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
Unrestricted
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
Unrestricted
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
Unrestricted
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
Unrestricted
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
Unrestricted 
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
Unrestricted
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
Restricted 
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
Restricted
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. 

What's the best play in Eagles history?

untitled-1.jpg

What's the best play in Eagles history?

Throughout the week, we have asked fans help determine the best play in Philadelphia sports history. Today, upvote below to adavnce one Eagles play to the finals on Friday where five plays will face off to determine the top overall play.

Tune in to Philly Sports Talk at 5 p.m. to see which play will advanace to the final.


Eagles 2017 training camp position battle: Cornerback

Eagles 2017 training camp position battle: Cornerback

It's no secret.

If anyone is looking for the biggest weakness on the 2017 Eagles roster, here it is. Cornerback could be an adventure.

At least this isn't anything new. In 2015, when the team trotted out Nolan Carroll and Byron Maxwell, fans probably thought things couldn't get worse in 2016. They were wrong. Last year, the struggles continued with a combination of Leodis McKelvin, Carroll, Ron Brooks and rookie Jalen Mills.

The good news is the Eagles might finally have some young talent to keep around for a while. Mills, a seventh-rounder last season, got valuable playing time and this year, the team drafted Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas in the second and third rounds. Jones is still recovering from his Achilles injury, but Douglas could figure into the rotation early.

The team also added veteran Patrick Robinson and brought back Brooks, C.J. Smith and Aaron Grymes.

During the spring, Mills, Robinson and Douglas worked with the first team, but defensive backs coach Cory Undlin said there isn't anything decided yet.

“It’s just going to be who’s going to step up here in training camp and through the preseason," Undlin said. "Who’s going to say, 'Listen, I’m starting here, I’m starting here, I’m going to play the nickel,' and then here’s the backups. 

"I like them all right now and we’ll find out how it goes down, and that’s what this whole [offseason] is for, to find out who’s going to rise to the top and who’s going to earn a spot and take it and then hopefully can keep it. We’ll see how that goes."

During the spring, Mills and Robinson worked as the Eagles' cornerbacks in the team's base package. And in the nickel, Mills pushed inside and Douglas took his spot outside. That is the same type of role Brooks had during training camp with the Eagles last season.

Brooks is sort of the forgotten man, coming off a serious leg injury that ended his 2016 season early. He was the team's primary nickel corner last season and when he went down, the team was forced to play Malcolm Jenkins in the slot, which meant putting Jaylen Watkins on the field as a safety.

While Undlin was hesitant to name starters at the end of the spring, it seems likely the Eagles will give Mills every opportunity to keep one of those starting gigs. After that, there are a bunch of guys in the mix for the three jobs.