What Now, Birds?
Darius Slay is on the way. Javon Hargrave is in the fold. What's next for the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason? Well, probably not much. Sure, the Eagles need a wide receiver. Sure, even with the return of Rodney McLeod and hybrid defensive back Jalen Mills, the Eagles could use a starting safety. And, yes, Yannick Ngakoue is toying with fans across the country on social media, practically begging Howie Roseman to pull the trigger on a trade. But ... don't hold your breath on adding the Jags' pass rusher. Roseman has already surrendered two picks in this year's draft, taking his total from 10 to 8. The Jags aren't giving Ngakoue away, and they have some time to decide on his fate despite Ngakoue's best attempts to force their hand with cryptic social media posts. In fact, Eagles fans probably shouldn't lose sleep over Roseman's next splashy move coming in the next three or four days. Going back to the NFL Scouting Combine, both Adam Caplan and I had heard that prices for free-agent receivers this season stood to be fairly steep and the the Eagles weren't looking to break the bank or overpay market value even to improve a position that sorely needs upgrading. If prices come down, maybe Roseman changes his mind. But this dismissive approach to free agency shouldn't stun anyone. Since his personnel power was restored in 2016, Roseman hasn't jumped into the market place with a voracious appetite to spend. The signing of Hargrave, a young, ascending player at a position of value, falls in line with Roseman's more recent big-money pursuits, like the 2016 signings of Rodney McLeod and Brandon Brooks. As it stands right now, the Eagles should again reap the benefits of the compensatory pick formula. So far, they've lost more than they've added in free agency, with the Hargave signing balanced by the loss of Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The losses of Jordan Howard and Kamu Grugier-Hill should garner the Eagles some extra low-round picks. That's another reason. albeit small, why trading for Slay instead signing Jones could end up benefitting the Eagles in the long term.
Speaking of comp picks...
Hopefully it's evident to everyone by now why Roseman unequivocally made the right move last March when he didn't put the franchise tag on Nick Foles, whose signing with the Jags helped the Eagles get an extra third-round compensatory pick for this year's draft. That extra third-rounder just came in handy as Roseman gave up a third and fifth to the Lions for Slay. The Eagles still have three of the top 105 picks in the draft, including a pick in each of the first three rounds, allowing the Eagles to address wide receiver, cornerback and safety if their board falls that way. Here's the latest from Adam and me on the recent events in free agency:
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