An image you're tired of getting used to right???
Since the NFC Championship loss, the hot topic in the City of Brotherly Love has been who's needed to help the Eagles get over the hump and finally bring home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Discussions have escalated about bringing in T.J. Houshmandzadeh, drafting Chris "Beanie" Wells, trading for Anquan Boldin, etc.
Like I said the Monday after the Eagles were sent home, football never dies in Philadelphia. Even the defending World Series Champs aren't the biggest story in town.
It is true the there are some holes to fill to keep the Eagles competitive. Most fans and radio personalities mainly talk about the "hot" names in free agency.
There's a harsh truth to these names though. Brian Dawkins, regardless how loved he is, will be 36 soon. Whether or not the Eagles resign him, his replacement still needs to be in place soon(not yet ready to say it's Quinten Demps).
Jordan Gross is 90% likely to remain in Carolina by way of a long term deal or a franchise tag. Julius Peppers wants to be paid like a defensive end to play a 3-4 linebacker.
Albert Haynesworth would require to Eagles to make a decision with either Broderick Bunkley or Mike Patterson, causing a hefty pay tag combined with a possible huge cap hit.
The most realistic popular move is signing Housh now that the Bengals decided to place a tag on kicker Shane Graham.
But more is needed
I have ten players that aren't the popular pick(s) for the Eagles to sign, but they could all provide a significant contribution to birds 2009 Operation: Victory in Miami.
If you feel the Eagles aren't looking at these guy, ask yourself if you saw Chris Clemons coming last year......
While the center position isn't considered a huge need, Jamaal Jackson isn't the most consistent person in the world.
The main reason he's the starting center is because the Eagles failed to bring in LeCharels Bentley(although he was forced to retire recently because he failed to recover from his 2006 tendon injury).
While his physique(6'3", 320lb) is very similar to Jackson's, Jason Brown would be a more steady solution to the middle of the line. And, on top of being considerably better than Jackson, he's three years younger(turns 26 in May) and possibly still has an upside.
What makes it realistic that Brown can be lured away from Baltimore is the fact that the Ravens are primarily focused on retaining their star linebackers.
The Ravens may have cut Chris MacAllister to create cap space, but Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis are far from cheap.
Retaining Brown is just as important, but the Ravens have long been known for their defense and keeping the focal part of their D is their current priority.
As previously said, it would be a huge surprised if Jordan Gross makes it to the free agency period unsigned. Vernon Carey on the other hand is very likely to be available.
It's said that he'll command a big paycheck this off season, but it's not going to be anywhere near as much as it would cost to sign Gross.
On top of saving money, I'm probably going to be the first to say that Carey would be a better fit with the Eagles than Gross for two reasons.
1.) Andy Reid loves versatile players, especially linemen. Carey can play left tackle, right tackle and guard. Gross has only played LT(even though that's probably the most important position for the birds to address).
2.) The Eagles like big tackles. Both Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan were 6'7", 335lbs. King Dunlap is 6'8" and I believe they kept him off the active roster to add more buld to his already 320lbs. Carey is 6'5", 350lbs compared to Gross' 6'4", 305lbs.
I previously thought the Eagles should stay away from Andrews being that he recently had surgery on his ACL.
But, recent updates have Andrews far ahead of schedule and possibly ready by June let alone training camp.
That said, at 6'7", 342lbs and 8 years Jon Runyan's junior, Andrews would fit in great on the right side next to his brother Shawn. While you never wish injury on anyone, the timing couldn't be better being that Andrews value has definitely dropped.
If he enters training camp healthy, the team that signs him gets a big steal. Possibly, it could be the Eagles.
The Eagles lost at least two games in 2008 because of their failure to convert short yardage situations. Part of that failure was because they ignored the importance of a true FB and experimented with Tony Hunt and Dan Klecko.
Outside of Weaver, there aren't any free agents worth looking at. The other choice of course would be to draft a fullback in the later rounds.
Weaver probably won't be back in Seattle because the Seahawks are likely to move on with Owen Schmitt.
This choice will probably get a lot of negative feedback being that this is the same position Brian Dawkins plays. The fact is Dawkins won't be around much longer.
Atogwe is a very underated free safety(mainly because he played for the Rams) who led the team with 5 INTs(17 in his 4 year career). His coverage skills and instincts would fit in great with the Eagles already potent defense.
Even if the Eagle re-sign Dawkins(which they definitely should), Atogwe could still be a longer term solution at free safety and Dawkins could play strong safety.
There is a chance the Rams will franchise him, but they have to make some decisions to free up cap space.
I would love for the Eagles to draft Brandon Pettigrew from Oklahoma St. He's probably the best fit and it's rare to find a tight end that can catch and block well.
The issue is you can't guarantee that he'll be available when the Eagles pick No. 21. Another popular pick would be a trade with Kansas City for Tony Gonzalez.
Unfortunately, Gonzalez has stated he doesn't mind staying in KC.
That being said, the Eagles need a TE badly. Their decision to franchise L.J. Smith last year was a huge mistake. Brent Celek is good but hasn't proven he's consistent enough to be "the guy". In comes Sciafe.
He's considered a receiving TE but he's still a better blocker than Celek. While T.O. was the top wide receiver the Eagles had McNabb throw to, people forget that his favorite target was Chad Lewis.
When Lewis went down in the NFC Championship 4 years ago, Smith was ordained the next guy and he never lived up to that role.
Sciafe has potential to fill in that spot. The Titans priority currently is resigning Haynesworth, so Sciafe may slip away.
The Eagles tight ends were definitely exposed when it came to blocking. Kleinsasser is definitely a guy that could step in during short yardage situations.
At 32 and not known for receiving, he's a guy the Eagles could get for a bargain with a short term deal to be their 3rd stringer if necessary. He definitely would be more useful than Matt Schoebel even if the stats didn't show it.
People are turned off by Mike Nugent because he's a career 3 for 9 from 50+ yards. That's an area that can be improved greatly, especially with his strong leg.
David Akers had a good 2008 season, but overall he's been on a decline since long snapper Mike Bartrum and trusted holder Koy Detmer left the team. I believe Akers at least needs to be challenged.
Akers is also getting older so if Nugent doesn't win the job over, he could at least handle kickoffs. The question is would the Eagles make room for two kickers.
Probably not, but the kicker situation is something to keep an eye on. Remember the NFC Championship performance by Akers. Also remember it was a situation that got even Andy Reid animated.
Nnamdi Asuomugha is very likely to be franchised again by the Raiders. Even if he isn't, he may cost more than Asante Samuel did last year.
In comes Leigh Bodden, who was recently released by the Lions.
It wasn't because he can't play, it's because he's not particularly strong in zone coverage. Bodden's strong points are man coverage and press, right up Jim Johnson's alley.
Also, at 6'1" and 195lbs, Bodden would also bring height on the corner which is something the Eagles lacked since the departure of Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent.
Canty didn't have huge stats(37 tackles, 3 sacks), but I believe a lot of that had to do with the fact he was playing in a 3-4 D on the same side as DeMarcus Ware.
Canty is 6 years Darren Howard's junior and I think he could make a bigger impact than Howard's 10 sacks.
I think Canty is better fitted in a 4-3 defense and with his size(6'7" 304lbs) he could play the left side opposite Trent Cole.
The questions are if he's willing to do that and how much would he cost. There's a chance Canty goes to Carolina once Peppers is out the way, but who knows what the Eagles are thinking