NFL rumors: Eagles in on Martellus Bennett, Jeremy Maclin, Jordan Matthews?
The Eagles' three biggest free agent needs are now tight end, wide receiver and cornerback.
The Eagles have a few opening now — both salary cap-wise and on the roster — after shuffling around contracts, releasing a few players and signing some over the last few days.
Once a weakness, the Eagles are stacked at linebacker with Nigel Bradham locked up for five years, Mychal Kendricks still under contract (for now) and Corey Nelson on board as well. They also have bolstered their already strong defensive front with Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata joining a line that has yet to relent anyone (Chris Long and Vinny Curry have survived... for now).
But the team cut ties with local legend TE Brent Celek and was unable to resign veteran cornerback Patrick Robinson. They also have a wide receiver spot up for grabs with Torrey Smith now a Panther.
After restructuring the contracts of Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz, the Birds may have some wiggle room for free agents. Of course, with six draft picks in April, they may look to the college ranks to fill their needs. That being said, here's a look at who they might be targeting:
TEs: Martellus Bennett, Julius Thomas, Eric Ebron
The Eagles have no depth behind Ertz after cutting Celek and losing Trey Burton to free agency. Bennett, whose brother was traded to Philly earlier in the week, has already spoken highly of the Eagles. As a veteran, 32, he could follow Ngata and look for a ring in Philadelphia. Thomas is another veteran, 29, who is a big body and could serve as a good No. 2 with Wentz slinging the ball looking to bounce back after getting cut by Miami. Ebron, who is just 24 but did not impress during his time in Detroit, is a nice fit for the Eagles if he is willing to play for a veteran rate and not an early-20s player with high potential.
WRs: Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace, Jordan Matthews
Two of these names are familiar to Eagles fans — as both Maclin and Matthews got their start in Philly. Both are free agents, under age 30, and have a lot to contribute to a title contender like the Eagles. Wallace has posted some good production in his early 30s with the Ravens and would be a good fit up 95 in Philly. Maclin has reportedly already shown interest in coming back home, and would be a nice veteran presence alongside Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Mack Hollins will take a step forward too, and will compete to be the WR2 with whomever Philly brings in.
CBs: E.J, Gaines, Rashaan Melvin, Delvin Breaux
If the Eagles wind up trading one of their under-25 corners, like Jalen Mills or Ronald Darby, they may take a swing at one of the top remaining free agents like Gaines or Melvin. However, as they are still cash strapped, the Eagles may sign a talented player with injury history to a one year "prove it" deal, which makes former said Breaux a good choice for the always creative Howie Roseman.