Francis: Who should the Eagles target in free agency?

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Eagles offseason graphic. - Multimedia Editor / Drew Peltzman

Editor’s Note: This article was written before the Eagles cut Kevin Byard

After a disappointing exit from the playoffs at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Philadelphia Eagles have many issues that need to be fixed to get back into title contention for the 2024 NFL season.

The most pressing needs are linebackers, a second cornerback to run opposite Darius Slay Jr., some youth on the offensive line, adding a WR3, and finding a replacement running back for D’Andre Swift in case he doesn’t resign.

As of right now, the Eagles have around $27.5 million to work with for free agency. Some cuts/restructures/extensions that can increase that salary cap number will be to extend Haason Reddick (saves $11.8 million), cut Kevin Byard after June 1, (saves $14 million), cut Avonte Maddox after June 1, (saves $7.1 million with a dead cap of $2.6 million), and extend Jordan Mailata (saves $4.7 million).

With those salary extensions, cuts, and restructures, the Eagles can potentially have $65 million in salary cap to sign free agents.

Some guys that the Eagles can target include linebackers Patrick Queen, Devin White, Willie Gay, and Frankie Luvu, safeties Jeremy Chinn and Antoine Winfield Jr., and receivers Tyler Boyd, Curtis Samuel, and KJ Osborn. Of those names, the Eagles can realistically sign Queen, Samuel, and Luvu.

Queen would be a good signing for the Eagles because of their lack at the linebacker position. Last season, Queen had a career year with the Baltimore Ravens last season, with 133 tackles, nine tackles for loss, six QB hits, six passes defended, three and a half sacks, and nine tackles for loss. If I was Howie Roseman, I would offer Queen a five-year contract with an average salary of $18.5 million.

Samuel can bring a versatile skill set to an Eagles team that needs some added wrinkles from a dormant offense in 2023. Last season, Samuel had 62 receptions for 613 yards and five touchdowns. I would offer Samuel a three-year deal with an average salary of $11 million.

Luvu also offers a sense of versatility, but on the defensive end, as he can line up on the edge or play inside linebacker. Last season, Luvu had 125 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 11 QB hits, five passes defended, and two forced fumbles. I would see if he would agree to a four-year deal, with an average salary of $11.2 million.

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