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EaglesPeteC

Offseason Outlook: Defense

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I did my comprehensive breakdown of the offense, now it is time for defense.

 

DT

Under contract: Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Treyvon Hester, Bruce Hector

What to do with Timmy Jernigan is the big question that could change the outlook on this whole group. I also like Treyvon Hester. I think he can be a nice player at DT 4. As we know Big Fletch is a Big Beast!

Pending Free Agents: Haloti Ngata

Ngata gonna resign here.....

Cap Casualties/Restructure/Extension- Timmy Jernigan is looming over this. His almost 11 million non guaranteed contract is too high and he spent most of the year recovering from a mystery injury. But I can't deny how much better this defense played with him in it at the end of the year. Do you cut him or restructure his deal? Too me, I'd rather save the money and keep the 27 year old tackle by restructuring him. I was on team cut him a little while ago, but I have changed my tune. The dude is good and still young. Find a way to keep him.

Free Agents- Some decently big names out there potentially but would any of them be worth the contract for the play?  David Irving, Suh, Margus Hunt, Malcolm Brown, Sheldon Richardson, Jonathan Hankins. Honestly, thinking about how much they might get, redoing Jernigan's deal seems like a better way to go. One name I like as a rotational guy, Saints DT Tyeler Davidson.

Draft- Great draft for DT's and the Eagles should pick up one maybe even two depending on how much they like Hester. Keeping Jernigan around will prevent them from reaching for one, but I don't think would stop them from taking one early given how much a defensive line rotation they rely on.

 

DE

Under contract: Michael Bennett, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Deashon Hall, Joe Ostman

So many questions here. 3 over 3 players that are still productive- Bennett, Long and Graham. Barnett has had a strong start to his career and is ready to be a starter. Sweat didn't really do much but should factor in more in year two. Keep an eye on Deashon Hall who the Eagles added late and PS player Joe Ostman. They both could make some noise in camp and push for roster spots.

Pending Free Agents: Brandon Graham

The more I think about it, the more I am on team resign Graham and I think he will resign. I think the Eagles are drafting a DE early and I think Chris Long will retire. I'd rather cut Bennett and keep Graham because I think Graham is 31 to Bennett's 34 the overall better player even though Bennett makes more splash plays. Graham makes more plays more consistently, is younger and is the guy I would much rather have being the veteran influence on what should be a young group. Just as a frame of reference, Graham was the Eagles' second highest rated player according to PFF and Bennett didn't even make the top 10.

Cap Casualties/Restructure/Extension- If Long doesn't retire, I think they cut him. I think Bennett is Graham insurance. If they can't get a deal done, Bennett stays. If they can, I think they cut Bennett and give his money to BG. It wouldn's shock me to see either player be traded either. 

Free Agents- Lots of exciting names out there for this time of year DeMarcus Lawrence, Dee Ford, Trey Flowers, Ziggy Ansah, Frank Clark, Jadeveon Clowney. But how many of them will actually hit the market? Will they be worth the money with such a good EDGE class on the horizon? A couple more interesting realistic names if BG walks, Dante Fowler, Alex Okafor, Markus Golden

Draft- Great draft for DE's and I really think the will attack this position in the draft with one of their first 3 picks in the top 2 rounds.

 

LB

Under contract: Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry

Bradham had a decent season, not as good as last year, but still a good one. Kamu played well enough for how much the Eagles ask their 3rd LB to play. Nate Gerry is fine as a backup. More bodies will need to be added to this room for sure.

Pending Free Agents: Jordan Hicks, LaRoy Reynolds, Paul Worrilow, DJ Alexander

The big name here is obviously LaRoy Reynolds....j/k it's Jordan Hicks. He is a challenging name. Let's not forget that Jordan Hicks is really good, but he is also really injury prone. I think the Eagles make a serious effort to resign him but I think there is for sure a limit on what they are willing to pay him and they will let him walk if they have to. But I think they'll make a strong effort to bring him back. He is too good when he is on the field.

Cap Casualties/Restructure/Extension- Bradham could restructure if you wanted to.

Free Agents- Anthony Barr is an interesting name. His play has fallen off over the last year or 2 but he is a hell of an athlete at the position. Neither he nor Bradham are ideal fits in the middle though. I doubt the Ravens let CJ Mosley out the door. KJ Wright, Kwon Alexander, Deone Buchanan, Preston Brown are all players that the Eagles could target if they want to spend some money at the position if Hicks walks. Seeing all of these names makes me think that Hicks might have a decent shot of resigning given the names that are out there. There are also several names out there for more depth players too.  

Draft- The Eagles just don't value LB enough for them to take one early in my opinion, but early day 3 is when I would target one, perhaps with one of their 2 4th rounders. I think bringing in some young talent at the position is pretty key this offseason.

 

CB

Under contract: Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Avante Maddox, Cre-Veon Le-Blanc

The Eagles actually have a plethoria of young and good CB's. Nobody is a shutdown, lock down CB but this is a group of players that can all play. I predict the Eagles to mostly stand pat with this group. Where everybody plays and who starts and where is a really interesting debate though. Do the Eagles see Maddox in the Corey Graham FS/CB role, or in the slot or the outside. Do the Eagles try to transistion Mills to the Corey Graham role instead of Maddox? Sidney Jones has a really key year coming up, I think the Eagles give him every opportunity to start on the outside next year.

Pending Free Agents: Ronald Darby

With the emergence of Maddox and Douglas and LeBlanc, there is just no reason to spend a ton of money to bring back Darby. 

Cap Casualties/Restructure/Extension- Nobody in this room is making enough for any of these 

Free Agents- If the Eagles bring in a Free Agent, it is likely a cheap vet that can step in if their is an injury or if one of the young guys regress or something. I'm not expecting a big name or significant money here. A bigger name that is interesting is Jason Verrett. Talk about injury prone, but that guy is a serious talent when healthy. He could be worth a contract depending on the cost. Besides that I am looking at players like EJ Gaines, Phillip Gaines, Pierre Desir, Bashaud Breeland. Maybe guys like Jimmy Ward or Kareem Jackson to fit that Corey Graham type role

Draft- Unlike so many FF mock drafts or other pundit mocks, I don't see the Eagles going CB early or it really being much of a draft priority.

 

S

Under contract: Malcolm JenkinsRodney McLeod, Deiondre Hall, Tre Sullivan

McLeod is coming off of injury but is a good player despite what @IrishHooligan00 may think. Jenkins is a beast but is getting older and there is really garbage behind them. Depth and future starters have to be acquired. Do the Eagles see Maddox and/or Mills as future safeties?

Pending Free Agents: Corey Graham, Chris Maragos

Bye fellas!

Cap Casualties/Restructure/Extension- I know @IrishHooligan00 is dying to cut him but I doubt McLeod gets cut. The cap hit doesn't make sense and he is still a productive player that was sorely missed after his injury.

Free Agents- I already brought up some CB/S types that could make sense in Kareem Jackson and Jimmy Ward. There are plenty of big names on the open market Adrian Amos, Tyrann Mathieu, LaMarcus Joyner, Landon Collins, Earl Thomas and Ha Ha Clinton Dix and I don't expect the Eagles to sign any of them. BUT as we all saw, the safety market was really soft last offseason, so who knows. There will be plenty of opportunities for the Eagles to bring in a guy on a good deal if they want. I love myself some Tre Boston. I think he would be a great 3rd Safety and that guy just makes plays on the ball. 

Draft- I don't expect a round 1 safety, but starting as early as Round 2, I expect the Eagles to be in the safety business. It would really be in their best interest to get at least 1 young draft pick for depth and future starter consideration.

 

 

There you have it. My defensive thoughts. Fire away.

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8 hours ago, EaglesPeteC said:

S

Under contract: Malcolm JenkinsRodney McLeod, Deiondre Hall, Tre Sullivan

McLeod is coming off of injury but is a good player despite what @IrishHooligan00 may think. Jenkins is a beast but is getting older and there is really garbage behind them. Depth and future starters have to be acquired. Do the Eagles see Maddox and/or Mills as future safeties?

Pending Free Agents: Corey Graham, Chris Maragos

Bye fellas!

Cap Casualties/Restructure/Extension- I know @IrishHooligan00 is dying to cut him but I doubt McLeod gets cut. The cap hit doesn't make sense and he is still a productive player that was sorely missed after his injury.

Free Agents- I already brought up some CB/S types that could make sense in Kareem Jackson and Jimmy Ward. There are plenty of big names on the open market Adrian Amos, Tyrann Mathieu, LaMarcus Joyner, Landon Collins, Earl Thomas and Ha Ha Clinton Dix and I don't expect the Eagles to sign any of them. BUT as we all saw, the safety market was really soft last offseason, so who knows. There will be plenty of opportunities for the Eagles to bring in a guy on a good deal if they want. I love myself some Tre Boston. I think he would be a great 3rd Safety and that guy just makes plays on the ball. 

Draft- I don't expect a round 1 safety, but starting as early as Round 2, I expect the Eagles to be in the safety business. It would really be in their best interest to get at least 1 young draft pick for depth and future starter consideration.

 

This is for McCloud....

Image result for na na na hey hey goodbye meme

 

 

The Eagles need to get a better Safety, Hands down, A better Safety would help our Corners as well as our LB's. McCloud can only play zone, he can't physically tackle, and he can't get get off blocks. He needs to go away and we need a ballhawk/Playmaker at that position. Bring in Landon Collins or HaHa Clinton Dix, I'd love Mathieu however Feel Houston will never let him get away. 

 

 


 

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Restructure Jernigan or cut him...find out what the old guys (DEs) want to do. Only keep 1. I'm probably leaning towards Bennett. He can slide inside occasionally despite his bone head plays. Draft the best DL/DE available round 1. 

resign Hicks to a 1 year deal, prove it deal.  

Put a plan in place for someone to take over the hybrid role. Find a possible replacement for Jenkins. We ask a lot from our safeties...better get someone who can do what we're looking for. 

 

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Our defensive needs in my view are by far these three. 

1) Safety - Schwartz likes to employ 3 safety sets, and with the uncertainty around McLeod (he can be still injured or he can be even cut) and the fact Jenkins did not miss a game in 5 years since he is an Eagle, we cannot bank on it this keeps on being true. Imagine our safety situation without him. An impact FA or at least a 2nd round pick needs to be invested in a safety - and I'm not talking 'bout a reach like Jaiquan Jarrett. 

2) Defensive end. Worst case scenario, only Barnett remains from last year. I think this is not very likely, but it is still a possibility Graham does not re-sing, Long retires and Bennett is a cap casualty. I think Long most probably is gone, either retires or he is cut, as he is not brought back at 5+m a year. I think we should be able to re-sing Graham assuming he does not want to be paid like a top DE. 18 players earned more than 10m in 2018.  If he settles around 10m per year, then can fit him under the cap. Otherwise he is not retained.  Who knows what happened to Sweat, but that injury did not look too good, and he didn't show anyting on the field anyways. A blue-chip rookie needs to be added to the rotation. 

3) Defensive tackle. This draft is loaded with talent, and even if Jernigan is brought back (must be at a reduced salary), there is a huge need to have a competent 3rd tackle. At one point in the season, we had Cox, Hester and freaking TY McGill on the roster with Ngata and Jernigan out. Jim even called the DT situation maybe even more alarming that how our corners looked like. Btw, I feel like I need to say how stupid you were last year, Daryl Worley. Imagine he does not have his DUI, we would have had another capable corner instead of Bausby and Chandon Sullivan. 

4) Linebacker. If  Hicks is brought back, then this is less of a need. If he is not taking the Eagles offer, we are pretty much screwed. Bradham is pretty good, but there is practically no young talent on this team. And Bradham can be a cap casualty each year going forward, as he as almost zero guaranteed money left. Which I think is gonna change, as that is one of the key moves Howie needs to make IMO to make some room for others. But still, 1 impact player in a position group is less than enough. 

5) Cornerback. I think our corners are fine, even if they do not bring Darby back. One thing is for sure, when the roster is set, I do not want to see less than 6 corners making the team. In today's NFL, when 3 corners are practically playing the full game, it is an absolute must. A lower tier FA and a 3rd day pick should be enough. 

Including the offense, overall the needs are 

1) Safety

2) Defensive end

3) Running back

4) Defensive tackle

5) Offensive line

 

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@furti. I don’t disagree. I am interested to see where they view Avante Maddox’s long term position at. He played well at times at Outside, slot and FS. That is an interesting storyline for me 

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I think they need to stop throwing crap at the wall and figure out what these DBs can/can’t do...the shuffling doesn’t do anything but magnify the need to reload on DL. 

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1 hour ago, nlesthought said:

I think they need to stop throwing crap at the wall and figure out what these DBs can/can’t do...the shuffling doesn’t do anything but magnify the need to reload on DL. 

I mean they shuffled this year out of pure need. Howie has no business bringing that team into the year so critically thin at S though. 

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22 hours ago, EaglesPeteC said:

@furti. I don’t disagree. I am interested to see where they view Avante Maddox’s long term position at. He played well at times at Outside, slot and FS. That is an interesting storyline for me 

I think he is rather viewed as a corner. And I think he is Eagles rookie of the year over Goedert. 

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We have 10 draft picks and a class that looks like it is going to be a deep d-line and o-line draft. We can easily draft replacements on the lines this off-season and probably save some cap to spend in other areas of need. Jernigan for example is owed 11 million. Is he worth it? Could we spend that 11 million elsewhere and not miss a beat? I think we should draft DL and OL while finding our weapons on the FA. 

Basically I'm saying expect this draft to be boring, like getting socks and underwear for Christmas. 

Go Birds

Master "The Haul" Cheddaar

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2 hours ago, furti said:

I think he is rather viewed as a corner. And I think he is Eagles rookie of the year over Goedert. 

I tend to agree. I think they want him in the slot. I feel like they want Jones and Douglas on the outside and Maddox in the slot. I wonder if they have any considerations of moving Mills to the Corey Graham role since Schwartz has it hard for him. 

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2 hours ago, Mastercheddaar said:

We have 10 draft picks and a class that looks like it is going to be a deep d-line and o-line draft. We can easily draft replacements on the lines this off-season and probably save some cap to spend in other areas of need. Jernigan for example is owed 11 million. Is he worth it? Could we spend that 11 million elsewhere and not miss a beat? I think we should draft DL and OL while finding our weapons on the FA. 

Basically I'm saying expect this draft to be boring, like getting socks and underwear for Christmas. 

Go Birds

Master "The Haul" Cheddaar

I tend to agree. Really good DL and OL rarely become available  in free agency. If you want them, you got to draft them. WR, RB, DB and LB are usually more readily available in FA. 

 

As far as Jernigan, they might want to rework his contract and keep him. We’ll see 

Edited by EaglesPeteC

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3 hours ago, EaglesPeteC said:

I tend to agree. I think they want him in the slot. I feel like they want Jones and Douglas on the outside and Maddox in the slot. I wonder if they have any considerations of moving Mills to the Corey Graham role since Schwartz has it hard for him. 

Does Mills not make sense to groom in the Jenkins role? Play some safety, drop him down in the slot sometimes, and other times he can line up in the box. He wouldn't be as good as Jenkins playing the run but he does tackle well and plays aggressive. 

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13 hours ago, EAGLES3658 said:

Does Mills not make sense to groom in the Jenkins role? Play some safety, drop him down in the slot sometimes, and other times he can line up in the box. He wouldn't be as good as Jenkins playing the run but he does tackle well and plays aggressive. 

Only if he stops doing that stupid *** fno with his finger, especially on plays that he didnt do anything on but the QB over threw lol

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