft, Peppers would be a fine utility guy to have in the safety rotation.
The biggest name remaining on the safety market, Tyrann Mathieu is a do-it-all player who will make an instant impact on whichever team he joins next. Since joining Kansas City in 2019, Mathieu was used all over the formation, spending at least 600 snaps in deep, slot, and box alignments. He’ll enter the 2022 season at 30 years old, which lowers his value a bit, but Mathieu has not shown any signs of slowing down. Since 2017, Mathieu has only missed one game due to injury. He’ll be expensive, but the Eagles seem willing to shovel over big money to a safety, given their involvement with Marcus Williams. Of all the safeties listed here, the honey badger is easily the best and will make the most profound impact if he ends up coming to Philly.
If the Eagles are just looking to add a complementary receiver to their young group, Jarvis Landry makes a lot of sense. He’s not limited to being just a slot guy, as he has proven time and time again that he can win on the outside, but his lacking speed and explosiveness will always hinder him from being a true No. 1 wideout. Alongside DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins, the Eagles should be able to align Landry in favorable positions and get the most out of him. He’s a great veteran to have and would be a great leader to place in the inexperienced wide receiver room.
When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best deep threats the NFL has to offer, but more often than not Will Fuller will miss time due to injury. In 2021, Fuller only suited up for two games in Miami before breaking his finger and missing the remainder of the season. And he’s never played a full 16 game season in his career. Nevertheless, if the Eagles want to take a flier on a guy with tremendous upside, giving Fuller a call could be in the cards.
At 32, T.Y. Hilton is clearly on a downhill trajectory, but he’s still a serviceable guy to have in a complementary role. He posted a career-low 23 receptions last season while starting just nine games. His connections to Nick Sirianni could persuade him to Philly, but he shouldn’t be their top option on the receiver market. He’s still good enough to solidify a young receiving corps, but he won’t lift the Eagles passing game to new heights at this stage of his career.
Aside from Davante Adams, Allen Robinson is the most accomplished wideout on the open market this year and there are plenty of teams that would love to add his skill set to their offense. He’s coming off a subpar year, recording a career-low 38 receptions, 410 receiving yards, and just one touchdown. Regardless, he’s going to demand a high price tag. Throughout his eight year career, Robinson has never played with a truly elite quarterback and he’s still put up some outstanding numbers. If he wants to pair himself with a great quarterback, Philly isn’t the place for him unfortunately. But maybe he just wants a big contract and wants to join an ascending team. If that’s the case, Philly is the place to be.