With the offseason officially underway, Around The NFL will examine what's next for all 32 teams. The series continues with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Now, more than ever, it's Chip Kelly's world in Philadelphia. The Eagles coach won an internal power struggle that gave him full control of his roster. Kelly and new head personnel man Ed Marynowitz will look to upgrade a problematic secondary and perhaps make an aggressive play at quarterback. The Eagles should have a good chunk of salary cap to work with -- following the release of cornerbackCary Williams -- a piggy bank that could grow with more roster maneuvering.
Biggest free agents
» WR Jeremy Maclin: The receiver came back strong from a torn ACL and performed like a star last year. Maclin is up for a huge pay raise, and the Eagles almost have no choice but to play ball after dumping DeSean Jackson last year.
» OLB Brandon Graham: The 26-year-old Graham enjoyed the best season of his career in 2014, grading out as Pro Football Focus' fifth-best 3-4 outside linebacker. On the flip side, Graham played just 43 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps, according to Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com. Does Philly know what it has?
» QB Mark Sanchez: The quarterback is staying in Philadelphia. Sanchez agreed to a two-year deal and will compete for the starting job.
On the way out?
» Trent Cole: Cole can certainly play, but an $11.625 million cap charge in 2015 is simply too steep for the 32-year-old. If Cole returns, he'll likely have to take a pay cut.
» Riley Cooper: Cooper's extension looks like a horrible move by former GM Howie Roseman, and you can expect second-year receiver Jordan Matthews to supplant Cooper on the outside in 2015. Unfortunately for the Eagles, it will cost them more to cut Cooper than keep him on their roster.
What they need
Is Foles the answer? That's the biggest question facing Kelly, who likes to run his offense with a mobile quarterback. Expect the speculation connecting Kelly to Marcus Mariota to grow as we get closer to the draft. Kelly recruited Mariota at Oregon. Will Mariota last until the 20th pick? Philly might have to get aggressive.
A facelift in the secondary is necessary. Safety is an annual issue in Philadelphia, and cornerbacks Williams and Fletcher could both be gone by training camp. An edge pass rusher should also be on the menu.
Offseason crystal ball
If Kelly is in love with Mariota's ability, it's hard to imagine the Eagles not making a hard play. Foles is coming off a mediocre year and probably would have lost his job entirely if Sanchez performed better.
If the Eaglesdon't land Mariota, there's an excellent chance they target a cornerback and/or safety early. Kelly and Marynowitz also figure to be active in free agency -- Byron Maxwell and Brandon Flowers are the top-two cornerback options on Chris Wesseling's top 25 free agents list. The Eagles need to sign/develop a stud to match up against Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham and DeSean Jackson on Sundays.
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