Free Agents Signed:
Javon Hargrave, DT (Signed-3 year/$39 million)
Rodney McLeod, FS (Re-Signed-2 year/$12 million)
Jalen Mills, DB (Re-Signed-1 year/$5 million)
Hassan Ridgeway, DT (Re-Signed-1 year/TBA)
Nate Sudfeld, QB (Re-Signed-1 year/$2 million)
Free Agents Lost:
Malcolm Jenkins, SS (Signed by the Saints-4 year/$32 million)
Jordan Howard, HB (Signed by the Dolphins-2 year/$10 million)
Halapoulivaati Vatai, OL (Signed by the Lions-5 year/$50 million)
Kamu Grugier-Hill, OLB (Signed by the Dolphins-1 year/TBA)
Trades: PHI receives CB Darius Slay from DET for a third-round pick (No. 85 overall) and a fifth-round pick (No. 166)
Impact on Team:
Prior to the launch of the 2020 NFL Free Agency campaign, General Manager Howie Roseman made clear that he was determined to make the Eagles roster younger. In his post-season presser following the loss to Seattle, Roseman addressed his want to get young blood in the building.
He stated, “It’s a great lesson and you have to get young players… we have to allow these young players to grow and get some experience… we have to balance that.”
Roseman initiated the “getting younger” process by signing a young-stud defensive tackle from Pittsburgh by the name of Javon Hargrave. When next season begins, Hargrave will be only 27 years old. In his four years on the Steelers, he missed just one game while averaging 5.25 sacks over his last two seasons. Yet, it is the run game where Hargrave makes his presence most known. He will make for a dominant interior alongside all-pro Fletcher Cox.
The other big-time acquisition who will be wearing midnight green next year is cornerback Darius Slay. The pro-bowl corner has proved to be durable and willing to shadow the opponents’ best receiver. It has been a long time since the Eagles had a difference maker at cornerback on the roster. Slay is 29, but has recorded two or more interceptions every season since his rookie year. The Eagles dodged a bullet by not overpaying for Byron Jones and James Bradberry. Darius Slay was arguably the best corner available and Philly got him.
The Eagles re-signed Jalen Mills and Rodney McLeod, who will accompany Slay in the secondary next year. As of now, the second starting corner job is still up in the air. It would not be surprising to see Crevon LeBlanc, Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones get the opportunity to win the job in camp this summer.
The decision to not bring Malcolm Jenkins back is one that Howie Roseman will regret, especially after seeing the deal he got from the Saints. Since he arrived in 2014, Jenkins has served as the Eagles’ team leader on and off of the field. Not to mention he played every single defensive snap in five of his six seasons in Philadelphia. The Eagles will miss him on and off the field this season as they attempt to move forward without their signal caller on the back end of the defense.
Howie Roseman has still not addressed the wide receiver dilemma, but an impact player could be landed in next month’s draft. Meanwhile, an answer on Alshon Jeffery’s future should be coming soon.
Two other positions of moderate concern are linebacker and offensive line. With the loss of Kamu Grugier-Hill, Philly is left with Nate Gerry and TJ Edwards at linebacker. It is currently a position group that lacks talent and depth. Furthermore, the left tackle position is still very much up in the air and the loss of Vatai significantly affects the depth of the group.
So far Howie Roseman has bolstered the defensive line, but the offense still lacks speed and playmakers on the outside. Similarly, the defensive side of the ball lacks reliability at linebacker, but no more will Eagles fans have to watch receivers run up and down the field every week with the addition of “Big Play Slay”.
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