Image courtesy Philly.com
Over the next few days, Pattison Ave will be addressing the Eagles free agents needs while evaluating each position.
Current position addressed: Offensive Line.
This isn’t a recording, but the Eagles offensive line is very good. Despite dealing with injuries to guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herramans, center Jason Kelce, top backup Allen Barbre, and the suspension of tackle Lane Johnson, the Birds were still ranked 2nd best overall by Pro Football Focus.
Jason Peters continues to be one of the best offensive lineman in the league, and is flanked by the second year man, Johnson. Both tackles were named to PFF’s All-Pro first team. Despite an injury, Mathis still was named to the Pro Bowl, same too for Kelce. The weak link on the offensive line was Herramans, who has since been released after dealing with a multitude of injuries in his final year as an Eagle.
The future longs strong for the Eagles. Johnson is a premier right tackle and is still on his rookie cookie contract. Peters, just last year, signed a five-year extension that will keep him in Philadelphia. Kelce, one of the better centers in football, also signed a long-term extension. Mathis meanwhile, has complained about his contract status, and could find his way out the door, leaving two opening spots at guard.
If Mathis is retained, which he should, as his contract is not hefty (just $5.5 million for 2015 and $6 million for 2016), the Eagles will need to look towards the draft to find depth along the offensive line. The Birds are expecting Barbre back and will rely on Matt Tobin to fill in at guard.
If the Eagles look to fill Herramans void via free agency, here are a few options that the Birds could look towards.
- James Carpenter: The former first round pick from Alabama will not be re-signed by Seattle. Carpenter is big and mobile, but has failed to live up to his first round draft billing. A new city may be the key to unlocking his potential.
- Mike Iupati: The former 49er is a three time Pro Bowler and one time All-Pro. Iupati will command top dollar on the free agent market. If the Eagles attempt to sign the former first rounder, Iupati can be penciled in as a starter next to Johnson and Kelce.
- Orlando Franklin: The former second round pick from Miami is a big boy, listed at 6’7” and 320 pounds. Franklin has started every game he has played in, and has been a stalwart on Denver’s offensive line since 2011.