Tracking Eagles news and rumors during free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
NFL free agency begins this week so we’ll be tracking all the Eagles’ news and rumors that pop up along the way:
Catch your breath and catch up here:
Another defensive player leaves
The day after T.J. Edwards left in free agency, his fellow linebacker Kyzir White is gone too. White is reportedly signing with the Arizona Cardinals. It’s a reunion with former DC Jonathan Gannon, who is now the head coach in Arizona.
This means the Eagles will have two new starting linebackers in 2023. Nakobe Dean and ???
Eagles add a running back
The Eagles have reached terms with their first outside free agent this offseason. They’re giving a one-year deal to RB Rashaad Penny, who has been very good when healthy. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he hasn’t been healthy very much during his career.
We don’t know numbers yet, but expect it to be a low-risk, high-reward move for the Eagles. And it almost certainly ends Miles Sanders’ tenure in Philly. Sanders is aware of that:
Giants land a playmaker
The Giants have traded for star tight end Darren Waller, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. This is a huge move and the Giants gave up a third-round pick (No. 100), according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It’s the same pick the Giants got for Kadarius Toney.
Waller is a former Pro Bowler who is 30 now and played just 9 games last year and 11 games in 2021. But when he was at his best in 2020, he caught 107 passes for 1,196 yards and 9 touchdowns. If he ends up being healthy, then Daniel Jones has a huge weapon.
Eagles connection in Pittsburgh
The Steelers are signing former Eagles offensive lineman Nate Herbig to a two-year, $8 million deal, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.
Herbig, 24, was a restricted free agent last year but was eventually waived by the Eagles and claimed by the Jets. The former UDFA started 11 games in New York last season and is now moving on to Pittsburgh, where former Eagles front office member Andy Weidl is the assistant GM. In three years with the Eagles, from 2019-2021, Herbig played in 33 games and started 17. He’s a solid player who has carved out a nice career after going undrafted out of Stanford in 2019.
Former Eagles get paid
We finally have some contract details for three former Eagles who are leaving in free agency:
Kelce gets his bag
The Eagles are bringing Jason Kelce back for a 13th season but it isn’t going to be cheap. His new one-year deal is worth $14.25 million in 2023, a source said. This keeps him as the highest paid center in the NFL.
Interest in Brissett?
The Eagles are in need of a backup quarterback behind Jalen Hurts because Gardner Minshew is a free agent. And according to Aaron Wilson, the Eagles are one of the teams who have shown interest in veteran Jacoby Brissett.
Nick Sirianni loves Brissett. We heard that from him last summer when the Eagles practices against the Browns in Ohio. But the problem here might be money. Brissett played pretty well for the Browns last season while they waited for Deshaun Watson’s suspension to end. And he might have played himself out of the Eagles’ range. Spotrac estimated Brissett’s value at $5.4 million, which might be too much for the Eagles. But if they can get Brissett’s number low enough this would make a ton of sense.
We saw a few backups leave the market on Day 1: Case Keenum, Mike White, Jarrett Stidham and Sam Darnold all found new teams. The Eagles really value the QB position and a backup on a team with playoff aspirations is a big deal.
More folks leaving
After Javon Hargrave and T.J. Edwards started off the exodus, two more Eagles are leaving.
Dillard’s three-year deal is reportedly worth $29 million, while Epps got a two-year deal worth $12 million. Dillard wasn’t going to return as a backup in 2023. Epps was a starter in 2022 and fellow starting safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson is also a free agent.
Javon Hargrave got PAID. The former Eagles DT is heading to San Francisco on a massive deal.
The legend returns
Jason Kelce announced some big news: He’s back!
The Cunningham connection
The Bears struck first in free agency, landing T.J. Edwards on a three-year deal. But the team with the most cap space this offseason might not be done signing former Eagles.
Cunningham was hired as the Bears’ assistant general manager last offseason. He was previously the Eagles’ Director of Player Personnel and has been with the Eagles since 2017. So he played a big role in constructing the Eagles’ roster and now with a ton of cap space in Chicago, the Bears can bring a few of those players aboard.
Bradberry weighs in
James Bradberry is one of the Eagles’ top pending free agents. It seems likely that he’ll sign elsewhere but the Eagles apparently want to be in the loop.
The part that the Eagles want the ability to match is certainly interesting. Not sure if they’d be able to keep him even if they get that chance. But it’s clear the Eagles would like to have him back if possible.
A ‘strong effort’
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler had a bunch of pre-free agency nuggets, including this one on C.J. Gardner-Johnson:
“The Eagles have several key players they could bring back, and though it appears they are waiting for markets to develop before reacting, some around the league believe they’ve made a strong effort to re-sign safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who appears set for the open market. That could open the door to re-sign cornerback James Bradberry or another player.”
Gardner-Johnson is getting his first chance to test free agency and it sounds like he’s going to hit the open market on Wednesday. It sounds like the Eagles were prepared to pay CJGJ but if he leaves for a better deal elsewhere, then perhaps the Eagles can funnel that money into another player like Bradberry or someone else.
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