5 linebackers for Eagles to target in free agency

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The Eagles are in a tricky salary cap situation as free agency approaches, so don’t expect them to make any big splashes.

With that in mind, for this series we’ll look at some cheaper options as the Eagles try to fill out their first roster under Nick Sirianni. Free agency begins on March 17 and the legal tampering window opens March 15.

Today we’ll look at linebackers.

The Eagles will bring back Alex Singleton, who was tendered as an exclusive rights free agent. They also have T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley under contract. But Duke Riley and Nate Gerry are set to be free agents, so the Eagles might be looking in free agency.

Eric Wilson

The 26-year-old just finished off his fourth NFL season in Minnesota and had his best season yet. He started 15 of 16 games, had 122 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions and 8 pass breakups. His biggest problem was missed tackles; he missed 20 last season, according to ProFootballFocus. Wilson has familiarity with Eagles new linebackers coach Nick Rallis and was a rookie in Minnesota during Jonathan Gannon’s final year with the Vikings.

Anthony Walker

The former 5th-round pick out of Northwestern doesn’t turn 26 until August but has already been a full-time starter for three seasons in Indianapolis. There’s an obvious connection here between Walker and the Eagles’ new coaching staff. He already knows Nick Sirianni and Gannon. Walker started all 16 games in 2020 but played just 68% of the Colts’ snaps. Will the Eagles see him as a three-down guy? If they don’t, they can’t overpay for him.

Jarrad Davis

Davis was a 1st-round pick out of Florida back in 2017 but has seen his playing time drop in recent seasons. In 2020, he played in 14 games with just 4 starts and played just 29% of the Lions’ defensive snaps. That’s down from 99% two years ago. It’s fair to say Davis hasn’t lived up to being a 1st-round pick but he has some talent and might be worth a cheap deal to see if a change of scenery helps.

Reggie Ragland

Let’s stay in Detroit and take a look at the 27-year-old Ragland, who played for the Lions on a cheap one-year deal in 2020. The former 2nd-round pick was OK in 2020, playing 20% of the Lions’ defensive snaps. But if the Eagles are looking for a cheap stopgap option, Ragland might fit.

Raekwon McMillan

The former 2nd-round pick out of Ohio State just finished off a season with the Raiders in which he played in all 16 games with 4 starts. He proved to be a major contributor on special teams and a rotational player on defense. McMillan missed his entire rookie season with an ACL tear in 2017 but started 28 games over his next two years before he was traded to the Raiders before last season. There’s still upside with McMillan and he shouldn’t cost much.

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