Nick Foles and the Eagles crashed out of the playoffs in the NFC Divisional round, indicating the end of the season. But as the playing season ends, the offseason begins, and the Eagles look as if they have plenty of business to attend to this offseason.
For starters, the Eagles defense is taking a huge blow, losing pass rusher Brandon Graham and lockdown corner Ronald Darby. Both players will be receiving offers that far outweigh anything that the Eagles could offer.
On the offensive side of the ball, Philly is looking like they will be able to maintain most of the personnel. Veterans Darren Sproles and Golden Tate have expiring contracts, but Sproles might choose to stick around Philly. Tate is expected to turn down any offers from the Eagles if they do not meet his financial demands. Philly traded just a third round pick to get Tate, with Detroit letting him go due to his expiring contract. Tate wasn’t a standout for the Eagles, and Philly would not be willing to match the financial benchmark that Tate has set. The Eagles could look to another free agent to replace Tate, with Larry Fitzgerald likely being available and giving Carson Wentz another savvy veteran to target. Fitzgerald has stayed productive over his long career, and didn’t stop last season, catching 69 passes for 734 yards and three touchdowns. Fitzgerald represents a solid pickup that doesn’t break the bank, making him one to watch for the Eagles this offseason.
Philadelphia was never able to see the best of cornerback Ronald Darby. When Darby was healthy, he performed well for the Eagles, snagging 3 picks in just 8 games last season. Darby struggles this season, and went down with a season ending ACL tear, virtually ending his career as an Eagle. Darby will likely test the free agency market, as he’s one of the brightest young prospects at his position. One player that plays a similar style that may be lined up as a replacement is Steven Nelson. Nelson is still playing postseason football, but that doesn’t mean his future can’t be speculated. The Chiefs cornerback is not expected to resign with the team, and would offer Philly the high level cover corner that Ronald Darby was, capable of playing man to man most of the game.
Look for the Eagles to plug a couple holes in the defense this season. Philly is losing a big name pass rusher and cornerback, so look for them to make a splash this offseason.