10 Free Agents Philadelphia Eagles Should Avoid at All Costs

Bryn Swartz@eaglescentralSenior Writer IIIJanuary 29, 2013

10 Free Agents Philadelphia Eagles Should Avoid at All Costs

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    New Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has the long-term goal of rebuilding the franchise for the Eagles back into a winning atmosphere, something that took former coach Andy Reid only two years.

    Currently, the Eagles are a mess. They suffered many major injuries on the offense in 2012, including three of the best offensive linemen: Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Todd Herremans. Running back LeSean McCoy suffered a concussion, as did quarterback Michael Vick

    Expect the offense to be back in 2013, except for one major issue. The team still doesn't know who will be the 2013 starter at quarterback. It could be veteran Michael Vick, 2012 rookie Nick Foles, a soon-to-be-signed free agent or a draft pick. 

    On defense, the Eagles were soft and ineffective for the final 12 games of the season. 

    Rumors have indicated that the Eagles could switch to a 3-4 defense in 2013, something not employed by the team in over 30 years, but that doesn't fix the enormous holes in the secondary. 

    Veteran Nnamdi Asomugha is a likely offseason cut, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent and may not return, and safeties Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman are both better suited as backups.

    Needless to say, Kelly has some major rebuilding to do for the Eagles. It will conclude with the draft, but first it starts in free agency.

    Here are 10 players that the new head coach for the Eagles should absolutely avoid at all costs. 

Seneca Wallace, Quarterback

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    It's no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles are looking for a long-term quarterback under new head coach Chip Kelly. The problem is that it may not happen this year, with a weak selection of quarterbacks available in the draft. 

    Kelly could go with last year's rookie Nick Foles as his 2013 starter, or he could keep veteran Michael Vick.

    He could also look for a quarterback in the free-agent market. But I wouldn't go that route. Other than Joe Flacco, who will undoubtedly be re-signed following the Super Bowl, no quarterback is good enough to start. 

    Seneca Wallace, a veteran with speed who may seem appealing running Kelly's college-style form of offense, may seem like a viable option, but he's not going to be anything more than camp competition for Foles and/or Vick. I'd pick Wallace last out of those three as a starter.

Jason Campbell, Quarterback

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    Jason Campbell may also seem like an attractive option as a potential starter at quarterback for the Eagles. 

    Trust me. He's not.

    Campbell is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL, but he was a game manager with the Washington Redskins, and he's never going to be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

    If it's Foles, Vick or Campbell, I'd pick Campbell last. The Eagles have enough backup-caliber quarterbacks on their roster. They don't need another one.

Reggie Bush, Running Back

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    According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, sources tell him that "it's highly unlikely (Reggie Bush) stays with Miami."

    He's just 27 years old, and while he has not turned into the elite running back that many expected, he could still start for a number of teams in the league. He would also be a tremendous option in Kelly's new offense, where he could split carries with McCoy, catch passes out of the backfield and return punts. 

    But he's going to be too expensive, no matter which way you cut it. He's also just not worth playing over 2012 rookie Bryce Brown, who displayed a tremendous amount of potential, despite his fumbling problems. 

    If the Eagles didn't have a solid backup running back and two others knocking on the door to receive more playing time, I'd go for Bush for a two- or three-year deal.

    But in the current situation? No.

Dwayne Bowe, Wide Receiver

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    It's not yet clear whether new Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid will look to re-sign veteran wide receiver Dwayne Bowe this offseason. But even if Bowe tests free agency, he's not someone the Eagles should sign.

    He's a tremendous player, and he would easily be the team's No. 1 option at receiver. But why sign Bowe when you still have many other holes on the team that need to be filled through both free agency and the draft?

    The Eagles need help in their entire secondary. They need another linebacker. They could use another starting defensive lineman and an offensive tackle or guard. 

    Wide receiver is one of the deeper positions on the team. There's no way the Eagles can justify spending $10 million a year for Bowe with the current state of this team. 

Jake Long, Offensive Tackle

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    Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long will be one of the most attractive options in free agency this offseason. The former No. 1 overall draft pick is one of the better tackles in the game. 

    That's again the problem with Long. He's going to be way too expensive for a team that is currently $16 million over in cap space. Plus, if Jason Peters rebounds from his Achilles' tear from last March, the Eagles won't need another tackle. They'll need a right guard, but they can use a middle-round pick for one, instead of signing Long and moving Herremans back to guard.

    I'd be fine with the Eagles pursuing a player like Andre Smith, the right tackle for the Bengals. He's not expected to cost as much money as Long, but he's still one of the better tackles in the game. 

Shawne Merriman, Linebacker

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    Some team out there will be intrigued by linebacker Shawne Merriman, who earned three All-Pro selections and ranked as one of the game's best defensive players from 2006 to 2008.

    But Merriman, now 28, has been hampered by injuries over the past few seasons, and he's likely never going to be an every-down player again. 

    The Eagles do need another linebacker, but I would rather make another fifth- or sixth-round pick the Week 1 starter than take a chance for a one-year deal on a washed-up veteran like Merriman. 

Brent Grimes, Cornerback

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    Brent Grimes would be an attractive option at cornerback for most NFL teams if it wasn't for the fact that he is 29 years old and coming off a torn Achilles' tendon which caused him to miss almost the entire season.

    I was interested in Grimes following the 2010 season but not anymore. The Eagles do have both cornerback positions open, but they made a big mistake by overpaying Nnamdi Asomugha, who turned 30 years old before the 2011 season. 

    Grimes is 29 and rebounding from an injury. I'd rather sign a player like Miami's Seth Smith, who is 25 and a much safer option. 

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cornerback

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    The Eagles had the worst secondary in the National Football League this season, but cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was perhaps the best player. That's still not a compliment, though.

    Rodgers-Cromartie allowed an 87.7 passer rating, about average for cornerbacks, but he had a tendency to not try his hardest during plays. You saw it. I saw it. The Eagles saw it.

    He's also soft and is one of the poorest tacklers on the team, which is certainly saying something. 

    He'll likely receive a significant contract based solely on his past, when he was one of the top rookies in 2008 and a Pro Bowl selection during 2009. 

    But the Eagles have tried the DRC experiment for two seasons, and it has not worked out in either season. It's time to move in a different direction. 

LaRon Landry, Safety

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    I thought the Eagles might make a move for LaRon Landry following the 2011 season. They did not, and he inked a one-year deal with the New York Jets, where he earned a Pro Bowl selection.

    That doesn't mean he's actually a good player. He's not.

    He struggled against the run, allowed a 97.5 passer rating and committed four penalties. He's 28 years old, and while he may be a viable option as a backup for a team, he's not worth the Eagles signing as a one- or two-year option at starter.

    The Eagles need to start over at the safety position—both of them. 

Tanard Jackson, Safety

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    Tanard Jackson missed the entire 2012 season after the NFL suspended him for violating the substance policy. He is eligible for reinstatement in August 2013, about a week before the start of the season. 

    He's perhaps the last player in the league the Eagles should look to sign. He's solid in pass coverage, but he's maybe the worst tackler in the league. In 2011, he missed on 24 of 57 tackle attempts. That's an insane ratio that should have resulted in him not having a team in 2012. 

    It remains to be seen whether he will be signed for 2013, but the Eagles should not express any interest in Jackson. They need their defense to get tougher. Jackson will do the opposite.