Free Agents Eagles Should Pursue After 2022 NFL Draft

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIMay 9, 2022

Free Agents Eagles Should Pursue After 2022 NFL Draft

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    The Philadelphia Eagles may have used only five picks in the 2022 NFL draft, but they still addressed some of the biggest holes on their roster. And of course, they swung one blockbuster trade that could take their offense to another level during the upcoming season.

    Instead of using its second first-round selection (No. 18 overall), Philadelphia sent it to the Tennessee Titans as part of a package to acquire star wide receiver A.J. Brown. Now, the Eagles' receiving corps has Brown and DeVonta Smith as a pair of explosive playmakers.

    Philadelphia used three of its five picks on defensive players, most notably Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who was drafted at No. 13 overall. The Eagles also added a center (Nebraska's Cam Jurgens) and a tight end (SMU's Grant Calcaterra) to add some needed depth at those offensive positions.

    However, Philadelphia's roster likely isn't finalized. There are some other areas that the team could improve, and there are notable free agents remaining on the market and plenty of time to sign them before training camp begins later this summer.

    Here's a look at several free agents who the Eagles may still want to consider signing this offseason.

Kyle Fuller, CB

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    It was a bit of a surprise that Philadelphia didn't take a cornerback during the 2022 NFL draft. Darius Slay is the Eagles' clear top player on the unit, and Avonte Maddox is a solid corner to have in the slot. But the team is lacking some depth at the position beyond those two.

    Philadelphia's secondary could become much improved by signing a veteran cornerback to start alongside Slay and Maddox. And Kyle Fuller could be a great fit as the 30-year-old looks to have a bounce-back season in 2022.

    A two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro selection, Fuller excelled over his first six seasons with the Chicago Bears. But he signed with the Denver Broncos last offseason and didn't have a great showing in 2021, going 16 games without an interception and making only 10 starts because of his ineffectiveness.

    But Fuller has a track record in the league. He had multiple interceptions every year from 2014-19, including an NFL-high seven in 2018. So it may be worth it for the Eagles to sign him to a low-risk deal to see if he can return to his previous form on what should be an improved defense this season.

Trae Waynes, CB

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    Another free-agent cornerback who could be an option for the Eagles is Trae Waynes. The 29-year-old hasn't been on the field much in recent seasons, but he could come at a lower cost than a corner like Fuller, which may make him a more intriguing possible signing for Philadelphia.

    Waynes missed all of the 2020 campaign after undergoing surgery on a torn pec before the season began. Then, he was limited to five games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021, when he missed substantial time because of a hamstring injury.

    The former first-rounder was a solid cornerback over his five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings from 2015-19. He notched all seven of his career interceptions from 2016-19, and he played at least 14 games during each of his years in Minnesota.

    Is it possible that Waynes will never play at that level again? Sure. But if he's willing to sign a low-cost, prove-it deal to show that he can return to form, then it would make sense for a team to bring him in. For a team like the Eagles lacking depth at corner, it could be a wise decision to do so.

Jordan Howard, RB

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    The Eagles are returning most of their running backs from last season. Miles Sanders remains Philadelphia's No. 1 option in the backfield, while Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell will also be back. But there could still be a spot available for Jordan Howard, who could again serve as a power back in the Eagles' RB mix.

    Howard played some important snaps for Philadelphia last year, as he rushed for 406 yards and three touchdowns in seven games. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry, his best since his rookie season with the Chicago Bears in 2016.

    Not only do the Eagles not have an every-down back on their roster, but they didn't add any depth at the position during the draft. And there's a good chance they're going to need several players to run the ball for them over the course of the 2022 season.

    So why not bring back Howard, who already knows the system and has a different skill set from the other backs on the roster? It's a move that makes sense and would allow Philadelphia to continue utilizing numerous backs in various roles.