Since pretty much everybody in this city has written this year off, lets take a quick look at what free agents will be hitting the market this March. This is not a stellar free agent class at all, but there are some players who could make an immediate impact in some areas of weakness on the Eagles. There are some very good RB's and LB's in this crop, but will Andy Reid finally obey fans wishes of picking up either one. Probably not, but you can always dream. So with that lets begin the list.
Matt Schaub, ATL-QB, RFA:
Schaub is arguably the best back-up QB in the NFL. He could start for any team in the NFL today and make impact that second. With the injury to McNabb which could sideline him well into the '07 season fans will clamoring at the thought of picking up the University of Virgina product. Schaub is 25 and has been in the league for 3yrs. In the two games he has started Schaub threw for 486 yds, 3 TD's, and 2 picks.
Michael Turner, SD-RB, RFA:
Michael "The Burner" Turner is a small, fire hydrant type RB that is fast enough to out run a cornerback, and strong enough to run over a linebacker. Turner is listed at 5-10-237, and he will use all 237 to get a first down. Earlier this season when Tomlinson was in a rut, the Bolts turned to Turner and he gave them a huge boost during several games. His stats this season are, 58 carries for 357 yds and 2 TD's. He has a rushing average of 6.2 YPC, 5 carries over 20+ and converted for 17 first downs. He may be on the short side but Turner knows how to move the chains.
Ladell Betts, WAS-RB, UFA:
How nice would it be to take one of NFC east rivals key back-ups. Betts is a solid back-up and could start for some NFL teams. He is fast, has nice vision and can hit the holes hard. He's averaging 4.3 YPC for the pathetic Redskins, and is one of very few bright spots on that team. He could fit in well as a change of pace back to Westbrook though its unlikely he will settle for a back-up role again.
Chris Brown, TEN-RB, UFA:
Here's a great talent who just happened to get drafted by the wrong team at the wrong time. Brown has a the skills to be a starting RB in the NFL but has been injury prone. Brown has said in the recent months he is tired of sharing carries and wants to be a full-time starter. Brown is a tall back, but is kind of on the light side for his height. At 6-3, 220, Brown also has an unorthodox way of running the ball. He looks like Eric Dickerson minus the toughness and thunder to lay out defenders. I'm not saying he soft, he has shown plenty of promise. He would be a great change of pace RB for the Eagles.
Ernest Wilford, JAX-WR, RFA:
Wilford is a big strong WR, built like Randy Moss. At 6-4, he can leap with the best of them, and has good skills running with the ball after the catch. Wilford has been stuck in a mediocre Jaguars offense, and is looked at as the 3rd WR on the team behind Matt Jones and Reggie Williams. He would be a nice fit next to Stallworth and Brown in this offense and would be a major red zone threat.
Cato June, IND-LB, UFA:
If there is one player Andy Reid should break the bank to sign, its Cato June. The fans would thank the lord if Reid signs this stud LB. He is the type OLB that the fans of this town want so bad. It would erase all the nightmares of Dhani Jones doing the guitar dance after he makes a tackle on a guy who just ran for 30 yards. And finally get rid of those damn bow ties. June is great in coverage and almost never misses a tackle. He has 9 picks and 312 tackles in the last three seasons. Jackpot baby.
Lance Briggs, CHI-LB, UFA:
If June isn't available, Briggs is the next best. He possibly could be better than June. This guy has all around good talent. Some are skeptical that he is a product of his environment, which is, that his MLB is Brian Urlacher. Either way he would look good next Trotter. Briggs can stuff the run with the best of them. He would be a great replacement for Route 51 aka Matt McCoy. He lacks a little in coverage skills but would be great on the weak side.
So there is the first installment of this years X-Mas list. Reid has almost always went against fans wishes when it came to free agent signing. This year is not full of big names, but some big talent. Especially in two areas Eagles are lacking: RB and OLB.