When NFL free agency begins on March 16, the Eagles will be looking to bolster a roster that made it to the playoffs in Year 1 under Nick Sirianni.
After trading Zach Ertz in October, the Eagles locked up Dallas Goedert on a big long-term extension to be their No. 1 tight end through the 2025 season. So don’t expect the Eagles to break the bank for one of the top free agents on the market.
But they could look to upgrade the backup spots. UDFA Jack Stoll was the No. 2 as a rookie and performed well as a blocker but didn’t offer much as a receiver. And former college QB Tyree Jackson unfortunately tore his ACL late in the season. After that they have a few other options, including veteran Richard Rodgers, but they could be in the market for another tight end.
Here are five tight end options that might interest the Eagles in free agency:
Mo Alie-Cox: You might be familiar with Alie-Cox’s story. He’s the former VCU basketball player-turned NFL tight end. The tight ends coach in Indianapolis who helped him turn in to a legitimate NFL player, Jason Michael, is now the tight ends coach in Philly. Alie-Cox (6-5, 267) had a 31/394/2 season in 2020 and followed it up with a 24/316/4 season in 2021. He could perhaps one day become a legitimate No. 1 in the NFL but he isn’t there now. But he is a large man, a solid blocker and has real upside as a pass-catcher.
Maxx Williams: Williams was off to a decent start with the Cardinals in 2021 before tearing his ACL, an injury that helped lead to the trade for Ertz. Williams had 16 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown, the best pace of his seven-year NFL career. While he might not offer high-end ability as a receiver, the 6-4, 252-pound Williams is a solid run blocker, which is important if the Eagles stick with their run-heavy attack.
James O’Shaughnessy: The 30-year-old O’Shaughnessy began his career with the Chiefs in 2015 and 2016 but has spent the last five years in Jacksonville. His most productive season came in 2020 with 28 catches for 262 yards. So he’s not a major receiving threat. But he’s a decent receiver with solid blocking skills and he has a connection to the Eagles. Eagles personnel executive Dave Caldwell was the Jaguars GM when they claimed O’Shaughnessy back in 2017.
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O.J. Howard: Once a first-round pick out of Alabama in 2017, Howard hasn’t blossomed into a star at the NFL level. But he’s had some success with the Bucs and is a pretty good player. His best offensive production came in 2018, when he caught 34 passes for 565 yards and 5 touchdowns. His production waned the last couple years and he’s dealt with some injuries too. But if he’s cheap enough, it might make sense to bring him in and figure out how much of that first-round talent he still has in him.
Gerald Everett: On this list, Everett would cost the most. But if the Eagles really want to use a lot of 12 personnel, it wouldn’t be crazy to envision them tossing some money at a higher-priced No. 2 tight end. Everett had a career year in 2021 with the Seahawks, catching 48 passes for 478 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s not the best blocking tight end but he’s serviceable.