The Philadelphia Eagles came oh so close to winning Super Bowl 57, but ultimately fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 38-35. Nearly a month has passed since then, and the Eagles are in offseason mode like the rest of the league. With how the offseason is shaking up, general manager Howie Roseman will be a busy man.
Philadelphia’s current roster has few, if any, major holes, but that will likely change in a hurry. The Eagles have a ton of players about to hit free agency, and with just around $5.6 million in cap space, most of these players have likely played their last game in Midnight Green. While the likes of Miles Sanders and Jason Kelce would be huge losses on offense, the defense will likely get the worst of the roster overhaul.
Every position group on that side of the ball has huge contributors about to hit the market next week. Up front, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave and other depth pieces are pending free agents. In the secondary, there’s James Bradberry, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps, all major contributors for Philadelphia lest season.
However, the silver lining is that the Eagles still have key pieces at those positions. Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat should still anchor the pass rush, and ditto for Darius Slay in the secondary. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, that is not the case at linebacker.
The Eagles’ two pure linebackers, TJ Edwards and Kyzir White, are about to hit the market in just a week. They were the team’s two leading tacklers with 159 and 110, respectively, and their production will be near-impossible to replace.
No doubt, linebacker is the Eagles’ biggest need this offseason, and one they must address in free agency. Fortunately for them, there’s a perfect target for them available this offseason.
Eagles’ free agent to address biggest need: LB Lavonte David
Philadelphia clearly needs a linebacker, and one of the best over the last decade just so happens to be hitting the market. Lavonte David has played his entire 11-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and has become a legend for them. However, his time in Tampa may be coming to an end soon.
While the Eagles are facing a cap crunch, it pales in comparison to the one the Buccaneers are facing. Tampa Bay is more than $57 million in the red right now, with most of that coming from Tom Brady’s dead cap hit. Now that Brady is gone, the Buccaneers could very well go into a retooling/rebuilding period. That means many free agents will likely leave, and David is chief among them.
Even though he turned 33 in January, David is still a very good linebacker. He had 124 tackles last season, tied with Devin White for a team-high, along with three sacks and five passes deflections. He also finished the season with an 85.1 defensive grade from PFF, the third-best of any linebacker.
With a great defense around him, David would fit in wonderfully in Philadelphia. He could mostly replace Edwards’ production, albeit probably not fully. His decade of experience would also make him a great mentor for Nakobe Dean, who the Eagles drafted last April.
David would have to take a bit of a pay cut from his cap hit of nearly $15 million to make this deal work, though. Considering that the Eagles are true Super Bowl contenders, David may be willing to take that cut to have a better chance of winning another ring while he can. If that’s the case, then this would be a tremendous pairing between player and team.