The end of the lockout is near. The powers that be are now claiming that they are on the five-yard line. July 21st seems to be the ideal end date, although a sooner date isn't out of the question.
Free agency is on the horizon. The Philadelphia Eagles' front office claims they have a plan in place, and they will be aggressive in free agency. The speculation is they will be going after several big-name players, with an estimated $20-$25 million of cap space for free agents.
In 2010, the Eagles had several holes on both sides of the ball, but still managed to give the Packers there toughest test in the 2011 playoffs. With the Eagles right on the cusp of finally bringing home the Lombardi Trophy, a couple key signings could put them over the top.
The Eagles need a cornerback to team up with Asante Samuel. Nnamdi Asomugha is one of, if not the best, cornerback in the NFL. Asomugha seems like the perfect fit for the Eagles, except for one thing; Nnamdi is going to command a big-time deal.
Sources are speculating that Nnamdi will get offers around $19 million a year. There is no way the Eagles' front office will spend 90-95 percent of their cap space for free agency on one player. The Eagles will go after a cornerback, at least one defensive lineman, an extra weapon for the offense and some depth on the offensive line.
The only way the Eagles will sign Asomugha, is if he will take less money to play for a contender and if he feels like the Eagles are the ideal contender for him to play for. Andy Reid has no history of overspending on free agents.
Jonathon Joseph, Ike Taylor and Carlos Rogers are the more ideal fits for the Eagles. None of these players are on that rare Nnamdi Asomugha level, but all three are very talented and will cost at least half of what Asomugha will demand.
Albert Haynesworth was a shell of his former self in 2010. He was lazy, selfish and in a defense he didn't want to be in. Why would anybody want to bring him in after his woeful 2010 campaign?
New defensive line coach Jim Washburn is the key to Haynesworth's acquisition. They were last together at Tennessee in 2008. The Titans had 44 sacks and won 13 games. Albert Haynesworth reportedly wants to come to Philly and be reunited with Washburn. Sources within the Eagles organization have stated that Washburn wants Haynesworth to come to Philly as well.
The Eagles have tried to bolster their pass rush last offseason. Brandon Graham tore his ACL last season and Howie Roseman was unable to sign Julius Peppers. Trent Cole is still an elite pass rusher, but the Eagles clearly need another player on the line to create pressure.
Albert Haynesworth makes a lot of sense. He is a force in the pass rush along with being a dominant run stuffer. He commands double teams, which will force opposing teams to block both Antonio Dixon and Trent Cole one-on-one.
The only obstacle in the Eagles acquiring Haynesworth is the fact that he is still under contract with the Redskins. The Redskins claim they won't give up their 330-pound headache for anything less than a second-round draft pick. Haynesworth is in year three of a seven-year $100 million contract, including the fifth year in 2013 where Haynesworth will be owed $29 million.
No team that runs the 3-4 defense(17 out of 32 NFL teams) will be willing to offer up anything for a very unmotivated Albert Haynesworth. The Eagles are the only willing suitor, and the Redskins will have to dump him sooner or later.
A week ago I would of said there is little chance Plaxico Burress would become an Eagle. The Rams, 49ers and the Dolphins all have a much greater need for a go-to receiver than the Eagles do, and they will be willing to spend more money.
In the last week, Plaxico Burress has gone on record, via his verified Twitter account and on a local Philadelphia sports radio station, about his willingness to sign with the Eagles. Plaxico Burress talked about what it would be like playing with Michael Vick, "It would be a dream come true."
Has all the talk about wanting to come to Philly been a ploy by Plax and his agent Drew Rosenhaus to raise his price? I believe that the Eagles can bring in Burress a lot more than I did last week, but I still don't fully buy it happening until he signs the contract.
There has been a ton of speculation surrounding the Eagles bringing Jason Babin back. He has become an elite defensive end in just one season in Tennessee. Babin finished the 2010 season with 13 sacks.
The problem with Babin is he has had six previous seasons that were complete disappointments. In his previous six seasons, Babin had a combined 17.5 sacks. He appears to be the Eric Dampier of the NFL. He had one good season, on his contract year, and now will command a big-time contract.
Babin was asked if he would consider coming back to Philadelphia, he responded by saying he would "if the price was right." Andy Reid isn't known for giving big contracts to guys with not much of a track record. Babin will more than likely be looking for a rich contract to finish his career on. I predict someone a little more desperate will overpay for his services.
Brian Dawkins is one of the most beloved Eagles of all time. He was the emotional leader of the great defenses of the early 2000s. Is there really a good chance that Dawkins will be back in Philly?
Every year several aging former stars in this league become cap casualties. Dawkins is set to make $6 million in 2011, and it won't make much sense for the Broncos to keep a 37-year-old safety who is coming off a down year. Especially after they drafted a safety in the second round, Rahim Moore.
Dawkins could go the route other former Eagles have gone in recent years and finish the tail end of his careers in the city that made them great. Hugh Douglas, Jeremiah Trotter and Randall Cunningham all came back to retire as Philadelphia Eagles, and Brian Dawkins should be the next.
The Eagles are the most inexperienced team at the safety position, with Nate Allen entering his second year at free safety and rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett at strong safety. Dawkins would be both a great mentor and a solid backup.
The only thing that would stop this from happening is if Dawkins would rather restructure his contract to stay in Philly, or if someone thinks Dawkins can still be a solid starter.
Dawkins still talks about how much love he still has for Philly. Hopefully there is one more season left for Brian Dawkins in midnight green.