Technically free agency doesn’t open until March 12, but the
NFL added a new twist for this year. Teams will have a three-day window to court
impending unrestricted free agents before they can actually sign a contract.
The courting period begins at midnight, and basically
legalizes “tampering” from Saturday up until players are allowed to sign on the
dotted line at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The idea is to cut down on all of the
not-so-subtle tampering that has been going on in free agency for years, giving
front offices that play by the rules a chance to at least contact any free
agent of their choosing.
What, you didn’t think the Eagles negotiated an eight-year,
$65 million contract with Jevon Kearse in the roughly five minutes he was
actually on the market back in 2004, did you?
That means news of who the Eagles are targeting could break
even before some of you make it to bed tonight. And while no deal will be made
official until Tuesday, it’s possible the team could even reach an agreement
with one or several players beforehand.
Stay tuned. The Eagles have a ton of cap space, and plenty
of needs, so you know they’re going to be active. We wouldn’t be surprised to
hear a big name or two over the weekend.
About a year ago, while in Indianapolis for the combine, the Eagles cut veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
Ryans has finally found his next job ... as a coach.
The 32-year-old former linebacker has been named a defensive quality control coach on Kyle Shanahan's staff in San Francisco. Shanahan was on the Texans' staff for the first four years of Ryans' pro career. Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was also on that Houston staff.
After the Eagles cut him last Feb. 24, Ryans was out of the league in 2016 after 10 NFL seasons. He played the first six years of his career in Houston, where he was a two-time Pro Bowler, before joining the Eagles through a trade in 2012.
While the Eagles cut Ryans after the 2015 season to save $3.5 million in cap space, they made a point to go out of their way to praise him on his way out. He was very well thought of in the locker room and throughout the building.
While Ryans played one season under Andy Reid, he quickly became a favorite of Chip Kelly, who frequently called Ryans the "Mufasa" of the Eagles' defense.
Kelly didn't forget about Ryans when he went to San Francisco to coach the 49ers for the 2016 season. In fact, in Kelly's questionnaire in the NFL's 2016 information guide, Kelly listed Ryans as a player who'd make a great head coach.
In the 2016 NFL Info guide, Chip Kelly named DeMeco Ryans as a player who would make a great HC. Now, he's on the next 49ers staff. pic.twitter.com/TGx0cfDr3c