Sunday, July 13, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Eagles enter the offseason with glaring holes on the roster

The free agency period is just around the corner and the Eagles have some adjustments to makes in the offseason.

The Eagles clearly need to upgrade their roster in the offseason, but along with getting better talent, the team needs to actually fill out the lineup. The team has multiple free agents in the secondary and at the wide receiver position, as well as a major question mark at the backup quarterback position with Michael Vick likely leaving in March. For Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly, the offseason will not only be about adding talent but depth as well.

Below is a projected depth chart heading into free agent as the roster currently stands:

QB: Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, G.J. Kinne

The starting quarterback position, at the moment, is clearly filled, but the second-string passer is still up in the air. While Barkley could take the reins, it is nowhere near set in stone. The Eagles need someone to compete for the position along with Barkley and G.J. Kinne, with one of the losers being the third quarterback and other likely cut.

RB: LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk, Matthew Tucker

The running back position is youthful and features the top rusher in the league. While the Eagles could stand to benefit from bringing in a talented rookie to compete for a backup spot, the position is a clear strength.

WR: DeSean Jackson, (WR2), Jason Avant, Arrelious Benn, Jeff Maehl, Brad Smith, Damaris Johnson, B.J. Cunningham, Will Murphy, Ifeanyi Momah

The Eagles have two major free agents at wide receiver with Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper. With both possibly hitting the market, the Eagles need to sign or draft a starting wide receiver. This could serve as an upgrade as well, but there needs to be a starting-caliber pass-catcher added to the roster. Avant could also be cut in a salary cap move, so a slot receiver may also be needed. There is still a pretty large chance that at least one of their free agents will re-sign. Maclin may have to play the slot if he comes back.

TE: Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, James Casey, Emil Igwenagu

Much like the running back spot, tight end is a very deep and somewhat settled position. While Celek may have to take a pay cut, Ertz can clearly start in the league. Casey and Igwenagu both have played, while their merits have been limited, an opening in the roster could allow them to shine.

OL: Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Lane Johnson, Allen Barbre, Julian Vandervelde, Matt Tobin, Dennis Kelly, Michael Bamiro, David Molk

The offensive line has all nine active members of the roster from 2013 returning as it currently stands. The line could use an infusion of youth, but for now the lineup is pretty talented and among the best in the league. Tobin and Barbre are favorites of the coaching staff and could eventually take Herremans spot in the starting lineup.

DL: Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Vinny Curry, Damion Square, Joe Kruger Brandon Bair

Clifton Geathers is set to become a free agent and the Eagles are likely to upgrade their depth. The Eagles likely will seek competition for the nose tackle position. Starting defensive end Cedric Thornton is an exclusive rights free agent and will be back, but for the exercise, he is not on the active roster.

ILB: DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode, Jason Phillips, Jake Knott, Casey Matthews, Emmanuel Acho, Josh Kaddu

The inside linebacker position looks solid but the Eagles may want to upgrade their depth. Along with possible upgrades, Ryans is due a very big salary, so there are question marks there. Still, Ryans is likely to be back.

OLB: Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Travis Long

While all three major outside linebackers are currently under contract, there is the possibility that both Cole and Graham could be jettisoned this offseason. If one or both are let go, there is a clear need for depth and most likely in the starting lineup. Even if both remain around, the Eagles could stand to draft or sign a pass rusher in the offseason.

CB: Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Roc Carmichael, Curtis Marsh

The Eagles will likely bring back their top three cornerbacks, but there is still a question of Williams possibly getting cut because he due a large bonus this offseason. Carmichael and Marsh have proven that the team needs to upgrade their depth.

S: (Starter), (Starter), Earl Wolff, Pat Chung, Keelan Johnson

With Nate Allen, Colt Anderson and Kurt Coleman all set for free agency, the Eagles will have a lot of work to do at the position. Chung is likely to be cut, so there is a possibility that Wolff and Johnson could be the only returning players at the position. That combined for just 13 games this season, which all equals the total experience for both players. The Eagles will likely need a veteran presence and depth at the position.

K: Alex Henery

The Eagles need competition here. It is unclear whether they will bring in a veteran or a rookie to compete with Henery.

P: (Starter)

With Donnie Jones set to become a free agent, the position is up in the air. Jones is likely to be re-signed but if he is not, the Eagles will need possibly two players to compete.

With so many holes to possibly fill, the Eagles will be busy this spring. However, the fun of the offseason allows for speculation. So you be the general manager, what do you see happening this offseason? Who are your free agent targets? What position are you highlighting in the draft?

This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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