Buying or Selling the Latest Offseason Buzz Surrounding the Eagles
It's NFL combine week, and that means all 32 teams have begun the process of building their draft boards and planning their free-agency strategy.
This also means the media has begun churning out the rumors and speculation among those players and teams.
This is a look at some of the latest offseason buzz currently surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles and whether we should buy or sell each scenario.
Speculation: Nick Foles May Get Traded
With the Eagles recently signing quarterback Dennis Dixon from the Baltimore Ravens practice squad (per Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com), the Eagles now have four quarterbacks (Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Trent Edwards and Dixon).
Because the Eagles now have four quarterbacks, the rumors are starting up that the Eagles may be trading 2012 third-round pick Foles.
In fact, Mike Garafolo of USA Today points to the Kansas City Chiefs as one team having interest in trading for the second-year player out of Arizona. The Chiefs are now coached by the man who drafted Foles, Andy Reid. Via Garafolo:
So it's in the realm of possibility Foles could be traded. If so, the Kansas City Chiefs could be the destination.
Foles seems to be on the block because there are some who believe Foles cannot run Chip Kelly's offense.
In all honestly, I believe Foles can. Kelly doesn't necessarily need a full-blown mobile quarterback, and I think Kelly would like to keep Foles, even as a backup to Vick and possibly continue to develop him.
Also, look for the Eagles to target Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel in this year's draft. While the Eagles hold the fourth pick in the draft, I wouldn't expect him to hear his name called that high. Rather, starting in the third round is where I expect Manuel to be taken (where the Eagles hold the fifth pick of the round).
In the end, I'm not so sure Dixon will even make the final 53-man roster.
Speculation: Running Backs to See Much Bigger Workloads
Chris McPherson of PhiladelphiaEagles.com wrote about the possibility of Eagles Running backs LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown seeing a much bigger workload under new head coach Chip Kelly and new running backs coach Duce Staley.
I think it's pretty obvious with Chip Kelly leading the way that the Eagles are going to run so much more than they ever did under Reid. Kelly oversaw an Oregon team that rushed for the fourth-most yards in the country in 2012 and had the fourth-leading rusher in the nation in Kenjon Barner.
We know what McCoy is capable of, and Brown proved to be very useful when given an opportunity last season. He just needs to control the ball better.
If you play fantasy, both of these running backs will easily be worth drafting next season, McCoy as an RB1, Brown as a possible flex.
Speculation: Nnamdi Asomugha to Be Cut?
Dan Parzych of Rantsports.com offers up this take on the possibility of the Eagles moving on from Nnamdi Asomugha this offseason.
Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com also lists Asomugha at the top of a list of Eagles who could be cut.
Asomugha is due a $15 million base salary and is already guaranteed $4 million, plus still has two years remaining after 2013, but he is coming off one of the worst years of his career. In fact, you can argue he has been a complete bust in his two years as an Eagle, compiling just four interceptions in two seasons, including just one in 2012.
That being said, I tend to think he was more a victim of terrible scheming by Juan Castillo and Todd Bowles.
Now with new defensive coordinator Billy Davis and a fresh, new look on defense, coupled with the fact that the Eagles have now opened up so much cap space even if they pay Asomugha his $15 million, I think the Eagles keep Asomugha at least one more year and see how he works in this new scheme. Asomugha may have to restructure his contract.
I think the recent news that the Eagles likely are not using the franchise tag on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (per CSNPhilly.com's Geoff Mosher) leads me to believe they will stick with Asomugha and pair him with one of the remaining cornerbacks or one they draft (perhaps Dee Milliner at No. 4?)
Speculation: Should the Eagles Trade Down?
A fan at CSNPhilly.com asked Eagles insider Ray Didinger about the chances the Eagles trade down from the No. 4 spot in the draft. It's a fair question. Mike Mayock of NFL Network came out on Monday during a pre-NFL combine conference call and said (h/t Rich Cimini, ESPNNewYork.com):
I wouldn't want a top-10 pick this year. I think the fifth pick in the draft and the 25th pick in this draft are very similar.
Didinger had this to say about a possible tradedown:
But if I were the Eagles, I wouldn’t be anxious to trade the No. 4 pick. If a team blew me away with an offer – say, a first and second this year plus another high pick next year – I might consider it, but there is sure to be a very good player on the board at No. 4 and the Eagles would probably be better off staying put and taking him.
I have to agree with Ray, here. The Eagles will have a slew of options with this pick, such as Utah DT Star Lotulelei, Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel and Alabama CB Dee Milliner. I have to think the Eagles are going to stay put with the fourth pick. For what it's worth, I think the Eagles take Lotulelei if the draft were today.
Speculation: Can Danny Watkins Be Saved?
Didinger also whipped up a take on the possibility of resurrecting the career of 2011 first-round pick Danny Watkins (Ray Didinger, CSNPhilly.com).
The Eagles have a new offensive line coach, Jeff Stoutland, formerly of reigning BCS National champion Alabama. We have all saw the power of the 2012 Alabama offensive line, including guard Chance Warmack bullying Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o.
Stoutland believes Watkins is "a winner" and that "he's athletic, he’s explosive. I see a young man with a lot of talent.”
Let's remember, first, that Watkins is not that young. Yes, he is only in his third year in the league, but he is already 28 years old. Second, this is the same Danny Watkins who lost his starting job to Jake Scott, a street free agent, in the middle of the 2012 season because of poor play.
Stoutland clearly is not working with Chance Warmack here.
Can Stoutland whip Watkins back into shape? Perhaps. It could depend on how the Eagles attack the draft, particularly at the top. With Stoutland in tow, will the Eagles actually take a shot on Warmack at No. 4? It's possible. But if they don't take a guard, then it looks to be one more opportunity for the former firefighter.
Verdict: Buy, with the option to sell later