Another league season begins and free agency is upon us once again. All Eagles fans have visions of linebackers and safeties dancing in their heads. The truth is, they will probably wind up disappointed in the end.
Whether they plan on splurging or being conservative in free agency, one thing is certain: they can't be sellers. Selling is for a team that is starting over. Some Philadelphia fans and media may want to start over, but this team is built for right now.
The Eagles did a little too much in free agency a year ago, but that is no reason to stand pat now. There are a couple of holes that need to be addressed.
First of all, something must be done about the middle linebacker position. No one can really have their hopes too high here, as the cheapest, least satisfying option feels like the way they usually go with linebackers.
That would leave them with someone like Dan Connor. He has an injury history and has exactly one forced fumble in 42 games. He is a part-time player who seems to fit the Eagles' bill for size at 231 pounds.
Really, it would be in their best interest to go after one of the higher-rated middle linebackers. The Eagles have an expensive defense with a giant hole in the middle of it. Without upgrading there, they will have a hard time getting much better.
Outside of that, they really only have peripheral holes, like backup running back and kick returner, that they can fill in the draft.
That leads us to their own free agents. Philadelphia has a bunch of players nobody will miss, but with DeSean Jackson returning, they are clearly committed to the current roster.
That means it's imperative that they re-sign Evan Mathis. The offensive line surprisingly became one of the strongest aspects of the roster, and it just seems foolish to let go one of its better pieces.
There aren't a lot of people left in Philadelphia that believe in Andy Reid, his team or his philosophy anymore. But the Eagles have made it quite clear that they intend to compete for a championship with what they have now, and anything short of building on the current foundation makes no sense whatsoever.