6 Players the Philadelphia Eagles Should Take a Chance on in the 2011 Offseason
The Philadelphia Eagles will be heading into an offseason where most expect them to dictate what happens in free agency.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie has already come out and said that his Eagles will be aggressive in free agency.
Andy Reid almost always takes chances in free agency with questionable players. The last major example was with Michael Vick, and we all saw how that turned out. Vick is one of the 10 best quarterbacks in the league and keeps defensive coordinators up all night devising complex schemes to stop the explosive athlete.
That being said, let's take a look at six players the Eagles should take a chance on come free agency and trade.
WR Plaxico Burress
The idea of the Eagles signing Burress has really grown on me these past weeks.
At first, I was skeptical that Burress would even be an upgrade over the young Riley Cooper. Burress though never relied on his speed; he depended on his strength and ability to get open against smaller defensive backs.
He can definitely regain that part of his game with basic conditioning.
Even if Burress does not make an impact the first few weeks of the year, he should be able help in red-zone opportunities.
The trio of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Plaxico Burress could be unstoppable, and I have not even talked about one of the best slot receivers in the game with Jason Avant.
Both Jackson and Maclin would benefit from a huge possession receiver like Burress, allowing for more one-on-one coverages.
LB Thomas Davis
When Thomas Davis came out of Georgia, I thought he would quickly become one of the best strong safeties in the game. His sideline to sideline speed and uncanny ability to always be around the ball looked to be a deadly combination.
That did not work out when he changed positions to linebacker!
Davis has been injured the past two seasons, but he was considered one of the best weak-side linebackers in football.
In seven games in 2009, Davis recorded 61 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions—elite numbers for a weak-side linebacker in a limited number of games.
Davis could be easily signed on the cheap, and if healthy, could provide the Eagles a playmaker at the linebacker position.
I think anyone could be a slight upgrade over the elite Ernie Sims!
QB Vince Young
Ten touchdowns to three interceptions and a 98.6 passer rating...wait, that is considered a bad season for a quarterback?
Vince Young is currently under contract with the Titans, but with the drafting of Jake Locker, he is expected to be gone.
Since Kolb is wanted by many teams in the league desperate for a quarterback, Reid will probably trade him.
If Kolb really is traded, the Eagles will need a capable backup quarterback, especially since Vick's game calls for numerous hits, taking a huge toll on his body.
Third-string quarterback Mike Kafka has a solid arm and is accurate, but cannot be trusted to be the backup in just his second season.
The coaching staff refined Vick's game, turning him into a legitimate quarterback. He was accurate enough and made great decisions with the ball.
Vince Young has starting potential, which is what the Eagles need as the backup.
If Vick gets hurt—something that is likely—the Eagles offense would not have to adjust that much, since Young is a mobile quarterback like Vick. Let's say Young performs well in that game or games, he would be another sought-out commodity the Eagles could possess.
Imagine what Young could learn from the helpful Michael Vick.
DE Vernon Gholston
I published an article about four months ago on why the Eagles should take a chance on Gholston, and you can read it here.
While Gholston may not be capable of winning a starting job right away, he certainly has talent to be a situational pass-rusher.
Gholston struggled mightily playing upright in the 3-4 OLB position and had to adjust playing in coverage, a position he played in once in his lifetime.
Jim Washburn loves his defensive ends getting up the field using their respective pass-rushing moves, allowing Gholston to focus just on pass rushing if the Eagles signed him.
Gholston could challenge for a roster spot and with condition and strong teaching from Washburn, he could be an underrated signing.
RB Reggie Bush
Bush is one of the most explosive players in the NFL and would probably be an afterthought in an offense composed of Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
The Eagles though may have a need for the backup running back spot. Dion Lewis is an elusive runner, but with the lockout, he may need time to adjust to the NFL game.
Bush would start right away as the punt returning specialist replacing Jackson. During the season, Jackson reportedly asked not to be the punt returning specialist because he did not want to risk injury affecting his contract status. Bush would be an electrifying punt returner and would add another dimension of speed to the backfield.
DT Albert Haynesworth
The only coach who has had success motivating Haynesworth to play up to his highest potential is current Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn.
A reunion may not be out of the question.
Haynesworth can push the pocket and free up the ends, especially Trent Cole who is constantly doubled and tripled team.