The Philadelphia Eagles continued to make headlines during the NFL's free-agency period when they reportedly agreed to separate deals for former San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore and former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell. The Eagles are also re-signing quarterback Mark Sanchez to a two-year deal.
Frank Gore and Byron Maxwell are going to suit up for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.
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According to a league source who told The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane and Zach Berman on March 8, the Eagles have struck a deal with Gore to help offset the loss of star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills.
The details of the agreement have yet to be revealed, but they are believed to include $7.5 million in guaranteed money over the first two years, per McLane and Berman. Gore now joins an Eagles running back corps that includes Darren Sproles and Chris Polk. Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly used to employ a three-running back attack when he was still at the helm with the Oregon Ducks.
For his part, McCoy has agreed to a new, five-year deal with the Bills. He still had three years and $25 million left on his previous contract with Philly. He was due $10.25 million in 2015 with just $1 million in guaranteed money, per a separate update from McLane.
McCoy will now receive $16 million in guaranteed money during his first season with the Bills. His total guaranteed earnings are now $26.5 million out of a $40 million contract with Buffalo, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Eagles agreed to trade McCoy to the Bills on March 4 for third-year linebacker Kiko Alonso, who missed the entire 2014 NFL season due to a torn ACL.
The 31-year-old Gore previously amassed 11,073 rushing yards and 64 rushing touchdowns on 2,442 carries during his 10-year stint in San Francisco, per ESPN stats.
As for Maxwell, he told ESPN's Josina Anderson on March 8 he will sign with the Eagles. He said,"I'm going to Philly."
The Seahawks' intense, last-ditch effort to keep Maxwell proved futile. Maxwell comes at the right time for Philadelphia, which recently released Cary Williams. The other starting cornerback, Bradley Fletcher, is expected to test the market, per ESPN.
The Seahawks selected the 27-year-old Maxwell in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL draft. He became a full-fledged starter in the last five games of the 2013 NFL season. He came through with four interceptions during that stretch, prompting Seattle to no re-sign Brandon Browner or Walter Thurmond, the ESPN update goes on to say.
Maxwell suited up for the Seahawks in 13 games last season, recording two interceptions and 12 passes defensed. Opposing quarterbacks only had an 81.1 passer rating against him, per ESPN. He can play both the outside cornerback position and the the nickelback spot.
Meanwhile, an NFL source told ESPN Media Insider Adam Schefter on March 8 that quarterback Mark Sanchez is returning to Philadelphia on a two-year deal worth a maximum of $16 million with $5.5 in guaranteed money.
According to ESPN, Sanchez felt he could resuscitate his career with the Eagles after his previous team, the New York Jets, released him last summer. Sanchez's intuition proved to be correct as he had a great preseason and did a credible job in taking over the injured Nick Foles from Week 9 onward.
Sanchez became the Eagles' starting quarterback for their final eight games and passed for 2,418 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions during that span. His 64 percent passing completion rate is a franchise record, per ESPN. He finished with a 4-4 record in 2014.
The March 8 ESPN update adds Sanchez played under center during Philly's three-game slide which ousted the team from playoff contention.
McLane reported on Sunday that Sanchez now has the opportunity to to become the Eagles' starter this season. With him back in tow, Kelly now has a chance to move up in the 2015 NFL draft and select Oregon Ducks quarterback and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.
Despite the 20th draft spot of the Eagles in the first round, "all signs continue to point to Kelly trying to get his former quarterback," says McLane. Should Kelly be unable to get Mariota, McLane says he "could have plans" to go for UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley or Baylor Bears quarterback Bryce Petty instead.
Sanchez's new deal doesn't mean the end for Foles, "but the contract is familiar to ones in which a veteran grooms the quarterback spot for a high draft pick," per McLane.
In another team development, league sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Sunday that wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is leaving the Eagles to be reunited with his former head coach, Andy Reid, with the Kansas City Chiefs. Maclin was on a one-year, $5.25 million contract with the Eagles in 2014. He missed the previous season with an ACL injury.His new contract with the Chiefs is believed to be in the $10 million range annually.
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