With NFL Free Agency just four days away, we’d like to do a short rundown of some of the players the Eagles may be targeting. This has jumped from a fairly small free agent group to a pretty talented crop in recent days, with a series of franchise and restricting tags undelivered and a few unexpected salary cap moves coming to light.
1. Thomas Jones (RB – NYJ) After the release of offensive fixture Brian Westbrook, the Eagles could be in the market to secure a quality running back and who better than Thomas Jones. Jones is an excellent runner who can turn the corner and take the middle lanes with some degree of power. Even with the arrival of Shonn Greene, I’m a little surprised that the run-heavy Jets have decided to move on without Jones. He is a very versatile back who seems to have a lot of gas in his tank despite the fact that he turned 31 last year. Jones will be working on his fifth team in his ten year career, but he has turned out workhorse numbers lately by averaging 1275 yards per season in the last five years.
2. Kevin Mawae (C – TEN) The Eagles really need an answer in the middle of their line right now and they can’t afford to let this position turn into the area of neglect or revolving door that kick returner, fullback and free safety have been in notable years past. It remains to be seen if Mawae will decide to end his long career and pursue other matters (he is currently the president of the Players Union and as such is an integral part of the ongoing CBA arbitration) but if he decides to stay he could be the one year answer the Eagles need at the center position. A smart player with great recognition, the only real question for Mawae is whether at 39 years old, he can retain the level of intensity that has earned him eight Pro Bowl selections.
3. Gary Brackett (MLB – IND) I’m shocked to see that Gary Brackett is as close to testing the free agent waters as he is right now. It seemed as though Colts GM Bill Polian was dead set on signing the Rutgers alum after Brackett elevated the Colts defense to a Super Bowl level. But as we stare down the final days before free agency, it’s being reported that there is nothing imminent on a contract for the Glassboro native. Maybe you’ve noticed by now that Brackett is a local product from nearby New Jersey (I would hope so by now) and at 230 lbs he seems like a good candidate for the Eagles small and fast linebacker core. What Brackett lacks in size and strength, he’s able to make up for in instincts and intensity so he could be a good fit for these Eagles as they try to find their identity behind the defensive line.
More on Free Agency, the NFL Combine and the Draft this week…