Six defensive ends Eagles could target in free agency

By SportsRadio 94WIP

The Eagles are currently projected to enter the 2020 offseason with $44 million in salary cap space, the most general manager Howie Roseman has had to work with in years. 

Here is a look at some of the defensive ends they could target in free agency to fill their need at the position: 

Jadeveon Clowney, Seattle Seahawks: Prior to last season, when he was still on the Houston Texans, Clowney wanted to come to Philadelphia. The Eagles didn’t want him, or at least didn’t want him on the franchise tag. Would the ability to sign him under their own deal make a difference? The price to land Clowney is not going to be cheap, as he could get upwards of $20 million per season. Clowney has shown he can be an elite difference maker, but has also been somewhat inconsistent and had issues staying healthy. This would certainly be a splashy, all-in move by Roseman. 
Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Barrett seems to want to stay in Tampa Bay, and of all the free agent defensive ends, he seems the most likely to remain with his team. Barrett is a risky signing in many ways, as he had more sacks last season (19.5) than he did the previous five seasons combined. Sacks don’t tell the whole story, but a deal worth $16-17 annually could be a bit much for a player that has really only had one special season.  
Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville Jaguars: Unlike Barrett, Ngakoue has been a consistently awesome pass rusher that would be a major upgrade for the Eagles. Ngakoue has totaled at least eight sacks in each of his four seasons with the Jaguars, and finished with 12.5 in 2017.  Ngakoue won’t be cheap, and could end up commanding the biggest deal on the free agency market among defensive ends. If the Eagles hand out one deal for an elite pass rusher, Ngakoue might be the safest and best bet on the market. 
Kyle Van Noy, New England Patriots: Van Noy would be an interesting signing by the Eagles. A strong pass rusher, Van Noy would be a piece that Jim Schwartz could move all around, something he has in the secondary with Malcolm Jenkins, but not among his front seven. Van Noy is coming off of his best season in the league as a pass rusher, notching 6.5 sacks. After averaging just 1.8 sacks his first four seasons, Van Noy is averaging five over the last two. If used properly he would be a real weapon in the Eagles’ defense. He will likely command a deal with an average of around $9-10 million. 
Robert Quinn, Dallas Cowboys: Quinn is at an interesting point in his career as a free agent. He is still starting-caliber player, but at 30-years old, might not get a a team willing to hand him a starting job and also the big money he likely wants. Quinn is a signing the Eagles would make if they were all-in on Derek Barnett next season and also felt confident in Josh Sweat taking another step forward. Quinn had a great year for the Cowboys, and his return to a system where he spent time as a pure defensive end instead of some time as an outside linebacker is likely the reason why. Quinn would be asked to simply rush the passer with the Eagles, and as a backup that gets plenty of snaps, he would likely excel in that role. 
Ronald Blair III, San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers were loaded with pass rushers this past season, and as a result, players that might shine elsewhere were forced to the bench. Blair could be one of those players. Blair has never seen more than 50% of his snaps in his four seasons with the 49ers, but has still done a solid job getting after the quarterback, as he has 13.5 sacks in 47 games. At 27-years old, Blair would be a low-risk, high-upside signing. 
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