Sixteen Eagles are scheduled to become free agents at the end of the league year in March. Here is a list of the players. Note that until there is a new Collective Bargaining Agreement there is no designation as to what type of free agents they will be. It appears as though Eagles priorities this offseason will be Offensive line, Cornerbacks, Defensive Ends and Linebackers. Depending on free agents and draft picks available and positioning of the 2011 CBA (March) we’ll have to see what is possible. The players are listed below in alphabetical order. I’ve added my comments and suggestions. Feel free to debate me on any of these!
K David Akers – 12 years experience - Akers earned his fifth Pro Bowl nomination after leading all kickers in points (143) while ranking third in field goals (32). He connected on 84.2 percent of his field goal attempts and was also third in the league in touchbacks with a career-high 23. No reason not to keep him as he is the most tenured Eagles and kickers can be productive well into their 40s. However, he missed 41-yard and 26-yard FG against Green Bay in the Eagles playoff loss. I say keep him because most kickers are a dime a dozen. Then again, most kickers are a dime a dozen… KEEP
LB Stewart Bradley – 4 years experience - Bradley had 88 tackles which was good for second on the team despite playing in just 12 games. He suffered a dislocated elbow in the Week 14 win in Dallas which proved to be his final game of the season. This guy is a beast when he plays but how often does he play? Concussions and dislocated elbows. He was injury prone in college and has been in the pros. While he is an excellent player, he is not getting any younger and may not be the best MLB on the roster. Jamar Chaney filled in admirably the last few weeks of the season. This position needs an upgrade and Mike Singletary isn’t available. KEEP
G/C Nick Cole – 5 years experience - A versatile member of the offensive line, Cole played in 14 games, starting in eight of them this season including the Eagles’ playoff game against Green Bay. He has played in 84 of the team’s 85 games since he signed as a rookie free agent in 2006. Mike McGlynn started more games than Jamal Jackson and offensive line will be a huge draft need for the team. LOSE
LB Omar Gaither – 5 years experience - Gaither was a key member of the Eagles special teams unit while also pitching in on defense. He was eighth on the team with 10 special teams tackles. He also started at middle linebacker in the Week 2 win in Detroit and had 13 tackles, including two for loss. Gaither is a solid player and is a valuable veteran presence on special teams and at LB. KEEP
S Antoine Harris – 4 years experience - Harris signed with the Eagles in training camp after spending three seasons with the Falcons. He had 10 tackles on defense and 11 special teams tackles in 35 career games. Harris spent the 2010 season on injured reserve with a Lis Franc injury. We haven’t seen this guy play at all so there is no way to decide how he fits into the Eagles scheme. He is a competent safety in an area of great need for the Eagles. However, behind Mikel and Allen, how much playing time would Harris see? Better to go with the draft as this is another area of focus for the Eagles. Target another Brian Dawkins or Ronnie Lott-type safety either in the draft or on free agent market. LOSE
RB Jerome Harrison – 5 years experience - Harrison was acquired in a trade with the Browns in October to help provide quality insurance for running back LeSean McCoy. He saw significant action in two games (at Was., vs. Dal.) and had 32 carries for 208 yards and a TD in those games. One of the most underrated moves of the 2010 season was trading Mike Bell for Harrison, an accomplished back with huge upside. If Reid would use them, McCoy and Harrison could be the best 1-2 punch in the NFL. KEEP
CB Ellis Hobbs - 6 years experience - Hobbs was the starter at right cornerback to open the season, but his season was cut short after suffering a season-ending neck injury against the Giants in Week 11. Hobbs’ 2009 campaign also ended with a neck injury. Hobbs will meet with doctors in the coming weeks and determine whether he wants to play again in 2011. Doubtful that he’d want to and even more doubtful that, were he able to, he would last the whole season. Think about your life after football Hobbs and go into retirement rather than tempt fate. Do this man a favor and ask him to retire. LOSE
G Max Jean-Gilles – 5 years experience - Jean-Gilles took the right guard job from Nick Cole and started 10 games this season. He started 26 games in his career and has played at both guard spots. He also lost over 40 pounds earlier in the year when he underwent a lap-band procedure. Can’t figure this guy out. Some games he is effective, others you’d think he just learned the rules yesterday. Commits penalties but also tears people’s faces off on his good days. Eagles desperately need O-line depth but this will be the primary draft focus, followed by CB, DE and Safety in that order. Veteran depth always helps. KEEP
LB Akeem Jordan – 5 years experience - Jordan started the season as the strongside linebacker, but made his biggest impact on special teams where he led the team in production points (258) and was second in special teams tackles (16). He has the skills and the talent to start but seems better suited to special teams. While that is admirable, can he keep a roster spot as just a special teamer? Eagles are way undersized at Linebacker across the board so it depends on who you choose to lose. If it is between Gaither or Jordan, you keep Gaither. Jordan or Bradley? Maybe Jordan as he has added value? KEEP
DE Bobby McCray – 6 years experience - McCray joined the team on December 30 to help bolster the depth at the defensive end position for the playoffs. The 6-6, 260-pound McCray saw action in the regular season finale, but didn’t record any statistics. In 2009, McCray played in every game for the Super Bowl champion Saints. Commendable but Defensive End needs a huge overhaul on this team. Keep Trent Cole and Juqua Parker and everyone else is expendable. McCray offers size and experience and could be a mentor for Brandon Graham. Draft picks don’t historically do well at DE so unless free agent signings are in the works, lean towards this guy making the roster. KEEP
SS Quintin Mikell – 8 years experience - For the third straight season, Mikell accumulated over 100 tackles. The one-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro safety had 111 tackles to go along with three interceptions, three fumble recoveries, one sack and one forced fumble this season. Can’t figure him out either. When he is good he is All-Pro excellent and when he is bad he is dreadful. Mikell has the talent. Combined with Nate Allen this could be a formidable tandem at Safety, but neither of these guys will be mistaken for Brian Dawkins. Hope talent & experience prevail in the end. KEEP
CB Dimitri Patterson – 5 years experience - Primarily a special teams player prior to this season, Patterson took over as the starter at right cornerback and was in the lineup for the last 10 games including playoffs. He finished with 55 tackles, four interceptions and a sack. Patterson plays 15 yards off a receiver on a play from the 5 yard line (this means receiver is standing on goal line with Patterson at the back of the end zone) and everyone wonders why he gives up 3 TD per game? Don’t want him. Can’t use him. I want winners. Nnamdi Asomugha is an unrestricted free agent. Having TWO shutdown corners in Samuel and Asomugha is a dream come true. 18M dollars buys a great CB… LOSE
P Sav Rocca – 4 years experience - In each of the last three years, Rocca has set the Eagles’ single-season mark for net punting average. This year, Rocca had a 39.0 net to go along with a career-high 43.8 gross punting average. Why would you lose an effective punter unless he asks for a pay raise? I’d sure as hell rather have Sav Rocca than NY Giants’ Matt Dodge! Rocca is one of the better punters in NFL. KEEP
LB Ernie Sims - 5 years experience - The starter at the weakside linebacker spot recorded a career-high two sacks this season as he got to play on a winning team for the first time in his career. Everyone says this guy is not going to stick but he is one of the hardest hitters in the league. It’s like Sims is playing in 1990 while everyone is worried about fines and head shots in 2010. Talk about a throwback? KEEP
QB Michael Vick – 9 years experience - Vick enjoyed a rebirth in 2010 as he set career highs in passing yards, passing TD, rushing TD and passer rating en route to his fourth Pro Bowl nomination. He helped lead the Eagles to their first division title since 2006. This will be the Eagles big decision over the offseason. Kevin Kolb (under contract through 2012 and backup for 4th season now behind McNabb and Vick) will ask to be traded if Vick is signed long-term. If the Eagles place the franchise tag on Vick (essentially asking him to audition for another full season before offering him a long-term deal) it would send the wrong message to Vick. Do you risk losing both Vick and Kolb in 2012 or do you hope for a quick resolution on the Collective Bargaining Agreement? With no changes, players cannot be traded before the draft (only draft picks) and Kolb’s highest value would be before the 2011 Draft. With darn few franchise QB available and Andrew Luck staying put at Stanford, you’ve gotta ask yourself, “Do you feel lucky, punk?” Franchise Vick, see what happens in 2011. There is no way to predict the CBA, the trade market, the potential draft class at QB or the landscape of the NFL as so many teams need QB. Sign Vick for 1 year and put the choice off until 2012. May7be you can trade Kolb in preseason after the draft and with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement… that is, if there is a 2011 season. KEEP
G Reggie Wells – 8 years experience - The veteran guard was acquired by the Eagles in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals in September. He played in eight regular season games and the playoff game for the Eagles. His job is to add depth to the offensive line. Fine with me so long as he is cheap. KEEP
2010 DRAFT RE-EVALUATION
With their first season in the books, the draft class of 2010 looks a lot different now than it did back on draft weekend in April. The Eagles drafted 13 players over the three-day weekend, 12 of whom are still on the roster. Those rookies didn’t just occupy space on the roster though, they contributed a good amount. In all, eight different rookies started a combined total 34 games for the team in 2010.
So how has the perception of the Eagles’ draft class changed in about 11 months? According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., the reviews have only gotten better. In his re-grading of the 2010 draft, Kiper bumped the Eagles up from a B-plus to an A-minus.
“The Eagles drafted guys they felt could help right away, and it showed, because it seems like nearly every guy they picked started in some capacity,” Kiper wrote. “Highlighting that is the good season turned in by safety Nate Allen, a guy picked with the pick that Philly nabbed in the Donovan McNabb deal. (Allen got hurt, but he’ll be back.) Riley Cooper was a surprise, Mike Kafka looks like a good bet to be a second-stringer soon and Brandon Graham will keep getting better when he’s healthy. Another late steal was Kurt Coleman, who saw a lot of time at safety.”
Kiper didn’t even mention middle linebacker Jamar Chaney, a seventh-rounder who impressed as the starting middle linebacker to close the season, or contributors Clay Harbor, Trevard Lindley and Keenan Clayton.
For the record, Kiper’s re-do A-minus would tie with three other teams for the fifth-best mark. The New England Patriots were the only team to receive an A-plus.
1 13 Brandon Graham DE 6-2 268 Michigan
Acquired from Denver for a 1st round pick (24th overall) and two
3rd round picks
2 37 Nate Allen S 6-0 207 South Florida
Acquired from Washington in 2010 trade involving Donovan McNabb
3 86 Daniel Te’o-Neshiem DE 6-3 263 Washington
Acquired from Cleveland in 2010 draft day trade
4 105 Trevard Lindley CB 5-11 183 Kentucky
Acquired from Cleveland in 2010 trade involving LB Alex Hall,
Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong
4 121 Keenan Clayton LB 6-1 229 Oklahoma
4 122 Mike Kafka QB 6-3 225 Northwestern
Acquired from Green Bay in 2010 draft day trade
4 125 Clay Harbor TE 6-2 252 Missouri State
Acquired from Dallas in 2010 draft day trade
5 134 Ricky Sapp DE 6-4 252 Clemson
Acquired from Cleveland in 2010 draft day trade
5 159 Riley Cooper WR 6-3 222 Florida
Acquired from San Diego in 2010 draft day trade
6 200 Charles Scott RB 5-11 238 LSU
Acquired from Indianapolis in 2009 draft day trade
7 220 Jamar Chaney LB 6-0 242 Mississippi State
Acquired from Detroit in 2010 draft day trade
7 243 Jeff Owens DT 6-1 304 Georgia
Compensatory pick for loss of free agents in 2009
7 244 Kurt Coleman S 5-11 192 Ohio State
Compensatory pick for loss of free agents in 2009
2010 EAGLES DRAFT TRADES
During the draft:
• 4/24/10 – Traded a 6th round draft choice in 2011 to Detroit for a 7th round draft choice (LB Jamar Chaney)
• 4/24/10 – Traded a 5th round draft choice (DT Cam Thomas) to San Diego for a 5th round draft choice (WR Riley Cooper) and a 5th round draft choice in 2011
• 4/23/10 – Traded 3rd round draft choice (S Morgan Burnett) to Green Bay for a 3rd round draft choice (DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim) and 4th round pick (QB Mike Kafka)
• 4/23/10 – Traded a 2nd round draft choice (RB Montario Hardesty) to Cleveland for a 3rd round draft choice (later traded to Green Bay) and two 5th round draft choices (DE Ricky Sapp and the other was traded to San Diego, who selected DT Cam Thomas)
• 4/23/10 – Traded a 2nd round draft choice (LB Sean Lee) to Dallas for a 2nd round draft choice (later traded to Cleveland) and a 4th round draft choice (TE Clay Harbor)
• 4/22/10 – Traded a 1st round draft choice (traded to New England and then to Dallas who selected WR Dez Bryant) and two 3rd round draft choices (one was traded to Seattle and then to Baltimore who selected TE Ed Dickson and the other was used to select WR Eric Decker) to Denver for a 1st round draft choice (DE Brandon Graham)
Prior to the draft:
• 4/19/10 – Acquired LB Ernie Sims from the Detroit Lions in three-team trade. Sent a 5th round draft pick in 2010 to Denver (CB Perrish Cox), who sent TE Tony Scheffler and a 7th round pick (eventually traded to Philadelphia who selected LB Jamar Chaney) to Detroit
• 4/4/10 – Traded QB Donovan McNabb to Washington for a 2nd round draft choice (S Nate Allen) in 2010 and a 3rd or 4th round draft choice in 2011.
• 4/2/10 – Traded CB Sheldon Brown and LB Chris Gocong to Cleveland for LB Alex Hall, and a 4th (CB Trevard Lindley) and a 5th round draft choice in 2010 (traded to Denver in 3-team trade for LB Ernie Sims).
• 3/16/10 – Traded DE Chris Clemons and a 4th round draft choice in 2010 to Seattle for DE Darryl Tapp.
• 3/8/10 – Traded WR Reggie Brown to Tampa Bay for 6th Round 2011 Draft Choice
A PEEK AHEAD TO 2011
After 2010 Draft wheeling and dealing, the Eagles own drafts choices in each of the seven rounds in 2011 and have nine draft choices overall.
They traded their own 6th round pick to Detroit (Sims), but still possess a 6th round draft choice that was acquired from Tampa Bay (trade involving Reggie Brown).
They also own an extra 3rd or 4th round pick from Washington in the trade involving Donovan McNabb and an extra 5th round pick acquired from San Diego.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org