The Eagles have a lot of talent returning in 2019, but they need to make some shrewd free agent acquisitions to reemerge as Super Bowl contenders.
Everyone should understand that the quarterback position is going to get the lion’s share of the headlines for the Eagles this offseason. The constant debate over whether to entrust the offense to Carson Wentz or Nick Foles makes for great talk radio. That doesn’t mean there isn’t significant work to be done elsewhere on the Philadelphia roster.
The team has to make several tough decisions on whether or not to retain their own free agents this summer. Brandon Graham looks like a player who will depart which leaves a pretty big hole at defensive end. Jordan Hicks and/or Ronald Darby could return, but if either leaves they’ll need to be replaced with an outside acquisition. To a large degree, the Eagles offseason will be dictated by who they choose to let go.
No matter what goes on, it’s safe to assume that Philadelphia will need to strengthen their options at linebacker, running back and defensive end this offseason. Read on to discover five free agents who should be high on the team’s shopping list
5. Preston Smith
The former Redskins linebacker may have a pretty common name, but he’s an exceptional outside linebacker. In fact, Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 8 player at his position for the 2018 campaign.
That means he could give the Eagles a real upgrade over either Kamu Grugler-Hill or Nigel Bradham. In particular, Grugler-Hill struggles to make plays in space. Smith isn’t the biggest linebacker, but he does have the speed and quick-twitch athleticism that the Eagles lacked at times last season.
Signing Smith might be out of Philadelphia’s price range if Hicks comes back, but if he leaves, look for the front office to great creative with how they build their linebacking corps in 2019. Adding Smith to the fold would give the coaching staff a ton of flexibility.