Dec 28, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward (29) and linebacker Brad Jones (59) celebrate following a play during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 30-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Eagles have had a wild offseason to this point, which has probably left tons of fans scratching their heads. Here is a list of the Eagles major free agency moves, accompanied by some brief analysis and grades.
Eagles Release TE James Casey:
Signing James Casey was one of Chip Kelly’s first moves after becoming the Eagles Head Coach in 2013. When Casey signed with the Birds, everyone expected him to play a large role in Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense. Casey can block and catch and he is able to line up all over the formation.
Unfortunately for Casey, things just didn’t work out.
The Eagles went on to select Zach Ertz in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft and proceeded to take Casey’s role as the multi-dimensional receiving tight end in the Eagles offense.
Casey was a very good special teams player for the Eagles and was the Eagles emergency quarterback on game day, but he only catching six passes and two touchdowns over the past two seasons.
Casey was set to count $4 million against the cap, making this move a no brainer.
Eagles Release OG Todd Herremans:
The first big move the Eagles made during this years free agency period was releasing their long time offensive lineman Todd Herremans. Herremans is 32 years old and has been a member of the Eagles since he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
While Herremans had been a key member of the Eagles offensive line since 2005, he was set to count $5.2 million against the cap. While that doesn’t seem like that much money, Herremans was a declining player, who has missed 16 games since 2012, playing only nine games last year.
According to ProFootballFocus, Herremans only graded out as an average offensive lineman or better three times, while grading out below average six times and four of those games he graded out very poorly.
While Herremans has been a fan favorite for many years, it was time for the Eagles to move on and get younger along the offensive line. While it was a hard move, it was a move that Chip Kelly and Co. had to make.
Eagles Sign LB Brad Jones to a Two Year, $2.85 Million
This was a solid move for the Eagles. After DeMeco Ryans went down last season, the Eagles defense took a nose dive. While Jones will never be able to bring the leadership that Ryans brought to the Eagles defense, he will bring starting experience and he has been on winning teams year and year out, including winning the Super Bowl in 2010.
While he was a starter in 2013, according to ProFootballFocus, Jones graded out -4.1 and he graded out at -12, which is not great at all, but it isn’t bad as a backup. Casey Matthews graded out as -9.7, which is also bad. While Jones was considerably worse, Jones will be the Eagles second backup linebacker, behind DeMeco Ryans, Kiko Alonso, and Mychal Kendricks.
While it wont set the world on fire, it is a solid move which provides the Eagles with depth at a position of need heading into the offseason.