As the NFL offseason continues, teams across the league are pushing along with their respective game plans to enter the 2009 season with a Super Bowl contender. For the Philadelphia Eagles, regardless of how many needs the team may have, one question remains among the majority of fans: How can we get a No. 1 wide receiver?
What is the obsession with this No. 1 option?
The answer is very simple: Every efficient offense has at least one player at one of it's skill position that has the ability to take pressure off the other skill positions. Ask the Eagles' arch rival NY Giants what it was like playing the last six games of the 2008 season without Plaxico Burress.
The Eagles have plenty of needs that I do believe will be addressed by the beginning of training camp. As far as acquiring a stud receiver to enhance the teams scoring abilities even better, I'm not quite sure what the Eagles front office will do but I hope they explore all options.
As of now, it comes down to two receivers that could possibly take the Eagles receiving corp to another level. The two players are Anquan Boldin of the Arizona Cardinals, and Torry Holt of the St. Louis Rams.
Only one (Holt) is officially "available" at this current time, but both guys are very obtainable if the Eagles want them. Each player has his pros and cons.
Pros: Regardless of the rumors about which receivers are available to obtain in 2009, one thing is certain: Boldin is the best option to enhance the Eagles passing game.
At 6'1", 217 lbs he definitely has the size to beat press coverage. His stats are phenomenal and have been even before Larry Fitzgerald arrived in Phoenix. Any receiver that can get 89 catches in just 12 games is a star in his own right.
Boldin's age (28) is another plus, it's possible that he might not have even reached his prime yet. Beyond the tangibles, Boldin is arguably the toughest receiver in the league as well.
Cons: The biggest concern for the Eagles is probably the fact that he's represented by their favorite agent, Drew Rosenhaus. After giving up a lot to acquire Boldin, a new contract still has to be negotiated and Rosenhaus is going to command top dollar.
As tough minded as the Eagles' front office is, they're not going to just get any type of deal done as they please. While A.B. isn't as disruptive as T.O., his verbal spat with former Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the NFC Championship didn't leave a positive impression.
The biggest question is: How much do you have to give up for a Pro Bowl WR when his current team is very reluctant to let him go.
Pros: He's a free agent, so the only thing the Eagles have to give up is a little bit of their $40 million plus in cap space. Even at age 32 (33 in the fall), Holt has about four good years left. He still has some of the best hands and route running skills in the league.
Holt is a top 10 receiver that you've never heard negative things about. He's played with a top receiver before, so you know he's willing to share the load. He also has a Super Bowl ring, meaning he has the experience of player for a winning organization.
Cons: Whether he can still play or not, his age is still going to be considered a concern. Regardless of how bad the entire Rams team was, critics are going to look at Holt's 2008 production (64 receptions, 796 yards, three TDs), as the start of a decline.
When you put up what the Eagles would gain versus what they would lose, I think Holt would be the better option at this time. Boldin is a better receiver, but Holt is a free agent now.
Trying to focus primarily on getting Boldin could cause the Birds to miss out on both. Getting Holt allows the Eagles to bolster their receiving corp and still use their draft picks on filling the other big needs.