Complete 2014 Eagles Offseason Preview and Predictions
So many questions, and so long to wait to find out the answers. In the meanwhile, it's fun to take a stab at what's likely to transpire down the road before the 2014 season.
Here are a few Eagles offseason points and how they will likely go.
1. Riley Cooper Re-Signs for Fair Deal
Riley Cooper staying in Philly just makes too much sense for this to play out any other way. Cooper knows that he owes much of his success to Chip Kelly's offense. He also knows that if he goes elsewhere, he may have to win over a locker room that may not be as accepting as the Eagles were after his racial slur incident.
The Eagles also know how valuable Cooper is to them. Cooper filled in admirably for Jeremy Maclin and came up big in a multitude of clutch situations. The rapport that he has with Nick Foles is remarkable.
Don't expect Cooper to go anywhere. He's proven that he fits in Kelly's system. Look for him to re-sign in Philly to a long extension for about $2 to $3 million per year.
2. Jeremy Maclin Signs One-Year Deal
Under most circumstances, I would predict that a player in Maclin's shoes would not stick around. He would most likely go to a wide receiver-needy team, and there are many this offseason.
But I have a strong feeling Maclin sticks around.
He will likely be curious how he can produce in Kelly's offense. And with a year to put up big numbers, he can set himself up for a huge contract elsewhere.
Look for him to get a deal around $5 million.
3. Jason Avant and James Casey Cut
James Casey is less of a surprise, considering he did not make a significant contribution in 2013.
But unfortunately, Jason Avant is going to hit the road.
Despite being a valuable leader and some of the best hands on the team, Avant's production has fallen drastically this season. He was not much of a factor in 2013.
And with both being owed over $3 million in 2014 if they're not let go, look for the Eagles to cut them loose to clear some cap room.
4. Eagles Sign T.J. Ward
Last season, the Eagles focused free agency almost entirely on the secondary, signing Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams and Patrick Chung. This year, expect them to do the same with the safety positions.
The strong safety spot is the biggest area of concern. Patrick Chung played horribly, and Earl Wolff is still going through growing pains. If the Eagles can get an impact-making safety in free agency, they will likely do it.
If T.J. Ward is not franchise-tagged, expect the Eagles to make a strong bid for him.
5. Eagles Will Take a Corner in the First Round
Looking to improve their last-ranked pass defense, the Eagles will likely take a corner high as well.
If they can get Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, they will possibly go that route. But Clinton-Dix may be off the board before the Eagles can select him.
If so, look for the Eagles to attempt to replace Cary Williams with a more reliable and higher upside corner. Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State fits the bill.