According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News via Profootballtalk.com, the Giants were in hot pursuit of Cleveland Browns receiver Braylon Edwards, which will not be good news for Eagles fans. Per the report, the Giants offered the second-round and fifth-round picks obtained in the Jeremy Shockey trade. The Browns wanted both picks plus receiver Steve Smith. The Giants suggested Domenik Hixon or Mario Manningham instead. At that point, the talks petered out.
Talks could be revisited since it’s in the best interest of the Giants to go into the season with a number 1 receiver assuming that Plaxico Burress will either be doing jail time or miss a portion of the season due to an NFL imposed suspension. If indeed Edwards is still available, the Eagles will have to step up to the plate in light of the fact they have 12 picks in the draft and armed with 2 first round picks. Giving up a 2nd round pick, in addition to a 5th (they have 4 5th round picks) would not alter their draft strategy at all. Plus, they more than likely are not going to find a player of Edwards caliber in the event they chose a receiver with the 53rd pick (2nd round) in the draft. Although Edwards had a down year and suffered from a case of the dropsies in 2008, he is still a stud of a receiver with tremendous upside. Make it happen Birds!
L.J. Smith has signed a one year deal with the Baltimore Ravens for $1.5 million. The classic injury-prone, underachieving tight-end never lived up to the billing coming out of Rutgers University. Yes there were flashes of greatness that we saw during the course of Smith’s tenure with the Eagles, but there were also plenty of dropped passes, missed blocks and recurring ailments that derailed his opportunity to be an elite tight-end out of a draft that also produced Jason Witten and Dallas Clark. When you depart and there is no backlash in your wake that you’ll be missed, people may classify the L.J. experience as a bust.
We wish you well L.J., but you did not leave enough of an impression to be missed. Unfortunately, your an afterthought in a long list of past Eagle dissapointments.
The Eagles are in the running to acquire the services of Seattle Seahawk free agent Leonard Weaver. As the starting fullback for the Seahawks, Weaver averaged over 4 yards per carry and 10 yeards per reception. He is a solid blocker and would add another resource out of the backfield that McNabb would utlilize because of his catching ability. Weaver would also add a quality option in short yardage and goaline situations allowing him to throw around his 6’1, 220 pound frame at opposing defenders. Even if the Eagles need to overpay a little to close the deal, make it happen!
On another note, stop it already with the pundits who are playing the rebuilding card. The Eagles are not rebuilding from what I see, even in light of them letting Tra Thomas, Brian Dawkins, L.J. Smith and Sean Considine walk. The two former were aging veteran players, who will be missed for their leadership and presence on the field, but whose best days were behind them. Both got deals that were probably above average for what value they’ll bring to the field on gameday at this point in their respective careers. The two latter players were no longer in the Eagles plans at all and are easily replacable for the level of production they provided this past season. Regarding Lito Sheppard, the Birds have been trying to trade him since last year and got fairly good value in the deal from the Jets. The Birds will continue to focus and retool through the remaining period of free agency and the draft. I think they’ll be fine and a better, younger team at the end of the day, albeit at the testing of the impatient Philly fan base.
The Philadelphia Eagles are in the process of remaking their secondary with younger, ballhawking players and the latest pursuit appears to be free agent Bryant McFadden of the Pittsburgh Steelers according to Gary Cobb who writes:
“McFadden was a second round pick in 2005. He started eight regular-season games for the Steelers this past season, but missed six games because of a broken forearm. The Birds know that the players who are on the market now can be had at bargain basement prices. They don’t have as much leverage as the players who got a deal during the first wave of signings. McFadden did visit the Cardinals earlier this week.”
“Notice that he has some size 6’0 foot even, weighs 190 which is good size for a corner. He’s already got experience as a starter and he’s only 27 years old. The Cardinals, Steelers and Dolphins are also said to be in hot pursuit. The fact that the Birds are trying to sign him leads to all types of speculation about what they want to do in the secondary. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. ”
Your friends at Eagle Eye believe this would be a nice pickup for the Eagles but would turn up the speculation of the future of one Sheldon Brown. Brown is the latest Eagle to be rumored to be unhappy with his contract according to various sources. The signing of Sean Jones may be the first of more to come in the secondary between free agency and the draft. Stay tuned……
According to NFL Network’s Adam Schefter, Tampa Bay has signed free agent running back Derrick Ward away from the Giants. The deal is for four years and worth $17 million. Ward will make $6 million in guarantees in the first year, $9.25 million over two years, and $13 million over three years. The Eagles had some interest in the former Giant, but were a little leary because of his age (28) and feel they could obtain a complimentary back to Westbrook in the draft. There will be value in the first three rounds and the Eagles should be able to find a quality back to replace Correll Buckhalter. Be patient Eagle fans. Help is on the way.
According to ESPN’s Michael Smith, TJ Houshmandzadeh will sign with the Seattle Seahawks. Terms of the deal encompass 5 years, over $40 million dollars with $15 million guaranteed. The Eagles had lukewarm interest at best.
The end of an era came into fruition after an agonizing 24 hours of rumors and many pundits jockeying to be the first to get the story of Brian Dawkins signing with the Denver Broncos. Dawkins is unquestionably one of the greatest Eagles of all-time and a bona fide future Hall of Famer. In addition, the guy was an absolute great person off the field and should be continually lauded for his work in the community and his impact on teammates and the society at-large. He is a special individual and one who will be sorely missed in the Philadelphia. In the cold reality of professional sports, teams look out for their best interests and it is clear the Philadelphia Eagles made a calculated decision that they were only going to go so far to retain Dawkins. Some say the Eagles should have paid a premium or provided a lifetime achievement contract to Dawkins because of what he meant to the organization. The reality of the situation is that Dawkins was probably a greater value in the locker room than on the field at this point in his career. There was no question that Dawkins was an impact player during the second half of the season and during the playoff run to the NFC Championship game against Arizona. If fans can take a pause and get emotion out the equation, they would realize that Dawkins was aided by the creativity of Jim Johnson’s defensive scheme in playing a quasi linebacker role, which helped the Eagles defense against the run. As a result of age, Dawkins became a liability in coverage and could no longer provide the stability we became accustomed to in the secondary over a stellar 13-year career.
As much as I will mis him as a fan, it’s time to move on. As others have reported, the Eagles appear to be in hot pursuit of Baltimore Ravens free agent safety Jim Leonard and if you were paying attention to any of the Ravens games this year, Leonard could bring tremendous value in the secondary and special teams. Trust me, he is no Sean Considine. Eagle fans who are ready to jump off of Billy Pen’s hat as a result of the latest developments, have patience. There are future signings, trades, the draft, not to mention some high profile players that will probably be waived after the draft and into training camp. Keep hope alive!