3 Contracts Eagles Must Prioritize in 2022 Offseason
With the Philadelphia Eagles finishing the 2021 season on a strong note and making the playoffs, it's easy to forget they are still in the early stages of a rebuild.
General manager Howie Roseman still sits atop the personnel chain of command, but his partnership with Nick Sirianni is still in its infancy. That means there are likely to be several changes to the Eagles roster in 2022 as they try to build off their success this season and raise the ceiling of the team.
With that in mind, the list of free agents they are going to retain could be small. In all, Philadelphia has 13 players set to hit free agency, per Spotrac.
Here are three the Eagles should make a priority to bring back this offseason.
C Jason Kelce
Nick Sirianni already seems to understand the importance of bringing back veteran center Jason Kelce.
The coach has already started the recruitment of the 34-year-old with two kegs of beer and a lot of praise for the leader and player he is. The Eagles aren't necessarily competing against other teams here, but rather the prospect of retirement.
Kelce is coming off his 11th season and has started every game for the past seven years. His ability to play hasn't waned. Philadelphia had the fourth-highest graded offensive line by PFF, and the Cincinnati product was the second-highest graded lineman of the bunch.
The Eagles found the recipe for success by utilizing their offensive line to spearhead the ground game. That was the key to their second-half resurgence. It's the identity they need to build on, and convincing Kelce to stay on for one more contract would be a big step in maintaining that.
S Rodney McLeod
Big changes are coming in the secondary. The Eagles were in the bottom-third of the league in passer rating allowed. With Anthony Harris and Steven Nelson also hitting the market, they are going to be hesitant about who they bring back.
That makes sense. Both Harris and Nelson were on one-year deals and neither quite lived up to expectations.
However, a complete revamping of the secondary would be ill-advised. Replacing three starters on the back end is easier said than done, and with defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon drawing head coaching interest, there's no guarantee they won't be playing in a new system again next season.
In the name of continuity, it would be good to bring back at least one veteran and Rodney McLeod is the best candidate. He was solid in coverage this season, surrendering only a 69.8 passer rating when targeted.
At 31 years old, his market should be dry enough to make a team-friendly deal enticing for the Virginia product.
G/C Nate Herbig
Good offensive-line help is hard to find. The Eagles found this out with 15 linemen taking snaps for them this season.
The quickest way to derail an offensive line is to not have enough depth to survive an injury. An O-line is only as good as its weakest link.
That's why a player like Nate Herbig is such a great asset. Over the last two seasons, he has made 17 starts and appeared in 31 games. The undrafted interior lineman has held up while playing both center and guard, giving up just three sacks across more than 1,300 snaps.
With Jason Kelce's status up in the air, having the 23-year-old on the roster becomes an even bigger deal. Landon Dickerson could be moving to center, which would leave his left guard spot open for competition.
Herbig is set to hit restricted free agency so putting in an offer sheet that teams won't match for him would be a prudent and frugal way for the Eagles to cement their line depth.