With the 2016 NFL free agency period set to begin on March 9, rumors are heating up regarding who is going to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Eagles were originally rumored to be in the market for a new quarterback, the re-signing of Sam Bradford means that the team can look elsewhere. Even though the team’s defensive line was one of their stronger points last year, the Eagles could be bringing in former Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams.
After finishing with a disappointing 7-9 record, the Eagles are looking to bounce back in 2016. With Chip Kelly gone and Doug Pederson now in charge, the team is in the process of making personnel and schematic changes. While the defensive line was among the brighter spots in 2015, the Eagles defense was poor overall.
Now that former defensive coordinator Billy Davis is gone, the Eagles are reportedly going to move back to a 4-3 defense. Despite being in a 3-4 defense last season, which was not a fit for many of the players, the Eagles defense still had a successful defensive line.
With Jim Schwartz now the team’s defensive coordinator, the Eagles are looking to further improve their strength. According to NFL Spin Zone, Williams should be the team’s top free agent target this year.
“Why? The Eagles new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Schwartz was Williams’ defensive coordinator in 2014 when Williams had the best year of his 10-year career. Even though he has played 10 seasons already, Williams still has some gas in the tank and the one coach that can get Williams going until he is on empty would be Schwartz. Williams earned his money in 2014 and so did Schwartz because the two were a perfect match. Buffalo actually led the NFL in sacks in 2014 with 54 because of the two, so you can see what they could do if they got together again.”
The relationship between Williams and Schwartz is an important one. While Williams just turned 31 years old, he may still have a lot left in the tank. Williams only had five sacks in 2015, but he had 14.5 sacks with Schwartz in 2014. And it was not just Williams that declined last season on the Buffalo Bills defense. After a strong start to the season, the defense fell apart at the end of the year.
Since the Eagles already have a strong defensive line, Williams could be a rotation player. Allowing him play in obvious passing downs will allow Williams to get the rest that an older player needs. Since Schwartz got the most out of Williams during his time in Buffalo, he would know exactly how to use him with the Eagles.
While many analysts believe that Williams is the perfect fit in Philadelphia, other sources believe that it will not happen. According to NJ Advance Media, the re-signing of Sam Bradford and Vinny Curry could make things difficult. While the team still has a lot of money in cap space, the Eagles would still likely have to move another player in order to make it work. Regardless, the Eagles value their defensive line tremendously, and they will absolutely do their due diligence.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Eagles had been linked to college quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. Now that Bradford is going to be the team’s quarterback for the next two seasons, it is unlikely the Eagles will use their first-round pick on a quarterback. According to the latest mock draft from the NFL website, the Eagles will draft offensive tackle Jack Conklin. While offensive tackle is not a sexy position, the team is in desperate need of offensive line help.
With NFL free agency set to begin in a few days, rumors will continue to swirl regarding the Philadelphia Eagles. Even though the team already has a solid defensive line, look for them to at least make a run for defensive end Mario Williams.
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