At the beginning of the 2009 season CB Sheldon Brown vocally expressed his displeasure about his current contract situation with the Philadelphia Eagles. After the Eagles signed 2008 premier free agent CB Asante Samuel to a lucrative deal, Brown's unhappiness was unearthed.
Well Sheldon's wish came true just with another team as he and fellow teammate LB Chris Gocong are now members of the Cleveland Browns. In exchange for the two players the Eagles received LB Alex Hall and two 2010 draft picks (fourth and fifth).
Sheldons resume is impressive, to say the least. As a second round draft pick back in 2002, Sheldon has never missed a game and only missed one start in that time. He has been known for his hard hitting tackles and ability to cover opposing WR's in the league
Brown had a career year in 2009 accounting for 43 tackles, 5 INT's, 1 FF and 1 fumble recovery and was considered for the 2009 Pro Bowl but was overlooked in the end.
I think the Eagles deciding to trade Brown consisted of two things: his displeasure with the Eagles front office and maybe more importantly, Brown was beat numerous times in 2009 when a team decided to play the long ball.
Head Coach Andy Reid had this to say about Sheldon:
"Sheldon Brown has been a very good football player for the Eagles over the last eight years, he's a good person, a legitimate tough guy and he'll do a good job helping the Browns".
The other player involved in this trade is LB/DE Chris Gocong.
Chris was a third round pick in the 2006 draft. Originally a defensive end in college the Eagles saw him as a potential linebacker. It was Tom Heckert who is now the new GM of the Cleveland Browns that really pushed for Gocong in that years draft.
Gocong played strongside for the Eagles, he has the right size to be a true force at that position however Chris has trouble changing direction, gets blocked easily when he blitzes and continues to get lost in coverage .
His 2009 numbers had managed 53 tackles (44 solo/9 comb), one sack and zero INT's. Clearly Gocongs best asset is his run stuffing ability which is questionable at times. He needs alot of improvement in the coverage aspect of the LB position.
Andy Reid also commented on Gocongs departure saying:
"Chris did a good job converting from defensive end to linebacker and helped us win a lot of football games".
He then went on to wish the two players "all the best".
Are the Browns thinking of placing Gocong back at his natural defensive end position or will they continue the experiment?
This trade makes sense but in my opinion the Eagles should have been better compensated for Sheldon Brown. Yes it is also my opinion that former Eagles GM Tom Heckert just pulled a fast one on Andy Reid.
Or at least thats how it appears right now!
Sheldon gets a new deal while the Eagles are passing on an unhappy player. Brown will strengthen Cleveland's secondary which is an area of need for them and the Eagles gain two more draft pick and a possible starting player in Alex Hall
Hall is a 6'5" 250 pound LB who appeared in 30 games (two starts) for the Cleveland Browns. In that time Hall has recorded 30 tackles and three sacks while also notching 18 tackles on special teams. Hall was a seventh round draft pick back in 2008.
With the new picks the Eagles acquired in the trade they now have a total of 10 picks in the rapidly approaching draft, which is less than one month away, and are once again set up to make another trade (Rob Sims anyone) or could simply get as many players as possible at camp and let them all duke it out for a job
I think it would be wise at this point to combine a player and a pick or two (if needed) in order to bring in Seattle Seahawks guard Rob Sims.
Sims is a 6'3, 312 pound body who was a starter at the left guard position back in 2007. He missed the majority of the 2008 campaign for a shoulder injury but returned back to duty playing in 14 games at left guard in 2009.
I would like to wish both Brown and Gocong the best of luck in Cleveland!
I would like to especially thank Sheldon for seven fantastic seasons in Philly. Every coach and fan appreciated you work ethic and leadership within the organization.
Other than that I just wish them both the best of luck in Cleveland!
I will lay out the draft round and amount of picks the Eagles have in those rounds below:
Third/70th (Seattle) - 87th (own)
Fourth/105th (Cleveland) - 121st (own)
Seventh/243 and 244 - both are compensatory picks for players lost in the 2009 free agency period.
Stay tuned Eagles faithful. With ten draft picks and still positions of need the Eagles could stay make some moves before draft day!