Eagles free-agency guide: Security Justin Reid tops the list of players to watch

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PHILADELPHIA – NFL free agency is almost upon us. From kl. 12.00 ET on 14 March, teams may participate in contract negotiations with reps from potential unlimited free agents prior to the start of the league year on 16 March.

The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to be quite active. They go in with about $ 23 million in cap space, which ranks 13th in the NFL, according to Roster Management. They are not capable of going wild, but should be able to address multiple needs from a list that includes receiver, safety, cornerback, linebacker and edge rusher.

“I think what free agency does is that it allows us to tick boxes so we do not feel pressured to perhaps feel we have to do something. [in the draft]”said general manager Howie Roseman.

Who can Philadelphia focus on when the light turns green? Here are some players to see.

(The expected contract numbers are from Pro Football Focus.)

Expected agreement: 3 years, $ 21 million

The Eagles’ two primary securities from last year, Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris, are free agents. Roseman has no choice but to dive into the security market.

Reid figures are one of their targets. He started 53 games over four seasons in Houston, with seven interceptions and 23 defensive passes with over 300 tackles.

“He’s a downhill, top-down player. Very strong to run in the alley, tackle in the running game and has on-ball production over the course of his career,” said ESPN NFL writer / analyst Matt Bowen. “He has the physical qualities to play the position and he would fit in [defensive coordinator Jonathan] Gannon because of his split-field experience. “

And he is only 25 years old. If the Eagles want to sign a player to a multi-year free agency deal, they will have one who will still be in his prime when the team’s young core enters theirs. Reid offers it without breaking the bank.

Expected agreement: 1 year, $ 6 million

Could Philly double-dip in the security place? Maybe. Marcus Epps played pretty well for them last season and K’Von Wallace is fighting for a role, but if both McLeod and Harris go, the Eagles might feel the urgency to replace them both.

Maye has a history with defensive back coach Dennard Wilson, who served in a similar role with the Jets from 2017-20. Wilson once called Maye an “eraser” in free security for his ability to shut down receivers who entered his area. Maye, 28, played under the franchise mark last season after receiving two interceptions, 11 defensive passes, 88 tackles and a few sacks in 2020, but got a torn Achilles in November and was limited to just six games. He was charged with driving under the influence and two other offenses in February last year.

Maye may end up taking a one-year proof-it deal, which could be appealing to the Eagles.

Expected agreement: One year, $ 8 million

Like Maye, Smith-Schuster’s value could be kept down as a result of an injury. He missed 12 games last season after a shoulder operation. But as a 25-year-old, he has already caught 323 balls in his five-year career at 3,855 yards with 26 touchdowns. That level of production and experience would benefit quarterback Jalen Hurts, who did not have a single primary receiver over 23 years last year.

“I think you need a bigger slot receiver [Schuster is 6-foot-1, 215 pounds], a person who is physical, with catch-and-run traits. Someone who can work in the middle of the field and has enough explosiveness in the lower body to create after the catch, “said Bowen.” I think he would fit what Sirianni wants in the middle of the field. He is tough, he is physical, he is a detailed route runner and he will compete inside the numbers. “

Expected agreement: 3 years, $ 35 million

With Derek Barnett ready to be a free agent and Brandon Graham coming off a torn Achilles, the Eagles desperately need pass-rushers to bolster a team that finished in 31st place last season with 29. Reddick, 27, has 23.5 sacks over the last two seasons and would provide an instant shot at the strain in that regard.

He also wanted to let Gannon’s hybrid defense work properly. This scheme requires the strong linebacker to be a pass-rushing specialist. Genard Avery and rookie Patrick Johnson took on that role last year, but it was no major success. Reddick, a Temple graduate and native of Camden, New Jersey, has experience as both an off-ball linebacker and edge rusher, and was able to fill a great need for his hometown team.

Other players who could fit the bill include Uchenna Nwosu (Los Angeles Chargers) and Emmanuel Ogbah (Miami Dolphins).

Edge rush is also a likely goal in the first round of the April draft.

“The bottom line is that we didn’t get enough pressure on the quarterback. We have to put pressure on the quarterback,” Roseman said. “It’s a priority for us. We’re getting opportunities this offseason to do that and I would be very surprised if we did not do something there.”


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