The 2010 Offseason has been interesting to say the least.
The added length of restricted free agency immensely limited the amount of attractive free agents available. With no salary cap or salary floor, teams have had to get creative in how to access their budget and/or adjust their roster.
You have a team like the Chicago Bears who spent huge amounts to bring in Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna (all of which are 30 years old).
On the opposite end of the spectrum you have the Philadelphia Eagles who seem to be taking advantage of the chance to rid themselves of big contracts for guys like Brian Westbrook, Chris Clemons and Reggie Brown. (UPDATE: The Eagles released Shawn Andrews as well)
Some Eagles fans are losing their patience and getting frustrated by the front office’s seemingly nonchalant approach. They didn’t outbid the Bears for Peppers or Jacksonville for Aaron Kampman. They also didn’t go after Antrel Rolle or Karlos Dansby. All four players are in positions that the Eagles have a need in.
Shouldn’t we be used to this?
Weren’t the Eagles supposed to go after T.J. Houshmandzadeh last year?
The year before I believe it was Bernard Berrian. Each year there’s going to be one or two big name guys that people will wonder “Why didn’t the Eagles go after him?”
I find it very difficult to place judgment on an organization based on a few transactions probably couldn’t be deemed as national headlines. The truth is the Philadelphia Eagles (or any NFL team for that matter) won’t really have their roster set until April 27th after they finish signing undrafted rookies.
Last year around this time the Eagles had yet to sign Leonard Weaver or make a trade for Jason Peters. We were still wondering how they would use their two first round picks. Would they pick Michael Oher, Ebon Britten, or Knowshon Moreno? Would they pick Brandon Pettigrew because Brent Celek definitely doesn’t have his skill set?
I say all of this to say……If there’s anything I’ve learned with this front office is patience.
The front office not only “wait for a Super Bowl win" patience, but patience in watching whatever plan they may have in place to develop. I know that regardless of whether or not they make the popular move I’m going to root for whoever they put on the field starting in August.
So far, I don’t have a problem with the moves the Eagles have made or didn’t make. I didn’t expect the Eagles to make a trade involving any of their quarterbacks until mid-April if at all, so no surprises there.
I didn’t mind the return of Hank Baskett.
If it wasn’t for his cap figure last year, I believe Reggie Brown would’ve been cut last year instead of Baskett. I don’t mind the signing of Marlin Jackson as long as the Eagles aren’t convinced a guy coming off an ACL injury is the answer at free safety. I don’t think his role has been finalized yet.
Both the pending signing of Mike Bell and the trade for Darryl Tapp are underrated moves in my opinion.
Both running back and defensive end could still be addressed in the draft, but there isn’t as much urgency to get somebody on Day One (i.e. they can pass on Carlos Dunlap know his work ethic is suspect). The thing I noticed first about Tapp is, unlike Victor Abiamiri, he hasn’t missed a game since he’s been in the league.
Most of all, I do like how the Eagles have been addressing their current roster so far. I wasn’t a fan of releasing Will Witherspoon, but I understand. I’m glad that they extended the contracts of Weaver and Jason Avant. Both guys are huge pieces of the offense.
Outside of Witherspoon, there isn’t one player who’s been released or traded that I have complaints about losing. Kevin Curtis and Darren Howard have to know they are in danger of being next.
What will the Eagles do next?
There’s not one move they made this off season that could’ve been predicted and I’ve made at least one or two choices in previous years.
What I do know is that if they have a draft like the one they had last year, these lack of free agent signings will be long forgotten.
April 27 is when we’ll find out what the Eagles true off season plan was, including who the face of the franchise is.