Since the lockout officially began 101 days ago, it seems like every high-profile free agent eligible to hit the market this year has been linked to the Philadelphia Eagles in one way or another. And in an interview with Philadelphia Inquirer’s Ashley Fox, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie claimed the Eagles are going to be busy birds once the opening bells of free agency ring.
Those words make this lockout extremely tough for Eagles fans for three reasons: They know the Eagles' needs, they know the payroll is available and know they know the Eagles brass is looking to do a lot of shopping.
The latest in the Eagles plan for free agency comes from ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. He has close connections inside the NovaCare Complex and provided three names he believes the Eagles are going to make a strong push for.
They are all names that have been linked to the Birds up to this point, but Sal Pal adds validity to all of the prior speculation, naming former Oakland Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha, Tennessee Titans DE Jason Babin and Washington Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth.
Now, what I’m not sure of is if he believes the Eagles are interested in acquiring one, two or all of the named players. Let's have some fun, though, and say the Eagles do sign all three players.
First, if you’re an Eagles fan, tell me that list doesn’t make you smile ear to ear. And this is a scenario that could actually play out—here’s why.
Keep in mind that this will all take place at a very rapid pace once free agency begins.
Nnamdi Asomugha is the premier player not only on the Eagles' list, but in free agency as a whole. He’ll be the first to be signed to a lucrative deal. But because of his age (29), I believe the contract will be for three or four years, which will give the Eagles' young defensive backs drafted in the last two years time to grow as players.
Next, Titans Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin would be reunited with two formers in his life: the Philadelphia Eagles and their new (his old) defensive line coach Jim Washburn. Though the Eagles have an abundance of DEs currently at their disposal, most of them are situational players. Veteran Juqua Parker and 2010 first-round draft pick Brandon Graham are the only two potential starters opposite Trent Cole.
I’m sure Babin would jump at an opportunity to join the Eagles and Coach Washburn again, but at 31 years of age, he shouldn’t expect more than a two-year contract at best.
Albert Haynesworth is another former player of Washburn’s before he (Haynesworth) departed for Washington. Haynesworth’s best playing days were while under the tutelage of Jim Washburn down in Tennessee, and he has publicly displayed his appreciation for Washburn, saying he is his favorite coach.
Listen, if all it’s going to take is a 4-3 defensive scheme and a coach by the name of Jim Washburn to get Haynesworth back to the destructive defensive tackle he was once known for, then I say make a push for him.
But buyer beware—he comes with a ton of baggage, some even as recent as a month or so ago. He’s also displayed extreme laziness while in D.C. and an attitude that could be cancerous to a locker room.
If the Eagles would sign him, look for a one-year contract with an option for two years. Haynesworth also shouldn’t be looking for a salary anything close to the $100 million mistake the Redskins made.
He might still get a nice contract, but a good portion of any salary will most likely come from incentives.
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Information obtained from ESPN Insider was used in this article.
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