The Eagles are going to work out a left defensive end on Tuesday. Jeremy Jarmon will miss his senior year at Kentucky do to a violation of the NCAA banned substance list.
Jarmon claimed to be a squeaky-clean guy and offered the explanation that he was taking a supplement he did not know contained a banned substance. He was told to stop taking the supplement, but at that point it was too late.
The inflexibility of the NCAA regarding their substance abuse policy has been widely criticized specifically regarding the Jeremy Jarmon ban.
In just three season, Jarmon became the No. 3 all-time sack leader in Kentucky history, with 17.5 sacks recorded.
Jarmon will become NFL eligible in the 2009 supplemental draft.
The left side of the defensive line is one of the question marks going into 2009 for the Eagles.
Jarmon is a natural left end, but how could Jarmon figure in to the picture at defensive end for the Eagles?
It's doubtful that he is ready to start in the NFL, and his 2009 senior year output for Kentucky is and will always be a projection.
Victor Abiamiri is a very good-looking defensive end. Jaqua Parker and Chris Clemons have also played the position well.
If I were to take a stab at the current prognosis at left end, I would expect Abiamiri to start and shift inside to tackle on passing downs, with Clemons coming in to play left end to get better edge pressure.
Right now, the Eagles look to return six defensive ends from last year. Trent Cole, Darren Howard, Jaqua Parker, Victor Abiamiri, Chris Clemons, and Brian Smith were all on the active roster.
Obviously the Eagles can't keep seven defensive ends. With the injury to defensive tackle Amon Gordon, they will more than likely keep six, not five.
Still, one end would need to go away in order to make room for Jarmon.
It's hard to imagine the Eagles using one of their 2010 draft picks in the supplemental draft for any player, let alone a defensive end.
Nonetheless, if Jarmon is as impressive as he may be in the private workout on Tuesday, the Eagles may make a move for a new face on defensive line.
Who Will Not Get Traded to Make Room for Jeremy Jarmon?
Trent Cole is a lock. The rest of the roster is trade-able or cut-able.
Victor Abiamiri should be a locked in player. He's a young end drafted in the second round of 2007. Abiamiri is just now getting his opportunity to show what he can do on the field.
He hasn't been overly impressive yet, but optimism is high on what he may bring to the field in 2009.
Abiamiri will get another season or two to emerge before the Eagles look to dismiss a second-round draft pick entering his third NFL season.
Who Might Be Cut or Traded To Make Room for Jeremy Jarmon?
Clemons has been an interesting defensive end. He was signed as a free agent and showed a solid ability to get to the passer in 2008, something everyone looks for in a left end.
Clemons registered four sacks in 2008 with the Eagles and eight sacks in 2007 with the Raiders, while only starting two games in those seasons. In 2009, he is entering his sixth NFL season.
Brian Smith was the 2008 third-round draft selection of the Eagles. I don't think the Eagles are ready to move away from Smith yet.
Smith has not taken an NFL regular season snap, but his speed burst has been impressive. He may be an option to play a hybrid end or linebacker position if he is unable to gain bulk.
Who Would Likely Get Cut or Traded To Make Room for Jeremy Jarmon?
Darren Howard had a career year registering 10 sacks, but he is the oldest defensive end with a noteworthy contract size, and could easily be considered dispensable.
Jaqua Parker started most of 2008 at left end for the Eagles. If the Eagles are comfortable with Abiamiri and Jarmon, they could definitely take that direction over Parker.
Both of these players could merit a fourth or fifth round trade value if the timing is right.
The Eagles also signed rookie free agent from Penn State, Josh Gaines. Gaines' best opportunity with the Eagles in 2009 might be the practice squad.
Final Thoughts at Left Defensive End
I really don't see the Eagles making a move for Jeremy Jarmon.
Then again, they are bringing him in for a private workout right away.
If Jarmon fits the bill for Any Reid and company and they pull the trigger on a deal, I would expect to see Parker or Howard shipped off for a 2010 draft pick.