Eagles News: Philly Hangs Franchise Tag on L.J. Smith

RealFootball365.comSenior Writer IFebruary 9, 2008

In a somewhat surprising move, the Philadelphia Eagles have placed the franchise-player tag on tight end L.J. Smith.

The move means the team is tendering Smith a one-year deal worth $4.52 million and retaining the right to match any offer another team might make to the tight end or receive two first-round draft picks from that team.

Commentary: This move is somewhat surprising in that even Smith thought he would not be back after he suffered through an injury-plagued 2007 season in which he played just 10 games and caught just 22 balls for 236 yards and one score.

Apparently, the Eagles are confident he can return to the form that made him one of the NFL's top young tight ends. In 2005 and 2006, he averaged 55 catches for 646 yards and four touchdowns.

Fantasy Football Impact: Even though he missed the final three games of the season, Smith says he is healthy again. If that is true, he should return to being one of the league's top 10 tight ends.

But considering his poor 2007 season, he could be a good draft bargain this year.

Fantasizing about what might have been and could be again year round at RealFootball365.