Philadelphia Eagles Free Agents: Who Should Return in 2013?

Cody SwartzSenior Writer IJanuary 7, 2013

Philadelphia Eagles Free Agents: Who Should Return in 2013?

0 of 8

    Now that the Philadelphia Eagles' miserable 4-12 season is over, it’s time to start looking ahead to the future.

    The team will have a new head coach, as Andy Reid has already been fired and signed by the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s highly unlikely any of the coordinators will be retained, and the new head coach will have the fourth overall selection in the upcoming draft.

    There are also the key free agents set to hit the open market. The vital one for the Eagles is cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, whose future has been a topic of debate within the city all season.

    Others whose contracts expire are lesser-known players but they could play an integral role with the team should they be retained.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

1 of 8

    A 25-year old former Pro Bowl cornerback seems like a given to return. But Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s play really tailed off after a strong start in 2012, and he was as responsible as anyone for the poor stretches of play from the secondary.

    DRC was initially brought over in the trade that sent Kevin Kolb to Arizona, and he played sparingly as the nickel corner in 2011. When Asante Samuel was shipped to Atlanta, DRC moved to the outside, which was said to be his strength given his size and physicality.

    DRC began the season on a high note, intercepting rookie Brandon Weeden twice in the opener against the Cleveland Browns. DRC held receivers without a touchdown for the first six games, but his play went straight downhill, as he allowed five touchdown passes and a 129 passer rating over his final 10 games.

    DRC is still young and he is a shutdown corner when he wants to be. The key is maximizing that production over a 16-game schedule, and the Eagles couldn’t do that in 2012.

    He will likely seek a deal similar to the one Brandon Carr got in free agency from Dallas, which was five years for $50 million. That’s a lot to pay for Rodgers-Cromartie, and the Eagles may be wise to allow him to walk.

    Then again, what the team does with Nnamdi Asomugha could largely determine if they feel bringing back DRC is essential.

    Should He Be Back? No

    Will He Be Back? No

King Dunlap

2 of 8

    King Dunlap has gotten a pretty poor reputation in Philadelphia, although he’s probably not as bad of a player as everyone thinks.

    Dunlap has spent five years with the Eagles, and he’s had his good moments. He shut down John Abraham two years ago against Atlanta, and he played two very solid games against the Washington Redskins in 2012.

    But the Eagles will have Jason Peters and Todd Herremans back next season, and this year's fifth-round rookie Dennis Kelly will take over for Dunlap’s role as the lead backup tackle.

    There’s no reason to bring Dunlap back in 2013 on a new deal.

    Should He Be Back? No

    Will He Be Back? No

Akeem Jordan

3 of 8

    Akeem Jordan has survived six years with the Eagles as a fill-in starter and reserve linebacker. He’s contributed at weak-side and strong-side linebacker, although he’s not particularly effective in any aspects of the game.

    Jordan was re-signed to a deal for 2012 and started seven games for the team. He hasn’t recorded an interception or a sack in three seasons, and he’s only adequate in run defense.

    The Eagles have DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks penciled in as their starters at the linebacker position for 2013. But there’s no way the new coach will want to go with Jordan again, and he’s not really worth re-signing for next season.

    Should He Be Back? No

    Will He Be Back? No

Derek Landri

4 of 8

    After a breakout 2011 campaign, expectations were high for Derek Landri in 2012. But he was vastly disappointing, failing to make plays for the majority of the season.

    The Eagles were without Mike Patterson for much of the year, and Fletcher Cox missed the final two games with a concussion. Even so, Landri still didn’t get many snaps in the rotation. He’s a free agent again, and his time with Philly is likely up.

    Should He Be Back? No

    Will He Be Back? No

Colt Anderson

5 of 8

    As a safety, Colt Anderson showed very little in limited snaps this year. He’s a liability in pass coverage. His best attribute is stopping the run, but that’s not good enough for him to play as a safety. 

    What Anderson does excel at though is special teams. He’s one of the finer special teams players in the game, and he’s played at a Pro Bowl level for the last two seasons.

    The problem is that NFL teams often view special teams players as dispensable. The Eagles allowed Tracy White to walk after a year in which he was one of the best special teams players in the game. So it’s no guarantee that they bring Anderson back, although it’s likely that they will offer him a multi-year deal.

    Should He Be Back? Yes

    Will He Be Back? No

Darryl Tapp

6 of 8

    Darryl Tapp was fortunate to make the 53-man roster this year, considering he was set to cost the Eagles $2.6 million against the cap. When he restructured his deal, though, to just $800,000, the Eagles were fine with bringing him back to be part of the rotation.

    Tapp is a situational pass-rusher who doesn’t offer much in passing or running downs. There’s absolutely no way the Eagles should bring him back, especially since they have an up-and-coming second-rounder in Vinny Curry.

    Should He Be Back? No

    Will He Be Back? No

Jake Scott

7 of 8

    The Eagles signed Jake Scott off the street this year to play right guard for first-round bust Danny Watkins. Scott committed his fair share of penalties early on when he was getting adjusted to the speed of the game.

    But eventually he solidified the position—definitely more than Watkins would have. His return next year would be helpful to the Eagles. He’s got a chance to start, unless the Eagles want to give Watkins another chance.

    Either way, Scott provides depth to the offensive line.

    Should He Be Back? Yes

    Will He Be Back? Maybe

Jon Dorenbos

8 of 8

    Jon Dorenbos is one of the finest long snappers in the NFL. He’s made a Pro Bowl and the Eagles have never had a bad snap since he took over for Mike Bartrum in 2006.

    There’s no reason not to lock Dorenbos up long-term. He’s still just 32 years old and he could easily play five or six more years at this level.

    Should He Be Back? Yes

    Will He Be Back? Yes