With the combine wrapped up and free agency less than two weeks away, news and rumors continue to swirl around the NFL, many of which could affect the Eagles in one way or another.
Let's start with the linebacker market. Pro Football Talk reports that the Lions hope to re-sign Stephen Tulloch, but the two sides are currently not close to getting a deal done. Tulloch, who turned 27 in January, signed a one-year, $3.25M deal with Detroit last offseason, and head coach Jim Schwartz recently praised the middle linebacker for his production playing behind the wide-nine.
Meanwhile, London Fletcher, who turns 37 in May, but led the NFL with 166 tackles last season, isn't sure if he'll return to the Redskins, per Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com.
"Hopefully, we’ll get something done," Fletcher said in a Sirius XM NFL Radio interview Tuesday night. "But if I make it to March 13 (unsigned), who knows?"
The wide receiver market continues to develop as well. According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the Redskins are looking to add a big-name pass-catching target. Per Maske, Vincent Jackson could be at the top of Washington's list, but a source tells him San Diego has not ruled out using the franchise tag on its No. 1 receiver.
My guess is, if Vincent Jackson becomes a free agent, he'll set the top end of the wide receiver market. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported recently that the Chargers were willing to offer him a five-year deal worth between $10M and $11M per season. Because San Diego tagged Jackson in 2011, it'd be looking at a one-year salary of around $13.7M if it wants to tag him again.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Steelers plan to tender, not franchise, wide receiver Mike Wallace. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how Wallace's availability could affect DeSean Jackson. However, if the Steelers really want to keep Wallace, they'll be able to do so. Because he would be a restricted free agent, Pittsburgh would have the chance to match any offers from competing teams.
So for a team to land Wallace, it would have to formulate an offer that the Steelers wouldn't match and be willing to give up a first-round pick. While the Steelers are reportedly in bad cap shape right now, there are always ways to create room if necessary. As for the Eagles, while Wallace is a better version of DeSean Jackson, the upgrade is not worth giving up a first-rounder.
Speaking of clearing up cap space, the Saints are looking to do just that by restructuring the contract of defensive end Will Smith, according to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The Saints have several key players, such as Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Carl Nicks, who are not currently under contract for 2012.
And finally, the Ravens will franchise running back Ray Rice by Friday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times. Back in January, I made the point that LeSean McCoy should be keeping an eye on what kind of deal Rice gets because the two are similar players. Rice was the 55th pick in 2008, while McCoy went 53rd a year later. Rice is a better pass-catcher, but their values (and contracts) should be similar.
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