With the NFL free agency period set to open on March 13th, the Philadelphia Eagles would appear to be buyers, but only if they can find the right player at the right price. The Eagles don't have many pressing needs entering this crucial 2012 season, but upgrades at safety and linebacker would seem to be in order.
According to a tweet from NFL Network Insider Jason La Canfora, when the Washington Redskins placed the franchise tag on tight end Fred Davis on Friday it became clear that safety LaRon Landry would be on the way out.
Over the last two years the Eagles have received extremely inconsistent play from their safeties, primarily Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman. Allen and Coleman were both 2010 draft picks of the Birds, and while we have seen glimpses of potential, they have struggled to tackle consistently, and most importantly, stay healthy when given opportunities.
Landry provides an intriguing alternative, although such a signing would require patience, which doesn't seem to be something that the Eagles or their fans have right now.
After playing in just eight games in 2011, Landry was placed on the injured reserve with an Achilles injury that the Redskins said would require surgery. After disobeying team orders, Landry opted for a stem-cell treatment called "Biological Matrix," which lets the body heal more naturally.
Landry has said he will be ready for minicamps and organized team activities come springtime, but Achilies injuries are not to be taken lightly, and any team considering the 27-year-old safety would be wise to do their due diligence.
The Eagles have been in need of an enforcer in the defensive backfield ever since the departure of Brian Dawkins, and Landry fits the mold of the physical, run-stopping safety that Juan Castillo's defense requires. In his five NFL seasons, Landry has amassed 383 tackles, 5.5 sacks, four interceptions and has forced six fumbles.
To his credit, Landry is one of the more aggressive safeties in the league, but that may not be what the Eagles are in need of.
The Eagles' young group of safeties have often been too aggressive, trying to make the big play instead of the smart one.
A player like Landry only reinforces the idea of trying to be a playmaker, and while his abilities around the line of scrimmage can't be denied, his coverage on the back end would be a detriment to a defense that is susceptible to the big play.
While Landry is a compelling option, the Eagles would be wise to address the safety position in a more conservative way.