Tuesday, March 27, 2007

State of the Franchise: The Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Update.

When the Free Agency period started in the beginning of March, their wasn't much joy within the Eagles fan base. When the Eagles let Jeff Garcia, Michael Lewis, Rod Hood, and "the great" Donte Stallworth go, some fans were pissed and had doubt about how the team was being run. Some wanted Jeff Garcia to stay and compete for a starting job with Donovan McNabb, yea okay. Garcia did a great job as back up but come on, he's 36, and last time I checked, he didn't lead us to a win vs. the Saints in the playoffs. I say that cause that's what critics of McNabb would say. They would say he didn't step and lead his team past the Saints. Don't get me wrong Garcia did a great job rallying the troops through the season, but he also got a $5M contract from the Bucs. McNabb has a salary of $5.5M this season. $10M on two QB's, not gonna happen. We know why Michael Lewis is gone, so I won't really delve to deep into that. His job was lost during week 6 in New Orleans when he let Joe Horn get past him for that 48 yd TD. Lewis was biting on the play-action fake all game. Enter Sean Considine, who is not much better by the way. Rod Hood, not a big loss. He didn't want to be an Eagle anyway. The Eagles actually offered Hood a better contract in the middle of last season, then he received from the Cardinals this season. He was a good nickel cover corner, but he wasn't the best tackler. Joseph Addai put Hood on his back or broke his ankles on several occasions in the Colts game and he missed tackles on a regualr basis all season. He's replaceable. Enter William James, and hopefully Brandon Meriweather. Now for Donte Stallworth. How will we ever deal without him playing 10-12 games a season. You would think that Stallworth was one of the top 20 WR's in the league, which he's not, with the money he was asking for. Now did Stallworth do a good job last season, yea, when he was on the field, he was okay. He had 2-3 good games, besides that he wasn't that great. Would I have liked to see the Eagles re-sign him, sure, but in turn the Eagles would have had to give up their 3rd round pick for this years upcoming draft. In the long run, that pick could turn out to be more valuable than Stallworth. WR's are not going to make or break this team.

So after 2 weeks of the Eagles doing nothing, some fans, a lot of fans, were hitting the panic button. WIP's phone lines were full of fans sick of Joe Banner being so cheap, and hoping Andy Reid would just quit. It was very annoying. Think I'm kidding, take a stroll over to the IgglePhans message board to get a feel for how some fans feel about the Eagles front office these days. Some fans just do not get how a team is run with salary cap and what not. The Eagles were not in a position to start signing over rated free agents. This was not a good free agent class. Why spend big money, that you don't have, to sign players that are just not worth it, and that don't fit into some of your systems. Then March 15th, two weeks into free agency, the Eagles strike, landing FA WR Kevin Curtis. Kevin Curtis was regarded as one of the best free agent WR's this off season. Some had him ahead of Stallworth. They are very much alike. Almost the same size, Curtis could be faster, he has good hands, and most imporantly, is not a injury risk. Still with that signing, fans were still not buying it. Some were. A lot were and still are pissed at the Eagles for what happened with Stallworth. Then after the dust settled some interesting things started to leak out about the Stallworth situation. It turns out Stallworth's agent, none other than Drew Rosenhaus, pretty much gave the Eagles the shaft. After Rosenhaus tried to get the Eagles to sign Stallworth to a 1yr deal for $5M, he went back to Stallworth and told him the Eagles offer was $2M and no more. When in turn, the Eagles were willing to pay $3.6M-$4M. So while the Eagles were waiting for Rosenhaus to get back to them, he never did. In the end, the Eagles should be happy that happened, cause they ended up with a pretty good wide out in Curtis and saved themselves the trouble of giving up this years 3rd round pick. Next the Eagles front office tried to do some damage control by hitting the airwaves on local radio stations 610 WIP and Sports Talk 950. First came Joe Banner on the Howard Eskin show. He did a nice job of trying to explain the Eagles position for this off-season and next off-season. He did have the tough task of actually fielding calls from pissed off irate Eagles fans. At one point he actually told a fan, who said he was wasting money on tickets and didn't really care for the Eagles any more, to stop coming to games if you don't care. Pretty ballsy. Of course most fans took it as, I don't care if you stop coming, we'll fill your seat with someone else. What he was saying was, if you feel like your not getting your money's worth out of your Eagles tickets and you don't like being at games, don't come. Yea I'm trying a little to help Joe Banner out here, not many people in this town do. Next stop, Tom Heckert hit the Jody Mac Show to talk about free agency, Chris Gocong, the draft, and many other things. If you want the details of that interview click here. The Eagles attempt to do damage control for the lack of off-season moves kind of worked. The signing of Curtis sure helped but fans still, were not happy. The only thing that would make fans happy would be the Eagles getting a top tier LB. Al Wilson, Lance Briggs, and Takeo Spikes were all on the trading block and fans would love any of the above to improve a weak LB crew. Next they signed DT Monte Reagor, umm, what? This was foreshadowing for what was about to take place the following week, yesterday, and the Eagles gave fans what they wanted, a really good LB, that makes everyone feel a little bit better about going into next season. As you know they traded DT Darwin Walker, with Reagor there to take his spot, and a 2008 7th round pick, which is fine cause they will have at least one compensatory pick to replace that one, and in return the Eagles got pro bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes and back-up QB Kelly Holcomb. Round of applause. They deserve it. As much as people started to panic in the first couple weeks of the off-season, they Eagles have done a fine job. Now we have the draft to look forward to, and hopefully the Eagles address some key needs.

Players Added

Bethal Johnson, WR/KR
Kevin Curtis, WR
Monte Reagor, DT
Takeo Spikes, LB
Kelly Holcomb, QB

Players Re-signed

Quintin Mikell, S
Juqua Thomas, DE
Correll Buckhalter, RB
William James, CB

Players Lost

Jeff Garcia, QB
Rod Hood, CB
Michael Lewis, S
Donte Stallworth, WR
Darwin Walker, DT

No comments: