In all, nine Eagles are set to become unrestricted free agents this spring, including three starters on the defensive side of the ball. One of those players is
The six-year veteran had his best season as a pro in 2015, setting career highs in tackles (76), deflected passes (7), interceptions (3) while starting all 16 games alongside
“As far as locking up key people on the team, (the Eagles) need to lock in the quarterback, address the offensive line. There are needs the team needs to address other than myself,” Thurmond told reporters the day after the team’s season finale against one of his former teams, the Giants. “(I want to) go into a situation that’s going to be best for me as my career progresses, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Biggers was originally a seventh-round pick out of Western Michigan in 2009. Since then, he’s played in 92 games and made 34 starts. In his lone season in Philadelphia, he started three games and despite playing just 46 percent of the team’s defensive snaps his 11 pass deflections put him just one shy of Maxwell.
“I loved it here, I had a great time, and I’m thankful for my time,” said Biggers. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I would love to be back.”
Besides Thurmond and Carroll, there is another defensive starter set to hit free agency in defensive end
With the Eagles searching for a new head coach and perhaps a new defensive coordinator, it remains to be seen what kind of defensive scheme the team will utilize next season. Thornton has experience as both a 3-4 end and as a 4-3 tackle, and could be a fit to return to Philadelphia no matter which direction the team decides to go. The 27-year-old has never been an unrestricted free agent before, and although he’s enjoyed his time with the Eagles to this point, he wants to explore his value on the open market before making a decision about his future.
“I’ve never been in this position before,” he told reporters on locker cleanout day last week. “My value is unknown, so I want to know how much I’m worth ... I love Philadelphia and the organization, but to say I’m going to stay here or they’re going to keep me, that’s the unknown.”
Like any team, the Eagles will have to work within the constraints of the salary cap. The fact that quarterback Bradford is a free agent only complicates things further. It may come down to the team choosing between players at certain position groups. These are the difficult decisions NFL teams are forced to make every offseason, and as the Eagles look to rebound after a 7-9 season with a new head coach and a new front office structure they hope to make the correct ones.