A glance at Eagles' soon-to-be free agents this spring

A glance at Eagles' soon-to-be free agents this spring

As the Eagles move past their 7-9 season in 2016, nine of their players are set to become free agents in March. 

Free agency starts at 4 p.m. on March 9, but the legal tampering window begins on March 7. The Eagles will have no competition until then. 

Here's a look at all the to-be free agents from the 2016 roster: 

Bennie Logan
Age: 27

Logan is obviously the biggest name on this list. The Eagles used a third-round pick to take Logan from LSU in 2013 and he has started 50 games in the last four years. No, he's not an elite defensive tackle. But he has been very good. And the Eagles clearly missed him during the middle of the 2016 season when Beau Allen had to fill in. Recently, Logan said about Philly: "This is where I see myself at." But he's also in line to get a nice-sized contract and the Eagles might not want to break the bank for another defensive lineman. Logan can play in a 3-4 or a 4-3, which means there won't be a shortage of teams looking at him. Eagles executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman has continually said the Eagles want Logan back, but it'll come down to money, as it often does. 

Nolan Carroll
Age: 29

Carroll played more than any other Eagles cornerback in 2016, but it was a really up and down season for the veteran. He admitted as much on locker cleanout day (see story).

Aside from Logan, he's the only other starter who will become a free agent.

This is the second time in two years that Carroll will be an unrestricted free agent in March. After visiting with the Cowboys a year ago, he came back to the Eagles on a one-year deal that paid him over $2 million. If the Eagles choose to re-sign him, it'll probably cost about the same. The question with this one is, do the Eagles even want him back? 

Stefen Wisniewski
Age: 27

Bringing in Wisniewski a year ago was clearly one of the most underrated moves the Eagles made during free agency. It wasn't a big splash, but the veteran offensive lineman made the Eagles' depth on the line much, much better. And he ended up playing a lot because of injuries. He played in 15 games and started 6.

But it was a "weird year" in Philly for Wisniewski (see story), who has never been shy about his desire to be a starter. In fact, he said he wanted to be a starter at his introductory press conference a year ago and never said otherwise when given the chance during the year. Maybe Wisniewski has shown enough to another team to get a longer deal to be a starter — what he wants. But if he's available for another one-year stint, the Eagles might be interested. 

Stephen Tulloch
Age: 32

From the moment Tulloch arrived in August on a one-year deal, it was pretty clear how much respect defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has for him. But it’s important to remember that if seventh-rounder Joe Walker didn’t get hurt, the Eagles wouldn’t have signed Tulloch before the start of last season. He came in on a one-year deal with a $2.5 million cap hit and was Jordan Hicks’ backup. But Hicks and Nigel Bradham stayed very healthy all season, so Tulloch rarely saw the field. 

Bryan Braman
Age: 29

Braman is probably one of the most interesting cases among these names. He’s listed as a defensive end on the roster, but Schwartz clearly doesn’t see him as a defensive end. Braman is a special teams specialist, but a really good one. And the Eagles over the last few years have placed real importance on special teams. Before the 2015 season, Braman signed an extension through 2016 that worked for both sides. But now, he’s nearing 30 and it’s time for a new contract. The Eagles already extended Chris Maragos, who is primarily a special teamer, so will they opt to re-sign another special-teams-only veteran? 

Najee Goode
Age: 27

In each of the last two seasons, Goode didn’t make the initial 53-man roster but was brought back later. He didn’t really see the field on defense at all in 2016, but was a key special teams player yet again. It’s sort of the same question as with Braman: How many veteran special teamers do the Eagles want to bring back? It’s possible they could draft someone to fill his role next year. 

Trey Burton
Age: 25

Burton has been a key special teams player since his arrival in Philadelphia, and he played a big role on offense this season. He came into the year with just three career catches, but had 37 for 327 yards and a touchdown in his third NFL season. Expect to see him back, whether the Eagles place a tender on him or sign him to a long-term deal. He might be a candidate to get a new deal. 

(The way the tenders work: Basically, there are three levels of tenders or qualifying offers: first round, second round or original round. Each comes with its own predetermined one-year contract value. Other teams can sign restricted free agents, but the original team can match. If a different team signs the player, the original team gets the compensation from the attached round value from the other team.)

Kenjon Barner
Age: 27

Barner played just 99 offensive snaps in 2016 and for whatever reason, this coaching staff seemed determined to not give him a shot. Barner might get a tender from the Eagles, but even if he does, it won't guarantee his spot next season. In fact, it seems likely the team will eventually move on. 

Jaylen Watkins
Exclusive rights
Age: 25

Watkins played extensively after Ron Brooks was lost for the season. He was the safety who took Malcolm Jenkins' spot when Jenkins would move into the slot. Watkins is still learning how to play safety after his time at corner and it wasn't a great 2016. But expect him back next season— at least in training camp. As an exclusive rights free agent, he's not able to test the market. 

Jeff Lurie: Condition of Roseman's promotion was to solidify personnel department

Jeff Lurie: Condition of Roseman's promotion was to solidify personnel department

PHOENIX -- Joe Douglas is a big, imposing man. 

As he's walked around lavish greenery at the Biltmore Hotel in Arizona at the annual league meetings this week, he's towered over most of the other NFL executives, including his boss, Howie Roseman.

Douglas is large in physical stature. His role within the Eagles organization seems to match.

"The hiring of Joe Douglas, I thought, was the pivotal moment of the last year," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said on Tuesday night, speaking for the first time in over a year. 

Douglas was hired in May to head up the Eagles' personnel department, the result of a months-long search administered by Lurie, Roseman and senior advisor Tom Donahoe. 

Last year, when Lurie gave Roseman the power as the overseer of the entire football operations department, the new job came with one condition: He had to put together a top personnel department. 

That started with hiring Douglas. 

"One of the main things Howie and I discussed when he was going to be in the football operations role was he had to have a top-notch player personnel department," Lurie said. "Or we were going to find somebody that could find a great player personnel department. That was his responsibility."

To fulfill that request, Roseman went out and brought Douglas, who cut his teeth for years under greatly respected general manager Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore. Douglas brought with him Andy Weidl, who is now his second in command. 

While Lurie said he gets plenty of congratulations from general managers around the league about drafting Carson Wentz, he said he gets more about luring Douglas to Philly. And this offseason, the Eagles have seemingly made a concerted effort to put Douglas in the limelight. He sat on the stage dwarfing Roseman at a press conference earlier in March and has been plenty visible this week in Phoenix. 

Speaking for the first time since the Eagles were able to move up and draft Wentz at No. 2 last season, Lurie was effusive in his praise of Roseman. He marveled that Roseman was not only able to move up to draft Wentz, but also that he put together a contract for Sam Bradford that allowed him to be traded and then pulled off a move to get a first-round pick for him. 

But that part of the job has never been a knock on Roseman. 

For years, Roseman has shown himself to be an aggressive general manager and incredibly adept in all salary cap matters. But the big question about Roseman has been about his talent evaluation. Together, with Douglas, the two could potentially combine to be a complete general manager, capable of every aspect of the job. And not just capable, but at the top of the class. 

That’s the plan anyway. 

"The draft is going to be really built by Joe and the final decision will be made by Howie," he said. "But these guys are unbelievably collaborative. I haven’t seen anything like this. We have such trust in Joe that basically when that board's there, unless there's something extraordinary happens, it's going to be set by Joe and then we'll just make the final decision in case of anything. But that’s a great system, I think, and Doug will be very involved. The coaches will be very involved as usual, but there's obvious clarity on the decision-making."

This offseason, the Eagles have been publicly honest about the state of the franchise and Lurie didn't deviate from that on Tuesday night. While Lurie is now 65 and has seen his team in the Super Bowl just once, he understands the need to be patient. 

The Eagles hope they found their franchise quarterback last season. Now it's all about drafting the talent to put around him to make the team successful. That's why the condition that Roseman beef up the personnel department upon his promotion was such an important part of his new job. 

"You have to draft well, you have to have multiple drafts in a row, hopefully, where you surround that quarterback on all sides of the ball and that's the formula. It's not that complicated. It's hard to accomplish, but it's not that complicated," Lurie said. 

"As an owner, I have to be really patient and at the same time, very competitive. We'll make moves that will make us better this year, however, we won't make a move where it's going to cost us flexibility or ability to use resources in future years. Because we're in the mode where we're not one player away. We have lots of holes."

It's up to Douglas and Roseman to fill them.

Owners meetings: Jeff Lurie wants to bring back Kelly green jerseys

Owners meetings: Jeff Lurie wants to bring back Kelly green jerseys

PHOENIX -- Jeff Lurie wants to bring back Kelly green. 

The Eagles owner confirmed on Tuesday evening in Arizona at the annual league meetings that a proposal the Eagles initially submitted last week to allow teams to wear alternate helmets was all about bringing back the fan-favorite jerseys. 

For years, fan feedback to reporters about bringing Kelly green jerseys back has been overwhelming.

"It's overwhelming for me too. I would love to see it," Lurie said. "I love the midnight green, I think it's great. But I also want the Kelly green. I'd love for us to have both and some games have one and some games have the other. I think that would be more fun."

The reason the Eagles aren't yet using their Kelly green jerseys is language in the NFL's on-field policy that prohibits teams from wearing alternate helmets. For now, teams are only permitted to wear their primary helmets. And a midnight green helmet atop a Kelly green jersey would be an obvious clash. 

The resolution the Eagles proposed, but then withdrew before the competition committee met, would strike that language from the rule and  allow teams to wear alternate helmets "in a color to match their third uniform."  

Lurie said before the owners' meetings, the Eagles met with the competition committee, which told them the rule wouldn't pass. That's when they decided to withdraw the proposal this year. 

But Lurie isn't giving up. 

"They are aware that many teams would like to see this," he said. "My hope is that we'll be able to get it done hopefully by next March."

When asked why the league doesn't currently allow alternate helmets to be worn, Lurie declined to get into the specifics, saying it's a "complicated scenario." But he also seemed optimistic that eventually, the Eagles will be back in Kelly green. While Lurie preached patience in football matters, he admitted he's a little more impatient on this topic. 

Lurie's plan is to at first try the Kelly green jerseys as an alternate for two or three games, but didn't rule out the possibility of making a full-time switch back to the fan-favorite color. 

The last time the Eagles wore Kelly green was in 2010, when they faced the Packers in the 50th anniversary of the 1960 NFL championship. 

There would be a way to get around the current rules to wear Kelly green, but Lurie is set on doing it the right way. 

"Decals are an option," Lurie said, shaking his head, "but I want a Kelly green helmet. It looks better."