The Bachman/Turner Overdrive song is very appropriate for the Eagles thus far in Free Agency. The Eagles have tendered nine out of ten Restricted Free Agents (TE Alex Smith the lone exception). Sources from Scout.com/Syriusnflradio as well as NFL Network and PhiladelphiaEagles.com have reported that WR Jason Avant, OG/C Nick Cole, LB Akeem Jordan, and FB Leonard Weaver have been offered second round tenders. Other tenders include LB Omar Gaither (fifth rd), LB Chris Gocong (third rd), OG Max Jean-Gilles (fourth rd), CB/KR Ellis Hobbs (first rd), and P Sav Rocca (rights of first refusal). Reports also from WashingtonPost.com said that UFA Jason Babin was attracting interest from the Redskins, however his contract with the Eagles included first refusal rights should he receive an offer.
But the big news so far is that the Eagles and FB Leonard Weaver have agreed to a reported 3 year, $11 million deal with $6.5 million guaranteed. Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network said that this deal is the richest contract for a fullback in NFL history. The deal as of this writing is not signed, but both sides have done a good job of locking up a KEY contributor to the Birds offensive plans. Weaver's offer dispels any rumors that he would be able to test the waters of free agency, even though he was tendered a second round offer that would have brought Philly a second round pick if they did not match the offer from another team. In this draft, a second round pick is as good as gold due to the depth of players at key positions.
So, the Eagles now wait to see if/when any big ticket free agents become available. To date, it is reported that DE Julius Peppers will visit Chicago today, LB Karlos Dansby will visit Miami, S Antrell Rolle is available (asking WAY too much $$$, $8 mil. per year?!), and other big name players are being either tendered with very high offers or being released. This must be like Christmas time for teams seeking upgrades and for players in their "walk year". We will see how all this plays out for the Eagles in due time.
However, for now, the Birds have taken care of business with their key RFA's. The offers are on the table, and the players have been notified. The next step is for the players to grab a pen and sign, or extend, or negotiate their next contracts and have that part of things over with. Will we see any of these players receive offers from other teams? Possibly, but the Eagles have up to seven days to match any offer, or they could decide to allow the player to sign the other teams' offer sheet and receive the tendered draft pick compensation. Remember, the Eagles should receive some compensatory picks in the 2010 draft as well.
Oh boy, what a ride!! Free Agency is upon us and the rumors won't stop for the next seven or so weeks until the draft comes. The next two to four days will be repleat with news of signings, releases, trades, and all kinds of rumor fodder and speculation. Agents and players and team officials will be on the merry-go-round of talks and negotiations regarding somebody's new contract or place of employment.
Kudos to the Eagles for "takin' care of business". At least for now. We'll just have to wait and see what else, if anything, goes down at One Nova Care Complex.