Have the Eagles Taken a Step Backwards?

Jeff DanzigerCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2009

The first few days of free agency have come and gone.

The Eagles front office is looking satisfied to stay put. In five days of free agency, the only move the Eagles have made was sign Stacy Andrews in an attempt to beef up their line.

The Eagles, who are $40 million under the salary cap, are choosing not to spend it.

This year’s free agent class is weaker than usual. But the Eagles have too many holes to fill and too much money to spend for that to be a factor.

Eagles President Joe Banner seems to have this “you can’t spend it all” mentality that seems to be raising a few eyebrows. The team currently needs a starting tight end, backup running back, a safety to replace Brian Dawkins, and depth at the line.

A big WR is another questionable need.

With so many needs, why has the Eagles organization been so passive?

Not only have they only signed one player, but it seems that no one other than Stacy Andrews has even visited the NovaCare Complex. There were rumors going around that Derrick Ward came for a visit, but those were found to be false by many Philadelphia newspapers.

Where is the effort from the front office?

There were many names on the market that could have satisfied the Eagles' needs.

Safety Jim Leonhard would have been a good choice to replace Dawkins, but the Eagles sat and watched as he signed with the Jets.

Derrick Ward would have been an unbelievable one-two punch with Brian Westbrook, but, again, the Eagles front office was content to not make a move.

Ward, who signed with Tampa Bay last night, is only costing the Buc’s $17 million over four years. With the Eagles $40 dollars under the cap that would be considered chump change for them. When and where do they plan on spending the dough?

Apparently, the answer is not on their veterans. The Eagles have already let the heart and soul of their team, Brian Dawkins, sign elsewhere. Tra Thomas has not been given an offer yet and is supposedly visiting Jacksonville.

In the Andy Reid era of the Eagles' history, the team has only resigned one player after letting him hit the market. 

Only John Runyan hit the market before resigning with the Eagles in 2006, but he does not look as fortunate this season. After having major knee surgery, it looks likes Runyan will just be another aging vet to be shown the door by Philadelphia.

Maybe the Eagles plan on saving their franchise through the draft?

With 11 picks in this year’s draft and two first round picks, maybe that’s how the Eagles plan to fill their many holes. But the draft is meant for depth and rebuilding.

Are the Eagles ready to become a franchise in rebuilding mode?

The team just made it to the NFC Championship game and they are ready to throw in the towel and call this era over.

What exactly is going on in the NovaCare complex, no one outside of the building knows.

With an already thin free agent class getting thinner every day, the only big improvement the Eagles can make at this point is through a blockbuster trade. If not, Banner, Heckert, and Reid could be run out of Philadelphia before the turn of the decade.