Eagles bag Maxwell, Gore, trying to lock up Maclin?
The Eagles threw big money at their biggest need, locking up Byron Maxwell, the top corner on the free agent market, for six years and $63 million, ESPN reported. A league source confirmed other reports, that the team will sign veteran running back Frank Gore.
Officially, nobody can reach agreement with anybody yet, with NFL free agency not scheduled to begin until 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Unofficially, the market is off and running, and the Eagles certainly didn't get left behind. They addressed their biggest, most obvious need by throwing what ESPN said was $63 million over six years at Seattle Seahawks corner Byron Maxwell. The agreement was first reported by Houston radio host Jayson Braddock.
Maxwell gives the Birds the kind of elite long-armed, physical, press-man coverage specialist coordinator Billy Davis's defense requires. Several teams were interested, but the biggest challenge apparently was mounted by Seattle, which did not want to break up its "Legion of Boom" secondary.
Maxwell, 27, a former sixth-round pick from Clemson, didn't become a starter in Seattle until 2013, when Brandon Browner was suspended. He is not an established star, but he is a physical player who has garnered praise for being technically sound, and starting-quality corners under 30 don't come cheap in a league with an ever-rising salary cap.
Meanwhile, as former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy signed a new deal with Buffalo that apparently contains $26.5 million in guarantees to assuage his fears about having to move in the trade for Kiko Alonso that becomes official on Tuesday, the Eagles moved to replace him with another Drew Rosenhaus client, 49ers star Frank Gore. A league source said Gore, who turns 32 in May, will get $7.5 million in guarantees over the first two years of a three-year deal, as the Eagles move toward more of a running-back-by-committee approach, which was how Chip Kelly did it at Oregon. The Gore deal was first reported by ESPN's Adam Caplan and Adam Schefter.
CBS's Jason LaCanfora reported the Birds were mounting a serious push to re-sign wideout Jeremy Maclin, whose name has been conspicuously absent from free agent speculation since the "legal tampering" period began at noon on Saturday.
The Eagles have cut Cary Williams and are expected to let Bradley Fletcher walk in free agency, so they are probably looking at another corner in free agency as well.