NFC East Notes: Eagles, Mariota, Giants, JPP

The Eagles’ pass rush is in a state of flux, writes Sheil Kapadia of, who notes that the club will have some tough personnel decisions to make this offseason. Veteran edge defender Trent Cole is a candidate for release — after accruing 6.5 sacks last season, he’s set to count $11.625MM against Philadelphia’s cap in 2015, and the Eagles could clear more than $8MM by cutting him. Fellow pass-rusher Brandon Graham is a free agent, and could earn a hefty deal on the open market from a team with a 4-3 defense. Meanwhile, 2014 first-rounder Marcus Smith is a “complete unknown,” per Kapadia, who can’t be counted on to produce next year.

Let’s check out more from the NFC East:

  • The Eagles are one of four teams who should consider trading up in the draft to select a quarterback, according to Field Yates of (Insider subscription required). Although the cost to move up figures to be prohibitive, reuniting Marcus Mariota with head coach Chip Kelly would be “tantalizing,” writes Yates, who lists the Jets, Bears, and Rams as other clubs that could look to trade up.
  • After a disappointing season that saw them finish 6-10, the Giants might not want to retain many of their free agents. But defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul clearly tops the list of impending FAs, writes Jordan Raanan of, who ranks all 21 New York free agents. Defensive backs Walter Thurmond and Antrel Rolle follow JPP at Nos. 2 and 3, per Raanan.
  • Rich Tandler of (video link) discussed the changes that new defensive coordinator Joe Barry might make in Washington as well as the gameplan of new GM Scot McCloughan.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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