Philadelphia Eagles: 10 Last Minute Free Agents the Eagles Should Sign
Every season, free agents are signed at the last minute before the season starts. Sometimes this is due to an injury creating a sudden need for the team. Other times, the team just doesn't have what it envisioned at certain spots of the roster and still sees the need to bring in additional help.
No roster is perfect and every team has holes. And there are always veteran unsigned players available with the ability to fill the hole to some extent. The Eagles may have put together a good 53-man team this year, but that does not mean they will not keep tabs on some free agents, just in case they are in need of some quick hired help.
This list is not of players who the Eagles will certainly sign, but 10 players who the team should look into...
1. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
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Housmandzadeh is getting up there in age, and he is not quite the player that he once was. But he was once a former Pro Bowl player who was renowned for having some of the best hands in the league.
At 6'2" he is also not a small frame. With good hands and decent size, Housmandzadeh could be worth bringing aboard if he is willing to take a low salary and a role mainly in short yardage situations and the red-zone.
While the Eagles already have great wide receiver depth, a veteran presence couldn't hurt.
2. Casey Wiegmann
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Yes, Wiegmann is old. But Wiegmann is also a former Pro Bowl player who has a ton of talent. His age also means he has a great deal of experience to bring to the table.
A signing such as Wiegmann would not be to find a long-term starter. But Jason Kelce is still a young player who struggled at times last season. While his play did improve, it would be smart to have a security option in case Kelce did not play well.
Wiegmann would not be a star center, but he could fill in temporarily due to his experience. Especially if Kelce were to miss only a few games due to injury.
3. Scott Mruczkowski
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Scott Mruczkowski is also a veteran player, but unlike Wiegmann he is much younger. He also has more to contribute to the Eagles than just experience. Mruczkowski also has versatility.
The Eagles do not have the best depth at offensive line, as indicated by the left tackle play following Jason Peters' injury. A player that can play two positions would be invalubale. Mruczkowski has experience playing both center and guard.
He would be very useful if an injury were to occur on the O-Line.
4. Shawne Merriman
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It seems shocking that a player of Shawne Merriman's caliber and reputation is an unrestricted free agent. Injuries and a decline in production, however, have seriously damaged Merriman's stock.
Merriman, however, is as talented as player out there and could be a good addition to an Eagles, as he could potentially play outside linebacker. The Eagles have greatly improved their linebackers, but still have room for improvement. Especially as the weakside linebacker spot seems to be unresolved, with Akeem Jordan being recently promoted.
Perhaps Merriman could provide some more depth or even fill in a hole if he can stay healthy.
5. Gary Brackett
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Just like with Merriman, Brackett can bring additional depth to the Eagles linebackers corps. The middle linebackers may especially need depth, as the group gets very thin after DeMeco Ryans.
Brackett is a solid player and is up there in age, but not too old. He should be able to contribute. Linebackers are always in demand on the Eagles due to Reid's age-old philosophy of undervaluing them.
6. Plaxico Burress
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Burress has repeatedly stated in the offseason that he would like to play for the Eagles, much to the dismay of Giants fans. And if he truly has that strong of a desire to play in Philly, it really couldn't hurt to bring him aboard.
He may no longer have the quickness that he had prior to going to prison, but Burress has great size. The Eagles still lack a strong redzone target in the passing attack and Burress could fill that role nicely.
Additionally, if he truly wants to play for the Eagles he may be willing to take a significantly lower salary.
7. Chad Clifton
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Clifton was once one of the most consistent and capable O-Linemen on the Green Bay packers. However, he is now 36 years old and was cut after failing a physical.
Still, Clifton has much to contribute in the NFL and he could fit right into Philadelphia's needs. The Eagles lost arguably the league's best left tackle in Jason Peters and have struggled to replace him since.
The left side of the Eagles' O-Line remains a huge gaping hole and the Eagles could fill it by adding a former star. Clifton was the starting left tackle for over ten seasons in Green Bay. He could potentially be a better option than King Dunlap.
8. Thomas Jones
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While the preseason yielded strong performances from the Eagles' backs, the Eagles still seem to lack a truly dynamic playmaker to play alongside LeSean McCoy. This is where Thomas Jones could could come in handy.
Jones is the definition of a seasoned veteran, as he is well into his thirties. However, Jones was once one of the greatest running backs in New York Jets history. And even at his age, he still managed to contribute to Kansas City, rushing for almost 500 yards and around 3.1 yards per carry. Those numbers do not seem impressive, but they showed he made a solid contribution.
That may be all the Eagles need from Jones: A second rushing option that defenses have to account for and to take some pressure off McCoy. Jones could certainly do that.
9. Ryan Grant
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Ryan Grant was once the main rushing attack in Green Bay, but never regained that status ever since his injury. He has since been cut and is unsigned. But while Grant is not the player he once was, he still has much to contribute, as he averaged over four yards per carry last season.
Grant can still get it done if his responsibility is as a supporting role and not as the primary option. He would be a great option to play alongside McCoy due to his experience.
10. E.J. Henderson
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E.J. Henderson was once regarded as invaluable to the Vikings defense. But the recent-Pro Bowl selection still finds himself without a job.
Henderson, like DeMeco Ryans, could provide leadership on the Eagles defense. Unlike Ryans, however, Henderson would likely only be a situational player at this stage in his career. He has lost a step in coverage and would be a great liability there.
But there are certainly situations where Henderson could still shine. And Henderson is coming off back to back seasons where he registered over 100 tackles. He may very well still have a bit left in the tank.