Free Agency Begins: Eagles Linked to Many

Posted: March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

ImageNFL free agency begins today, as the haves and the have nots begin a six month quest to prepare their units for battle in the 2013 season. Philadelphia, long a preferred destination for high priced free agents of wavering ability, is once again expected to be right in the thick of the action beginning this afternoon. Below is a list of players the team has been rumored to be interested in, as well as some possible free agents that SkoodSports believes Chip Kelly should target:

Rumored

– S Dashon Goldson (San Francisco 49ers)

It is no secret that the Eagles need to improve their secondary, a unit that left fans scratching their heads and cursing their televisions more than any in recent memory. Coach Kelly cannot go into the new year with Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman as his starters. The most recent rumors have the team interested in 49ers S Dashon Goldson. Tom Gamble’s position with the team likely has a lot to do with these rumors, although they seem more legitimate than most that one will see this time of year.

Goldson, a two-time Pro Bowler, made 69 tackles with three interceptions and a forced fumble for San Francisco last season. ProFootballTalk.com is reporting that as many as four teams are prepared to offer Goldson a contract beginning this afternoon. That could put the Eagles in a tough position, even though they do have more cap space than any other NFC team. If the Eagles do not land Goldson, they could be interested in…

– S Laron Landry (New York Jets)

As mentioned, the Eagles need at least one free agent acquisition at the safety position. He needs to be an impact playmaker as well, judging by the fact that the team currently has no real starters as cornerback, assuming they do eventually cut Nnamdi Asomugha. Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com is reporting that the team is in on Landry, a former Jet who possesses elite speed for the position as well as a nose for the football. Landry would be a capable target if Goldson is unavailable, as the former LSU Tiger is the next best option short of Baltimore’s Ed Reed.

– WR Danny Amendola (St. Louis Rams)

This diminutive wide receiver has spent a lot of time on the injured list the past few years. But, when he is healthy, Amendola can be as dynamic a slot-receiver as any in the game. The former Texas Tech Red Raider had his finest game of 2012 vs. Washington in September, where he caught 15 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. A Wes Welker lite, Amendola brings more speed than the New England All-Pro, but sacrifices durability and experience.

– T Eric Winston (Kansas City Chiefs)

One of former Eagles coach Andy Reid’s first moves in Kansas City was cutting loose this former Houston Texans offensive tackle. Drafted in 2006, Winston is a veteran on the right side of the line, and is considered by many to be in the upper tier of the league at his position. After spending just one season as a Chief, Winston was released in a salary cap related move. Reports surfaced soon thereafter that both Philadelphia and his former team, Houston, were interested in the seven year veteran from Miami. His number one asset is durability, as Winston has started all 96 games the last six seasons.

Intriguing Options

– T Jake Long (Miami Dolphins)

The #1 pick in the 2008 draft, Jake Long is amazingly entering unrestricted free agency without much of a mention. One of the top left tackles in the game, Long should be highly coveted on the free agent market. The assumption in Philadelphia is that Jason Peters will return healthy and ready to go this season. But, that is never a given, especially when talking about the severity of injury that Peters suffered.

– CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Philadelphia Eagles)

Ah, yes. Good old, DRC. Cromartie came to Philadelphia from Arizona in the Kevin Kolb deal and never really won over the fans or the organization’s adoration. He has all the physical tools in the world. But, questions about his commitment and mindset have left Philadelphia ready to move on. It remains a possibility, though, that they could find their other options unsatisfying and bring back the speedy corner.

– OLB Paul Kruger (Baltimore Ravens)

Paul Kruger broke out last season with the world champion Baltimore Ravens, recording 9.5 sacks in the process. But, there are worries that playing on a defense without Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs would expose the “one-hit wonder.” I think the Eagles stay away from spending big bucks on another risky investment like Kruger.

– WR Wes Welker (New England Patriots)

Why not? It has become obvious that Welker and New England are not in love with each other. Yes, the veteran would love to stick with Tom Brady. But, if the Eagles are willing to offer more money, I am sure he would listen. Imagine having the guaranteed 100+ reception talent of Welker in Kelly’s fast paced offensive gameplan.

– CB Sean Smith (Miami Dolphins)

Sean Smith stands at 6’3 and that is what people usually first notice about him. Not since Bobby Taylor have the Eagles had a cornerback who could go one-on-one in the air with the Michael Irvin type talents at receiver in the NFL. What Smith lacks in speed, he more than makes up for in size and physical ability. This is a guy who is not afraid to get his pads low and make a big hit on an unsuspecting wideout.

– S Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens)

Reports have Reed interested in joining Anquan Boldin in San Francisco, which would certainly be quite a coup for the 49ers. One of the greatest safeties in NFL history, Reed has lost a step or two since his prime. But, he can still make the amazing plays, as evidenced by his interception in the Super Bowl. I doubt that he would come to Philadelphia, where success in 2013 is no guarantee.

– S Kenny Phillips (New York Giants)

Eagles fans are familiar with the former Miami Hurricane, who has spent his first five years in the league with the Giants. Phillips is more of a cover safety than a hard-hitter, and his injury history makes him a murky candidate for a long-term deal. Color this one as a worst-case scenario for the Eagles.

– CB Derek Cox (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Cox does not have a big name. But, he plays bigger than most people realize. Recent reports have Tampa Bay very interested in the former Jacksonville corner who has 12 interceptions in four years in the NFL. The one concern is durability, as Cox has only played 18 games the last two seasons. Still, what Philadelphia fan would not want two Cox on defense to plug up the holes?

 

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