Everything you need to know as Eagles enter free agency


NFL free agency doesn’t officially kick off until 4 p.m. on Wednesday but we won’t have to wait that long to see major movement around the league.

The NFL’s two-day negotiating window “legal tampering” opens at noon today. That’s when we’ll start to hear about pending free agents agreeing to deals with new teams.

This year, there was no combine in Indianapolis, so it’ll be interesting to see how that affects free agency. Normally, the groundwork of a lot of action begins in Indy.

Here’s everything you need to know as the Eagles enter this important week:

  • You’ve probably heard about the Eagles’ cap situation in 2021. No, it still isn’t great, but the Eagles have slowly been chipping away over the last few weeks to make sure they’re cap compliant by 4 p.m. on Wednesday. They released DeSean Jackson and restructured the contracts of several players like Brandon Brooks, Darius Slay, Javon Hargrave, Jason Kelce and Isaac Seumalo. They also restructured the contracts of Alshon Jeffery and Malik Jackson with the intent to release them with post-June 1 designations.

As of Monday morning, the Eagles are about $17.3 million over (before the Brooks restructure) but there are still ways to get this done. The fact that the Eagles told Lane Johnson that they no longer need to restructure his contract shows that they’re feeling pretty confident with their situation.

A couple obvious moves would be to figure out an extension with Derek Barnett, who is set to have a cap hit of $10 million in 2021, to restructure or cut Marquise Goodwin to bring down his $4.21 million hit and to finish off a restructure with Brandon Graham, something the Eagles had reportedly already begun.

  • Even after all the heavy lifting with the cap is done, the Eagles likely won’t be major players in free agency. But if they sign players to multi-year deals and backload those deals, they can still afford to bring in free agents this offseason.

Here’s a look at my rankings of their positional needs this offseason.

And here are five intriguing free agents at several positions:


Wide receivers


Tight ends

Running backs


Defensive linemen


Offensive linemen

  • The big move we’re all waiting for is a trade of Zach Ertz. The Eagles traded Carson Wentz last month and many expect Ertz will be the next guy shipped out of town. As of Sunday, he was reportedly growing impatient that a deal hasn’t been made yet. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Eagles are looking for a 3rd- or 4th-round pick and have been unwilling to lower their asking price.

Perhaps as free agency begins, it might kick loose a deal for Ertz. If a team is targeting tight ends and can’t sign one, then maybe they look to trade for Ertz, who at 30, could still have a bounce back season.

As a reminder, these are the Eagles’ internal free agents:

S Jalen Mills

OT Jason Peters

QB Nate Sudfeld

CB Nickell Robey-Coleman

DE Vinny Curry

DT Hassan Ridgeway

CB Cre’Von LeBlanc

TE Richard Rodgers

LB Nate Gerry

LB Duke Riley

RB Corey Clement

S Rudy Ford

P Cameron Johnston (RFA)

TE Josh Perkins (RFA)

  • The Eagles had just one restricted free agent of note and they didn’t tender punter Cameron Johnston. That means Johnston will hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. There’s still a chance that Johnston returns in 2021. The Eagles let Corey Clement hit the open market last year and brought him back for a cheaper price. They could do the same thing with their punter this offseason.
  • The Eagles had three exclusive rights free agents: Alex Singleton, Greg Ward Jr. and Boston Scott. They tendered all three, which means they’ll be back at a cheap cost in 2021.

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