Still-available free agents Eagles can add before or after the NFL Draft

Kareem Hunt (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Kareem Hunt (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Remember how stressed we were at this same time last year? Sure, the Philadelphia Eagles had added Haason Reddick during free agency, but there were still holes to fill, questions about depth at quite a few of the important positions, and discussions about whether or not Jalen Hurts could get the job done. Looking back, it almost seems comical to think about how irritated and frustrated we were, but what a difference a year makes.

Days ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, the most loyal fan base has done a complete 180-degree turn. Jalen is rich. Howie Roseman is the toast of the town. There isn’t a Birds fan walking that would touch Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson with a ten-foot pole.

Following the first spike of free agency’s ‘frenzy’, things have calmed. It appears everyone will wait until after the NFL Draft to make additional roster moves if they require any.

That won’t stop us from offering Howie Roseman help that he doesn’t need. Have you checked out the list of guys who are still available as free agents? Don’t worry. We have done so enough for all of us. It’s high time that we have a discussion.

Here is a list of available free agents the Eagles should at least be considering. That includes a few that we’re baffled they haven’t called yet.

There are some talented guys who are still on the couch, and if we’re being honest, some of them are better than the guys Philly signed. Again, Howie doesn’t need our assistance in building a championship roster. That has been proven, but if anyone reading this has his number, we’d appreciate it if you grabbed this list and passed a few nuggets along.

The ‘definitely worth a call’ tier

Most of us have made our minds up. We want linebackers, edge rushers, safeties, and depth at just about every position. Here are a few guys who we wouldn’t mind getting an invite to camp. Something tells us that they’d upgrade their respective units.

Hey, that’s what the offseason is all about, right?

1. Kareem Hunt, running back

Splitting time with Nick Chubb helped Kareem Hunt stay relatively healthy this past season, but he also wasted a lot of his prime years playing second-fiddle for so long. He has already enjoyed six NFL seasons, but he’s also 27 and doesn’t turn 28 until August 6th.

2. Alexander Mattison, running back

Hunt and Alexander Mattison are similar in that the latter also spent time splitting carries with one of the NFL’s tailbacks. His former teammate, Dalvin Cook, has been rumored to be on the Eagles’ radar, but the less-expensive Mattison has proven he can be a three-down runner as well.

3. Yannick Ngakoue, defensive end

Yannick Ngakoue wasn’t able to play at the level he expects of himself due to some injuries in 2022, but he still logged 9.5 sacks and won’t turn 29 years old until March 2024. Let all of that just sink in for a second.

4. Dalton Risner, guard

We won’t mention any names, but Dalton Risner is someone we probably would have liked to have seen signed before some of the guys the Eagles actually brought in.

He’s on the right side of 30. He turns 28 in July. He’s a quality interior lineman that has evolved into a fine pass protector. If we’re being honest, we can’t figure out why he’s been available this long.

5. Jermaine Eluemunor, offensive tackle

Jermaine Eluemunor proved that he can play at an elite level in 2022. There’s just an obvious question that needs to be answered. Was last season a breakout campaign or a fluke run in a contract season?

The ‘could be better/could be worse’ tier

Here’s a list of a few guys that have a few more question marks than the members of the above tier. Still, if they were on Philly’s roster right now, all would have a shot at making the roster.

1. Shaq Griffin, cornerback

A back injury led to a down year by Shaq Griffin. He’ll turn 28 before the season. He’s young enough to rebound, and based on what he displayed before the injuries began hobbling him, we wouldn’t hesitate to say he’d walk into the NovaCare Complex as the fourth-best cornerback on the roster.

2. Rodney McLeod, safety

Is it just us or is Rodney McLeod aging while still showing he can play the safety position at a high level?

Some of you are worried about Terrell Edmunds and Reed Blankenship. We actually believe they’re going to be better than you are thinking. Still, if Rodney were to rejoin the nest, that would ease a lot of the tension.

3. Jaylon Smith, linebacker

Here’sanother guy whose continued unemployment has us scratching our heads. No disrespect to Nicholas Morrow, but is he better than Jaylon Smith?

The latter just turned in a decent season for the rival New York Giants. He does, however, turn 29 soon, so you have to ask if regression awaits.

4. Matt Ioannidis, defensive tackle

Again, this one comes down to basic questions like ‘Is Kentavius Street better than Matt Ioannidis?’. We aren’t saying that he can’t be, but we aren’t saying he currently is either.

Add Ioannidis to a list of quality players that are approaching their 30th birthdays. He has struggled at times with durability, but when healthy, he has played both the run and pass well.

5. Poona Ford, nose tackle

Poona Ford hasn’t had the injury and availability issues of some of his peers. He has only missed six games during his five-year career, and at five-foot-eleven and 310 pounds. He’s someone offensive linemen get sick of trying to move by the fourth quarter.

The ‘hell no’ tier

Last but not least, here are a few guys that deserve to be on someone’s roster. We just don’t want them in the midnight green (or the kelly green for that matter).

1. Marcus Peters, cornerback

The fact of the matter is Marcus Peters gives us no reason to complain about his game. There’s just one thought that we can’t shake. The Eagles don’t need another 30-plus outside corner, not even one as good as this one.

2. Rock Ya-Sin, cornerback

Rock Ya-Sin has shown time and time again that he can be one of the NFL’s best young cornerbacks whenever he is on the field. Unfortunately, his issues are about staying on the field.

Now, four seasons into his career, he has yet to complete one. He missed six games last time around, and now, he’s a year older.

3. Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end

Jadeveon Clowney is kind of a sore subject for Eagles fans. We’ve seen him unnecessarily go full all-out Hulk Smash on both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, but our reasons for blacklisting him go beyond that.

There’s a myth that he’s an elite pass rusher. The truth is he’s really a better run defender that plays recklessly much too often.  Then again, he’s also a younger option than guys like Justin Houston and his former South Carolina Gamecocks teammate Melvin Ingram.

This is one of the game’s best mercenaries. For now, however, we’ll still say no. Being sent home during last year’s finale was a bad look.