Bob Cooney- Don’t Panic Yet, Eagles Fans
I’m here for you, Eagles fans. I know the past couple of days haven’t been the best. Kind of takes you back to being a young kid again and you weren’t picked at the playground to play in the game while the other kids were having fun doing so. Like going to the dance and the girls came over to grab a hand to take onto the dance floor and your’s remained in your pocket and you acted like all was good.
That’s how it feels right now as teams around the NFL made a run on free agents yesterday, plucking a handful of Eagles from the nest while other FAs on the team wait to see where they are going to land. Will C.J. Gardner-Johnson return to solidify the secondary? Does Fletcher Cox take a team-friendly deal? Is James Bradberry too expensive? Miles Sanders? So many questions and such worries. Understandable. But I’m here to ease your concerns. For now.
I don’t know who will be the fill-in for Epps. Maybe it’s undrafted, Reed Blankenship, who did some nice things while filling in last season, but is still unknown. But so was the sixth-round pick Epps before last season. And while he played well last season, he seems to have gotten better since the Super Bowl loss.
T.J. Edwards had the best season of his career and was vital to the defensive calls for the Birds. But again, it wasn’t expected from him, also an undrafted player. In Nakobe Dean, you have a third-round pick who it has to be expected to be at least as good as Edwards moving forward, and likely even better.
The Javon Hargrave move hurts more because of where he went than actually losing him. San Francisco has a formidable defense and Hargrave solidifies that. But he is 30 and before two seasons ago, had a combined 19 sacks in five years. It’s now up to Milton Williams, a third-round pick and just 23, to justify his high draft status and make people forget about Hargrave.
The first move may be restructuring. Lane Johnson and Darius Slay count $31 million against the cap. Keep an eye on that.
And remember this. Starters from this past season in Kyzir White (March 21), A.J. Brown (April 28th), Bradberry (May 13th) and C.J. Gardner-Johnson (August 30th) all were gotten later in the offseason than where we are now. Just saying