Good morning, Eagles fans. Welcome to the inaugural edition of the 2020 offseason newsletter. How have you been? We have missed you. Hopefully the feeling is mutual.
The Eagles are in the full swing of the offseason by now and are in the midst of a few coaching searches. They’re still working to replace offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch, and they have to find a defensive backs coach now that Cory Undlin is headed for the Detroit Lions’ staff.
Beyond the coaching search, there’s still plenty going on even though we’re in the offseason. Below, we’ll break down all the important dates coming in the next two months.
— EJ Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Eagles’ front office has plenty of work to do over the coming months. It starts with the coaching search, but there are a handful of other key events going on between now and the start of free agency. Here’s a detailed list:
Jan. 25: Senior Bowl — The team will get a chance to look at dozens of NFL draft prospects during the All-Star game held at Ladd Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Fortunately for the Eagles, no division rivals will get an up-close and personal look at the players during the practice week, since the Detroit Lions’ and Cincinnati Bengals’ coaching staffs were selected to run the two teams leading into the game.
Jan. 26: Pro Bowl — Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, Zach Ertz, and Rick Lovato were selected to make the trip to Orlando later this month. Brandon Brooks also was chosen, but he’s rehabbing from surgery to repair a broken bone in his shoulder socket. Ertz might not make the trip, depending on how healed his fractured rib and lacerated kidney are.
Feb. 3: Waivers open — The day after the Super Bowl, the waiver wire will reset. The Eagles will be 21st in the waiver order, identical to the draft order.
Feb. 24 to March 1: Scouting combine — The Eagles front office and coaching staff will head to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to watch most of the best draft prospects run around in shorts and T-shirts. It will be especially interesting this year to see which wide receivers boost their draft stock with strong 40-yard dashes and which ones slide. The Eagles will be very interested in both the receivers’ performances as well as the defensive backs.
Feb. 25 to March 10: Franchise tag window — Teams will be able to franchise-tag players starting on Feb. 25 and ending at 4 p.m. March 10. The Eagles don’t have anybody with an expiring contract worth the tag, which would require the team to shell out the average salary of the top five earners at the player’s position. It will be interesting to see if the Dallas Cowboys use the franchise tag on Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper. Dallas could also use the “transition tag” on Cooper, which would give the team the right to match any offer the wideout gets.
March 16-18: Free-agency moratorium — All right, it’s not exactly called a moratorium in the NFL, but the rules are very similar to the NBA’s. It’s the opening of free-agency negotiations before the league year resets. Teams and agents can begin talking about contracts and can even agree on terms. The Eagles have 16 unrestricted free agents (excluding Josh McCown), so there will be plenty of work to be done.
March 18: Free agency opens — This is when the league year turns over, and deals can be made official.
Do Eagles bring in any edge rushers or finally get someone next to Fletch? Or they banking on Malik Jackson coming back. — From Zach Reichl (@Reichl21) on Twitter.
Good question, Zach. The defense will definitely benefit from Malik Jackson’s return on the inside, so I don’t think there will be any big signings at defensive tackle. Jackson carries a $10 million cap hit next season, so there isn’t a whole lot of spending the Eagles can/should be doing at the position considering that. Could they get better at edge rusher? Sure. Derek Barnett was good enough this season, but he still hasn’t quite emerged into a week-in, week-out difference-maker. Josh Sweat looks like he’s steadily improving, and perhaps the team is hoping he can become even more of a staple in the defensive-end rotation.