Eagles camp is open for 2011. Coach Reid is not disclosing a lot of information regarding player movement, new CBA or contract issues. Free urgency is compressed into about two weeks, players are scurrying to get playbooks and read the new CBA but we have a lot of question to answer:
- Kevin Kolb – To Trade or Not to Trade? All sources indicate that Kolb has been traded to Arizona in exchange for Dominique Rodgers Cromarte. Sticking points were the draft pick that will accompany “DRC” (second after all) and negotiation of a long-term contract ($63M over 5 years). Somewhere between Aaron Rodgers and Matt Schaub is Kevin Kolb. Kolb upgrades the Cardinals QB position exponentially and we wish him luck with this opportunity.
- DeSean Jackson Holdout – Write a Blank Check? In a word? YES. Jackson is the most dynamic offensive weapon on the Eagles roster (including Vick). DeSean is Allen Iverson in pads. He won’t score at the scouting combine or beat the Wonderlic test but he just plays football. He takes hits despite his small frame, is the fastest and most elusive guy on any field and he has gargantuan attitude problems. He can’t help but make an ass of himself by tossing the ball aside before he crosses the goal line or showing up the competition and if he were on any other team, Philly fans would despise him as much as Michael Irvin but the Eagles are a much better team with him than without him. Jackson (2nd round pick) makes less than running partner Jeremy Maclin (first round pick) and considers himself on par with LeSean McCoy. Even if paying him more means he won’t take punt returns as in Miracle of Meadowlands. Pay the man his due and move on.
- Babin on Board – Big Deal or Just a Deal? Big deal. Defense is better with Trent Cole and Jason Babin playing Dynamic Duo. This means Ray Edwards is not coming to town. (http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2011/07/28/babin-signs-with-eagles/)
- Linebackers – Who’s Left? Stewart Bradley, Ernie Sims, Akeem Jordan are gone. Jamar Chaney looks to be the starting MLB while the team waits to see if Nick Barnett or someone better gets cut to be available as free agents. Otherwise are we looking at Brandon Peguese, Casey Matthews, Greg Lloyd and Brian Rolle. Bradley may return at a reduced rate but also as a last resort in case no better free agents come aboard.
- Offensive Line – Justice, Howard, Dunlap, Jackson & Co? Danny Watkins remains unsigned (along with Stanley Havili) and Winston Justice’s rehab was retarded by the lockout. King Dunlop, Todd Herremans & Austin Howard will fill in at Tackle. Good news is that Jamal Jackson returns at 100% backed up at Center by Mike McGlynn.
- Does this team need Safety help? No. Quentin Mikel is a St. Louis Ram. Nate Allen will return to lead a VERY young corps of Trevor Laws, Marlon Jackson and rookie draftee Jaiquwan Jarrett. I feel the need… the need for speed. Most these guys weren’t born when Top Gun made that phrase popular.
- Is DRC the answer to help Asante Samuel or is Asomugha possible? DRC will compliment Asante Samuel very well. Asomugha would have been half of the best CB tandem in recent NFL history but Nnamdi Asomugha would cost the Eagles $15-$18M and would preclude any other moves – including renegotiating with DeSean Jackson and signing all of the draft picks. Trading Kolb for DRC and a draft pick upgrades the CB in a realistic way to allow other moves. Don’t like it? Start rooting for the Houston Texans or San Francisco Sixty-Niners because Asomugha Island will not be televised by the Eagles or the New Jersey Jets.
- With Kolb traded, who is Backup QB? Kolb is traded and signed with Cardinals for 5 years, $63M so he joins Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona, leaving Mike Kafka and Practice Squad Hall of Famer Jerrod Johnson behind Michael Vick. Chances are a veteran QB will be signed. Options still on the market include Vince Young, Trent Edwards, Marc Bulger and Jake Delhomme. Whoever they sign it really won’t matter. Should Vick miss more than two games, this team is toast and they should allow Kafka to gain game experience.
- Plaxico Burress or Reggie Bush? Neither. Anyone who thought either of these moves would help the team is playing fantasy football. Darren Sproles would be more helpful than either. Burress is going back to Pittsburgh or NY Giants no matter what baseball cap he wore coming out of prison. Rosenhaus will not let “Plax” settle for less than the market bears. See DeSean Jackson. Next question.
- Green Akers to Rash of Rookie kickers? Alex Henery was drafted to replace David Akers, who had been the most tenured athlete in Philadelphia. Better to be a year early than a year late in moving on from veterans (see Brian Dawkins, Eric Allen, Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb). At some point you have to turn the page. Philly fans would be wont to gripe about overpaying a kicker if Akers had been re-signed so let’s see what this kid can do before we blast him. He was a fourth round pick ahead of Dion Lewis. As for Punter Chas Henry won the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter while at Florida. He punted 40 times for 1,892 yards (47.3 average) and 14 of his 34 punts (41.2%) went 50 yards or more.
Eagles Undrafted Free “Urgents” Cause Questions http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2011/07/26/eagles-undrafted-free-agents-cause-questions/
Remember the Eagles?
2011 Draft Selections:
1st: Danny Watkins (OG) Baylor
2nd: Jaiquawn Jarrett (S) Temple
3rd: Curtis Marsh (CB) Utah St
4th: Casey Matthews (ILB) Oregon
4th: Alex Henery (K) Nebraska
5th: Dion Lewis (RB) Pittsburgh
5th: Julian Vandervelde (OG) Iowa
6th: Jason Kelce (C) Cincy
6th: Brian Rolle (OLB) Ohio St
7th: Greg Lloyd (ILB) UConn
7th: Stanley Havili (FB) USC
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