Eagles 2021 offseason tracker: Key dates, free agents, latest news, rumors and more in post-Carson Wentz era

The 2020 Philadelphia Eagles’ season was a disaster. Head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz were considered one of the top-10 quarterback-coach duos in the NFL entering 2020, but both are no longer with the organization after Wentz had one of the worst seasons for a quarterback in franchise history. 

Pederson was fired after the Eagles finished 4-11-1 — the franchise’s worst season since 2012 — and Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 third-round pick and conditional 2022 second-round pick. The Eagles held onto general manager Howie Roseman, as he will be tasked with rebuilding the franchise for the second time in five years. But this rebuild looks to be a lot more daunting than the previous one in 2016. 

The Eagles enter this offseason will plenty of decisions to make at the quarterback position, especially with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and eight other picks at their disposal. Will the franchise give Jalen Hurts the opportunity to be the No. 1 quarterback for 2021 and beyond or will new head coach Nick Sirianni pick his own signal caller at No. 6 overall to lead the franchise for the next several seasons? Expect to hear Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance’s names a lot over the next several weeks — as we’ll be here to guide you through the latest quarterback drama in Philadelphia.

Our offseason hub for the Eagles can be seen below, which will give you every piece of information you’ll need to stay caught up with the rebuild of this franchise. We’ll have all the latest rumors and news for the Eagles along with the important dates that you’ll want to circle on your calendar. 

Key upcoming datesMarch 15-17: Legal tampering period opens. Clubs are permitted to contact — and enter into contract negotiations with — agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents at the start of the new league year. March 17: The 2021 league year and free agency period begin at 4 p.m. EST. All 2020 contracts expire after this time and eligible players are free to officially signs deals with other clubs. Prior to this deadline, teams must exercise options for 2021 on all players who have option clauses in their 2020 contracts, must submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation, and must submit a minimum-salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2020 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.April 5: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2020 regular season may begin offseason workout programs. This pertains to the Eagles, who have a new head coach in Nick Sirianni.April 19: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.April: 23: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign.April 28: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.April 29 – May 1: 2021 NFL Draft (Cleveland).2021 regular-season opponents

Here’s a brief explanation of the NFL scheduling formula, which was implemented in 2002 — but will reportedly undergo a slight tweak in 2021 (we’ll get to that in a bit). Here’s a breakdown of how each team’s opponents are set:

Six games against divisional opponents — two games per team, one at home and one on the road.Four games against teams from a division within its conference — two games at home and two on the road — on a rotating three-year cycle (four games). The Eagles will play the NFC South in 2021.Four games against teams from a division in the other conference — two games at home and two on the road — on a rotating four-year cycle (four games). The Eagles will play the AFC West in 2021. Two games against teams from the two remaining divisions in its own conference — one game at home and one on the road. Matchups are based on division ranking from the previous season. These conference games are based on the prior year’s standings. Example: A first-place team will play against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in that conference are matched in the same way each year. The Eagles will play the last-place team in the NFC North (Detroit Lions) and last-place team in NFC West (San Francisco 49ers). 

Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers

Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions

*The actual 2021 schedule will be released later this offseason. The league is planning on adding a 17th game to the regular-season schedule with the opponent to be determined. 

2021 NFL Draft picksFirst round (No. 6 overall)Second round (No. 37 overall)Third round (No. 70 overall)Third round (No. 85 overall) — (via Indianapolis for Carson Wentz)Fifth round (No. 151 overall)Fifth round (No. 157 overall) — (via Dallas for 2020 fourth-round pick, Tyler Biadasz)Sixth round (No. 189 overall)Sixth round (No. 223 overall) — (compensatory)Sixth round (No. 224 overall) — (compensatory)Seventh round (No. 234 overall)

The Eagles received two compensatory picks in the 2021 NFL draft, both in the sixth round. Using the NFL’s compensatory pick formula the Eagles gained two compensatory picks for losing Ronald Darby, Jordan Howard, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Halapoulivaati Vaitai in free agency in 2020. The team signed Javon Hargrave last offseason. 

Philadelphia has 10 picks in the 2021 draft. 

Pending in-house free agents

Unrestricted free agents:

The Eagles will find it difficult to retain a lot of their free agents since they currently have the second-worst salary cap situation in the NFL (Over The Cap has them at $42.9 million over the $180 million floor for the 2020 season). Here’s the good news — there aren’t many on this list worth retaining. 

Peters’ Hall of Fame tenure with the franchise is over after 11 seasons, as Jordan Mailata or Andre Dillard will take over at left tackle. Curry, also an aging veteran, isn’t expected back next season either.  Ridgeway is a likely candidate to return, given he’s familiar with Gannon as the two spent a year together in Indianapolis (2018). 

The Eagles will have to make tough decisions on LeBlanc, who plays well in the slot when he’s healthy. Both won’t cost much to retain. Riley showed strides in 2020 at linebacker, but Philadelphia can easily upgrade. 

Don’t expect Robey-Coleman, Clement, or Perkins back. Sudfeld could be back as quarterback depth, but the Eagles may want to move on by drafting and developing a signal-caller. 

Restricted free agents:

Philadelphia will not tender a contract to Johnston, even though he’s been a top-10 punter over the past three seasons. Keeping Rodgers would be a solid No. 2 tight end for the Eagles in 2021, but there’s no need to put a tender on him — allowing him to test the market. 

Exclusive rights free agents: 

What is an exclusive rights free agent? These free agents are players on expiring contracts who have three or fewer accrued seasons in the NFL. They can only negotiate with their original team ahead of the new league year, and if they’re not tendered a contract, they become unrestricted free agents.

The Eagles have tendered a contract to Singleton, who was one of their best players on defense last year, and Ward, who provides valuable depth at wide receiver and as a punt returner. Scott was also tendered a contract, per reports. 

Free agent scorecard

Free agents the Eagles retained

Scott is a good backup running back who deserves to be in a NFL rotation. A strong pass-catcher out of the backfield, the Eagles had an easy decision toward keeping him around for the 2021 season. Same with Singleton, who will certainly be a front-runner for a starting job in 2021 (his 88 tackles led the league from Week 10 to the end of the year). 

Free agents the Eagles signed from another team:

Free agents the Eagles lost to another team:  

Jalen Mills (Patriots)Rudy Ford (Jaguars)

Players the Eagles signed who were cut by another team:

Players the Eagles cut: 

*It’s important to differentiate between the players signed as unrestricted free agents and those signed after being cut by another team. This is true because players who are signed after being released by another team do not count in the compensatory draft-pick formula for the team that signs them.

Rumors, reports, updates

March 15: Rudy Ford agrees to two-year deal with Jaguars.

Ford agreed to a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the Jaguars, as the Eagles lost arguably their top special teams player from 2020. 

March 15: Jalen Mills agrees to four-year deal with Patriots

Mills agreed to a four-year, $24 million deal with the Patriots — ending his five-year career in Philadelphia (per ESPN”s Adam Schefter). Mills, who can play cornerback and safety, will be a valuable asset in Bill Belichick’s defense. 

The Eagles will be in the market for a new starting safety this offseason. Mills, a seventh-round draft pick of the Eagles in 2016, finished with a career-high 74 tackles and five quarterback hits in 15 games for the Eagles last season.

March 15: Eagles showing interest in Jacoby Brissett, John Johnson III, per reports

Per Inside The Birds’ Adam Caplan, the Eagles have interest in Jacoby Brissett and can talk to him immediately during the “legal tampering” period. Brissett spent the past four seasons with the Colts, including three of those with new Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni as his offensive coordinator. Eagles passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo was Indianapolis’ pass-game specialist last season when Brissett was the backup quarterback behind Philip Rivers — so there’s plenty of familiarity with the Eagles’ new offensive system. 

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones also reported the Eagles are one of four teams interested in Los Angeles Rams safety John Johnson III — joining the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Cleveland Browns. Johnson was one of two safeties that finished with 100 tackles and allowed a passer rating under 80 last season (joining Jessie Bates III). Johnson finished with 105 tackles, an interception, and eight passes defensed in starting all 16 games for the Rams in 2020. Opposing quarterbacks had a 71.9 passer rating targeting Johnson, the second consecutive season he allowed a passer rating under 80. 

March 15: Eagles working on contract extension with Brandon Graham, per report

Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Eagles and Graham are working on a contract extension that will keep Graham in an Eagles uniform past the 2021 season — the final year of his current deal. 

The Eagles will save $9.54 million in salary cap space with a Graham extension (per Over The Cap). A first-round pick in 2010, Graham is fourth on the franchise’s all-time sack list (59) and is tied for third in forced fumbles (19) while ranking third in quarterback hits (123). Only Reggie White, Trent Cole, and Clyde Simmons have more sacks in an Eagles uniform than Graham. Graham finished with 46 tackles, eight sacks, 16 quarterback hits, and 29 pressures last season.

March 14:  Zach Ertz growing ‘increasingly impatient’ with Eagles as team seeks high draft pick for tight end, per report

The Eagles have yet to find a trade partner for Ertz, who has become “increasingly impatient” with the franchise as the former Pro Bowl tight end is set to move on from Philadelphia, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. 

The Eagles are seeking a third- or fourth-round pick for Ertz, who holds the record for the most receptions by a tight end in a season in NFL history (116). Philadelphia could bring Ertz back in 2021 at his $12,721,500 cap number for 2021, but contract extension negotiations broke down last season as the veteran tight end seemed to admit his days with the franchise that drafted him were over at his end-of-season press conference in January. 

March 12: Eagles restructure Brandon Brooks’ contract, ensure Philly’s O-line remains intact, per report

The Eagles continue to inch their way to get under the salary cap, restructuring the contract of Brandon Brooks  — a much-needed move for a franchise pillar on the offensive line (per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler). The Eagles will save $7,068,750 in salary cap space with the Brooks restructure (per Over The Cap), a necessary move considering Brooks has four years remaining on a $71.6 million extension he signed in 2019.

Brooks, a key piece of the Eagles’ offensive line, missed the entire 2020 season with a torn Achilles tendon. He was healthy enough to practice by the end of the season, but didn’t play a game after tearing his left Achilles tendon while rehabbing a shoulder injury last offseason. 

March 11: Eagles restructure Javon Hargrave, Isaac Seumalo contracts

Philadelphia restructured the contract of Hargrave, saving $9.408 million of salary cap space (per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport) — a significant amount for a team looking to get under the threshold of $182.5 million. 

Hargrave signed a three-year, $39 million deal last season with the Eagles, making the restructure an easy decision for both he and the front office. Hargrave ended the year with eight pressures, three sacks, and four quarterback hits in his final five games for the Eagles — finishing with 38 tackles, 4.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, and 17 pressures on the year.

The Eagles also restructured Seumalo’s contract, saving $2.408 million in cap space. 

March 8: Eagles plan on building team around Jalen Hurts and making him successful this season, per report

The Eagles appear committed to making Jalen Hurts their starting quarterback in 2021, giving the second-round draft pick every opportunity to succeed in his new role. Per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has prioritized making Hurts successful in 2021 instead of creating a true competition for the job.

“Lurie has basically sent the message to his personnel department and his general manager Howie Roseman that he wants to do everything he can to help Jalen Hurts be successful and not bring in somebody to compete for the job,” Mortensen said on ESPN. “Now they have a new head coach in Nick Sirianni, he understands what the owner wants, the owner gets.”

March 8: Eagles have discussed trading Pro Bowl guard Brandon Brooks as team continues roster overhaul, per report

Brooks’ name has been “floated” in trade discussions, per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. Brooks, a key piece of the Eagles’ offensive line, missed the entire 2020 season with a torn Achilles tendon. Brooks was healthy enough to practice by the end of the season, but didn’t play a game after tearing the left Achilles tendon while rehabbing a shoulder injury last offseason. 

March 7: Multiple teams calling about Zach Ertz, deal could happen soon, per report

According to Michael Silver of NFL Network, multiple teams have called the Eagles about their veteran tight end and a deal could happen in the coming days. Ertz has been the subject of trade rumors for quite a bit after he and the team could not come to terms on an extension this past season. The club reportedly looked to move him around the deadline this past season but an ankle injury halted any serious trade talks from being executed.

If the Eagles cannot find a trade partner for Ertz, he’s a candidate to be released as the franchise has Dallas Goedert set to emerge as the No. 1 tight end. The team would save $4.952 million in cap space with a trade or release. 

March 5: Jason Kelce foregoes retirement, will remain with Eagles in 2021

The Eagles and Kelce agreed to terms on a restructured contract, he and the team announced on Friday, that will reportedly pay him $9 million fully guaranteed at signing with the potential to max it at $12 million.

“Man, the first week of March 2021 is one for the record books!!!!” Kelce wrote on Instagram. “Got to welcome baby No. 2 — Elliotte Ray Kelce — into the world. Got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the wonderful Puentes de Salud Medical Clinic, and restructured my contract to ensure I will continue to be the center for the Philadelphia Eagles. 

“2021 already off to a better start!! The more people that get their [vaccine], the sooner we get back to normal. Don’t let the name fool you — Elliotte is a girl. Go Eagles! [I] couldn’t be more excited!!”

March 5: Eagles restructure Darius Slay’s contract, per report

The Eagles and Slay agreed to a restructured deal that will keep the veteran cornerback in Philadelphia. Slay, who initially had a $15.7 million cap charge, added voided/dummy years in 2024 and 2025 to Slay’s initial three-year deal, which clears $9.14 million in cap space for Philadelphia. 

March 4: Eagles won’t tender Cameron Johnston, per report. 

The Eagles reportedly won’t tender Johnston due to salary cap issues. Johnston will become an unrestricted free agent. It’s possible the Eagles do bring Johnston back at a cheaper rate, but this is a move to get under the salary cap by the start of the new league year. 

March 3: Brandon Graham wants to remain with Eagles despite franchise entering rebuilding mode

The longest tenured player on the Eagles, Graham reiterated he doesn’t want to leave Philadelphia — wanting to be with the Eagles for the rest of his career.

“I don’t want to go anywhere,” Graham said, via Zach Berman of The Athletic. “I know I don’t have long, but I know for me, I’m here in Philly. So when I’m (retired, I’m) either going to be working here or doing something in Philly to stay connected to the team. I don’t want to mess that up by just dipping out when things got a little tough. But who knows how it’s gonna go this year? Jalen (Hurts) might go in there and rock our world and lead this team down a road that I feel we could (go).”

March 1: Eagles tendered contracts to Alex Singleton, Boston Scott, and Greg Ward

The Eagles made sure they retained all three of their exclusive rights free agents by tendering contracts to Singleton, Ward, and Scott, per a report from Mike Kaye of NJ.com. These players could only negotiate with their original team ahead of the new league year as exclusive rights free agents. 

Feb. 22: Eagles to release Alshon Jeffery, per report

The Eagles will release Jeffery at the start of the new league year, shortly after parting ways with DeSean Jackson. The Eagles also restructured Jeffery’s contract back in early January to provide some cap relief. Completely moving on in the next few weeks may be an attempt to gain even more wiggle room as the club is currently cap-strapped. 

Feb. 22: Eagles will strongly consider picking a quarterback at No. 6 overall, per reports

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported the Eagles will consider taking a QB at No. 6 overall, despite drafting Jalen Hurts in the second round last year and trading Carson Wentz in February. 

“(General manager Howie) Roseman joined the Eagles in 2000, and that year Philly also had the sixth pick,” Breer wrote. “They’ve had a top-10 pick without having to trade up for it just once since then — they picked fourth the year Andy Reid got fired and wound up with Lane Johnson. Suffice it to say, they don’t plan on picking this high again, so they plan on grinding hard on every option with the pick, QBs included.”

Feb. 19: Eagles release DeSean Jackson after second Philly stint

The Eagles announced they released Jackson, as the franchise saves $4.857 million with his release (per Over The Cap). Jackson does plan on continuing to play at age 34, as he’ll be free to sign with any team, even prior to the free agency period. 

Feb. 18: Eagles trade Carson Wentz to Colts

The Eagles agreed to trade the 2016 No. 2 overall pick to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick that could turn into a first. The conditions of the 2022 pick turning into a first are as follows:

Wentz plays 75% of the offensive snaps in 2021Wentz plays 70% of the offensive snaps and the Colts make the playoffs

Published: 2021-03-16 15:55:35

Tags: #Eagles #offseason #tracker #Key #dates #free #agents #latest #news #rumors #postCarson #Wentz #era

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