So the cooling portion of free agency is upon us and like most teams in the NFL the Eagles were very quiet during this period of crazyness. They've retained the rights to some of their own, signing them to long term deals and have also had a few players in to discuss possible acquisitions.
They brought in DB Marlin Jackson to a mutli year deal, also brought in RB Justin Fargas who decided his options were better elsewhere.
Then today they were host to RB Mike Bell of the Saints and got him to sign an offer sheet, but we must anticipate for a week on whether or not he'll actually become an Eagle. Is it likely the Saints will match the offer that Bell signed or will they part ways with him and allow him to spread his wings in Philadelphia?
If Bell does become an Eagle that puts a check mark next to two positions that needed attention, but the Eagles didn't go out and get sure thing starters. Yeah they brought Jackson in to play Safety but that doesn't mean he will be the starter there.
They could move a slow but still hard hitting Sheldon Brown to the Safety. Don't forget the Eagles still have third year and second year men in Quinten Demps and Macho Harris. So Jackson could end up competing for the remaining CB spot or just become a nickel or dime CB. There is a variety of options defensive coach Sean McDermott has with Jackson and those questions won't be answered until training camp.
Bell would have a chance to be the starter here but he would have to earn it by beating out second year man LeSean McCoy. I won't get into the stats again but we all know McCoy did a pretty impressive job his rookie season, filling in for the injured Brian Westbrook.
Can LeSean improve on his rookie numbers or will he hit the dreaded "sophmore slump?" McCoy has a keen eye for making plays and that was evident in his two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh. It would be tough to imagine a guy who is that football smart having some sort of slump but anything is possible —yes I'm knocking on wood right now!
Also if the Eagles can acquire Bell it will allow them to focus solely on the true areas of need in the draft like defensive end, strongside Linebacker, center and safety.
I still think the Eagles will draft a Safety this year but it won't be until the late rounds; I'd say the third unless they make a trade on draft day or trade a player before the draft. We all know to expect the unexpected on draft day though when Reid calls the shots.
I like the fact that the Eagles are trying to fill some voids and as they do get filled it is making it a little easier to see what the Eagles might do in the first round. Would it be worth it at this point —depending on who drops in the draft —to trade out of the first round?
It's tough to say because there are still holes that need to be filled by pure talent, but the draft is deeep with talent so it might just be worth it. Hey, if the Eagles can get out of having to pay someone first round money and get some additional picks, whether it be for this year or next, this is something the Eagles should explore. The talent pool in the draft won't start dropping until right around the fourth round.
Stay tuned Eagles fans across the world, we must wait a full seven days before we'll know if Mike Bell will become an Eagle. Keep the faith!