Does anyone else think this year’s free-agent class is severely lacking? After the flurry of re-signings and franchise tags last week, the big names are all but off the table. There is a possibility some of the tagged players get dealt (Julius Peppers) or a guy under contract like Anquan Boldin is shipped elsewhere, but as far as actual free-agents available, the pickings are slim.
The Eagles have been known to make a proverbial big splash come midnight on free agency eve. Jon Runyan, Jevon Kearse, Darren Howard and Asante Samuel are all examples of high dollar signings. When the Birds target a guy they really covet, they normally hit the bullseye. Despite owning a glut of cash under the salary cap, my feeling is there won’t be a headline grabbing deal 12 hours from now. I could be wrong. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the so-called big names and what I believe are the odds the Eagles land them:
Albert Haynesworth – Without question the best available player. Rumors are he has a mega-deal in the works with the Redskins. If this is true, the Birds had better get their O-Line in order. They have enough problems beating the ‘Skins without a pocket-pusher like Haynesworth. His attitude and off-field issues means Reid and Co. will stay clear. Odds he’ll be an Eagle: Zero
T.J. Houshmandzadeh – At 32, he is still one of the top possession receivers in the league. His ability is not in doubt. What is in doubt is if he’s a fit in the Eagles offense. He’s not a big, physical red zone threat. Housh is definitely an upgrade over Kevin Curtis, but how much of an upgrade and at what cost? With the money invested in Curtis and DeSean Jackon with star potential, T.J. becoming an Eagle seems unlikely. Odds: 40/60
Bart Scott – The guy has 2.5 sacks combined the last two seasons. He’s a 3-4 ILB. Great against the run, but the Eagles are loaded at linebacker. He’ll command too high a price. Odds: Zero
Ray Lewis – See Bart Scott. Odds: Zero
Jason Brown – Unheralded, Brown is the top “unrestricted” guard/center on the market. He’s only 26 and is very versatile. Hasn’t played right guard yet, but if the Eagles slide Shawn Andrews out to tackle, Brown would be an excellent replacement. Or if Todd Herremans shifts to tackle, Brown can fill his void. Reid loves his lineman. Odds: 70/30
Marvin Harrison – The good: He’s from Philadelphia; he played with McNabb in college for a year; he would not cost as much as Houshmandzadeh. The bad: He’s caught only 6 touchdowns the last two years; he has knee problems; he’ll be 37; he’s not as good as Houshmandzadeh. Odds: 50/50
Gibril Wilson – I’m not sure why people like this guy. The Raiders overpaid for him. He’s average at best. He can’t play free safety. He’s not better than Quintin Mikell. Odds: Zero
Derrick Ward – He’s totaled 2190 yards and scored 6 touchdowns in the last two seasons with the Giants despite only 8 starts. Unlike Correll Buckhalter, Ward is a true inside power back. Will be 29 in August. Could he be the complement the Eagles are looking for? Possibly. I say the Eagles find their back in the draft. Odds: 30/70
That’s it for the profile guys. Not a very impressive list. The more likely scenario would involve a few lesser-known free- agents being signed. Names like Leonard Weaver, Daniel Wilcox, Jon Stinchcomb and Rocky Bernard might be on their radar.
The Birds have sprung surprises in the past, so it will be interesting to see what they have planned. We’ll find out by tomorrow morning.