Despite the team making some splashes in free agency and trades, the team is still not the Super Bowl contender it assured fans that it was going to aspire to be.
With several pressing needs as well as unsettling contract issues, the team is still in a position where it must improve its roster. Here are some moves that could help address those issues.
For years, it seems, the Eagles front office and management has tried to convince fans that Mike
Patterson and Broderick Bunkley were worth their lofty, first-round billing. Well, after yet another season of mediocrity, and Bunkley falling off the face of the Earth it seems, no one is buying the fact that this team is set in the middle.
Antonio Dixon made some nice strides last year and finished as a surprise starter and consistent contributor, but Mike Patterson is simply too small and underwhelming to produce the sort of numbers expected of a top flight defense.
My move to fill this need would be to trade for Houston tackle Amobi Okoye. It was rumored early on that the Eagles would make a serious play for disgruntled Washington outcast Albert Haynesworth.
The Redskins, however, would not trade Haynesworth back to Philly and Jim Washburn and ultimately sent him off to New England.
Okoye is a similar talent with less baggage and more room to grow. Okoye is most famous for being drafted at the age of 19 in the first round. After four underachieving seasons in Houston compiled with the team's desire to switch to a 3-4, Okoye has been given permission to seek trades.
Okoye is only 24 years old and is the physical specimen that a guru like Jim Washburn could mold into a dominant presence in the middle. Washburn has turned Haynesworth into the most feared and sought after defensive tackle since Warren Sapp.
Depending on the Texans' asking price, Okoye is a player who appears, by age at least, to be a riskmbut already has four seasons under his belt and an understanding of the game. Bringing in Okoye would round out a much improved defensive line that could have the potential to dominate.
As mentioned before, the Eagles decided to cast off the majority of their LB depth chart. By parting ways with oft-injured Stewart Bradley along with Akeem Jordan and Ernie Sims, the team showed a commitment to the progress of Jamar Chaney and Moises Fokou.
The team also drafted Casey Matthews, who they feel has the type of talent and drive to start in this league. Despite the promise of these young players, the thought of our starting linebacking trio going into Week 1 looking like this is particularly startling.
The team needs to address their need at linebacker in the worst way and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Barrett Ruud could very easily fill that void. Many haven't heard of Ruud, but he has been an essential cog in the resurgence of the once feared Bucs defense.
Ruud could step in immediately at middle linebacker and provide the sort of sure-tackling, strong willed play people expected from Bradley. Ruud attended Nebraska (same school as Bradley) and has quietly turned into one of the top young linebackers in the NFC south.
With a defensive line that is going to be focusing primarily on getting to the quarterback, the Eagles are going to need LBs who are sure tacklers and Ruud is just that. Ruud is only 28, and he has the type of size (6-3; 241) to excel at middle linebacker in the 4-3.
There was a time where people looked at Stewart Bradley's future and saw the Eagle's middle linebacker for years to come. Ruud is as similar a player to what Bradley used to be and could sure up the team's front seven moving forward.
Contract Situations (DeSean Jackson and Danny Watkins)
From all I hear, Danny Watkins, although raw, is just what this offensive line needs to become the imposing force that is necessary for protecting Mike Vick. People mention his name in the same spectrum as former Bird Jon Runyan in terms of nastiness and strength.
Watkins' position at RG is particularly important with Vick being left handed and the offensive line seems to be lacking the sort of edge that prolific lines are often noted for.
Although the lockout prevented any sort of negotiations with the first-round pick, the Birds must make it one of their top priorities to get him into camp.
One priority ahead of Watkins is the contract of DeSean Jackson. Jackson's holdout confirmed what many people expected to happen but wouldn't mention.
Simply put, this guy has earned the right to hold out, and the team needs to resolve their issues quickly before things spiral out of hand. Jackson may not be a top-five receiver, but that is not the nature of the Eagle's offense.
Jackson is the most important piece of, what many consider, the premier receiving corps in the league. Jackson's job is to stretch the field and fully take advantage of Vick's cannon of an arm.
People criticize him for disappearing for lengths at a time, but this is primarily because it is very difficult to hit on some of the deep routes he runs and he often provides space for the other pieces of the Eagles' potent offense.
Without Jackson stretching the field, some of the checkdowns to LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek may not turn into the huge gains that they are or Jeremy Maclin might attract the sort of double teams usually reserved for players like Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson.
People say that Jackson is the only player on the field that Vick can't overthrow, and with Jackson off the field, our offense is not taking full advantage of Vick's expansive skill set.
Although it appears that a lot of Burress's pro-Philly antics and talks may have been for posturing purposes only, there is still no reason to stop pursuing the receiver.
Looking back on last year, one can only wonder how the Green Bay game may have ended had Vick been throwing to a proven red zone threat rather than a unproven, albeit promising, Riley Cooper.
Bringing in Burress would provide the red zone threat that Eagles fans have been talking about since Terrell Owens and give this already potent offense the last piece it needs to be virtually unstoppable.
Aside from the obvious benefits he brings on the field, Burress is the high profile player the Eagles have discussed bringing in all offseason but have not pulled the trigger on.
Burress may not turn into the player people expected, but signing him would show the fans and the league that this team is truly going after the Super Bowl this year and not just blowing smoke like they always have.
The players that they've brought in are nice pieces, but no one has garnered the type of attention that the team had prior to free agency started.
Burress would be that player and the last piece to bring in if this team wants to be a Super Bowl contender.