When the new league year kicks off at midnight on Friday, Andy Reid and company better be at the airport ready to meet Julius Peppers and Thomas Jones to town for visits. Both will be unrestricted free agents as Peppers is finished his deal and Jones is expected to be waived by the Jets.
Peppers would fill a huge need along the defensive line as the five-time Pro Bowler has 81 career sacks. Opposite Trent Cole, the Eagles pass rush would be one of the most formidable in the NFL, allowing Asante Samuel to gamble even more and potentially up his interception total. The Birds defense has always been predicated upon the pass rush, and that did not change under Sean McDermott.
In addition, a big-time pass rush could help with pressure from the blitz, and even help offer more help to a linebacker corps that is overly deficient at covering a tight end.
Jones, meanwhile, would be the perfect compliment to LeSean McCoy. All Jones did last year was rush for 1400 yards and 14 scores. However, the Jets don’t want to pay his $3 million roster bonus on March 9, and a $2.8 million salary even in an uncapped year. With the emergence of Shonn Greene down the stretch and in the playoffs, and the expected return of Leon Washington, Jones is expendable.
With McCoy entering only his second year, and his first training camp No. 1 on the depth chart, along with the release of Brian Westbrook, the team needs a veteran who still has a little something in the tank. Jones easily fills that need.