Image courtesy BlecherReport.com
Over the next few days, Pattison Ave will be addressing the Eagles free agents needs while evaluating each position.
Current positions addressed: Secondary.
The Eagles were the second worst secondary in the league, and have already begun to take steps to rectify that. Gone are starting cornerbacks Cary Williams (released) and Bradley Fletcher (free agent). Starting free safety Nate Allen is also a free agent, while little doubt that he is re-signed.
The Birds secondary now consists of last seasons free agent safety acquisition Malcolm Jenkins and third-year safety Earl Wolff, while nickel and dime cornerbacks Brandon Boykin and Nolan Carroll III are all that remain on the outside.
To improve a unit that was amongst the worst in the NFL, the Eagles will need to spend big money in free agency and attack the NFL draft to unearth hidden gems. With more than $45 million under the salary cap, the Eagles have been linked to the secondary players in free agency.
Still, signing just one safety and one cornerback is not enough to improve the backend of the defense. The Birds need to completely revamp their secondary with the addition of at least two cornerbacks and two safeties.
If the rumors are true, then the following players are whom the Eagles will attempt to sign when free agency begins on March 10.
- Byron Maxwell: The crown jewel of free agency has been linked to the Eagles since the playoffs. Philadelphia needs a cornerback and Maxwell wants to get paid. Playing opposite Richard Sherman in Seattle prepared the Clemson product for stardom, as he routinely drew the quarterbacks attention. Maxwell possesses long arms and good length that would help to revamp the Eagles secondary
- Devin McCourty: The top safety in free agency will leave New England, as he will be courted by a number of teams. A former cornerback, McCourty has range and playmaking ability. He would create a strong tandem with Jenkins, as the last line of defense in Philadelphia
- Rahim Moore: The former Denver safety will be linked to Philadelphia because of his connection with the Eagles latest hire, defensive backs coach, Cory Undlin. Moore was the only member of Denver’s starting secondary that did not make the Pro Bowl this season, but he was still impactful, finishing with 49 tackles, four interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
- Chris Culliver: Culliver has good size (6’0”) and is physical. He adheres to Chip Kelly’s mantra of “big people beat up little people.” Occasionally, the South Carolina alumnus is overly physical, but he has good instincts, as he reeled in four interceptions last season for San Francisco.
- Marcus Gilchrist: The Clemson product has started every game the last three seasons and finished last season with 76 tackles, two forced fumbles, and one interception. Gilchrist is a physical safety that could slide into the secondary and create havoc.