Breaking down Eagles' pending free agents in 2024

Breaking down Eagles' pending free agents in 2024 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles are coming off a disappointing end to their 2023 season and a quick wild-card round exit.

There are plenty of changes coming to the team in 2024, including two new coordinators. But there will be plenty of changes in the locker room too.

The NFL’s legal tampering period will begin on March 11 this season and the new league year will officially began on March 13. Until March 11, the Eagles will have exclusive negotiating rights with all of their pending free agents.

Here’s a complete list of all of them entering the offseason:


OL Jack Driscoll: The Eagles drafted Driscoll in the fourth round out of Auburn in the 2020 draft and he ended up being a key depth piece over the last four seasons. He didn’t grow into a starter but had to play a few different positions and ended up playing in 54 games with 17 starts over the last four years. In 2023, Driscoll played in all 17 games and started one. While he did play guard at times during his time in Philly, he was the Eagles’ backup right tackle the past couple of seasons and had to play whenever Lane Johnson missed time.

WR Julio Jones: The future Hall of Famer is the NFL’s active leader in receiving yards with 13,703. The Eagles signed the 34-year-old in October and he played a relatively minimal role in Philly. In 11 games (4 starts), Jones had 11 catches for 74 yards and 3 touchdowns. In the playoff game in Tampa, Jones had 3 catches for 22 yards but his final play came on a 14-yard catch when he suffered a concussion. But give Jones credit: He held on to the ball.

C Jason Kelce: The Eagles were able to get Kelce to return for his 13th season in 2023 and he didn’t show any signs of drop-off. He made his seventh Pro Bowl team and earned his sixth All-Pro nod to further bolster a Hall of Fame career. After the loss in Tampa, reports surfaced that Kelce is ready to retire. While he hasn’t officially announced his retirement, it seems likely the Eagles are going to need to move on from one of their all-time greats in 2024. It’s hard to imagine this team and this offense without the steady force of Kelce.

QB Marcus Mariota: The Eagles clearly value the backup quarterback position, which is why they signed the veteran Mariota to a one-year, $5 million contract in 2023. If they want to keep him in 2024, it’s probably going to take around the same contract. Starter Jalen Hurts played every game this season for the first time in his career, which meant there wasn’t much playing time for Mariota. The former Heisman Trophy winner played in just three games. He completed 15 of 23 passes for 164 yards with a touchdown and a pick. He also rushed for 52 yards.

RB Boston Scott: The veteran running back was a restricted free agent last year and after the Eagles did not tender him, he still returned on a one-year deal worth just under $2 million. Scott was the Eagles’ primary kick returner in 2023 but didn’t get much playing time on offense with just 68 offensive snaps. He had 20 carries for 86 yards and caught 4 passes for 25 yards. Scott averaged 21.3 yards per kick return on 8 attempts.

RB D’Andre Swift: The Philly native came home this season after the Eagles traded for him in the spring and he went on to have a career season. Swift went over 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career, finishing with 1,049 (4.6) and 5 touchdowns and also caught 39 passes for 214 yards and another touchdown. He made his first-career Pro Bowl. Although, it’s worth noting that Swift went over 100 yards in Weeks 2 and 3 and didn’t do it again the rest of the season. While Swift might want to return, we know the Eagles don’t have a great history of paying running backs, so we’ll see.

TE Albert Okwuegbunam: The Eagles traded for Okwuegbunam before final cuts for reasons that are hard to figure out. There’s definitely some talent there but he was buried on the depth chart behind Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra. Albert O played in just four games this season and saw just one target. The Eagles eventually placed him on IR on Dec. 30 after carrying him on the roster for most of the season.

OG Sua Opeta: The Eagles originally signed Opeta as a UDFA out of Weber State back in 2019 and he has proven himself to be a solid backup offensive lineman. Definitely a successful Jeff Stoutland project. In 2023, Opeta played in 13 games and started 6 and in the last four years, he’s played in 38 games with 10 starts. He might never be a starter in the league, but Opeta was valuable to the Eagles in 2023 when they were without Cam Jurgens for a while.

RB Rashaad Penny: There was a lot of excitement when the Eagles signed Penny to a low-risk, high-reward move. And then we barely saw him play. Penny was the fourth running back in the pecking order and spent most of his season inactive. Penny played in a grand total of three games and had 11 carries for 33 yards. Not the high-reward some fans were expecting from a guy who has a career 5.6 average.

TE Jack Stoll (RFA): The Eagles signed Stoll as a UDFA after the 2021 draft and he’s played an awful lot as their No. 2 tight end. Stoll has primarily been used as a blocker. So he played 438 snaps (38%) in 2023 but had just 5 catches for 38 yards. Over his three years with the Eagles, Stoll has played in 50 games with 26 starts and a total of 1,343 snaps.

WR Quez Watkins: After a disappointing 2022 season that was capped with a huge drop in Super Bowl LVII, Watkins was hoping to have a better 2023 and that  didn’t happen. He missed several games with a hamstring injury and never really took ownership of that WR3 job in Philly. In nine games this season, Watkins caught 15 passes for 142 yards and 1 touchdown. The sixth-round pick from the 2020 season showed so much promise but wasn’t able to become a consistent contributor after a surprise 2021 season when he had 647 yards as a No. 2 option.

WR Olamide Zaccheaus: The Eagles brought back another hometown kid when they signed Zaccheaus to a one-year deal worth $1.24 million. Zaccheaus had some really nice moments but his stats dropped in his first year with the Eagles. He played in all 17 games but caught just 10 passes for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns. His two touchdowns — on against the Bucs and one against the Bills — were big plays.


LB Shaun Bradley: The linebacker and special teams ace tore his Achilles in the preseason opener this year and missed the entire season. Unfortunate timing because this was a contract year for the 2020 sixth-round pick from South Jersey and Temple. In his first three years in the NFL, Bradley played in 45 games with just one start. He’s played a few defensive snaps here and there but he has been a major special teams contributor, playing 878 special teams snaps from 2020-2022. That led the Eagles by a significant margin during that three-year span; the next closest player was K’Von Wallace with 737.

DT Fletcher Cox: The Eagles’ all-time great played the 2023 season on a one-year, $10 million contract. And even though he turned 33 during the season, Cox proved that he can still play. He was the Eagles’ most consistent interior defensive lineman this season and finished the year with 5 sacks, 33 tackles and 17 QB hits in 15 games. He’s no longer the guy who made six consecutive Pro Bowls but Cox was very good in 2023 and his leadership was important on a team that ended up collapsing down the stretch. Cox didn’t talk much about his future at locker cleanout day but his young teammate Jordan Davis spoke as if Cox was definitely not going to be back. We’ll see. Either way, he’s already an all-time great Eagle.

LB Zach Cunningham: The Eagles were a little desperate at the linebacker position in August so they signed Myles Jack and Cunningham on Aug. 6. Jack ended up retiring and then un-retiring to play for the Steelers but Cunningham made the roster and ended up being the Eagles’ best linebacker in 2023. That’s good for Cunningham but not a great sign for the rest of the defense. In 13 games this season, Cunningham had 85 tackles, 4 pass breakups and 2 TFLs.

S Justin Evans: The Eagles last spring signed a bunch of players to low-risk, high-reward contracts and Evans was one of them. His one-year deal included just $600,000 in guaranteed money. All summer, the Eagles rotated at the safety spot opposite Reed Blankenship and Evans eventually won the job. He started four of the first five games of the season but then went on IR and didn’t play again in 2023. After the Eagles opened Evans’ practice window he suffered another setback and was shut down for the season. During his career, Evans just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Evans will turn 29 in August.

DE Brandon Graham: The 35-year-old Graham just finished his 14th season and has been vocal about his goal to play 15 years in the NFL and for the Eagles. So we’ll see if Howie Roseman will grant that request. While Graham’s playing time and production dipped in 2023, he was still a decent rotational player. The bigger problem was that rookie Nolan Smith wasn’t able to ascend into that third-man role. Graham played 34% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps (he played 43% in 2022) and had 3 sacks, 6 QB hits and 4 TFLs. That’s a significant drop-off from 11 sacks, 16 QB hits and 11 TFLs from 2022. But Graham was one of the few players who showed up in the playoff game. Against the Bucs, he had 5 tackles and a sack.

LB Shaquille Leonard: Remember the Shaq Leonard sweepstakes between the Cowboys and the Eagles during the season? Well … Leonard ended up playing in five games with the Eagles down the stretch but didn’t touch the field in the playoff loss in Tampa. It’s clear that the 28-year-old former All-Pro is a shell of what he once was. It’s tough to watch his career after his back surgeries. In his five games with the Eagles, Leonard had 23 tackles and a sack. A few days after the playoff loss, Leonard’s locker was completely cleaned out and even the nameplate above was gone.

LB Nicholas Morrow: The Eagles clearly didn’t work hard enough to replace T.J. Edwards or Kyzir White from the 2022 team. The only free agent acquisition in March was another low-risk move to bring in Morrow. The crazy thing is that Morrow didn’t even make the initial 53-man roster and instead signed to the practice squad. He ended up being the starting MIKE linebacker for most of the season, playing in 15 games with 12 starts. He led the team with 95 tackles and also had 12 TFLs and 5 pass breakups. Give Morrow credit but the Eagles still need to upgrade.

CB Bradley Roby: After losing Avonte Maddox to a torn pec, the Eagles tried a few in-house options at nickel cornerback before signing Roby to their practice squad on Oct. 4. The 31-year-old former first-round pick played in 9 games and started 2 this season. In the playoff game, Maddox was forced to play safety and Roby played 35 snaps at nickel corner.

Special teams

LS Rick Lovato: The Eagles added Lovato during the 2016 season and he’s been here ever since. The long snapper is often the most forgotten member of the team but if you’re not thinking about him, that’s a very good sign. Lovato has played in every game the last seven seasons, making a Pro Bowl in 2019, and there’s no reason to move on from him.

P Braden Mann: After beginning the season with Arryn Siposs as their punter, the Eagles moved on after just two games and brought in the former Jets punter and Mann ended up having a good season. He averaged 49.8 yards per attempt, a net average of 43.8 and landed 34.1% of his punts inside the 20. All those were career highs and were much better than Siposs’s numbers over the previous two seasons. According to the Puntalytics guys, Mann was a top-10 punter in 2023.

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