Where Did ESPN.com Rank the Eagles Offseason?
The Philadelphia Eagles filled a lot of holes this offseason, and still might be done. .
Coming off a 2019 season where an upgrade to the secondary was one of the most obvious needs, and they’ve added several players to upgrade that position. They also were able to add to the defensive line, and added plenty of speed through the NFL Draft.
While they did lose veteran safety and locker room leader Malcolm Jenkins, the team should have plenty of depth in the secondary now, something they lacked the past few years behind Jenkins and McLeod.
So where did ESPN.com rank the Eagles offseason?
ESPN NFL writer Bill Barnwell ranked the Eagles’ offseason to this point as the No. 17 overall among the 32 NFL teams.
Here is what Barnwell liked:
The Eagles addressed their two obvious weaknesses heading into the offseason. The trade for Darius Slay netted them the No. 1 corner they sorely needed after years of frustrating play at defensive back, and general manager Howie Roseman went all-in for speed during the draft by adding receivers Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and trade acquisition Marquise Goodwin. The perennially creative Eagles also found a way to add a run-plugging defensive tackle by signing away Javon Hargrave from the Steelers, and the one-year, $1 million deal they gave corner Nickell Robey-Coleman might have been one of the best value signings of the offseason.
Here is what Barnwlel didn't like so much:
Solving the problem at cornerback might have created holes elsewhere on defense, as Philadelphia declined safety Malcolm Jenkins' option and released linebacker Nigel Bradham without really replacing either veteran. Jalen Mills was re-signed and is expected to move to safety, and the Eagles appear set to hand the middle linebacker job to T.J. Edwards after he played 112 snaps as an undrafted rookie. Former Chargers linebacker Jatavis Brown also could figure in the mix, but if teams feel comfortable avoiding Slay to target other mismatches on defense, the Eagles won't realize much of an improvement from their long-awaited move.
What they could have done differently:
You could argue that they might have been better off just riding out what was a relatively cheap cornerback market and holding on to their third- and fifth-round picks. Slay is a genuine top-flight cornerback, but when you factor in the cost of both trading away a pick and signing Slay to a three-year, $50.5 million extension, would the Eagles have been better off simply signing Robey-Coleman and another cornerback, like Chris Harris Jr.? Keeping those picks would have allowed them to draft a safety to replace Jenkins or add valuable offensive line depth they don't have after Jason Peters and Halapoulivaati Vaitai left this offseason.
What's left to do:
Add offensive line depth. The Eagles have reportedly been in talks to bring back Peters, which would be interesting; they drafted Andre Dillard in the first round last year with the expectation that he would take over for Peters in 2020, but Dillard struggled across his 337 offensive snaps last season, and this offseason will make it difficult for any young player expected to grow into a new role. If they don't sign Peters, they would be looking at options like Cordy Glenn or Kelvin Beachum at tackle. Larry Warford will likely be out of Philly's price range, but it could look toward someone like Ron Leary on the interior.
You can hear more on the Eagles everyday at 4pm during 'Football at Four' on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill and Hunter Brody with Geoff Mosher, Andrew DiCecco and Adam Caplan of insidethebirds.com.