Evaluating the Philadelphia Eagles' Offseason Part II: Veteran Additions

Haran KnightCorrespondent IApril 30, 2009

ORCHARD PARK - OCTOBER 19:  Jason Peters #71 of the Buffalo Bills walks on the field during the game against the San Diego Chargers on October 19, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills defeated Chargers 23-14.  (Photo by: Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

After the NFL draft every year, fans and media alike like to take their time to evaluate the selections.  Whether it's their favorite team or the entire team, it's every sports fanatic's goal to access their teams potential.

While I'm one of hundreds who have expressed their opinion about the Eagles highly successful draft, the climatic last weekend in April is far from the only part of the offseason(which begins after the last game).

Now that the offseason is unofficially coming to an end, I'd like to evaluate and focus on the other segments that will help shape the roster that travels to Lehigh in late July.

Part II: Veteran Additions

Parting ways with veterans who have been part of a team's core is difficult.  But, if they're responsibly replaced it makes it that much easier to move on...

Stacy Andrews-RT

If bringing in Shawn's older brother makes him happier, great.  The best way to help him is by forming a formidable tandem on the right side of the offensive line.  The first thing the older Andrews must do is make sure he's fully recovered from his ACL injury. 

Grade B:
While I had hoped for Jon Runyan to return for at least one more year, it's understandable that his knee surgery is difficult to recover from.  Being eight years younger, signing Andrews is a better short AND long term solution.

Sean Jones-S

Over the past three years, Jones ranks third among safeties in interceptions(14) which is a welcome addition to last year's marquee signing of Asante Samuel.  His stats helped ease many fan's pain over losing Brian Dawkins. 

Grade B: Jones brings great size and turnover potential to the Eagles solution.  There are two questions regarding him though.  Which he be a starter?  If so, will he be signed beyond his one year deal? We'll soon find in August.

Leonard Weaver-FB

The 2008 Eagles were three short yardage situations from possibly being 12-3-1 which would've gave them home field advantage in the NFC.  The responded to that by acquiring the best fullback available. 

Grade A+:
The signing of Weaver may prove to be the best pickup of the offseason.

Rashad Baker-S

If Jones was signed to replace Dawkins, then Baker was brought in to replace Sean Considine.  Baker had three INTs last year, but he's likely to play mainly on special teams. 

Grade C:
Playing across the river from his hometown of Camden, NJ won't guarantee Baker a spot.  He's got some tough competition for a roster spot ahead of him.

Jason Peters-LT

I know I said signing Weaver may be the best 2009 deal, but when it's all said and done trading for Peters may go down as the best deal of Andy Reid's career.

Grade A++: Replacing a left tackle is difficult, probably even harder than replacing a quarterback.  When the departing left tackle is a Pro Bowl caliber staple like Tra Thomas, the task is ten times harder.  The Eagles somehow managed to UPGRADE the position with a blockbuster trade.

Ellis Hobbs-CB

We all know why the Eagles made a trade for Hobbs, they just won't admit it.  With a disgruntled Sheldon Brown asking for a trade the Eagles trade two fifth rounders for a corner who's style of play happens to very similar to Brown's.  The difference is Hobbs is four years Brown's junior and he's a productive kickoff returner. 

Grade B-:
If Brown doesn't get traded this move may backfire because the Eagles would then have TWO angry starting corners who both currently make less than Joselio Hanson.  The good thing is that no matter what, 2008 draft pick Jack Ikegwonu will have ample time to develop with a uniform on.

Overall: B+

The Eagles managed to fill every void from 2008 with younger talent.  The only knock is a few uncertainties(which is a part of life, not just the NFL business).  How healthy is Andrews? How much will Weaver be used? Will Hobbs and Jones be signed past the 2009 season?

Next....Undrafted Rookies