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NFL Draft

3 Offensive Free Agents Eagles Should Target

  • The Draft Network
  • March 10, 2021
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It’s fun to come up with exciting free agent lists for teams with shaky rosters. Even as the top free agents never make it to the market, signing extensions and franchise tags, you can build together a pretty good package to solve a struggling team’s major problems. 

You… can’t do that with the Eagles. Still having $34M in cap space to clear just to be compliant, Philadelphia may not have space for any significant free agent signings on either side of the ball. But that doesn’t change the reality of their roster: they need impact players across the board.

As such, I went for cheap options with the hope of hitting on at least one. They’d probably only get a one-year deal out of these targets, but the Eagles just need to put together a roster to survive next season and start their long rebuild.

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

If the Eagles are going to add high-impact offensive free agents, they’re gonna have to come with a lot of risk in order to be discounted into their range. For Marlon Mack, seeking a second contract coming off of major injury, the free agent market likely won’t be kind to him, even for his production in the two seasons previous.

But the Eagles don’t have great running back depth behind Miles Sanders—Boston Scott had an opportunity to lock down that role this year, and didn’t really—and have familiarity with Mack along the coaching staff. The Colts worked Mack as a committee back over the last few years with Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins, and the Eagles would do the same with Mack, Sanders, and Scott.

Under Doug Pederson and Duce Staley, the Eagles always wanted to be a backfield by committee; under Nick Sirianni, the Colts were the same. Adding to the running back room will be a priority, and if Mack is discounted, he makes sense.

Jordan Reed, TE, San Francisco 49ers

The Eagles endured several vintage Jordan Reed games when he was with Washington, as he’s one of the best receiving H-backs in the league—when fully healthy. Of course, Reed’s health has been the greatest impediment to his career, which is why he took on a backup role with the 49ers last season.

The Eagles need a backup tight end. Zach Ertz is moving on to a different team, Joshua Perkins is a free agent, Richard Rodgers is a restricted free agent, and Dallas Goedert is a pretty solid starter. The Colts and Eagles both loved multiple-tight end sets over the last few years, but the Eagles don’t have the personnel to get that done next season. Tight end depth is a must-get.

Trey Burton, an ex-Eagle and ex-Colt, is available to be signed, but Reed is a better player, even for the health issues, and should come pretty cheap, just like Burton. Either works, but Reed doesn’t have the Colts connection, and we have to have at least one player who isn’t an ex-Colt.

Brian Hoyer, QB, New England Patriots

Many have tied the Eagles to Jacoby Brissett, joining Sirianni and offering a veteran presence to a quarterback room with only Jalen Hurts under contract. It would make a lot of sense, of course—but Brissett signed to a decent deal with the Colts and will likely again demand a backup quarterback contract at market value.

That probably won’t fly for the Eagles, who need to pinch pennies wherever they can. If the objective of grabbing a veteran quarterback is just to help Hurts—and a potential rookie!—establish good habits and learn some veteran tricks, they can go a cheaper route while still acquiring a quarterback with experience in the Sirianni offense. That’s Brian Hoyer.

Remember, the Eagles interviewed Josh McDaniels for a while this past cycle—where Hoyer was most recently quarterbacking—so they liked the tenants of that offense as well. At 35, Hoyer takes on the Josh McCown role of quasi-QB coach, emergency starter, and mother hen in the room.

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