Could the Philadelphia Eagles Tap Free Agency to Fill the Void at Safety?

Jamie BrownCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2010

ST. LOUIS - NOVEMBER 22: Oshiomogho Atogwe #21 of the St. Louis Rams carries the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome on November 22, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Rams 21-13. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Why take a potentially unnecessary risk?

The draft is a risk. No doubt about it.

The last thing Philadelphia needs is a first-round bust at any position.

Imagine what the hands of Philly veterans Brian Dawkins and Donovan McNabb would look like if the Eagles had picked Chad Ochocinco or Reggie Wayne over “FredEx.” Probably a few more Volkswagen-sized rings.

It baffles me how the Eagles, who usually make good draft decisions, ended up with one of the 15 first round picks that never ended up in the Pro Bowl. But that’s just my opinion, and that is the past.

Now, the Eagles are in need of an upgrade at safety, and most fans are looking to the draft to fill that void. Taylor Mays is the name being thrown around at the moment, even though some scouts are branding him as a bad tackler and generally too big for his own good.

Let’s see if there are any options to fill the space at safety other than the draft.

Oshiomogho Atogwe

My favorite option is to give the Rams a deal they can’t refuse...that is, if they want to win more than one game next season.

My proposal: Trade them Michael Vick and a second or first round pick, depending on how the Rams decide to tender O.J. Atogwe, for O.J. and a third round pick.

This is, of course, only if the Eagles were planning on taking a safety in the first round. If they were going to grab a Sean Weatherspoon or a Carlos Dunlap, then there is no need to look at Atogwe.

Forget that he had a shoulder injury late last season, and forget that he is pushing 30. A veteran safety could teach Macho Harris a thing or two. A guy that is as consistent as Atogwe could really help the Eagles' lacking tackling in the secondary.

That’s a shot at you, Asante.

Darren Sharper

Need I say more?

Yeah, he’s old. Yeah, he’ll want to stay in New Orleans. He also had nine picks on the season. A leader if there ever was one, and he’s pretty much the definition of veteran.

So he has all the credentials—what does he cost?

In a word: heaps.

Being an UFA, and with his stats from last season, a bunch of teams will be after Sharper. So the bidding war should be long and filled with twists and turns.

Plus, the cost/reward ratio could be a bit unbalanced. He is old, 34, and if there is no football in 2011, he could only be good for one year. Plus, he is a risk taker. Not on Asante Samuel’s level, but still a risk taker. I don’t know if Philadelphia can afford another risk taker after getting burned so often down “Asante Alley.”

Other Safeties of Note

Antoine Bethea

The Colts are known for finesse, and the Eagles are not. But a guy like Bethea could be a good match for Philly. He is still young at 26, and he can tackle like fishing bait. But the Colts will want him back, and he may be too expensive.

Bernard Pollard

If the Texans let this guy go, all of Houston will be at Reliant Stadium ready to burn it down. He's the X-factor in Houston’s newly acquired run defense. They will be keeping him unless someone gives them a juicy deal. I don’t know if Philly will want to be that team, because the Texans will put a big price tag on this guy.

Tweet of the Week

From DeSean Jackson:

“yeap I’m out here in AZ chilln for acouple days jerkn”

I know “Jerkin’” is a dance, but I am immature and chuckled to myself when I read this.

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