What The Future Holds For These 15 Eagles Free Agents
As the Philadelphia Eagles season came to a miserable end, the next step is an offseason full of important decisions that need to be made. If the Eagles want to put the bad taste out of their mouth from the 2023 season, there will be changes to the rosters for next season.
The Eagles have over 16 Free Agents they have to make decisions about this offseason, along with the retirement of All-Pro Center Jason Kelce which will impact some of Philadelphia's decisions over the next few months. Here is a list of key Eagles Free Agents and what the Eagles should do with each player's future:
Defense Tackle Fletcher Cox
The 33-year-old has played his entire 12-year NFL career with the Eagles. Even though Cox still had a productive season with 5 Sacks and 17 Quarterback Hits, he is cutting into playing time for Philadelphia's younger Defensive Lineman. The Eagles selected Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis in the first round of the NFL Draft while Milton Williams has been underutilized by the team during the 2023 season. I expect Cox to reunite with Jim Schwartz in Cleveland for the 2024 NFL season.
Linebacker Zach Cunningham
Even though he only played 13 games, Cunningham finished with the third most Solo Tackles for the Eagles Defense this season (54). The 29-year-old Linebacker has not played a full season due to injuries since 2020 but the Eagles' depth at the position is very lacking. I would bring Cunningham back for the 2024 season and let him compete in Training Camp for playing time.
Offensive Lineman Jack Driscoll
Ever since the Eagles selected him in the 2020 NFL Draft, Driscoll has been a valuable player because of his versatility. Being able to play at both Guard and Tackle makes this 26-year-old an important off-season player to resign. Driscoll could be a candidate to start at Right Guard with Cam Jurgens expected to be the Eagles' starting Center for the 2024 season.
Defensive End Brandon Graham
The 35-year-old had his worst statistical season since 2013 but Graham says he wants to return for a final season with the Eagles. If Graham is willing to take a "hometown discount" and play a reduced role for the 2024 season, then Philadelphia should resign him for his veteran leadership in the Locker Room because this roster will likely be younger next season.
Wide Receiver Julio Jones
Did you know that this 34-turning-35-year-old Wide Receiver had the most Receiving Touchdown last season (3) since the 2020 season? I am not sure that is enough to rationalize bringing him back for the 2024 season considering he was invisible for most of the 11 games he played in for the Eagles. Philadelphia needs to upgrade the Wide Receiver talent, not hang on to Jones just because he went to Alabama like Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith.
Linebacker Shaquille Leonard
While no one expected the 28-year-old Linebacker to still be able to play at his former All-Pro Level he was at before his injuries, the hope was that Shaq Leonard would give the Eagles' Defense more than 12 Solo Tackles, One Sack, and numerous moments when he was burned in Pass Coverage. Considering Philadelphia will likely have a new Defensive Coordinator for the 2023 season and he was an end-of-season rental, Leonard should expect to be playing somewhere when Training Camps start.
Punter Braden Mann
This is the best Punter the Eagles have seen on the field since Cameron Johnston in 2019, so there is no question that Philadelphia should re-sign Braden Mann. After years of average to below-average play from the team's Punters, the Eagles finally have a reliable guy and he's only 26 years old, so give him a three year contract and don't worry about this position moving forward.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota
The second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft was brought to Philadelphia because he is athletic enough to run the offense in the same style as starting Quarterback Jalen Hurts. But with uncertainty about the Eagles' coaching staff's future and how the offense may be different next year, Mariota may not be a fit for the 2024 Eagles Offense. Plus there appears to be intrigue inside the Eagles organization with Rookie Quarterback Tanner McKee as a future backup in Philadelphia.
Linebacker Nicholas Morrow
The 28-year-old Linebacker was supposed to be the replacement for Kyzir White who left in Free Agency last offseason. Morrow showed he is a Linebacker with limitations during the 2023 season and I am unsure what role he would have for Philadelphia's defense next season or if he is much better than any other Free Agent options.
Running Back Rashaad Penny
A guy who was expected to split time at Running Back with D'Andre Swift during the 2023 season only played a total of 31 Offensive Snaps. He wasn't injured all year, it was determined he was practically useless for an Eagles offense that underperformed most of the year. Maybe he should go try playing the in Spring United Football League to prove to people that he is still capable of playing professional football.
Cornerback Bradley Roby
After Avonte Maddox was injured in September and the Eagles tried multiple guys at Nickel Corner, then Philadelphia brought in veteran Bradley Roby. The 31-year-old Cornerback was underwhelming and didn't do much to help the Eagles' Defense during the 2023 NFL season. Safe to assume he will not be back in a Philadelphia uniform next season.
Running Back Boston Scott
The highest-paid Running Back on the 2023 Eagles Roster only played 68 Offensive Snaps during the Regular Season. Even though Boston Scott is a Special Teams contributor, it is hard to rationalize paying him almost 2 million dollars if he is going to barely get playing time.
Running Back D'Andre Swift
The local Philadelphia High School Product had the best overall season of his NFL career the first year he played in an Eagles uniform. Even though Swift had the fifth most Rushing Yards in the NFL during the 2023 season, the perception is he was not used enough in Philadelphia's offense. The Eagles would be interested in keeping Swift for the 2024 season but they will not overpay to keep him from going to another team in Free Agency.
Wide Receiver Quez Watkins
After a productive 2022 season, the 25-year-old Wide Receiver had a reduced role in the Eagles offense this past season and only got playing time when other guys got injured. Philadelphia was so disinterested in giving Watkins more playing time, they signed a 34-year-old mid-season instead of getting Quez more opportunities. Safe to assume, that he will probably not be wearing an Eagles uniform next season.
Wide Receiver Olamide Zaccheaus
The Wide Receiver originally from New Jersey was signed last offseason to be an upgrade for the Eagles Number Three Receiver Position but ended the season with just 10 catches and 2 Receiving Touchdowns. Unless the Eagles offense is going to make some serious scheme and gameplan changes this offseason, it's hard to see why Philadelphia would bring back Zaccheaus to take up a roster spot they could give to an inexpensive rookie or undrafted free agent.