Each day from now until March 7, the day before teams can talk to agents for free agents, Geoff Mosher and Reuben Frank will profile some of the NFL’s top impending free agents and project their likelihood of signing with the Eagles.
O’Brien Schofield, outside linebacker
Last team: Seattle Seahawks
Schofield signed a one-year deal with Seattle last offseason but didn’t see significant action on the field. Maybe he didn’t fit Seattle’s front as a defensive end after his career started as a pass-rushing linebacker in Arizona’s 3-4 scheme. Schofield had a career-low one sack last year but entered the season with 10.5 in three seasons for the Cards after being taken in the fourth round out of Wisconsin. Schofield registered 8.5 sacks in his last two years as a situational player in Arizona. He has three career forced fumbles.
With Brian Orakpo and Jason Worlids off the market, pickins are slim at a position the Eagles really needed to upgrade. It looks now as if Trent Cole will come back to start in 2014 opposite Connor Barwin unless the Eagles find one high in the draft. Brandon Graham is also likely to come back but the Eagles need more bodies who can be part of the rotation. Last year, Casey Matthews was the team’s No. 4 outside linebacker and his snaps decreased as the year progressed. Schofield is a good fit. He’s used to coming off the bench and he’s got more pass rush than Matthews can offer. If he’s the same guy that had 8.5 sacks in his last two years with the Cards, he’d fit well in Billy Davis’ defense.
This is an interesting one. Schofield averaged only 13 defensive snaps per game last year for the Seahawks but he wasn’t a bad situational 3-4 outside linebacker during his three years in Arizona. This is the kind of under-the-radar move that has Howie Roseman written all over it. Schofield should come cheap, he’s only 26, he was a terrific college player at Wisconsin who’s never really been in the right situation in the NFL, and he’s got some real upside and could blossom under Billy Davis. He’s also Bobby Engram’s cousin, which is probably the real reason Mosh likes him! Free agency isn’t always about big names. Sometimes it’s about little-known cap-friendly situational role players. And Schofield is an intriguing one.