Philadelphia Eagles: Keep an Eye Out for Ex-AAF Playersby David Taylor April 6, 2019 0 comments
With the AAF suspending football operations earlier this week, several of the now-defunct league’s players have signed NFL contracts.
Garrett Gilbert, Cleveland Browns?
Keith Reiser, Kansas City Chiefs?
It’s hard to believe, but the AAF is finished. This has led to a scramble for the players over the last few days, some signing NFL contracts already. Who are some of the best fits for the Eagles?
A Productive Offseason
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has been busy in free agency, trading for offensive weapons DeSean Jackson and Jordan Howard. Roseman is a win-now type of general manager, but he also likes to build for the future, so ex-AAF players present an intriguing opportunity for Eagles. Roseman is also a salary cap wizard, so Philadelphia has money to spend.
Good Stuff for Cheap
CBS Sports’ NFL writer Will Brinson tweeted this concerning the AAF: “Irony of the AAF shutting down is that the players being grabbed quickly NFL teams shows the AAF was working.”
The AAF gave players the chance to showcase their skills and NFL scouts took notice. Multiple NFL teams snapped up AAF players quickly this week. Since the base salary for AAF players was around $80,000 per season, the opportunity to sign with NFL teams was an instant pay raise. NFL teams are getting these players for nearly league minimum price tags, so the whole situation is becoming a win-win for both parties involved.
Top Targets for the Eagles
The consensus around the league is that the Eagles need help at linebacker, and are always in the market for defensive linemen. Here is the cream of the AAF crop at those positions:
- Drew Jackson, LB, Memphis Express: Jackson got some consideration for defensive player of the year. He had 13 tackles in a game this year.
- DeMarquis Gates, LB, Memphis Express: Gates is an excellent special teams candidate. This season, he blocked a punt that led to a touchdown.
- Earl Okine, DE, Orlando Apollos: A 6-foot-7 monster of a defensive end, Okine would be an amazing fit for the Eagles’ talented defensive line.
- Karter Schult, DE, Salt Lake Stallions: Schult had seven sacks, which ranked second in the AAF.
- Jayrone Elliot, DL, San Antonio Commanders: Elliot led the AAF with 7.5 sacks this season.
With Howie Roseman at the helm, and cheap talent available, expect an AAF player or two to sign with Philadelphia in the near future.