June 7, 2023

A Rollercoaster of Emotions — Eagles Free Agency Day 1 Recap


Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period has been an up and down of emotions for Eagles fans. The first move of the NFL offseason was made by the Chicago Bears when they signed Linebacker T.J. Edwards to a 3-year $19 million deal. With $12 million of the 19 guaranteed it was a little surprising that the Eagles did not match that contract to keep him in Philadelphia. The Eagles drafted Nakobe Dean in the 3rd round of last year’s draft, and while he did not play much, it seems that he is being handed the keys to the Eagles’ defense next year.

The next Eagles-related move was that Jason Kelce announced that he is returning for another season! Kelce announced on his Twitter that he would come back for another year. It’s unclear whether or not this will be his last season, but he agreed to a 1 year $14.25 million deal. Kelce was a First Team All-Pro selection last season and is playing some of the best football of his career. The Eagles drafted his eventual replacement last season in the second round Center Cam Jurgens. With Kelce back, it is assumed that Jurgens will move to Guard until Kelce retires. This is the same thing they did with Landon Dickerson and Dickerson made the Pro Bowl last year as a Guard. As long as Jeff Stoutland is here, fans should have confidence that he can help players learn a new position.

The rest of the day yielded a lot of negatives for the Eagles. Defensive Tackle Javon Hargrave signed a 4 year $84 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers. This is a huge blow for the Eagles. Hargrave was one of their best defensive players last season with 11 sacks. The knock on Hargave is his run-stopping ability, but he is an elite pass rusher. The 49ers are as it stands the Eagles’ biggest competition in the NFC, and they made an already great defense better yesterday. The Eagles drafted Defensive Tackle Jordan Davis in the first round of last year’s draft, but he is a run stuffer, not a pass rusher. If the Eagles stick with these current Tackles, Davis needs to improve as a pass rusher.

Offensive Tackle Andre Dillard signed a 3-year $29 million deal with the Tennessee Titans. Dillard, who was a former first-round pick, did not get much playing time with the Eagles. He was beaten out for the Left Tackle position by Jordan Mailata. He was a capable backup in case of injury, but this move won’t impact the Eagles much.

The last Eagles-related move of the day was Safety Marcus Epps signed a 2-year $12 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. Epps had a good season with the Eagles last season, and with a smaller number, it does make you wonder why the Eagles did not match. This move will hurt even more if the Eagles do not bring back C.J. Gardner-Johnson. The Eagles had arguably the best secondary in the NFL last season, and with no replacements on the roster, it was important to try and keep them intact. It is looking more and more like there will be a whole new defense next season.

On to day 2.

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