WITH ten draft picks this year, the smart move is to use them to further the Eagles youth movement. There is no sense in signing bunch of, or trading early picks for, older and more expensive players this year. Judiciously signing a few however, can add immediate bounce throughout a roster. Here are the three that we should add.
DE: Emmanuel Ogbah from Miami would be the centerpiece of my free agency mission. Getting a bigger, and more physical LDE, will allow Josh Sweat to go back to using his speed at RDE, making our Defensive Line a lot more effective. Understand though, Miami comes into free agency with more cap space than anyone, and they’ll want to keep their proven pass rusher.
Of course, while Miami has tons of cash, they’re going to have a new head coach in 2022. Also, the NFL may be trying to take the team away from owner Stephen Ross, due to allegations that he attempted to pay his last head coach, to throw games.
Vegas (and I don’t mean the Raiders), won’t look too kindly on that, with legalized gambling being a cash cow. So if Ross “dies” in 2022, don’t be shocked. I mean the guy is 81, but if saaaay, he blows his own head off (wink), and afterwards cleans his fingerprints off the shotgun, we’ll all know what’s what.
The upcoming circus that’s about to surround a 9 – 8 Dolphins team which missed the playoffs, should be enough to encourage Ogbah to move to greener pastures. While many teams can offer him a boatload of cash, no other team can offer him a chance to play with two DT’s that demand as much double-team attention. That means a ton of one-on-one opportunities for Ogbah.
Imagine it: DE Emmanuel Ogbah , DT Fletcher Cox, DT Javon Hargrave, and DE Josh Sweat. A physically stronger left side, with Sweat bringing the explosiveness that Derek Barnett always lacked from the blindside. Improved play on the back-end would make this Defense monstrous.
TE: While Jack Stoll is a good blocker, he’s no threat as a receiver. That makes Richard Rogers our go-to, behind Dallas Goedert. Rodgers is credible, but we have to do better here. (Ironically, Zach Ertz is a free agent, but I’m pretty sure we won’t be seeing him back here.)
As of today, the Cowboys, (according to Over The Cap) find themselves (-21M$) in salary cap hell, for 2022. That means 25 year old Dalton Schultz could be an easy steal, which would help us, while at the same time, harming a rival. If we can’t get him to come here, at least we should be able to bid, and drive up the price that Dallas re-signs him to.
WR: HEAR ME OUT! I know this is gonna sound crazy at first, but it makes all the sense in the world. We should bring back DeSean Jackson. (I’ll give you a minute to shake your head, and call me nuts.)
Are you done? Alright, Fine. Take another minute.
Now the explanation. Devonta Smith thinks that he would benefit from having a veteran in the locker room. That being the case, if we add a seasoned veteran, we don’t want them to hinder the Eagles youth development, by playing too many downs. Quez Watkins won’t get better from not playing. (Same with the rookie WR we should draft.)
DJax has a ton of wisdom to impart to a WR room. Especially to Smith. DJax has been a #1 threat. He’s seen double coverage, bracket coverage, shaded coverage meant to contain him, and he’s produced anyway. He’s seen ups and downs off the field. He’s taken care of his body, well enough to still be a deep threat at 87 years old. This is even more important when you realize how slender DJax is. A trait that Smith shares.
Though DJax still has an ability to be dangerous (2021: 20rec, 454yards, 22.7*ypc, 2TD), his hamstrings won’t let him play a ton of downs. Which is GREAT! He shouldn’t be a starter. He should be a role player. Which also means he shouldn’t be too expensive.
Wise, cheap, still lethal, and he won’t try to overshadow the young men we’re trying to develop. Go ahead. Find someone else who ticks all of those boxes, in this year’s free agency. I’ll wait… In fact, I’ll spot you the list so you don’t have to look for it.
Emmanuel Sanders?! Last year he was a starter in Buffalo. No way he gives up chasing a ring with QB Josh Allen, to play for a QB who can’t read defenses. NEXT! AJ. Green? He’s going back to Arizona. Next! Mohamed Sanu? He was never Batman. He wasn’t even Robin! He was Batgirl for most of his career. I don’t want Devonta learning how to be Batman, from Batgirl. Do you?
So there it is. Those are the primary three players I would target in this year’s first round of free agency. We’ll take a look at the post-Draft cuts, with an eye towards KR’s, and big RB’s. Then we’ll look for veteran defenders after the June 1st cuts.