10 prove-it deal free agents the Philadelphia Eagles should avoid

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Glenn Erby
·6 min read
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With a tight salary cap awaiting and the Carson Wentz dead money weighing the ship down, the Philadelphia Eagles are going to be squeezed this offseason in their bid to add talent.

With free agency set to begin on March 17, the Eagles will make some big moves and restructure to free up the necessary cap space to make improvements to their roster.

With the Eagles likely to pursuing some free agents looking for a prove-it deal, here are 10 players they should avoid.

DE Jadeveon Clowney

Oct 18, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (99) before the game against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After signing with the Titans on a prove-it deal, Clowney proceeded to play in just eight games, registering zero sacks with little pressure off the edge. Clowney underwent surgery to repair his torn meniscus and should be fully cleared to return in April. As the Eagles look to restock their roster, Clowney is one big name they should avoid. as

Will Fuller, WR

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (15) pulls in a sideline pass while in front of the Jaguars bench while being defended by Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback C.J. Henderson (23) during third quarter action. Fuller took the ball to the end zone for a touchdown. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida Sunday, November 8, 2020. The Jaguars trailed at the half 20 to 15 and lost with a final score of 27 to 25. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]

The Texans don't plan on using their franchise tag on Fuller according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The speedy wide receiver from Philadelphia had 53 receptions for 879 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games last season. Fuller was hit with a six-game suspension for a PED violation in November and although he'll only miss one game in 2021, the Eagles should pass.

Richard Sherman, CB

Dec 20, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) catches a touchdown pass against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are set at one of their starting cornerback positions, with Darius Slay but they'll need more outside defenders to fit Jonathan Gannon's defense. Teams around the league are going to pursue Richard Sherman, and the Eagles should sit this one out. Sherman, a five-time Pro Bowler, and three-time All-Pro selection doesn't have to prove anything, but he will be 33 when the 2021 season arrives and he played only five games last season after playing 29 games over his previous two years with the San Francisco 49ers.

Cam Newton -- QB

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) runs past New York Jets defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd (97) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles could look to find a veteran quarterback to mentor and play second fiddle to Hurts in Nick Sirianni's offense. In 2020, Newton threw for just over 2,600 yards with more interceptions than touchdown passes over 15 starts. Newton ranked 35th out of 35 qualified quarterbacks in passing yards per game (177.1), 28th in passer rating (82.9), and became just one of five qualified passers since the 1970 merger with a 65-plus completion percentage (65.8, 18th in NFL) and fewer than 180 passing yards per game.

Melvin Ingram - Edge

Nov 15, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram (54) looks on prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ingram is a productive pass-rusher, but he was limited to just 361 snaps in 2020 and could be in the market for a team needing a pass rush specialist.

Solomon Thomas -- DE

Dec 29, 2019; Seattle, Washington, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas (94) walks to the locker room following a 26-21 San Francisco victory against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

A tweener pass rusher, Thomas is eligible to become a free agent this offseason after the 49ers declined his fifth-year option. The 25-year-old has recorded just 95 tackles and 6 sacks since being drafted by the 49ers with the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Thomas tore his ACL in the Week 2 win over the New York Jets and missed the rest of the 2020 campaign. The 49ers selected Thomas over some big names like Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Jamal Adams, Christian McCaffrey, and Marshon Lattimore.

John Ross -- WR

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross (11) goes down after making a reception in the first quarter during a Week 1 NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
Los Angeles Chargers At Cincinnati Bengals Sept 13

Ross was almost an Eagle coming out of Washington and after four seasons with the Bengals, he's played in just 27 games, logging 51 receptions for 733 yards and 10 scores. Ross struggles against press coverage and although the Eagles have a need for speed, he hasn't shown the prowess for a big-money deal.

Haason Reddick -- Edge

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick (43) pressures Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) during the fourth quarter Dec. 20, 2020.
Eagles Vs Cardinals

The New Jersey native's strong finish to the 2020 season seems more outlier than the new normal after a quiet 3 ½ years to start out his career in Arizona. Now a defensive end after being moved from linebacker, Reddick could get paid like a No. 2 defensive end, despite his production saying otherwise. Reddick logged five sacks and a 97.1 pass-rushing grade in Week 14 against the Giants, and he followed that up with 10 pressures against Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. He's improving as a player, but the Eagles shouldn't cash out.

Nate Gerry -- LB

The Eagles need to upgrade their linebacker position and despite the franchise having a soft spot for Gerry, he's a liability in pass coverage and the Eagles are set to face some of the top signal-callers and tight ends in the NFL next season. Any idea of bringing Gerry back to prove himself in a new system should be avoided.

Jourdan Lewis -- CB

Jan 3, 2021; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants receiver Dante Pettis (13) catches a touchdown pass against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (26) in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

A former third-round pick, Lewis is coming off a career-low 48.1 overall grade. His previous two full seasons saw him grade at 72.0 as a rookie and 68.7 in Year 3. Lewis played primarily in the slot, but he's better on the outside.

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