The NFL free agent sweepstakes have gotten off to a flying start, with the Chicago Bears being the early aggressors. Well, at least as much as is possible considering the large number of players who have become restrictive free agents due to the lack of a collective bargaining agreement.
Three of the biggest names amongst the unrestricted cast inked deals yesterday, including defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Karlos Dansby, safety Antrel Rolle and running back Chester Taylor. All have been speculated as potential targets of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Additionally, other players who were reportedly in the Eagles' sights— defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, corner back Dunta Robinson and line backer Gary Brackett— all are off the market.
With a limited number of impact free agents available this offseason without the strings of draft pick compensation, some teams have chosen to strike early. Meanwhile, the Birds have deliberated and missed out on some talent that would have filled some team needs.
The top unrestricted free agent left on the board is probably defensive end Aaron Kampman, although he does not align with team protocol at the ripe old age of 30. However, Peppers is the same age and the Eagles reportedly made an offer to him before he was snatched up by the Bears.
So, where do the Eagles go from here? Kampman may be an option, but their best course of action may now be to turn towards the players who are somewhat off the radar screen. These "sleeper free agents" may provide the best value propositions for the team, especially when factoring in any compensation requirements.
Here are five free agents that the Eagles should target and try to sign—right now, before they are gone.