Eagles Future Free Agents: Who Stays? Who Goes?

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With the Eagles 2013-2014 season ending less than 48 hours ago, it is already time to start looking towards next season. The Birds surprised many with an NFC East championship in Chip Kelly’s first year at the head coaching helm but Howie Roseman and Philadelphia Eagles front office will have plenty to address in the offseason. The Eagles have 10 members of their team who will be free agents in the offseason to come. Here is my evaluation on “Who Stays, Who Goes”…

Nate Allen – Safety – Allen stayed healthy all season, starting all 16 regular season games for the Eagles. However Earl Wolff had an extremely impressive rookie season. Wolff shows tremendous promise in Billy Davis’ system. No need to keep Allen around.

GOES

Colt Anderson – Safety – Anderson has been one of the most valuable players for Philly on special teams. He was the Eagles leading tackler this past season and was named the Eagles special teams MVP in 2011 and 2012. The Eagles were reminded how vital special teams is against the Saints when Darren Sproles returned a kickoff 39 yards which helped Drew Brees drive the Saints down the field for a game winning field goal. Anderson displays to much value on special teams to let him walk.

STAYS

Kurt Coleman – Safety – He lost his starting job to Patrick Chung…. Enough said

GOES

Riley Cooper – Wide Receiver – Cooper stepped up big time as the #2 receiver in the absence of Jeremy Maclin. What was even more impressive was the chemistry Nick Foles and Cooper developed throughout the season. He had 8 touchdowns and was around 175 yards shy of a 1,000 yard receiving season. Cooper proved he can be an effective receiver in the NFL. How can the Eagles let the Foles-Cooper connection walk out the door?

STAYS

Clifton Geathers – Defensive End – Geathers backed up Cedric Thornton this season. That means he did not see the field very much. Thornton had an extremely impressive season. Geathers 26 tackles this season does not appear to be a strong enough case to keep him around Philly.

GOES

Phillip Hunt – Linebacker – (restricted)  Hunt missed the entire season with an ACL tear. The two seasons before that did not favor real well for Hunt either. The Eagles front seven seemed to improve (with shades of gray) as the season progressed. No need for Hunt to stick around…

GOES

Donnie Jones – Punter – If someone had told me that the Eagles punter would be one of the top ten most valuable players on this team this season, I would think you were also liking the Jaguars to beat the Vikings in the Super Bowl… But Jones proved to be fantastic. Donnie had 33 punts that were inside the 20 this season. Field position is crucial in the NFL, especially with the Eagles “bend but don’t break defense”. Jones is my choice for MVP of special teams…

STAYS

Jeremy Maclin – Wide Receiver – Maclin is a tough one. Obviously he missed the entire season with a torn ACL but if DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper are any indicators, Maclin probably would have flourished this season in Chip Kelly’s system. Maclin getting injured in a contract year may have been a blessing in disguise for Eagles fans. NFL teams may show some hesitation in throwing the big bucks at a receiver who is coming off of a significant knee injury. If that is the case Philadelphia will be a possible suitor for Maclin. The Eagles will offer Maclin a fair contract. As long as no other NFL team offers Jeremy an outrageously high chunk of change I expect him to be back.

STAYS

Cedric Thornton – Defensive End – (Exclusive Rights) I fully expect Thornton to be back in Philly next season. He may have been the most surprising player on defense for the Eagles. He had a forced fumble,a safety, and 78 tackles… Could be a big time player for Billy Davis in years to come.

STAYS

Michael Vick – Quarterback – Michael Vick may go down as the most discussed backup hitting free agency in NFL history. I understand that Mike is not your traditional, clipboard, backup QB. He beat Nick Foles out for the starting gig in training camp. If he had not sustained an early season injury, who knows what the Eagles quarterback situation would be like this offseason. Vick made it clear he wants to be a starter next season. He feels he still has a lot left to offer in this quarterback driven league. That being said, he did not rule out returning to Philly as a backup. Vick will test the free agent waters. Whether or not a team will offer him a starting contract remains to be seen. With Jay Cutler resigning with Chicago, the quarterback free agent crop became that much dryer. I could see a team like Tampa Bay giving Michael money to compete with an unproven young guy like Mike Glennon. There is a chance Vick returns for a sixth straight season in Philly but don’t bet on it.

GOES

Kieran McCauley (@K_Mac_14)

 

 

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