Following the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl victory, the Philadelphia Eagles are in a great position to take advantage of this year’s free agency market. Having already signed a few powerhouse names like Michael Bennett (pending his legal trouble), Haloti Ngata, and Mike Wallace, Howie Roseman and the rest of the Eagles’ front office should set their sights on a few offensive players still available.
Now that soon-to-be Eagles Hall of Famer Brent Celek has been released by the team, and Trey Burton (an unsung hero of Super Bowl LII) has signed with the Chicago Bears, Zach Ertz remains as the #1 tight end following a remarkable 2017-18 season in which he was consistently ranked as one of the best players at his position. While Ertz will surely have many successful years to come with the Eagles, the tight end position is now one to address.
Marcedes Lewis was recently cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars; a surprising move given the fact that the Jags picked up his 2018 option before the season started. However, they’ve recently added Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Niles Paul to their roster, rendering Lewis as an expendable player.
Though he may be turning 34 soon, Lewis is still a formidable tight end with a great ability to block, not unlike Celek. He recorded 5 touchdown receptions this past season on 318 yards as well. Should the Eagles choose to sign him, it would not cost them a compensatory pick seeing as he was released.
While his stats were a little less than impressive this past season, Richard Rogers proved to be a decent tight end for the Green Bay Packers. He would be a solid backup, complimenting Ertz, and even giving Billy Brown some competition for the no. 2 spot on the roster. Rogers has shown that he can catch very well in his time with the Packers, during which he has only missed 1 single game, meaning injuries are not a concern with him.
Anthony Fasano served as a backup tight end to the ever-impressive Travis Kelce (brother of now Philadelphia legend Jason Kelce) in Kansas City for two seasons. There, he was under the watchful eye of now Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson when he served as the Chiefs’ Offensive Coordinator from 2013-2015. Fasano could be a relatively inexpensive option, and a solid backup to Ertz. He is yet another great blocking tight end, somewhat addressing Philadelphia’s offensive line needs as well.
A name many may be unfamiliar with, Chris Gragg was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2013, and has yet to really make an impact in the league. Last playing for the New York Jets in 2017, Gragg’s most recent catches were actually back in 2015 when he was still with the Bills. His stats are far from impressive, but he’s only 27 years old, and could serve as an adequate replacement to Trey Burton if he can improve his catching and blocking abilities.
Of course, there is always a chance the Eagles will target a tight end in the upcoming NFL Draft, but should they be more inclined to draft a running back or offensive tackle (which may better suit their needs at the moment), any of the players mentioned above would be sufficient signings.
*As of 4/4/18, the Eagles have officially signed free agent TE Richard Rodgers to a 1-year deal.