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The NFL offseason is starting to pick up with the NFL Scouting Combine taking place later this week and on Monday is the first official day that teams can designate the franchise tag to retain a player that they feel potentially may walk away. Teams will have today until Monday March 4th to designate the tag.
Reports have surfaced from CSNPhilly.com that the Eagles won't use the franhise tag and mainly because there isn't really any significant potential free agent to use it one but in the meantime we will take a look at the list of potential players that may not be on the roster in 2013.
Unrestricted Free Agents
-CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 26 years old; 6’2” 182lbs; 2012 stats: 16 games, 48 total tackles, 3 Interceptions, 17 knockdowns.
Opinion- DRC is really the only candidate on this list that has a real chance of getting tagged. If they do so, the number would be about $10.6 million.
Since the Eagles made the trade with Arizona in 2011 to acquire Rodgers-Cromartie, he has been a major disappointment getting burned week after week and constant miscommunication in the secondary not knowing his assignment. When he is on his game, he is a ball hawk and can be a solid cornerback in this league but new Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis(who coached him in Arizona.) didn’t speak too highly of him when coaches met with the media and really doesn’t fit the physical nature that this defense is expected to be. DRC is expected to command big money and with his track record the past couple of years, the Eagles I feel may let him walk and tell him to test the waters to see what he can get.
-T King Dunlap, 27 years old; 6’9” 330lbs; 2012 Stats: Started 12 games.
Opinion: I’m just still in shock a guy with such a physical build to be a dominant offensive lineman, can be that lack lustering on the football field. Dunlap has been with the Birds for five seasons now starting 19 games and hasn’t shown anything to really impress anyone. He will be nothing but a guy to add depth on a roster. As much as fans don’t want to see the guy back in Philly next season, I feel he may be a candidate to return.
He brings versatility to the offensive line starting at three different positions over the past two seasons, it will be a cheap price tag to add depth to a offensive line that has three starters coming off major injury, and he is a guy that can fit what Chip Kelly wants out of his offense. He wants guys quick on their feet, get off blocks, and open holes down field. When healthy he can be a decent backup but with his health issues I see the Eagles feeling that the pros don’t outweigh the cons to bring Dunlap back.
-LB Akeem Jordan, 27 years old; 6’1” 230lbs; 2012 Stats: 14 games(7 starts) 44 total tackles, 15 special teams tackles.
Opinion: Jordan has been with the Birds for the past 6 seasons and in that time he really hasn’t emerged into a full time starter. He has been a liability in pass coverage and his skills have been on the decline. He has found his role as a solid special teams player the past couple of seasons but his special team role I feel won’t be enough for the Eagles to bring back the linebacker since from what Kelly said he wants to do, he likes to have quality depth at the linebacker position and really doesn’t fit the Eagles new 3-4 scheme.
-DT Derek Landri, 29 years old; 6’2” 290lbs; 2012 Stats:16 games(started 7 games) 39 total tackles.
Opinion: Landri has been a guy that has really rubbed off on the city of Philadelphia with his blue collar attitude and his relentless motor. He fits the mold of a type of player that Kelly wants on his roster but again it comes down to the scheme. He is a guy that just attacks straight on and tries to bulldoze the offensive lineman. He has been a nice surprise but just fits the 4-3 defense a lot better.
-DE Darryl Tapp, 28 years old; 6’1” 270lbs; 2012 Stats: Played 13 games, 34 total tackles, 0.5 sacks.
Opinion: Tapp has added solid depth the past few seasons along the offensive line but his production has been down. Only 3 sacks the past two seasons, and his tackling ability has been suspect. He just doesn’t have the skill set anymore to really be an asset to this team anymore in the new 3-4 scheme. The Eagles are deep along the defensive line already and might want to get some young blood in April’s Draft to provide depth to the roster.
-G Jake Scott, 31 years old; 6’5” 295lbs; 2012 Stats: Started 7 games.
Opinion: Mainly brought in here because he was one of former offensive line coach, Howard Mudd’s guys to try and fix a banged up offensive line. He has been a solid player for years now but he is on the wrong side of 30 the Eagles will probably just move on look to rebuild the offensive line and find depth in the draft and build for the future.
-LS Jon Dorenbos, 32 years old; 6’0” 250lbs; 2012 Stats: Played 16 games, 4 special team tackles.
Opinion: I would love for the Eagles to bring Dorenbos back. He is still a consistent long snapper and gets the job done. There were a few low snaps last season looking at the tape but he is still a quality asset to the roster. I really don’t see anyone else that can fill his role but it is all up to Chip Kelly and the numbers game. Kelly has said he likes to fill his roster up with players that provide depth to the roster and can make an impact on special teams. That being said he might not feel it is worth to waste a spot for a long snapper and just try to teach someone else to do the deed. Maybe Dorenbos should send Kelly some tape of him making tackles down field if he has to change Kelly’s tune….
Restricted Free Agents
-S Colt Anderson, 27 years old; 5-10 194lbs; 2012 Stats: 14 games(4 starts) 37 total tackles, 1 Int, 6 special team tackles
Opinion: Anderson I feel has a strong possibility to return next season. Yes he is undersize but out of the weak safety class on the roster last season, he probably was the best out of all of them. Im not saying he is a potential pro bowler but he has upside. He provides depth to the safety position, a quality tackler, and is probably the team’s best special teamer. And with him being a restricted free agent, the Eagles just have to offer him a one year tender and if someone decides to pick him up the Eagles still get some compenstation. It is a win, win! The Eagles will have til Tuesday March 12th prior to 4pm to submit a qualifying offer.
So really the Eagles don’t have any must have potential free agents back. In my opinion really the only two guys I see that has a logical and realistic potential of returning next season are Dorenbos and Anderson but you never know in this crazy world of NFL Free agency.
Other Key Dates
Some other key dates to keep an eye on...
February 20-26: NFL Scouting Combine - Over 300 NFL Draft hopefuls work out in front of the NFL's talent evaluators and decision-makers in Indianapolis looking to improve their stock. It's also a chance for teams to meet with the prospects face-to-face and get checked by team physicians.
March 9: Teams are allowed to begin negotiating with other teams’ players who are set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the league year. This is the first time the NFL is providing a window to negotiate with other teams’ free agents prior to the start of free agency.
March 12: 4 PM - The 2013 League Year begins and with it, free agency and the trading period.
March 17: Annual League Meeting
April 25-27: 2013 NFL Draft