Eagles Notebook: Free agency frenzy starts now

Atlanta Falcons v Kansas City Chiefs
Grimes is a local kid with solid cover skills. However, he’s coming off an injury-shortened 2012. Either way, the Eagles need a cornerback.

The Eagles will have a lot of money to spend — especially if they release bust Nnamdi Asmougha — should they choose to spend it in this free-agency period. The last time they went “all in”, however, it didn’t quite work out very well. Let’s take a look at some hot free agents that might make sense for the Birds (remember, free agency begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday):

» LB, Paul Kruger: The Eagles’ linebackers were actually pretty solid last season, a rarity during the Andy Reid era. Still, anyone who watched the Ravens roll through the playoffs knows that Kruger — 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble — is a star in the making. He’s seeking $10-12 million.

» CB, Sean Smith: The Dolphins corner has been on the Eagles’ radar for weeks, long considered one of the best options on the open market. But Smith is considered a huge underachiever, a player with raw talent — and size, at 6-foot-3 — who just can’t put it all together. He has five career interceptions, including two in 2012.

» CB, Brent Grimes: Let’s stay at cornerback and evaluate the pride of Northeast High. Grimes was just starting to come into his own, emerging as one of the NFL’s best cover guys, until an Achilles injury ended his 2012 season before it started. The homecoming angle is perfect, but how much do you want to invest in a guy coming off a serious injury at a position that requires excellent speed?

» S, Dashon Goldson: One of the biggest problems in the Eagles’ secondary has been inept tackling, something that isn’t Goldson’s calling card, either. Yet Goldson’s knack for finding the ball and making the big play is undeniable, plus he has ties to new Eagles VP of player personnel Tom Gamble from his days in San Francisco.

» WR, Danny Amendola: Ealges PR man Dave Spadaro shot down rumors Monday that the Birds were hot on his trail. Consider this: Amendola is a poor man’s Wes Welker and someone who could really thrive in the slot in Chip Kelly’s offense. Let’s face it, as solid as Jason Avant has been here in that same role, his speed doesn’t exactly make him a game-changer.

Also keep an eye on: CB, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (he’s still floating around out there with apparent interest from Andy Reid in KC); S, Kenny Phillips (high risk considering recent injury history, but Birds are desperate for safety help); DT, Ricky Jean-Francois (49ers aren’t going to re-sign him, would fit perfectly in 3-4 hybrid scheme); OG, Andy Levitre (could provide insurance policy and increase competition on what could be a stacked offensive line); S, Ed Reed (he’s going back to Baltimore, end the debate — but it’s a nice thought, isn’t it?)

Dorenbos, Anderson set to return

The Eagles got a jump start on free agency by inking two of their own Monday. The team agreed to terms with long snapper Jon Dorenbos and safety Colt Anderson.

Dorenbos, an unrestricted free agent, signed a four-year deal, while Anderson, a potential restricted free agent, agreed on a one-year contract. Both players expressed a desire to work with new coach Chip Kelly.

“These are two players who bring not only ability, but a great amount of character to their respective positions,” GM Howie Roseman said. “We anticipate they’ll both continue to have a strong impact as leaders on special teams.”

Birds work out Smith

Eagles brass — yes, all of them (Chip Kelly, Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman) — took a trip to West Virginia Monday to work out quarterback Geno Smith.

Smith was already a projected top-5 pick and, after smoking all quarterbacks at the NFL Combine (4.56 in the 40), his stock is rising. Are the Eagles simply doing their due diligence here? Or are they trying to scare some teams and possibly trade down in the draft? Either way, Smith is an appealing player to run Kelly’s read-option offense and hearing his name called out at No. 4 wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

It would cause a bit of a logjam at quarterback, though. The Eagles have five signal-callers on the roster in Mike Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon, Trent Edwards, G.J. Kinne.

 


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