The Eagles have agreed to contract terms with Canadian Football League export defensive end Phillip Hunt. Hopefully Hunt proves as effective as Cameron Wake (Dolphins signed Wake out of the CFL after a sack binge north of the border). Hunt led the CFL with 16 sacks for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2010. That’s the good news. Also good news is that Hunt is only 25 years old and is happy to return to the NFL – and to be reunited with his University of Houston teammate Kevin Kolb. The bad news is that Hunt is 6-foot-1, 250-pound DE who went undrafted out of college. He spent his rookie training camp with the Cleveland Browns but was released in August of 2009. With Winnipeg, he had three sacks as a rookie and 16 this past season.
The deal won’t be formally announced until Hunt passes a physical, which he is taking on Friday.
Hunt, who just turned 25 three weeks ago, was the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 after leading the conference with 14 sacks. He sat down the 2005 season as a redshirt freshman. Hunt saw action in twelve games during Houston’s 2006 campaign. He finished his college career with 34 total sacks, including 10 1/2 as a junior, when he was a first-team all-conference player. He also had 51 career tackles for loss, including 18 as a junior and 18 1/2 as a senior. Hunt worked out for New England, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia prior to the 2009 NFL draft and was rated 23 out of 190 LB in his draft class.
The Eagles defensive ends generally run older as often happens in the NFL. Most draftees take a year or two before they perfect technique and understand NFL blocking schemes. Aside from Brandon Graham, who was a rookie this past year, the Eagles are relatively old at defensive end. Juqua Parker (32) and All-Pro Trent Cole (28) are the starters while Daryl Tapp (26) and Graham (23) will join Hunt in the rotation.
Former first round pick (2010) Brandon Graham ended his rookie season with December ACL surgery and his status remains unknown for the start of 2011. Hunt gives the Eagles a potential third or fourth defensive end with pro experience. This could indicate that the Eagles will shy away from even discussing big name free agents like Jason Babin, Albert Haynesworth or Nnamdi Asomugha until there is a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place.
Clay Harbor Successful Surgery
Eagles tight end Clay Harbor recently underwent sports hernia surgery and will be 100 percent for the start of offseason workouts – if there are any… Harbor, whose playing time increased late in the season, played most of the season with the hernia. He said the injury made him uncomfortable but wasn’t serious or painful and didn’t affect his play. The fact that it was serious enough to require surgery suggests that Harbor was not entirely forthright in admitting the injury to the team..
“When you’re out there, you just put it out of your mind and go play,” Harbor said. “When the season was over, the doctors thought it was best to get it taken care of.” That’s the right time to do it
Harbor said the procedure was performed by noted Drexel-based sports hernia specialist Dr. William Meyers, who also performed sports hernia procedures on Donovan McNabb, L.J. Smith, Kevin Curtis and other former Eagles.
Harbor caught nine passes for 72 yards, all in the Eagles’ final seven games. His first career NFL touchdown catch gave the Eagles an early 7-0 lead over the Vikings in their crucial late December game, which the Eagles eventually lost 24-14.
The usual recovery time from sports hernia surgery is four to eight weeks, and Harbor is already walking without favoring his surgically repaired leg.
Harbor and the other Eagles coming off injuries are still allowed to do their rehab at the NovaCare Complex, although that will end if the owners lock out the players when the current CBA expires on March 3.
FRANCHISE TAG PERMITTED
The NFL notified teams that beginning today they can apply the franchise tag and/or the transition tag on a player(s) they want to retain for the 2011 season.
It has been reported for some time that the Eagles will place the franchise tag on QB Michael Vick The latest report comes from NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora who stated that it will be applied to Vick by no later than next week. Teams have two weeks to make a decision.
According to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, the reason the Eagles must use the franchise tag on Vick is because the Pro Bowl quarterback reached incentives in 2010 that eliminated the possibility of doing a long-term extension under the current framework of the Collective Bargaining Agreement which expires at midnight on March 4.
Under the franchise tag, the player is tendered a one-year contract at the average of the five highest-paid players at his position or 120 percent of the player’s 2010 salary, whatever is higher. With the transition tag, a player is tendered a one-year contract at the average of the top 10 highest-paid players at his position or 120 percent of the player’s 2010 salary.
The franchise tag value at the quarterback position was $16.405 million in 2010. It is expected Vick will sign his franchise contract in early March 2011.
Related Article: Eagles Players Brace for Impending Lockout http://prosportsblogging.com/nfl-football/eagles-players-brace-for-impending-lockout/
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