With the NFL Draft approaching, thoughts are the Philadelphia Eagles will add several rookies to fill key roles missing on the current roster. But they still have the 5th most cap room in the league and can find viable short term options in free agency. The organization may be planning long-term by saving financial space to extend Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who is due for a new contract in 2015. Adding depth at outside linebacker, offensive line and wide receiver with one year deals, will not hinder their future plans.
Former Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer is still without a job, after missing the entire 2014 season due to a knee injury. He has experience lining up in the a 3-4 alignment as an edge rusher, while having familiarity with the NFC East. By acquiring the veteran, the Eagles can fill a need, while also making Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham expendable for a draft day trade. Spencer is a more natural fit in the team’s defensive scheme, who can be a valuable asset as a situational pass-rusher.
The Packers have decided against retaining defensive lineman Johnny Jolly and Ryan Pickett. Both are big bodies who have been solid run-stuffers and space eaters. Neither would be a stalwart in the middle of Eagles front, but could add rotational depth to a unit that is somewhat undersized. Either Jolly or Pickett would also add some versatility to the defensive line, with their ability to play both one-technique and three-technique defensive tackle spots.
Though the Eagles have decided to extend wide receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, they are still unproven commodities. Cooper has limited starting experience over his first four seasons, while Maclin is still recovering from an ACL injury. While neither has surpassed the 1000 yard marks in any season. Add in the releases of now Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Jason Avant, the Eagles may be interested in adding another veteran presence on the outside. Wide receivers still out on the market that have been productive at points throughout their careers include: former Dallas Cowboy Miles Austin, former New York Jet Santonio Holmes and former New Orleans Saint Robert Meachem.
After the first couple weeks of the off season, most long term deals have already been handed out throughout the league. As free agency has dried up, each of these players would be willing to take a one year contract to prove they can still provide production in the NFL. None of which will make a significant dent in the Philadelphia Eagles salary cap, while only being a stop gap solution, until younger players can supplant them in the near future.