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Eagles Takeaways from Day 1 of the Legal Tampering Period

By Ed Kracz,


Here are six thoughts after the Eagles lost three starters on defense, but the depressing news was buoyed by Jason Kelce's announcement that he will return for Year 13

The dismantling of the Eagles’ second-ranked defense began on Monday with the first day of the legal tampering period leading up to the official start of the NFL’s new league year on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Linebacker T.J. Edwards was the first go. Off to his hometown team, the Chicago Bears.

Then came defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, who earned a king’s ransom from the San Francisco 49ers despite recently turning 30.

Marcus Epps came later. The Las Vegas Raiders are rolling the dice on a reliable safety who played 99% of the Eagles' snaps last season, signing him to a reported two-year, $12M deal. He was the team’s third-leading tackler last year with 93.

The offense lost left tackle Andre Dillard to the Titans, who thought enough of the Eagles’ first-round pick in 2019 to deliver a reported three-year, $29M deal. The Eagles fortified the hole it creates by bringing back OT/OG Brett Toth, who they had just released days ago.

The offensive line got some good news when Jason Kelce made it official – he will return for Year 13 in Philly.

The Eagles also gained a slot cornerback coach, believed to be the first team in the league to hire a coach to work solely with nickel corners.

That coach is Ronnell Williams, who had been the defensive quality control coach for the Bears since 2019. Williams, who is from Chester, was an All-American linebacker during his playing days at West Chester University.

Some takeaways from Day 1 of legal tampering:


The 49ers broke the bank to sign him, paying him a $40 million signing bonus on a four-year that could be worth to $84M, which is more than $20M per season.

Too rich for the Eagles’ blood.

There’s a chance the Eagles could lose both their starting DTs if Fletcher Cox eventually finds a new home.

What does it mean?

The Eagles will draft a defensive tackle early, probably Calijah Kancey unless Jalen Carter slides and the Eagles are comfortable drafting a player that had his Scouting Combine interrupted so he could return to Georgia to face charges of speeding and reckless driving in connection with the crash that killed Bulldogs football player Devin Willock and UGA staff member Chandler LeCroy, two friends of current Eagles DT Jordan Davis.


The market for safeties was set by Jessie Bates and the Atlanta Falcons, who signed the former Bengals standout to a four-year deal for $16.M a year.

What does it mean?

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson’s chance to return went from slim to darn near zero.


Edwards was a great story, arriving as an undrafted free agent and clawing his way up from No. 9 on the linebacker depth chart into the impactful player became. That’s a credit to him and the coaches who helped develop him.

It’s a reminder that the Eagles don’t typically value off-ball linebackers like Edwards because a three-year deal worth $19.5M with a $4.5 signing bonus didn’t feel like it should have been a reach for the Eagles.

What does it mean?

Hello Nakobe Dean, but also…who else?


Like Edwards, a $6M deal for a reliable safety in this climate, where safeties are earning big money the past few years.

What does it mean?

Reed Blankenship, come on down. The undrafted free agent will see an increase in his workload in his second season.


Kelce is one of the locker room’s top leaders, along with Brandon Graham, the defensive end who signed his one-year, $6M contract on Monday.

What does it mean?

That the Eagles will likely move on from right guard Isaac Seumalo and plug in Cam Jurgens. With the loss of Dillard and Seumalo, the expectation now is the Eagles will look for O-line help early in the draft for depth.

Still, Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Kelce, Jurgens, and Lane Johnson is still one of the league’s best.


The Eagles aren’t being mentioned with any other free agents, but their own – Gardner-Johnson and James Bradberry. Their availability, though, will depend on how their market develops.

Losing both means the Eagles will have lost three of their starting secondary players after losing a linebacker and defensive tackle.

Cox and KB Kyzir White are still out there for whoever is interested. Maybe the Eagles.

Lose them, though, and the secondary players, and that would be seven of their 11 starters on that side of the ball, poof, gone.

What does it mean?

Make sure you have the aspirin ready for the ensuing pain.


Eagles' Free Agency Tracker - Sports Illustrated

Eagles Lose Javon Hargrave to Massive Deal with 49ers

Jason Kelce Confirms Return for 2023

Eagles' Attrition Starts with T.J. Edwards - Sports Illustrated

Ed Kracz is the publisher of’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at or and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.

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