Eagles Free Agency Recap

Mike Duncan






The Eagles were quite busy the first couple days of the new league year, undoing a few of Chip Kelly’s poor moves from the prior offseason and adding some key components to the roster.  Lets take a look at the deals and what they mean.

Eagles/Miami Trade

Surprised by the stupidity of the Dolphins here.  Kudos to Howie.  Eagles were able to shed the terrible contract of Byron Maxwell and the disappointing Kiko Alonso.  Both Maxwell and Kiko were not great scheme fits in new DC Jim Schwartz scheme.  Schwartz prefers athleticism and movement skills over size at the cornerback position.  As for Kiko, he struggled mightily taking on blockers last year.  See .gif below for example.


Schwartz’s scheme tasks his defensive line with attacking principles.  They are not concerned with 2-gapping or occupying lineman in order to keep the linebackers free to make plays.  The Eagles were also able to gain about $5 million in cap room this offseason in addition to removing the burden of Maxwell’s contract going forward.  In return, the Eagles were able to move up five spots in the first round from 13th to 8th overall.  This puts them in position to grab an elite prospect like a Ronnie Stanley, Vernon Hargreaves, Myles Jack, or Ezekiel Elliot that they would not have been able to get at 13.

 Eagles/Tennessee Trade

 This is another deal I was surprised a team would make.  It wasn’t all him last year but Demarco Murray was a disaster.  He showed zero explosion and looked slow.  He also acted entitled and never really seemed to fit in here in Philly with the organization and teammates.  I would also like to bring up the play below since Murray mentioned in his Titans press conference about finishing all his runs with power.
Murray wanted out of Philadelphia and they were able to accommodate that request.  The Eagles were able to shed another bad contract, saving $4.5 million on the cap this year in addition to future years of the deal.  As compensation, they moved from the middle of the 4th round to the second pick in the 4th round.  This is an interesting area as the 4th round occurs the day after the 3rd round.  This gives teams with high 4th round picks a night to step back and assess the draft board.

Leodis Mckelvin

Leodis signed a 2 year $6 million deal.  He will be 31 when the season starts.  He has struggled with injuries, having not played a full season since 2011.  He did play for Jim Schwartz in 2014, grading out very well and accumulating 5 interceptions in only 10 games.  He can play inside and out and should have a meaningful roll in this defense.

Rodney Mccleod

Terms of the deal per www.overthecap.com


Mccleod is a 25 year old ascending safety.  Last year, he played about 90% of his snaps lined up deep, regularly 20 yards from the line of scrimmage.  He is not a big player, 5.10 180, but he can lay the wood and is always willing to do so.  He was very impressive crashing down against the run.  He also displays impressive range in pass coverage.  One area he needs to work on is his ball skills as he does not always look comfortable in that aspect.  Also had only 5 interceptions in 3 years.

Brandon Brooks

Terms of the deal per www.overthecap.com

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 11.10.06 AM

 The guard play was abysmal last year and was likely the Eagles biggest need.  The Eagles overpaid here, making him one of the highest paid guards in the league and structuring the deal in a longer term fashion than most NFL contracts.  However, they needed to sure up the position.  Brooks is not elite but is steady player who ranked in the top 10 at guard by PFF in 2013 and 2014 before falling to 34th this season.  He has very good movement skills for his great size.  He will slide into the RG position and form a formidable duo next year with Lane Johnson on the right side.

Nigel Bradham

This won’t be the most talked about signing but don’t underestimate this acquisition.   Bradham played very well in 2014 under Jim Schwartz, racking up 104 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 6 passes defended, 1 int, and 2 forced fumbles.  He does not have great instincts but has good athleticism and range.  He should be the starting SAM linebacker.  See two plays below that caught my eye.



Chase Daniel

Terms of the deal per www.overthecap.com

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 11.09.32 AM

Signing Chase was logical but the terms of the deal raised eyebrows.  Averaging $7 million a year with incentives that can earn him up to $36 million over the life of the deal, he is the highest paid backup QB in the league.  This is someone that knows HC Doug Pederson’s offense and offers insurance for Sam Bradford, who has durability concerns and is effectively on a one year deal.  Bradford has a cap hit of $22.5m in 2017 to go with Daniels $8m.  Something will have to give there. I would expect the Eagles to cut/trade Mark Sanchez and draft a rookie QB.  It is entirely possible that in 2017 the QB group is led by Chase Daniel and a young QB to be groomed.   The Eagles are investing heavily in the QB position.   It remains to be seen if they are investing in the right ones however.

Ron Brooks

The third player that played in Buffalo under Jim Schwartz that was signed by the Eagles.  He will provide secondary depth and should also contribute on special teams.   Additionally, has an awesome set of dreads as evidenced below.  Great symmetry, full bodied, and the blond tips are a nice accent.



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