Now we know WHEN the NFL is coming back and we know what to expect. A frenetic cacophony of chaos and mayhem which will be the result of compressing an entire offseason’s worth of activity into approximately two weeks.
Training camps across the league will be up and running over the next week and free agency (restricted and unrestricted) can begin as early as Friday morning. Preseason games are scheduled for August 11, leaving 18 days for all of the preparatory work to occur.
Now that we can actually start talking in earnest about players and who will be on the Eagles’ roster next season it might be time to start signing draft picks, negotiating with free agents and scoping out rosters of NFL teams looking to shed veteran talent as salary cap casualties.
Among the positions of greatest need would be along the defensive line, particularly at end where the pursuit of a complement to Trent Cole seemingly continues. Brandon Graham’s knee injury has been deemed more extensive than initially reported. Along with a torn ACL, Graham has microfracture surgery and is hoping to be cleared to begin practicing at some point in September. Safety is still an issue, as is cornerback, backup QB (this means the Kevin Kolb trade should go through this week so see Floodgates Almost Open, 7/21/2011), third down RB, offensive line (especially tackle) and did we mention safety?
A report today in the Atlanta Journal Constituion indicates that Minnesota DE Ray Edwards could land with the Eagles. There has been some thought that Edwards’ first choice was Atlanta but the Falcons seem resigned to focus on other areas of need. If that is the case, Philadelphia would be a prime landing zone for the veteran defender. Edwards, 6-5, 268, is in his sixth season. He had nine sacks last year with the Vikings after posting 8.5 in 2009.
So, when will the free agent frenzy begin? Good question. There are about 126 different timelines floating around today with various reports. Hard to get a sense of which one is most accurate. The one thing that does make sense is the idea of staggered reporting dates for training camp. Roger Goodell said last week that the league wanted every team to have the same amount of time to prepare.
How that could impact the Eagles is this … With the Hall of Fame Game canceled, the Eagles are among the teams scheduled to play on the first night of the preseason, Thursday, Aug. 11, against Baltimore. That could mean they would have the ability to be among the first teams to report.
The NFLPA announced that a conference call with the executive committee and the player reps for the 32 teams was scheduled for 11 a.m. today. The press release said no vote was scheduled, but it is expected a vote will happen after the conference call. Other conference calls regarding the new CBA had been scheduled for General Managers, Player Agents, etc.
“Representatives of the NFL and the players have been working diligently to arrive at a settlement agreement that is both long term and fair,” the release said.
According to multiple reports, the sides worked deep into the night and agreed to terms after 3 a.m. Of course, the players still need to approve those terms.
More to come on what should be a busy day …
Lockout No More http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2011/07/25/lockout-no-more/
Floodgates Almost Open http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2011/07/21/floodgates-almost-open/
Remember the Eagles http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2011/06/16/remember-the-eagles/
Back to Work Not Back to Normal http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2011/04/29/back-to-work-not-back-to-normal/
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