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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Glenn Erby

1 pending free agent the Eagles could target from each NFC team

Free agency is about two weeks away, and the Philadelphia Eagles have several players set to hit the open market. General manager Howie Roseman has to make critical decisions to fill roster holes.

While Roseman will likely look to the free agent market for answers, several in-house free agents are candidates to sign an extension ahead of free agency.

The Birds are set to have 20 pending free agents, and with another likely retool schedule on defense, the organization could conjure up a scheme for more flexibility.

According to Over the Cap’s potential transaction chart, the Eagles can easily create $35.4 million in cap space by making these five moves.

With the new league year fast approaching, we’re looking at one pending free agent from each NFC team that could interest Philadelphia.

Tony Pollard, RB, Cowbboys

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 10: Tony Pollard #20 of the Dallas Cowboys carries the ball during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on December 10, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Pollard logged more than 3,600 rushing yards and more than 1,300 receiving yards over four seasons in Dallas with Kellen Moore as the offensive play-caller.

Xavier McKinney, S, Giants

Dec 31, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by New York Giants safety Isaiah Simmons (19) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

McKinney fits the profile of the new age of NFL safety play.

The 2020 second-round NFL Draft pick is just 24 and has been a captain for the past two seasons.

McKinney was sidelined for the first 10 games of his rookie season with a broken foot, but showed his durability by playing all 1,128 defensive snaps this season.

McKinney can play deep as a free safety, play the run in the box and cover tight ends in man coverage.

Antonio Gibson, RB, Commanders

Sep 17, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Washington Commanders running back Antonio Gibson (24) runs the ball as Denver Broncos cornerback Damarri Mathis (27) defends in the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Gibson finished 2023 with 65 carries for 265 yards and a touchdown and 48 catches for 389 yards and two touchdowns on 59 targets.

Gibson offers a rare combination of size and speed.

Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears

Dec 10, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) makes a catch over Detroit Lions linebacker Jack Campbell (46) during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mooney’s most productive season came in 2021 when he totaled career-highs in catches (81) and receiving yards (1,055) at age 24. The Eagles would also provide a soft landing spot with the ability to line up as a No. 3 alongside A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson, DB, Lions

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 14: C.J. Gardner-Johnson #2 of the Detroit Lions reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs at Ford Field on January 14, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Gardner-Johnson tore a pectoral muscle in Week 2 and did not play again until the regular-season finale against Minnesota. He finished the regular season with 16 tackles and one INT in three games, primarily playing at single-high safety but also with a healthy dose of box safety and slot corner mixed in.

In 2022 with the Eagles, Gardner-Johnson led the NFL in interceptions with six picks in just 12 games, and Roseman could look to bring him back.

A.J. Dillon, RB, Packers

Detroit Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes tackles Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon during the first half at Ford Field in Detroit on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023.

Dillon (thumb/neck) logged 178 carries for 613 yards and two touchdowns while adding 22 receptions for 223 yards over 15 games in the 2023 season.

Dillon saw action in Green Bay’s first 14 games of the season, but his yards per carry have dipped each of the last three seasons and Philadelphia could be the perfect change of scenery.

K.J. Osborn, WR, Vikings

Dec 31, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The veteran wideout recorded career lows in receptions (48), yards (540) and touchdowns (three) in 2023.

Van Jefferson, WR, Falcons

Oct 29, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Van Jefferson (15) makes a catch against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson caught 12 of 28 passes for 101 yards in 12 appearances for the Falcons in 2023. He caught eight of 15 targets for 108 yards in five appearances with the Rams.

The Rams shipped Jefferson to the Falcons in mid-October.

Frankie Luvu, LB, Panthers

Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu (49) looks over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Aaron Schatz predicts the Eagles will make a run at Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu as a top offseason priority.

During the 2023 season, Luvu logged 125 total tackles and 7.5 sacks, forced two fumbles, and broke up five passes for Carolina.

Malcolm Roach, DT, Saints

Aug 13, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Malcolm Roach (97) pumps up the fans for the Who Dat chant to start the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Roach logged 38 tackles and three passes defended across 12 appearances during the 2023 season.

Roach logged a career high in tackles before sustaining a significant knee injury that sent him to injured reserve for the final five games of the 2023 season.

Devin White, LB, Buccaneers

Dec 31, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Jamaal Williams (21) runs with the ball as Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (45) and linebacker Lavonte David (54) tackle during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

White finished the 2023 regular season with 83 tackles (49 solo), including 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and an additional four defensed passes across 14 games. He added three assisted tackles in the Buccaneers’ two postseason games.

Marquise Brown, WR, Cardinals

Oct 8, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, United States; Arizona Cardinals receiver Marquise Brown (2) tries to get past Cincinnati Bengals safety Jordan Battle (27) at State Farm Stadium.

Brown had 51 catches for 574 yards and scored 4 touchdowns in 14 games in 2023, and with Quez Watkins set to depart, he could be a potential third option.

Kevin Dotson, OL, Rams

Dec 31, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams (23) scores a rushing touchdown as Los Angeles Rams guard Kevin Dotson (69) blocks New York Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke (58) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams acquired Dotson in a trade with the Steelers last summer and he turned out to be their best lineman of the 2023 season. He was one of the top guards in the NFL and should earn a hefty raise this offseason.

Chase Young, DE, 49ers

Dec 3, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a pass over San Francisco 49ers defensive end Chase Young (92) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The former No. 2 overall pick did have 66 pressures and 7.5 sacks in 16 games with the 49ers and Washington Commanders. Just 24, Young could be perfect for a rebuilding Eagles defense.

Jordyn Brooks, LB, Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride (85) has a pass broken up by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) during the first quarter at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Jan. 7, 2024.

Brooks is Coming off a third straight 100-plus tackle season.

After recovering from a torn ACL suffered in January 2023, Brooks played in 16 out of 17 games, logging 111 tackles, a career-best 4.5 sacks, and eight tackles for loss despite seeing a decrease to 72 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

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