Once again positioned as a Super Bowl frontrunner, the Eagles did lose both their starting safeties (Marcus Epps, C.J. Gardner-Johnson) and three-down linebackers (T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White) in free agency. The team has retooled at those spots, placing outside additions (Terrell Edmunds, Nicholas Morrow, third-rounder Sydney Brown) and holdovers (Reed Blankenship, Nakobe Dean) in the starter picture. Dean, a former Georgia standout who unexpectedly dropped into the 2022 third round, will be expected to start, Tim McManus of ESPN.com notes, adding Edmunds and Blankenship are the early expected starters at safety. But more help will probably be on the way. The spring additions aside, McManus expects the defending NFC champions to add both at safety and linebacker before the season. The Howie Roseman-era Eagles have a history of late-offseason supplementation on defense, having acquired Gardner-Johnson barely a week before last season and having traded for Ronald Darby in August 2017.
Here is the latest from the NFC East:
- The Cardinals’ tampering violation involving Jonathan Gannon may have impacted Vic Fangio‘s decision-making this offseason. Fangio likely would have become the Eagles’ defensive coordinator had the Cardinals and Gannon been upfront about the process that led to the two-year Eagles DC leaving for Arizona, Adam Schefter of ESPN said during a recent appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s John Kincade Show. Cards GM Monti Ossenfort confessed to inappropriate contact with Gannon after the NFC championship game. The Cardinals officially requested a Gannon HC interview on Super Bowl Sunday, but discussions occurred before that point. The Eagles had previously eyed Fangio, who had served as a consultant for the team last season, as a Gannon replacement. Ex-Fangio lieutenant Sean Desai is now running Philly’s defense, and the team would have needed to pay up to keep Fangio, who is earning upwards of $4MM per year with the Dolphins.
- Lane Johnson played in all three Eagles playoff games, coming back in limited form after suffering a late-season adductor injury that required offseason surgery. With that operation successful, Johnson alerted fans this week (via Twitter) he is good to go. This injury was not expected to threaten Johnson’s training camp availability, and the Eagles are on track to have their right tackle back — and on a new deal — well in time for the season.
- Commanders linebacker Jamin Davis will miss offseason time after undergoing a cleanup procedure on his knee, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets. This procedure occurred earlier this year and should be considered unlikely to threaten the third-year defender’s chances of starting the season on time. A 2021 first-round pick, Davis worked as a full-time starter in Washington last season, making 104 tackles (nine for loss) and tallying three sacks.
- The Giants are making some changes to their scouting department. D.J. Boisture, a second-generation Giants staffer who had been with the team for a decade, is no longer in place as its West Coast area scout, Neil Stratton of InsidetheLeague.com tweets. Pro scout Steven Price is also out, per the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz, who notes this may be a case of neither’s contract being renewed. Price spent the past three years with the Giants. GM Joe Schoen did not make many changes to Big Blue’s scouting staff last year, but the post-draft period often sees shuffling in these departments. The Giants are also promoting Marcus Cooper — an ex-Bills exec — to a national scout role. Cooper has been with the Giants for five years. Blaise Bell, who has been in the organization since 2019, will also rise to an area scout role.
- Oshane Ximines‘ deal to stay with the Giants will be worth the league minimum. The fifth-year outside linebacker will be tied to a one-year, $1.1MM deal, per The Athletic’s Dan Duggan, who notes the Giants are guaranteeing the former third-round pick $200K (Twitter link).