Winter returned to Philly today and it’s causing some California Dreamin’ in my head about Eagles-related free agency events. None of these Rotoworld reports from recent days specifically involve the Eagles roster, but I found it somewhat fun while trapped indoors on a cold day to visualize the Birds’ somehow ending up connecting the dots with some of these current events:
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports Latavius Murray is expected to test the open market.
Per Anderson, “the door will remain open” for a return to Oakland, but the Raiders will let the market set Latavius’ price. Murray lost work to rookies DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard last year, and the Raiders have spent the last two offseasons trying to replace him. If Murray leaves, Oakland will likely add a power back in the draft. Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine would fit.
Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune said he would be “stunned” if the Cardinals didn’t franchise-tag impending free agent Chandler Jones.
Holder isn’t a Cardinals beat reporter, but his belief that Jones will be tagged seems to be shared league wide. Cardinals GM Steve Keim said he’s had “great dialogue” with Jones, but the sides are running out of time to reach a long-term deal before Wednesday’s franchise-tag deadline. One of the league’s premier pass rushers, Jones is almost certain to be back in Arizona.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss believes the Patriots could be interested in bringing back free agent Michael Floyd, but only at the right price.
Reiss believes the Patriots value Floyd’s “physical presence,” though his questionable chemistry with Tom Brady raised red flags. Floyd didn’t grasp New England’s offense as quickly as the team hoped, which led to him being a healthy scratch for the last two playoff games. It probably won’t cost much to keep Floyd, which could work to the Patriots’ advantage. But if Floyd’s price rises, it’s doubtful New England would get in a bidding war. Floyd is currently serving a 120-day jail sentence following his second DUI.
Jets released C Nick Mangold.
It’s another cap-saving move from GM Mike Maccagnan. There were rumblings Mangold could take a pay cut, but his release was expected with Gang Green now committed to a bottoming-out approach. The Jets have cleared $26.6 million with Mangold, Ryan Clady, RT Breno Giacomini, and K Nick Folk gone. There should be a strong market for Mangold despite coming off injury at age 33. Wesley Johnson is Mangold’s in-house replacement.
ESPN’s John Keim reports it is “likely” the Redskins pursue impending free agent DE Calais Campbell.
The match makes sense. Campbell is one of the highest-impact defensive linemen available, while Washington needs playmakers in their front seven. There will be plenty of other teams interested if Campbell hits the market, however, and Keim questions whether the Redskins are willing to get in a bidding war for a 30-year-old. Campbell has also been linked to Denver, and it will not be surprising if he ends up re-signing with Arizona.
ESPN’s Tim McManus speculates Jamaal Charles could be an option for the Eagles if he is released.
Charles counts $6.2 million against the cap, and the Chiefs can save all of that by releasing him. Considering he is coming off two lost seasons due to knee issues, it is almost a given Kansas City will move on. If they do, the Eagles make a lot of sense. Coach Doug Pederson was his coordinator in Kansas City, and they need backfield help even if they do not cut Ryan Mathews. Signing Charles will be a gamble, but it could prove a smart, low-cost move for an Eagles organization pinching pennies as they attempt to surround Carson Wentz with weapons.
Impending free agent Robert Woods said he is content with the No. 2 role in Buffalo.
“Sammy [Watkins] deserves being the number one,” Woods said. “As long as we are progressing, moving the ball down the field and making plays, I have no problem with that.” The comments suggest he is open to re-signing with the Bills, who have no receiving talent behind Watkins and Woods. The former second rounder has averaged 51 catches for 613 yards and three touchdowns his four years in Buffalo.
The Redskins will meet with their impending free agents at next week’s Combine.
That includes Chris Baker, Vernon Davis, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson as well restricted free agents Will Compton and Chris Thompson. Jackson has expressed interest in remaining with the Redskins, though the team is “lukewarm” about that possibility, according to the Washington Post. Garcon and Jackson are both expected to command $9-11 million annually. It’s a near certainty that at least one will move on.
Free agent OLB/DE Trent Cole plans to continue his playing career.
Cole will be entering his age-35 season. He missed nine games last season due to a back injury but was able to return late in the year and is now healthy. Cole managed just five sacks across two seasons with the Colts as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He’s spent most of his career as a 4-3 end. The Colts aren’t expected to re-sign him. Cole will likely have to settle for one-year offers.
Impending free agent LB Stephen Tulloch is unlikely to re-sign with the Eagles.
Tulloch played just 69 snaps on defense his first year in Philadelphia and offers nothing on special teams. The Eagles should look for cheaper and more versatile depth behind starters Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham. The 32-year-old will likely have to settle for one-year offers if he wants to continue playing.
Impending free agent DeSean Jackson was impressed by Carson Wentz’s performance as a rookie.
“He killed it,” said Jackson. “He had a heck of a year. He showed he can do it all. He has the intangibles of being a big-time quarterback.” Jackson thinks he still has 4-6 good years left in him and wouldn’t mind ending his career where it started. “I mean, it’s definitely a great story and ending,” said Jackson when asked about a return to Philadelphia. “It all sounds good, but you never know until the final decision is made.” The Eagles, Buccaneers and Rams should be among Jackson’s top suitors when he hits the open market.
Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer guesses the Eagles will not re-sign impending free agent DT Bennie Logan.
The Eagles certainly would like to keep Logan around, but Berman thinks he will get a better deal elsewhere. Philly has a lot of money already invested in the defensive line, and they have much more pressing needs at corner and receiver. Logan has been linked with the Redskins.
Okay, my point is you could play around with the dots in most of those stories and connect at least three of the storylines to a probable destiny involving the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles… anything over three is pure daydreaming bordering on fantasy. But there you have it—a conspiracy theory in every NFL story on a slow news day as the winter world turns in my neck of the woods.