Free Agency: Eagles In on McCourty, Maxwell, and More


Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) celebrates after the game against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been less than 24 hours since teams have been able to contact agents of players not under contract for 2015 and attempt to work out deals (also known as #legaltampering), and the Philadelphia Eagles have not wasted any time in making their intentions clear. They have money, and they’re looking to spend.

Rand Getlin, NFL Insider for Yahoo! Sports, had this to say about the Eagles pursuit of Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell last night.

Until a deal is finalized, which under NFL rules cannot officially be until at least 4:00 PM Eastern on Tuesday, being “in front” doesn’t mean much. There has been a good amount of speculation regarding Maxwell’s final cost, but it’s expected to easily exceed Houston Texans corner Kareem Jackson’s new 4-year, $34 million deal. Given that Jackson was on the Eagles radar prior to re-signing with the Texans, it seems even more likely now that Philadelphia breaks the bank to avoid being left in the cold. The only thing worse than missing once is missing twice, right?

There’s also the chance that Maxwell re-signs in Seattle, as Jayson Braddock of KMBE Sports Talk in Houston alluded to just after midnight:

We’ll have to see where Seattle gets the money, knowing that Russell Wilson’s due for a big raise and the already egregious amount of money the Seahawks have allocated to keeping their defense intact. They can’t sign everyone, but it appears they’ll make an attempt at retaining Maxwell.

Always a topic of fevered passion amongst Eagles fans, there’s a starting safety spot waiting to be claimed. The Philadelphia Eagles have been reported to be hot on Patriots S Devin McCourty (pictured), a five year veteran who will have just turned 28 years old by the time traning camp breaks in August. The biggest hurdle to firmly cementing a position of oft-depressing proportions since 2009 is convincing McCourty to leave a team that just hoisted the Lombardi Trophy a month ago.

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The Patriots are also intent on keeping him around, but to what degree will become more clear once the Eagles make an official offer. The only way I see the Eagles not landing McCourty will be if Philadelphia offers within a similar ballpark (McCourty is reportedly looking for $9M/year) and he doesn’t want to leave. Understandable, even if I am a tortured Rutgers fan who hasn’t had a Scarlet Knights alum to cheer for on gameday since L.J. Smith (though you’re still my guy, Quron Pratt!)

There’s even the chance that the Philadelphia Eagles put it all on the line and grab both Byron Maxwell and Devin McCourty, the latest in a desperate (albeit safer) dart throw to finally fix an anemic secondary. I’m not sure how likely that is, and if you’re asking me I’ll take the proven safety (McCourty) over the bigger risk (Maxwell), though the only way I’ll truly be disappointed is if the team comes up empty on both. My best guess is that either way it turns out, we won’t have to wait until Tuesday to find out.

Late last night, Eliot Shorr-Parks of broke the news that the Eagles have serious interest in San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore.

It’s especially interesting to see the Eagles look this direction, given that Frank Gore turns 32 in May. This is a completely different philosophy than many expected the Eagles to take with the running back position from an age perspective, but fits directly in the crosshairs with the rumblings that Kelly wants a more “north-south” runner. It also molds in with Chip Kelly adding players who performed well against him in the past.

Welcome to free agency. Buckle up and enjoy the ride, it’s just getting started.

Next: Mock Draft: Eagles Defense Backed into a Corner