Sheil Kapadia of Philly.com assess the Eagles options at middle linebacker during free agency. Kapadia mentions that last year’s five-man rotation that consisted of Jamar Chaney, Brian Rolle, Akeem Jordan, Casey Matthews and Keenan Clayton needs to be upgraded and replaced by a guy that can stay on the field in all situations. Kapadia lists Falcons LB Curtis Lofton and Lions LB Stephen Tulloch as two options that the Eagles should consider adding.
Kapadia points out that Pro Football Focus‘ snap counts show that Tulloch accounted for 98.4 percent of the Lions’ defensive snaps, and Lofton stayed on the field 99.1 percent Atlanta’s defensive plays.
Detroit has Tulloch as one of the team’s top offseason priorities and the Falcons would like to retain Lofton as well but there are other factors that will determine whether or not these players are back with their respective team’s next season. Detroit is trying to figure out a way to keep Cliff Avril who will most likely land a huge contract on the open market and has said that he’s interested in testing free agency and Falcons have other free agents like John Abraham and Brent Grimes to deal with as well.
Tulloch is the obvious match for the Eagles considering that he spent time working with their defensive line coach Jim Washburn in Tennessee where they ran a similar “Wide 9″ defensive front. Philly may also look to the draft or options but it’s hard to say if one of the quality options will be available to them.
We have Tulloch listed as the #19 and Lofton as the #20 best available free agents in our Top 50 Free Agents list.