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2019 Free Agency Thread

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Just now, 757-NINER said:

I disagree. He can definitely play the SAM. He played there some this year and looked fine. He's no different than a guy like Wright was early in his career. 

Sure, he can play it in spurts. But his skillset wouldn't be best utilized there. Let him drop into coverage (along with Hicks) and track the ball (along with Hicks). If they want to combo him up in base situations, sure, but it would be a terrible utilization of his skills to put him at the SAM. 

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17 minutes ago, John232 said:

Barr should be used as a blitzer way more than he has been. That's part of why I like him. He fills multiple roles for us and is still young. Kwon is rangey af. If anything, he needs to be better against the run, but he and David were the only two great players on that defense. Mosely is do it all. KJ Wright is old so I would be a little leery of him, Hicks iirc is always injured.

 

Truly, I would be happy with any of those guys assuming we don't overpay. 

I really like Barr for his versatility. I think he is the ideal SAM backer. He can blitz off the edge when needed, contain the run on the edge, and provide pass coverage as well. Warner, to me, feels like a WILL through and through.

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Just now, John232 said:

Sure, he can play it in spurts. But his skillset wouldn't be best utilized there. Let him drop into coverage (along with Hicks) and track the ball (along with Hicks). If they want to combo him up in base situations, sure, but it would be a terrible utilization of his skills to put him at the SAM. 

How so? He's better at the POA than most, including myself, figured he would be as a prospect. He held up well, when tasked to contain the edge and engage O-Lineman/TEs. He can drop in short zones, which a SAM has to do in this scheme. So what am I missing? And he can still be on the field in nickel. Hicks is definitely not a SAM. But he's more adapt at playing inside the box, coming downhill than Warner. He still has some work to do there, as he takes some misteps and gets caught up in the eye candy instead of flowing to ball at times. Moving him to Sam would allow him to play faster, more instinctive. That's where he played in college. That's more his wheelhouse...as of now. And physically, he's built to be a SAM. He's tall and rangy. He improves his functional strength, adds another 5-10 lbs of muslce and he's a Pro Bowler waiting to happen on the strong-side

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23 minutes ago, NinerNation21 said:

If you had your choice between one of these FA LB's, who would you choose?

  • K.J. Wright
  • Denzel Perryman
  • Jordan Hicks
  • Anthony Barr
  • C.J. Mosely
  • Kwon Alexander

My choice: Either K.J. Wright or Anthony Barr. I like that Wright knows the system and is a good, all-around LB. For Barr, I like that he has been pretty productive in pass coverage and he offers a little pass rushing ability as well. 

A lot depends on what you want to do with Warner. Was Warner playing Mike because we felt that was his best position, or because we didn't trust Foster there to command the defense? I think that's a real question. If you prefer Warner at WILL, I think Mosely is the easy answer here because he'd immediately come in and take control of the middle the defense. That being said, I'm not overly keen on paying massive contract out to off the ball linebackers, though at times its certainly warranted. Mosely has every right to ask for more than Kuechly at this point, which would put him around 13 - 13.5 million a year. Not crippling, but potentially unwarranted for the position. That being said, Mosely and Barr are the only two on here who don't have some degree of injury concerns, and being confident that a player will be out there every week is huge. Perryman woudl probably be the cheaper alternative to come in and take over the MIKE position, but he's never played a full season, back to back seasons on IR. His play is solid, and he's not going to be in line for a huge contract. But if he's only playing 9 games a year, that's problematic. 

If you like Warner at MIKE, then the other guys become more of an option, and it will largely depend on what you want to do. Barr has mostly played SAM for the Vikings I'm pretty sure, so unless you're flexing him back and forth between WILL and SAM to keep him on the field I'm not sure you want to pay the amount he will likely want, even coming off a down season. I'm interested in him though. 

If you want longer term, Hicks is your guy over Wright. Hicks has some injury concerns, so that is worrisome, but you're getting him at a time where the contract he receives will largely be in line with his prime. KJ Wright is kind of the antithesis of that - he's older, still a quality player, shorter term solution, but his body also broke down a bit this year. I don't that you're getting more than a year or two where you can effectively use him as a 3 down linebacker and allow him to cover people. Great presence to have. 

Alexander is a guy I have liked and been intrigued by for a while, but his career has been up and down, and I don't know that he presents the ceiling as some of the other guys. He's only 24, which is amazing, but he's only played a full 16 game slate once in his career. Alexander is a guy that I really like if you don't want to go all out at the position, but have youth, some upside, reasonable contract and getting the best of their play. 

I don't think I really have an order of preference. I can kind of understand the idea behind all of them. Given all of the injury problems we have had in the past two years, I may be more inclined to just say screw it, lets get Mosely though, even though he's a little overrated (even Ravens fans admit he didn't deserve that first team all pro this year). 

 

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I don't have a problem with shuffling warner back and for between SAM and leaving him on the field as WILL in two backer sets. I was one of the people that was advocating for him to get a shot at SAM after we drafted him. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, NinerNation21 said:

I really like Barr for his versatility. I think he is the ideal SAM backer. He can blitz off the edge when needed, contain the run on the edge, and provide pass coverage as well. Warner, to me, feels like a WILL through and through.

True, Barr is the more ideal SAM as far as the ability to rush the passer. But it's not a requirement that the SAM in this scheme have the ability to rush the passer. It's a nice luxury...but not a really a necessity. As long as you can blitz, you can be just as effective. The Sam, first and foremost,  has to be solid against the run and adapt in zone coverage...those are the most important criteria. Warner fits those characteristics. He could definitely play WILL also. One of the reasons I think he was such a good find was his position versatility. But I think his football IQ and his physicality is best suited for the strong-side in the long run, playing over the big-end.

 

Edited by 757-NINER

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How so? He's better at the POA than most, including myself, figured he would be as a prospect. He held up well, when tasked to contain the edge and engage O-Lineman/TEs. He can drop in short zones, which a SAM has to do in this scheme.

Everyone hast to do that in our scheme. He's also great in man coverage, which our Will and Mike LB have to do at times too. Yes, he's better at the POA than most of us expected, doesn't mean he's amazing at it (which he's definitely not, yet..) nor should he be doing it. SAMS do 3 things on most plays, drop into a Hook zone, set the edge or rush the passer out of a 2 point stance. Setting the edge and Blitzing are not strong points for him. And he really has no business rushing the passer at all. Total waste of what he can do in coverage. 

So what am I missing?

Positional value. a SAM in theory also has to show the threat of the Blitz too. Shanny (or Saleh) has said a SAM can always play the  LEO but a LEO can't play  a SAM necesarrily

And he can still be on the field in nickel. Hicks is definitely not a SAM. But he's more adapt at playing inside the box, coming downhill than Warner. He still has some work to do there, as he takes some misteps and gets caught up in the eye candy instead of flowing to ball at times.

Agreed, Warner would best be served as a Will. but if he stays at the MIKE it wouldn't surprise me if he became a top 5-10 Mike. 

Moving him to Sam would allow him to play faster, more instinctive.

That's also what moving him to Will could do. Except he could play in space. Again, can he play SAM? sure, but the same things you're saying about him playing SAM is the same reason I want him to play Will. 

 

That's where he played in college.

He was a joker. He was basically a 215 pound safety. 

That's more his wheelhouse...as of now. And physically, he's built to be a SAM. He's tall and rangy. He improves his functional strength, adds another 5-10 lbs of muslce and he's a Pro Bowler waiting to happen on the strong-side

No he's not. He is tall yes, but still light in the put and not great at the POA. Putting him at SAM is going to make that problem much much worse. Furthermore, I'm not sure he should gain another 5-10 pounds of muscle. I've never seen someone advocacte for a position change for a guy who did extremely well at one position in his rookie year.

 

Like Forge said, I have no problem moving him around to SAM on base sets depending on alignment, but I don't want use to play like we used Harold, Nzechoka, Marsh or Watson. Absolute waste at that point. 

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Posted (edited)

Never heard Shanny nor Saleh say the SAM has to play Leo. It's more than one way to skin a cat in this 4-3 scheme. The SAM doesn't have to be a threat as a pass-rusher. That's definitely not how they used the SAM in Seattle. When they had Irvin, yeah they had him play SAM and Wright moved to WILL once Malcolm Smith left after the SB. That was the best way to get Irvin on the field with Avril. But Wright has been the SAM in that scheme for years and he is not, nor has ever been a pass-rusher, nor has he ever been tasked to play Leo. They had Avril, who was the Leo on every single down. It's all about your personnel. If you have a legitimate Leo, there's no reason your SAM needs to moonlight there. Look at how Bradley is running this scheme with the Chargers...how the the Jags are running it. The SAM isn't used the same way in every place...

My point is not that Warner can't play the Mike. He's shown he can. But if you go out and get a guy like Hicks, I rather him play inside and let Warner be on the strong-side where I think he could excell. And not that he can't play WILL. Sure he could. But I believe a capable SAM in this scheme is much harder to find than a WILL. So if I see a kid who I think has the potential to play the SAM effectively, I'd much rather have him slide to the strong-side. 

Edited by 757-NINER

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 757-NINER said:

Never heard Shanny nor Saleh say the SAM has to play Leo. It's more than one way to skin a cat in this 4-3 scheme. The SAM doesn't have to be a threat as a pass-rusher. That's definitely not how they used the SAM in Seattle. When they had Irvin, yeah they had him play SAM and Wright moved to WILL once Malcolm Smith left after the SB. That was the best way to get Irvin on the field with Avril. But Wright has been the SAM in that scheme for years and he is not, nor has ever been a pass-rusher, nor has he ever been tasked to play Leo. They had Avril, who was the Leo on every single down. It's all about your personnel. If you have a legitimate Leo, there's no reason your SAM needs to moonlight there. Look at how Bradley is running this scheme with the Chargers...how the the Jags are running it. The SAM isn't used the same way in every place...

My point is not that Warner can't play the Mike. He's shown he can. But if you go out and get a guy like Hicks, I rather him play inside and let Warner be on the strong-side where I think he could excell. And not that he can't play WILL. Sure he could. But I believe a capable SAM in this scheme is much harder to find than a WILL. So if I see a kid who I think has the potential to play the SAM effectively, I'd much rather have him slide to the strong-side. 

I feel like we’re somebwat arguing in circles and more so, just see different things with Warner. Nothing I’ve seen from him tells me he operates well holding the POA against pulling guards, TE’s/tackles and FBs.  Also Warner is tall,  but he’s still light in his frame.

 

I wasn’t the one who made the point on SAMs playing Leo, that was shanny or saleh, I’ll see if I can find it because I remember it vividly as it was telling. It might have been in reference to reporters asking what a LEO and SAM is(a Sam can play the Leo but a Leo can’t play the Sam)

It’s not that they HAVE to be able to rush the passer, but the SAM has always been the position coaches want to be to be able to function close to the LOS AND operate in space as both of us have noted, they need to be not just versatile LBers but they have to be able to operate in extremely heavy traffic, almost like a DE would, which again, I don’t think Warner does particularly well. Sure on base down with him behind armstead or Thomas, then yeah I’m fine with him there at times, but even in base packages, I don’t want to see him trying to hold the edge consistently. His skill set in coverage and in trail is rare. Guys who can hold the edge are dime a dozen. Will and Mike are the stars and he and hicks can play both. Just don’t understand making a unicorn a donkey 

Edited by John232

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Posted (edited)

Furthermore, nothing up to this point tells me our team values the SAM. We’re literally throwing retreads at it and it’s more or less been acceptable.

Edited by John232

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Honestly, I don't think warner played all that well in the middle part of the season. He wasn't spectacular in my eyes. He had a few really good games early on that made everyone have good feelings about him for the rest of the year, but there times he seemed like an average starter. He needs a lot of work fighting through traffic and better hand fighting and leverage imo 

He played fine for the most part but I think we might be overrating him at this point in time. There are still a lot of things he needs to work on. 

It was his rookie season in a new role, I never expected an all pro season. He made enough plays to know that he will be solid starting material at an absolute minimum, but I don't think his ceiling is super high in his current role. 

I hink he is much much much better suited off the ball where his length can be better utilized. 

Versitile football players are useful, right now he's a jack of all trades but a master of none 

(The real saying is "a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one")

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Posted (edited)

Nail on the head for me as well @N4L. How I look at our off ball LBs right now is we have one average starter in Warner (with the youth and potential to improve but I’m wary to count my eggs before they hatch) and a bunch of guys (Smith, Lee, Coyle) who have no business stepping on the field other than STs. Malcolm Smith’s contract keeps him here for another year I think but I’d like to see a FA added to take over MIKE (Mosley, Hicks, Perryman, Alexander) and a draft pick added for depth and as an insurance policy. 

That goes for the SAM spot as well, if that draft pick is Allen who doubles as a SAM and edge guy that’s fine but I’d still like to see a player added in FA there as well. Doesn’t have to be a top tier guy but currently we have nobody there deserving of a roster spot. I’m aware that the SAM spot doesn’t play as much as the other two but if Allen is lining up there then drops his hand in the dirt on passing downs we are keeping our hypothetical best players on the field at all times. If we get Bosa at 2 I feel he is strictly a LEO which is great cause that’s what we need most but then we better add a player like Irvin or Barrett at SAM cause running out Watson or Pita T on even a limited number of plays is a weakness in our defense and offers no help in the pass rush on early downs where the offense is passing. I’d rather not continue to be ok with below average players starting for this defense. A couple weak links threatens the integrity of the entire chain. 

Our IDL has some players and has shown the ability to perform well, our LBs and edge players need a lot of help and this defense reaches another level of effectiveness with productive, play making guys manning those spots so let’s make sure we get some and focus our efforts there this offseason. Our secondary is young and has shown some flashes but the missing piece is that reliable, rangy FS (ET please man, I need this) and I think they’ll improve drastically. 

Edited by Fureys49ers

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6 hours ago, N4L said:

Honestly, I don't think warner played all that well in the middle part of the season. He wasn't spectacular in my eyes. He had a few really good games early on that made everyone have good feelings about him for the rest of the year, but there times he seemed like an average starter. He needs a lot of work fighting through traffic and better hand fighting and leverage imo 

He played fine for the most part but I think we might be overrating him at this point in time. There are still a lot of things he needs to work on. 

It was his rookie season in a new role, I never expected an all pro season. He made enough plays to know that he will be solid starting material at an absolute minimum, but I don't think his ceiling is super high in his current role. 

I hink he is much much much better suited off the ball where his length can be better utilized. 

Versitile football players are useful, right now he's a jack of all trades but a master of none 

(The real saying is "a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one")

I was saying this all year. Again, LAUGHABLE to compare him to what Foster was last year. Saying that, Warner will be just fine. He's better against the pass than he is against the run and that's the most important factor for a LB in today's game. I agree he would be better off playing WLB, and he probably will once we find a reliable MIKE. Saleh does praise how smart he is and how comfortable he feels letting Warner make the calls on defense. I honestly think playing with Mitchell as much as he did kind of hurt him. Mitchell against the run is terrible and puts the LBs in tough spots. Warner should be better playing the base downs with Jones going forward. He does need to work on his tackling though, missed far too many of them. I expect him to make a solid leap next season. 

Foster though? He had complete game changer potential. I mean even in year one he was just that. His instincts are next level and really help him in zone coverage. What could have been..............

 

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I think Warner simply gives us the luxury of taking our time to fully round-up our LB corps. We don't have to specifically find a SAM, WILL or MIKE, we just have to add the best possible talent at LB, and we can move Warner around, and he will be a good player no matter where. He won't be a superstar, but he will be hard to take off the field. If we do take him off the field, it will mean we have very good players who are better options than him, which isn't currently the case. It's just great to have him.

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Philly Voice's Jimmy Kempski doesn't expect the Eagles to re-sign impending free agent DE Brandon Graham.

Graham turns 31 in April and very well could be looking at his final payday in the league. Kempski doesn't believe the Eagles will be able to offer him the most money, leading to Graham walking as a free agent. Graham is a hero in Philly after his strip-sack in last year's Super Bowl win, but the Eagles have depth at the position with Derek Barnett, Michael Bennett, Chris Long, and 2018 fourth-rounder Josh Sweat. Graham was Pro Football Focus' No. 6-ranked 4-3 end in 2018.

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