While there are many shiny new toys ready to be purchased, the buyer better beware before investing their money in these players. Every year, we see some teams (cough cough Dolphins cough cough) give a star free agent a ton of money, only for it to blow up in their faces as the team doesn't improve and their cap space shrinks.
Overall though, I think the Eagles did a pretty good job on day 1. I know that in today's NFL that day 1 is really stretched over the prior two weeks and today is just the day a lot of these deals just get finalized today, but the Eagles came in with a strategy and executed it well over the first fortnight of free agency.
Maxwell did okay last season, and would make a solid 2nd cornerback on a good defense. The problem was that he was getting paid like a lockdown corner and wasn't performing at that level. Alonso was the defensive rookie of the year in his first season in Buffalo, but tore his ACL and missed the 2014 season. However, Chip Kelly, aka El Tostito (you know, from those Tostitos commercials) believed in him enough to trade McCoy in order to get him. Alonso looked spry in his 2015 debut, but missed much of the season with various injuries.
With Kelly now gone, Roseman seems like he wants to completely destroy the old regime and get his own guys, so bye bye Maxwell and Alonso, hello higher draft pick and money.
DeMarco Murray was yet another victim of the Chip Kelly purge, as he was traded to the Tennessee Titans. After leading the league in rushing in 2014, he never got it going last season and did not enjoy his time in Philly in the least bit. However, he seemed thrilled to go to Tennesse, not only because it gives him a fresh start, but also because "Are you from Tennessee? Because you're the only 10 I see" is his favorite pickup line and he gets to use it all the time now.
In a deal that is eerily similar to the Miami trade, the Eagles gave Tennessee Murray and their fourth round pick for Tennessee's first round pick. Granted the Tennessee pick is the first one of the fourth round, but the Eagles didn't receive any additional picks or players in the deal.
As far as trades go, that's it for the Eagles through today. Roseman also made a few signings to strengthen the roster. The first and most important move was bringing back Sam Bradford on a 2 year/$36 million deal. This allows Philadelphia to take a flyer on Bradford and gives him a chance to prove himself. Bradford had a decent season last year, and his numbers would have looked a lot better if all the wideouts on the roster weren't brick walls. Instead of having to reach for a QB in the draft or spend on a risky option in free agency, the Eagles stuck with what they know and can use their cap space and draft picks on the rest of the roster.
In other quarterbacking news, the Eagles also signed former Kansas City backup, and frequent Doug Pederson man crush Monday recipient, Chase Daniel. Damn Daniel, back at it again in a Doug Pederson ran offense. Chase Daniel is a solid backup for Bradford, and many believe that it will signal the end for Sanchez's time in Philly.
In order to protect these quarterbacks, Howie Roseman went out and signed guard Brandon Brooks. No, not the main protagonist from Taken, that's Liam Neeson. We're talking about former Houston Texan Brandon Brooks. That's understandable, people confuse the two of them all time.
Anyway, Brooks was a very reliable starter for the Texans, and reliability is exactly what the Eagles need on the offensive line. Two seasons ago, the Eagles had one of the best lines in the NFL. Now, the line is decimated and a shell of it's former self. Lineman kept aging and not enough young talent was injected into the line. Adding Brooks adds a veteran presence that this line sorely needs.
On the opposite side of the ball, the Eagles added a cornerback when they signed former Buffalo Bill, Leodis McKelvin. They say availability is the best ability, and no one was more available than McKelvin. After being selected in the first round eight years ago, McKelvin has remained relatively anonymous throughout his time in the NFL.
But seriously, he was a solid corner throughout his time in Buffalo and adds some much needed depth to the Eagles' secondary. He may not be a shutdown corner in the mold of Josh Norman or Richard Sherman, but he is reliable and has experience playing as an outside corner, a nickel corner, and has even spent time at safety.
The secondary was one of the Eagles' biggest weaknesses for years now, and they added not only McKelvin, but also safety Rodney McLeod, formerly of the St. Louis Rams. McLeod was signed to a 5 year/$37 million deal. McLeod isn't a household name, but he's perfect for Philadelphia. He was an undrafted free agent who worked incredibly hard to make it to where he is and, best of all, he's a hard hitter. Opposing receivers will think twice before crossing his path.
So that's it for now. As more trades and signings come in, I will write more articles transcribing said transactions. So keep on keeping on, and let's win a damn Super Bowl already.
By: Dan Goggin
Follow us on twitter @BroadStBeat