Eagles 2021 Free Agency Preview: 5 Realistic Options for the Rebuild
Welcome back Eagles fans. With the success of the 76ers and Flyers as well as the upcoming Phillies season, the last thing people want to talk about right now is the Eagles. The atrocity that was last season, combined with the subpar outcomes of recent draft classes, have Philadelphia fans shifting their focus to the more organized and driven teams in the city. However, the Eagles pulling us back into high hopes and unrealistic expectations is inevitable so I figure, why not start now? Free Agency opens up Wednesday, March 17th at 4:00 p.m. ET. However, the “legal tampering period” starts on Monday, which means that teams can start having contract negotiations then. The Eagles are (hopefully) paying close attention to which players they wish to bring back, as well as what new faces are available to bring in and start a new chapter in Philly. DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery have already been cut. Both receivers are past their primes and are having trouble staying healthy long enough for it to make sense that they stay on the roster. Malik Jackson looks to be next on the chopping block as the Eagles try to get back under the salary cap. Changes will come via the trade market too. Carson Wentz is already out the door. Zach Ertz and Brandon Brooks have been mentioned as being on the block, with the former likely to be out the door soon. Continuity has been flipped on its head this spring. Jason Kelce, a man the fan base expected would hang up his cleats, signed another one-year deal. Joining him are Alex Singleton, Greg Ward Jr., and Boston Scott, exclusive rights free agents who weren’t going anywhere regardless. Now for the fun part. The Eagles need a makeover, and free agency may be their best bet at accomplishing that. The players that make sense for the team may not be big names, but small victories add up in this game. In terms of position, the big one here is wide receivers. It is no secret that the Eagles have had their trouble over the years finding a star at this position; they need all the help they can get. The first name that I personally want to bring up, as it is a realistic idea as well as a smart one, is former Browns wideout Rashard Higgins. The situation is ideal for both sides, as the Eagles could sign him for a short-term deal for a much bigger role than he had in Cleveland. Higgins showed flashes of efficiency on the Browns last season and could be a notable upgrade at the position.
Another receiver that catches my eye is Breshad Perriman from the dysfunctional Jets. It is hard to see any reason Perriman would want to stay with the Jets after their season, and like Higgins, he seems to be an inexpensive downfield threat that the Eagles could benefit from. It is also worth mentioning that bringing in these veteran wideouts would help Jalen Hurts’ development as the new franchise quarterback (assuming that’s even the plan). Speaking of QBs, a name that has been tossed around a lot recently has been Jacoby Brissett from the Indianapolis Colts. It is no question that the Eagles need to bring a quarterback into the locker room next season even if it is for a backup role (a role Brissett is quite used to). He will likely end up being one of the better backup QBs in this league, but the odds that he starts on a desperate team seem to get more likely every day. Nevertheless, if something were to happen to Jalen Hurts this season (*knocks on wood*), Brissett seems to be a great option to come in and get the job done. The next position of need is offensive line. A realistic target that comes to mind is Cameron Erving from the Dallas Cowboys. He’s not as flashy as some of the other options, but his strength is his versatility: since coming into the league in 2015, he has played all three of tackle, guard and center. The Eagles could use a solid backup that could be plugged in just about anywhere when or if we need him. I think the key to free agency in general is finding a diamond in the rough, much like the later rounds of a draft. Jason Spriggs is someone who would be low-cost and is incredibly athletic. He has not exactly shined since entering the league, but was an incredible prospect at his respective combine. He’s exactly the type of guy H*wie R*seman covets. So there you have it. The Eagles have made some moves, will likely make some more within the organization, and hopefully it all adds up to something we can appreciate. The silver lining of being in the messy situation we are in, is that there are few ways to get it wrong. Whether it be a quarterback, wide receiver, offensive lineman or any other position, the Eagles could use talent across the board.