2013 NFL Free Agency Wish List for the Philadelphia Eagles

Andrew Worsley@@AndrewJWorsleyContributor IIOctober 25, 2012

2013 NFL Free Agency Wish List for the Philadelphia Eagles

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    It never hurts to start early. 

    The Philadelphia Eagles are at the halfway point of the season, which means they're that much closer to the offseason.

    And after the performances they've put forth thus far in 2012, barely mustering a 3-3 record, the offseason may be closer than they hope.

    Through six games the most glaring deficiencies have been on the offensive line and in special teams. Michael Vick is among the league leaders in hits taken—yet again—and the Eagles' return game is nonexistent.  

    Free agency is a long way off, but there are serious holes that need to be plugged (no pun intended).

    If free agency were to start tomorrow, this is what the Eagles' wish list should look like. 

Left Tackle

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    With every passing week, the effects of Jason Peters' absence are amplified.

    Peters, a five-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle, ruptured his Achilles in late March and then again in May—all but eliminating his chances of playing this season. 

    The offensive line was expected to struggle without Peters, but the hope was that it wouldn't be to this extent. The injury to starting center Jason Kelce only added insult to injury, but even before he went down, the left side was still the weakest link.  

    King Dunlap won the starting job from Demetress Bell, who the Eagles had originally brought in to fill in for Peters, but when Dunlap strained his hamstring in the second half of the Ravens' game, Bell was injected into the starting role. 

    Suffice to say, Bell hasn't played up to the standard that was expected of him and as a result, he lost his job again. Although Dunlap is an upgrade (slight) from Bell, he doesn't fill the void left by Jason Peters. The blows and bruises that Michael Vick sustains every week are a testament to the ineptitude of both players. 

    If Jason Peters somehow injures himself again, the Eagles need a more reliable option. This offseason, left tackle should be circled on their list. 

    Notable Unrestricted Free Agents

    Jake Long

    Duane Brown 

    Sebastian Vollmer (Right Tackle)

    Ryan Clady

    Jermon Bushrod 

    Andre Smith (Right Tackle)

Right Guard

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    The Eagles have no clear backup to starting right guard Danny Watkins. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane says that King Dunlap, Steve Vallos and Dennis Kelly can all play there. 

    But regardless if they can or not, it wouldn't hurt if the Eagles brought in someone who naturally played the position. 

    If the Eagles learned anything from being stretched thin and depleted on their offensive line, it's that you can never have too much talent. 

    This offseason is the perfect opportunity for them to add depth to positions like right guard.

    Notable Unrestricted Free Agents  

    Brandon Moore  

    Andy Levitre (Left Guard)


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    With the exception of a few critical plays, the Eagles secondary has been exceptional in 2012. They lead the league in opposing quarterback completion percentage, holding them to just 52.7 percent. 

    After all, they boast one of the best cornerback duos in the league with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha, so it really shouldn't be that much of a surprise. 

    In addition to quality cornerback play, they've gotten solid play from their two young safeties, Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen. 

    However, when Nate Allen left the game vs. Detroit with a hamstring injury, another problem emerged—the lack of depth at the safety position. Colt Anderson, a valuable special teams player, did his best to fill in, but quite frankly, he was the least bit formidable. In the event Kurt Coleman gets injured, he'd be replaced by second-year safety David Sims. 

    Combined, all four safeties on the Eagles roster have just 10 years of experience.

    Inexperience could come back to haunt this team later on.

    It would serve the Eagles well to bring in a veteran presence who could seamlessly fill into (or compete for) the spot as well as help these young guys grow, mature and learn to hone the position. 

    Notable Unrestricted Free Agents 

    Ronde Barber

    Jairus Byrd

    Kenny Phillips

    LaRon Laundry

    Dashon Goldson 

Kick/Punt Returner

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    It's funny how the NFL works. 

    Last season, the Eagles had no problem making DeSean Jackson return punts. Of course at that point he was still being paid some $500,000 on his rookie contract and the Eagles hadn't yet invested in him long term. 

    But now that he's signed to a five-year $51 million deal, they'd much rather keep him on the sidelines, out of harm's way. 

    Business is business, right?

    Well unfortunately this particular "business decision" has a few additional costs—not in dollars, but in yards. 

    The Eagles rank 28th in average yards per kickoff return and 31st in average yards per punt return.

    No matter who they put back there—whether it be Brandon Boykin, Damaris Johnson or Mardy Gilyard, they've just been unable to generate any type of spark in the return game—the type of spark Jackson usually creates. Consequently, the offense is consistently given a long field to work with. 

    If they're committed to not using DeSean Jackson—who, by the way, has four punt returns in his five seasons—then they better find a suitable replacement or get used to poor starting field position. 

    Notable Unrestricted Free Agents

    Felix Jones

    Joshua Cribbs

    Ted Ginn Jr.