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Free agent shopping list expected to include veteran WR and Philadelphia Eagles safety

The start of the NFL league year is March 16, and the Eagles usually come out swinging.

Even last year, when they ate $33.8 million in dead money on contact with Carson Wentz, the Eagles gave Brandon Graham a one-year extension, signed Hassan Ridgeway, Andrew Adams, Joe Flacco and Anthony Harris, and released Malik Jackson and Alshon Jeffery all in the new league’s first week.

Keep in mind that the Eagles, while they don’t have much money to spend yet under the 2022 salary cap at $21.5 million below, according to overthecap.com, need to be judicious in their expenses.

Their top priority is an edge rusher, but that should be met early in the draft, where that position is loaded with premium prospects.

Maybe the Eagles have some big free agent madness in them, and that should either be on a veteran receiver or safety.

If they get rich at the receiver, it will likely impact how much they spend on security, and vice versa.

Here are some unsolicited tips on what the Eagles could do at WR and safety as the start of free agency is within 30 days:

WIDE RECEIVER

The Eagles should shop for a veteran.

You can forget Davante Adams, who will go where Aaron Rodgers goes, with the duo possibly landing in Green Bay, and you can probably forget Mike Williams too, who the Chargers will try to re-sign and, if they can’t , probably slaps the franchise tag on him.

Allen Robinson, however, would do just fine.

He’ll be 29 just before the start of the season, but an eight-year NFL veteran would be a big help for the youngsters currently being served in the WR room.

Robinson will not come cheap. The deal should probably be a three-year deal worth around $15-16 million a year, but that’s just an estimate.

If that’s what it takes, or anything close to it, that’s a big chunk of money, especially considering some players might be willing to accept a one-year deal.

Alshon Jeffery was ready to go that route in 2017 while working his way into a multi-year contract.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is a name to watch in this scenario after reaching the starting line just five games before shoulder surgery ended his season. Maybe he’s taking a one-year contract to prove it. He is only 25 but has played five seasons.

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Two others to watch potentially both have ties to the Colts when Nick Sirianni was the offensive coordinator there: TY Hilton and Zach Pascal.

Hilton, 32, underwent neck surgery before the start of last season, which forced him to miss the first five games. A concussion cost him another game, but he still averaged 14.4 yards per catch on 23 receptions and three touchdowns.

Pascal, who is a good size at 6-2.214, was a rising star under Sirianni.

In his second and third seasons — 2018 and 2019 — as an undrafted free agent from Old Dominion (the same school that produced Travis Fulgham and current Eagles snapper Rick Lovato), Pascal caught 82 combined passes for 1,013 yards and 10 touchdowns.

His production was somewhat similar after Sirianni left, with 41 catches, 607 yards and five touchdowns last year.

Marcus Maye makes a tackle

SECURITY

Rodney McLeod and Harris are set to become free agents. While the Eagles could certainly explore one-year deals with one, an upgrade would be preferable.

It’s hard to imagine the Saints not trying to re-sign or put the franchise tag on Marcus Williams, but if Williams is released, it should be big free agency madness for the Eagles. And that would likely affect the direction they take for a veteran WR.

Williams is seeking his second contract after playing a rookie contract signed when he was drafted in the second round from Utah by New Orleans in 2017. That makes him 25 years old and, at 6-1, 191 pounds with 15 career choices makes him a ticket worthy of big money.

This is also why the saints would be foolish to let him go.

Then what ?

Marcus Maye would do.

Jets safety tore his Achilles tendon in early November. If anyone is up for a one-year contract, it’s Maye, a free safety who turns 29 a week before the start of the league’s new year. He has a history with Eagles defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson when Wilson was in New York for four seasons as DB coach.

There are other big names, such as Tyrann Mathieu of Kansas City, Devin McCourty of New England and Kareem Jackson of Denver, but Mathieu doesn’t seem to be the Eagles’ style and the other two have between start and end. mid thirties.

A one-year contract would allow the Eagles to invest more in a veteran WR. Even if it takes more financially to secure a safety, the Eagles could try to go for less for a veteran passer.

The two positions seem to go hand in hand.

Ed Kracz is SI Fan Nation’s EaglesToday editor and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglestoday.com and follow him on Twitter: @kracze.