4 Big Moves Philadelphia Eagles Could Make in 2013 Free Agency
It's much more important for the Eagles to build through the draft. Nevertheless, free agency could still be an effective way for the Eagles to fill in holes on the roster. And this year's free-agent class is fairly strong, with many talented and at least serviceable players to select from.
The Eagles would be making a mistake if they embarked upon another quick-fix 2011 "dream team" campaign, signing every single big name out there. But one or two wise free-agent selections could drastically improve team play, such as when the 49ers signed Carlos Rogers in free agency.
If any of these free agents are signed, the 2013 free-agent period could be considered a success.
1. Peyton Hillis
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Peyton Hillis is clearly not the player he was thought to be in 2010. The once exciting back who earned the honor of appearing on a Madden cover is a shell of his former self, or perhaps showing his true colors.
Nevertheless, signing another running back in free agency may be a good move by the Eagles. Due to his failure in Kansas City, Hillis will likely come much cheaper this time around. And while Bryce Brown has shown potential, he carries the ball even looser than LeSean McCoy does and is a fumbling machine. Bringing in a big name such as Hillis could push Brown to improve with some friendly competition.
Also, ever since the injury to Leonard Weaver in 2010, the Eagles haven't had a go-to option in short-yardage situations. Hillis could come in handy in those situations.
2. Jake Long
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Jake Long is no longer as dominant of a tackle as he once was, as injuries have taken their toll on him. Regardless of this, however, he is still one of the better tackles out there in football.
Even though the Eagles will be getting Jason Peters back next season, he may not be 100 percent, especially as he is already 30 years old and Achilles tendon tears are difficult to recover from. Long would be an excellent option if the Eagles did not believe Peters had returned to full strength.
Long would bring an excellent veteran presence to the team, which would be a good influence due to the overall youth of the unit.
3. Andy Levitre
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While Levitre is not a stud by any means, he is also a very reliable and dependable offensive guard. In the current NFL, that may be better than you can expect to find on your own.
Levitre rarely misses starts, and as he is only 26 years old, he could be a very dependable player for many years to come if signed. The Eagles could attempt to move him to right guard, where he would likely be an instant upgrade, or keep him at left guard and possibly move Evan Mathis to a tackle position.
4. Jairus Byrd
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The Eagles are desperate to improve their secondary, and Jairus Byrd could be a step in the right direction in rebuilding the pass protection.
Signing Byrd is a long shot, as the Bills will certainly make it a top priority to retain his services for many years to come. But if they are unwilling to place the franchise tag on him, it's possible that he would want to test the waters of free agency.
Byrd is emerging as one of the best safeties in the NFL, having a nose for the football and being an all-around solid player. If he somehow is allowed to enter free agency, the Eagles should make every effort to acquire him.