Eagles analysis

Position-by-position look at Eagles offense before free agency

With free agency kicking off next week, here's an Eagles primer on the offensive side of the ball.

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The NFL offseason will ramp up early next week with the start of free agency when the negotiating window opens on Monday at noon.

The new league year will begin on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

The Eagles are projected to have nearly $42 million in cap space, according to OverTheCap, when the league year begins. That’s a much better spot than they were in this time last year and the Eagles could be more aggressive in free agency.

Here’s a position-by-position look on the offensive side of the ball:


Under contract: Jalen Hurts, Tanner McKee

Pending free agents: Marcus Mariota

Need level: Low

Thoughts and options: The Eagles had an expensive backup in Mariota in 2023 and luckily Hurts stayed healthy and Mariota didn’t really play. The thought here is that maybe McKee (a sixth-round pick last year) is ready to be the backup. If the Eagles can avoid a high-priced backup and can get three years of McKee in that role on a sixth-round salary, that’s a huge win. But is he ready for that? Hard to tell. He showed some real flashes in training camp last year but didn’t get a chance to play in real games.

If the Eagles don’t want to spend a ton on a backup, maybe a guy like Easton Stick would make some sense. He played under Kellen Moore last year and has a bit of experience and could theoretically compete for a backup job against McKee. Of course, the Eagles could go the expensive backup route again, in which case Mariota would be an option again. There’s also Jameis Winston, Gardner Minshew, Tyler Huntley, Josh Dobbs and a few other notable names who could be available as a more experienced backup.

Running back

Under contract: Kenny Gainwell, Lew Nichols, Tyrion Davis-Price

Pending free agents: D’Andre Swift, Boston Scott, Rashaad Penny

Need level: High

Thoughts and options: The Eagles moved on from Miles Sanders last offseason after a Pro Bowl season. Sanders cashed in on a four-year, $25 million contract with the Panthers and had a very disappointing 2023. The Eagles were opportunistic, grabbing Swift in a trade with the Lions and the hometown kid had a huge season in his return to Philly. Swift had his first 1,000-yard season and made a Pro Bowl. But the Eagles will likely let him test the market. If Swift can’t find a big deal elsewhere, the Eagles would probably love to have him back but that isn’t really Howie Roseman’s M.O. at the position.

In free agency, the top guys on the market are Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Derrick Henry. It just seems unlikely the Eagles will give out a big enough contract to lure any of them to Philadelphia but the Eagles could monitor. There are a couple of next-tier guys with ties to Moore in Austin Ekeler and Tony Pollard. After that, there are some other names like Alexander Mattison, JK Dobbins and A.J. Dillon who will be available. And I wouldn’t rule out a return for Scott either. The Eagles’ need at this position is listed as high but that’s because they have just one returning running back under contract. I don’t expect the Eagles to make a huge move in free agency but they do need to find some players in free agency, in a trade or through the draft.


Under contract: A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Britain Covey, Devon Allen, Shaquan Davis, Jacob Harris, Griffen Hebert, Joseph Ngata, Austin Watkins Jr.

Pending free agents: Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus, Julio Jones

Need level: Medium-high

Thoughts and options: While the Eagles bring back Brown and Smith for another season, they need to find a more reliable WR3 going into 2024. That player could come in the draft but there will be some options in free agency if they take a look. For starters, they should probably let their own free agents walk. 

There are some names in free agency that are attractive. Darnell Mooney is still just 26 and the former 5th-round pick has blazing speed, although he’s a couple years removed from his only 1,000-yard season. Curtis Samuel is 27 now but is available after a couple 600+ yard seasons as the slot receiver in Washington and could be looking for a fresh start. A couple of former Moore players in Noah Brown and Cedrick Wilson will both be free agent options. Maybe even a guy like Marquise Brown from Arizona could be intriguing; he is 26 and has had really solid production in his five NFL seasons.

Tight end

Under contract: Dallas Goedert, Grant Calcaterra, Albert Okwuegbunam, Noah Togiai

Pending free agents: Jack Stoll (RFA)

Need level: Medium

Thoughts and options: The Eagles already made a move before free agency, signing Okwuegbunam to a one-year extension so he won’t hit the market. But that’s a minor move. The Eagles have had the same three tight ends (Goedert, Stoll, Calcaterra) for a couple years and might need an upgrade. Stoll has played a ton over the last few years. Even if the Eagles don’t tender him as a restricted free agent, they might reach an agreement for a new one-year deal, which is what happened with Boston Scott last season.

In free agency, the Eagles probably won’t go after any of the huge names because they still have Goedert under contract. But there are some veterans who might not cost much and who could help. A player like Austin Hooper from the Raiders or Geoff Swain from the Cardinals would offer some versatility and experience. And Gerald Everett from the Chargers played under Moore last season. It’s also worth noting that Goedert is now older than Zach Ertz was when the Eagles drafted Goedert; so drafting Goedert’s replacement might not be far away.

Offensive line

Under contract: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Cam Jurgens, Tyler Steen, Lane Johnson, Fred Johnson, Le’Raven Clark, Brett Toth, Darian Kinnard, Lecitus Smith, Jason Poe

Pending free agents: Sua Opeta, Jack Driscoll, Roderick Johnson

Retired: Jason Kelce

Need level: Medium-high

Thoughts and options: Kelce officially retired this week so the Eagles have to try to figure out how to replace a legend. The easy answer is that Jurgens slides to center, Steen replaces him at right guard and the Eagles move forward. But no one really knows how that would work out. On top of it all, Opeta and Driscoll are also about to hit the market, although it would make sense if the Eagles worked to re-sign one or both of them. They have played a lot over the last few years.

The Eagles would probably prefer to draft offensive linemen instead of signing them to high-priced deals in free agency, especially because there might not be a clear starting spot open. So when the draft nears, we’ll talk more about the potential of taking an eventual replacement for Johnson who might also be able to play guard. In free agency, the top guards available might cost too much. But if the Eagles want a plug-and-play guy, Kevin Zeitler fits the position but it won’t be cheap. Same of Connor Williams, who played under Moore in Dallas but is now a free agent coming off an ACL injury; Williams might wait a while to sign but can player center or guard. Perhaps Jon Runyan Jr. could be a fit; the son of the former Eagles right tackle has 50 NFL starts under his belt and can play either guard spot. And Roseman is never shy about bringing back former Eagles and Halapoulivaati Vaitai is about to become a free agent. He’s missed time in recent seasons with injuries and didn’t live up to his contract in Detroit, but Big V was a nice backup in Philly before he was thrust into a starting role.

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