TUESDAY, 6:17pm: The Eagles have announced the transaction (via Twitter), making it official.
SUNDAY, 3:54pm: Maxwell was clear to ESPN’s Josina Anderson by phone (Twitter link): “I’m going to Philly.”
3:49pm: In his article reporting Frank Gore’s signing with the Eagles, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Seahawks are making a “last-ditch effort” to retain Maxwell.
3:02pm: After spending the past week clearing out cap space, the Eagles are close to landing one of their top targets. Philadelphia is nearing an agreement with free agent cornerback Byron Maxwell, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Jayson Braddock of KBME Houston was the first to report the deal, and says that it’s a five-year contract worth $53-54MM, with $25MM guaranteed (Twitter links).
Maxwell, widely viewed as the best FA corner available, ranked as the No. 9 overall free agent on PFR’s Top 50 list. The 27-year-old enjoyed his first season as full-time starter for the Seahawks, starting 12 games as Seattle made it second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles were seen as the favorites to land Maxwell, although the Jets have also been listed as a possible suitor. In Philadelphia, he’ll join a secondary where the only other sure starter on the roster is safety Malcolm Jenkins.
The Eagles are also said to be targeting former Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who isn’t encumbered by the franchise tag. Philadelphia certainly has money to spend, having traded LeSean McCoy and his contract to the Bills and released Cary Williams and Trent Cole. Projected to be major players in free agency, the Eagles have almost $45MM in cap space to work with. Philadelphia has other concerns this offseason, as key contributors Jeremy Maclin and Brandon Graham are pending free agents. Both are sure to get hefty offers on the open market starting on Tuesday, and while Maclin looks more likely to return than Graham, the Eagles have the money to retain both.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, will lose their No. 2 corner for the second consecutive season, having seen Brandon Browner sign with the Patriots last March. Seattle reportedly has interest in adding Packers free agent Tramon Williams to their Legion of Boom, but the draft could be another avenue by which the club could add secondary talent.