Howie Roseman came into this offseason ready to shake up the entire Eagles roster.
While Roseman did extend Bradford, Ertz, Jenkins, and Curry, he also rid the roster of nearly all of Chip Kelly’s influence. Roseman somehow got rid of Maxwell and Alonso in a trade to Miami that also helped Philadelphia move from #13 to #8 in the upcoming NFL Draft. The trade hit some roadblocks on the way to being completed, with rumors swirling around 8am Wednesday morning that Miami found Maxwell’s shoulder was more injured than he had led on to Philadelphia. Around 10:45am Eagles fans rejoiced, when it was reported that the trade would go through as planned.
Roseman also orchestrated an excellent trade that sent the bitter DeMarco Murray to Tennessee. The Titans got a potential franchise running back, and the Eagles got Murray’s gigantic 5 year $40 million contract off of the books and the ability to swap picks to move up to the 1st pick of the 4th round.
The two trades saved the Eagles about ~$10 million against the cap and allowed them to be as aggressive as they were on the first day of free agency. Let’s reviews the Eagles signings so far:
(I will update this as Eagles continue signing players)
Formerly of St. Louis Rams
Safety, age 25
I cannot over emphasize how much I love this signing; McLeod is young and should be just entering his prime. He can lay the wood on opposing recievers, but is also very good in coverage.
Roseman inked McLeod to a 5 year $37 million dollar deal with only $17 million guaranteed. McLeod was signed by St. Louis after going undrafted out of Virginia in the 2012 draft. He eventually worked his way up the depth chart and was a starting safety by 2013. In 2015, McLeod was graded as the 10th best safety in the entire league by Pro Football Focus.
I believe that McLeod’s best years are ahead of him. Paired with Malcolm Jenkins in the Eagles deep secondary, McLeod is set to excel under Jim Schwartz. There’s a good chance Philadelphia has the best safety tandem in the NFL.
Formerly of Houston Texans
Guard, age 26
Brandon Brooks is big, big man. Sizing up at 6ft 5in and 335 lbs, Brooks can surely handle his own in the interior of the offensive line.
Brooks is expected to start at right guard for the Eagles in 2016, and he will make a huge difference over last years talent at the position. As the likes of Allen Barbre, Matt Tobin, and Andrew Gardiner were not nearly good enough.
Brooks will provide a dangerous combination of size and speed that the Eagles have been looking for ever since they moved on from Todd Herremans. He should provide a very solid push in the run game for many years to come, as the Eagles locked him up for 5 years $40 million, with $21 million guaranteed.
Credit Roseman for finding a trade partner for Murray, as the Eagles getting rid of his deal opened up the potential to address the offensive line in a big way. Chip Kelly gave Murray a deal last year that was very similar to the one Brooks received this offseason.
Formerly of Buffalo Bills
OLB, age 26
Nigel Bradham is this article’s beginning of the Jim Schwartz-Buffalo-recruiting process.
Bradham did not have a good 2015, graded as the 75th LB in the league by PFF, but he had a much better season in 2014 under former Bills DC Jim Schwartz. Schwartz will likely play Bradham as strong side OLB, with Kendricks on the weak side and Hicks playing MLB.
Familiarity should help Bradham play well early in 2016, and his knowledge of Schwartz’s system should help him be a mentor to Hicks and Kendricks.
I graded this B+/- because of the uncertainly regarding the dollar value of Bradham’s deal. As of right now the money hasn’t been officially reported, but as long as it’s not an absurd amount, this signing should be a positive one for the Eagles.
Formerly of Buffalo Bills
CB, age 27
Ron Brooks has been mostly a backup and special teams player during his career with Buffalo. Drafted in the 4th round out of LSU in 2012, Brooks spent his entire career with the Bills before signing a 3 year $6 million deal with the Eagles on Wednesday.
Brooks adds depth to a secondary that needs it, and on a very cheap contract. He hasn’t done much in his NFL career, but he is quick. Though undersized at 5ft 10in 190lbs, Brooks ran a 4.37 40 yd dash at the combine.
Overall, good low risk signing of a player that can contribute reliable backup cornerback time.
Formerly of Buffalo Bills
CB, age 30
Again a Scwartz disciple decided to return to the coach’s defensive system. McKelvin is another player that will add to Philadelphia’s secondary depth.
The Eagles expressed interest in the cornerback as early as the 2008 draft, when they told McKelvin they were thinking about trading up to pick him. To read more about McKelvin’s signing, go to article I wrote when he was signed.
Formerly of Kansas City Chiefs
QB, age 29
I understand that both Jim Schwartz and Doug Pederson want to bring in their respective players, but I cannot comprehend the reasoning behind giving Chase Daniel so much money.
Howie Roseman locked up Chase Daniel to a 3 year $21 million contract that could pay him as much as $36 million. He is guaranteed $7 million and his cap hit is only $3 million this year, but that price jumps to $9 million in both 2017 and 2018.
Some national writers have speculated that the Eagles are not bringing Daniel in just to backup Bradford, but to compete for the starting job. I personally believe there is a 1% chance Chase Daniel is the starter Week 1, and that 1% is the chance Bradford gets injured.
Daniel may end up being the bridge between Bradford and a rookie year QB, but I seriously doubt he is talented enough to beat out Sam Bradford for the Eagles starting job. Regardless, Howie did overpay Daniel to please his new head coach.
The Eagles have traded Mark Sanchez to the Broncos for a conditional 2017 7th round pick. Philadelphia was going to cut Sanchez anyway after they invested too much money in Chase Daniel, so at least they got something for him. The deal cleared $4.5 million in cap space for the Eagles.
– David Hennessey
@DavidHennessey_ on Twitter