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Even after their busy week, Eagles still have work to do

During a six-day span last week, the Eagles added eight new contracts and about $40 million of salary against their 2015 cap.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today)
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today)Read more

During a six-day span last week, the Eagles added eight new contracts and about $40 million of salary against their 2015 cap.

On the seventh day, the Eagles rested.

Friday offered the first quiet 24 hours of the free-agency period. That doesn't even include moves from the previous weeks, such as releasing expensive veterans Todd Herremans, Trent Cole, and Cary Williams.

Add in the trades of Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy, and the departures of Jeremy Maclin and Nate Allen, among other changes, and the Eagles are replacing eight opening-day starters.

"We're not done," coach Chip Kelly said after signing running back DeMarco Murray on Thursday. "We have the draft coming up. There's some other opportunities."

The Eagles have only $6.7 million in cap space remaining, according to an NFL source. The space they had was mostly swallowed up by the additions of Murray, Sam Bradford, Byron Maxwell, Ryan Mathews, Walter Thurmond, and Kiko Alonso, plus re-signing Brandon Graham and Mark Sanchez.

The Eagles still must figure out what to do at wide receiver, a position they hoped would not be a need this offseason. Even with contingencies in place, Kelly wanted Maclin to return and was aggressive trying to reach a deal. Maclin signed a five-year, $55 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs that apparently was too rich for the Eagles. Kelly was unsure whether the Eagles would spend on the position in free agency.

There's confidence within the NovaCare Complex in the development of 2014 rookies Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff. Then there's tight end Zach Ertz, whom Kelly considers a "multi-position player." And when discussing the passing game, Kelly includes running back Darren Sproles - "a Swiss-army knife . . . we can use in a lot of different ways."

The best time for the Eagles to address wide receiver will be April 30 to May 2.

"We do think the draft is really talented from a wide-receiver standpoint, so we'll take a good, hard look at that, also," Kelly said.

Ten to 12 receivers could be taken in the first two rounds. If the Eagles want one at No. 20, potential options may include Louisville's DeVante Parker; Arizona State's Jaelen Strong (a West Catholic graduate); Central Florida's Breshad Perriman; and, if they are satisfied with his character, Oklahoma's Dorial Green-Beckham. If they wait for the second round, it could be Ohio State's Devin Smith, a deep threat who models his game after Maclin's.

The depth of the receiver class also means the Eagles can find talent in the middle rounds, as long as their evaluations are sound.

The draft talent at safety - which remains a big need for the Eagles - is not thought to be deep, so the Birds might be forced to address the position with a second-tier free agent. They went in that direction last season, when the market dried and re-signed Nate Allen during free agency's second week.

Allen signed a four-year contract with Oakland last week that will pay him $11.8 million guaranteed, according to a Baltimore Sun report. That contract will not help the Eagles' pursuit of a replacement, who could use the deal to inflate his value.

Tampa Bay's Dashon Goldson and the New York Giants' Stevie Brown are the best available at a position in which the demand outpaces the supply.

Then there's the uncertainty of the offensive line, which already has a vacancy at right guard after Herremans' release and could have one at left guard if the Eagles find a trade partner for Pro Bowler Evan Mathis. Mathis' name is in trade discussions, a league source confirmed, although he also was made available last spring but stayed with the Eagles.

Allen Barbre and Andrew Gardner are veterans, and Matthew Tobin has been in the system for two years, giving the Eagles internal options. What they lack is a potential long-term starter at either guard spot, and they could find one in this draft.

A player to watch is Oregon's Jake Fisher - and that's not just because he was recruited by Kelly and played for him in college. It's because Fisher fits what the Eagles seek on the offensive line. At 6-foot-6 and 306 pounds, the converted tight end was perhaps the most athletic offensive lineman at the combine. He also offers tackle/guard versatility, which appeals to Kelly.'s Gil Brandt, a longtime personnel chief with the Cowboys, wrote on Twitter that the "guy who really made lots of $$ [at Oregon's pro day] was OT Jake Fisher. Ultra-athletic. Moves around like [point guard]. Possible 1st round."

There will be others to choose from in the early rounds, too, assuming the Eagles keep their picks. There are still solid options on the market, but few long-term solutions.

At this time of year, the depth chart can be incomplete. The 90-man roster will fill up after the draft, and Kelly will see his new team on the field for the first time on May 26 for the first organized team activity.

The 11 weeks until then won't be as hectic as last week, but the Eagles are not finished yet.