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Three Remaining Free Agents The Eagles Should Still Consider

The Philadelphia Eagles have quietly had an effective offseason thus far. They have managed to maintain several key pieces from last year’s playoff squad. The team essentially re-working veteran defensive tackle Fletcher Cox’s contract. They made a savvy draft pick swap with the New Orleans Saints that will help them continue to build into the future.

Howie Roseman and company even made a pretty big splash in free agency. They brought in talented young pass rusher Haason Reddick. That said, Philly still has several holes on their roster that could quickly be filled by players still left on the free-agent market.

Let’s take a look at three free agents who should sit at the top of Philly’s current free agent wish list:

Jordan Howard, RB

This one is easy. Of the players that the Eagles have opted not to retain up to this point, Jordan Howard seems like the one that makes the most sense to bring back. He should be cheap to re-sign, likely on a veteran minimum deal. This is a great bargain for a 27-year-old power back who filled in admirably for starter Miles Sanders last season. He is a perfect complement to the team’s stable of smaller, faster backs.

Howard has two 1,000+ yard rushing seasons on his resume and a Pro Bowl appearance. He showed last season that he still has gas in the tank. The Eagles had the best rushing attack in the league last season. This was a big reason they were able to bounce back from a terrible 2020 season and make the playoffs. Howard, who finished the 2021 season with 406 yards and three touchdowns on just 86 carries, was a big part of that success on the ground.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Eagles should consider re-signing Howard and running it back with the same stable of backs.

Jarvis Landry, WR

The Eagles’ wide receiving corps has been a major weakness over the past several seasons. Even during their Super Bowl season, their top receiver was a tight end, Zach Ertz. Howie Roseman has been, to be polite, inconsistent in his ability to scout wide receivers. Last year’s pick DeVonta Smith appears to be a star. However, his previous two top receivers picked, Jalen Reagor and JJ Arcega-Whiteside, have been just plain bad.

The Eagles have a future top receiver in Smith. Quez Watkins proved himself to be a viable slot receiver and occasional deep threat with his elite speed. However, the Eagles need a reliable weapon across from Smith, and Jalen Reagor isn’t the guy. Roseman is widely expected to address this hole in the draft (perhaps with Ohio State’s Chris Olave), but can we trust Roseman to hit on a first-round receiver two years in a row?

Personally, I would opt to play it safe and pick up a known commodity on the free agent market. Bringing in an established veteran to lead the receiver room and take pressure off of Smith could be a hugely beneficial. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Julio Jones still available, Jarvis Landry is not quite the biggest name out there. However, he is probably the safest bet.

While he struggled to consistently find chemistry with Baker Mayfield in Cleveland, he has been a spectacularly reliable weapon throughout his career. He has two 1,000+ yard seasons and one 100+ catch season on his resume. He has been a four-time Pro Bowl selection. Even last season, the first of his career in which he struggled to stay on the field (appearing in just 12 games), he still caught 52 passes.

If Landry, still just 29 years old, can bounce back for a fully healthy 2022 season, he could be a giant upgrade to this receiving corps and help Jalen Hurts get to the next level as a starting quarterback.

Tyrann Mathieu, Safety

Mathieu has been at the top of Eagles fans’ wish lists since the start of free agency. The Eagles need to upgrade their defensive backfield, particularly following the departure of veteran safety Rodney McLeod. Enter “the Honey Badger.”

Mathieu, at 29 years old, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time First-Team All-Pro selection. He had a Pro Bowl campaign last season for the Kansas City Chiefs, while racking up 76 combined tackles, 1.0 sack, three fumble recoveries, three interceptions, and one defensive touchdown. Mathieu is a truly elite safety and would almost certainly help the Eagles’ defense become a top-10 unit in 2022.

The exciting news for Eagles fans is that Mathieu has already met with the Eagles. There seems to be mutual interest. Will Mathieu join Darius Slay in creating an elite defensive backfield in Philly?

More to come from the city of Brotherly Love.

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