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Free Agency Preview: Defensive Line

Posted Mar 1, 2015

There is probably no position on the roster in better shape in the near and long term than defensive line. In Fletcher Cox, the Eagles have one of the league's premier young defensive stars. Along with Cox, Bennie Logan and Cedric Thornton help form perhaps the league's premier 3-4 defensive line. Beyond those three, the Eagles have a group of young, ascending players like Vinny Curry and Beau Allen along with the useful Brandon Bair and 2014 fifth-round pick Taylor Hart, for whom the team has high hopes. The hallmark, then, of the unit is its relative youth. Of the eight defensive linemen on the roster, none have played more than three years in the league.

It's fair to say, then, that the Eagles will have higher priorities in free agency than the defensive line. That's not to say the team will ignore the position if good value presents itself, but it would be a surprise to the Eagles involved with the higher-priced players on the market like Ndamukong Suh. It would also be a surprise for Thornton, a restricted free agent, to be somewhere other than back in Philadelphia next season.

NFL.com's Top 10 Free Agent Defensive Linemen

1. DT Ndamukong Suh, Detroit
2. DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants
3. DE Jerry Hughes, Bills
4. DE Greg Hardy, Carolina
5. DE Pernell McPhee, Ravens
6. DT Nick Fairley, Lions
7. DT Jared Odrick, Dolphins
8. DT Terrance Knighton, Broncos
9. DE Derrick Morgan, Titans
10. DE Jabaal Sheard, Browns

The Top Defensive Line Contracts From 2014 Free Agency

1. DE DeMarcus Ware, Broncos (3 years, $23M guaranteed, $30M total)
2. DE Michael Johnson, Buccaneers (5 years, $18M guaranteed, $43.75 total)
3. DE Jared Allen, Bears (4 years, $15.5M guaranteed, $32M total)
4. DE Lamarr Houston, Bears (5 years, $15M guaranteed, $35M total)
5. DT Linval Joseph, Vikings (5 years, $12.5 M guaranteed, $31.25M total)
6. DT Paul Soliai, Falcons (5 years, $11M guaranteed, $32M total)
7. DE Jason Hatcher, Washington (4 years, $10.5M guaranteed, $27.5M total)
8. DT Arthur Jones, Colts (5 years, $10M guaranteed, $33M total)
9. DT Tyson Jackson, Falcons (5 years, $9.5M guaranteed, $25M total)
10. DT Earl Mitchell, Dolphins (4 years, $9M guaranteed, $16M total)

*Contact data is according to Spotrac

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