It’s been a topsy-turvy ten days for the Eagles since free agency kicked off. There have been two big-name additions and so far, six departures. We said hello to Stacy Andrews and Sean Jones and waved goodbye to B-Dawk, Tra, Buck, Considine, Lito and G-Lew.
The jury is still out on Jon Runyan and L.J. Smith. Although, it looks like L.J. will take his Jekyll/Hyde show to Atlanta. As for Runyan, his future remains in doubt. At his age and with the kind of surgery he’s recovering from, I still contend his career might be over.
Let’s recap the additions and subtractions and how they will impact what the Birds do for the remainder of free agency and more importantly, the upcoming April draft.
Stacy Andrews – Signed a 6-year contract. Will likely play right tackle, but has experience at guard too. 6’7″, 345, Andrews has the size to be a dominating tackle for years to come. Is still rehabbing from ACL/MCL surgery.
Sean Jones – Signed a 1-year deal to compete at safety and free safety. Filled an immediate need at a position thinned by Dawkins and Considine leaving. Jones is a big, physical defender who has netted 14 interceptions in the last three seasons. Did have his knee scoped early in ’08, but has been given a clean bill of health. Could end up being a huge signing.
Two 2009 5th round picks – After shipping Lito to the Jets and Lewis to the Patriots. This gives the Birds four 5th round picks in April. In addition, acquired either a 2nd or 4th round pick in 2010 in the Sheppard deal. They also rid themselves of two underachieving malcontents who served no purpose on the roster.
Joselio Hanson – Re-signed to a 5-year deal. With Sheppard gone, his value as a nickel corner and a spot starter is significant. Compared to the cash being thrown around for other cornerbacks, the Eagles got a steal.
Tank Daniels – The RFA linebacker signed his one-year tender yesterday. A good special teams player.
Brian Dawkins – At no time in recent history has one player’s exit been a catalyst for such heated debate. The cliff-jumping fans want the FO executed for allowing the “heart and soul” to walk. Those of us with cooler heads realize a 36-year old safety, no matter how great he was, has declined over the last couple seasons and was not worth the guaranteed cash doled out by the spend-crazy Broncos.
Tra Thomas – Inked a three-year deal with the Jaguars. No other team showed interest in the 34-year old tackle. He and Dawk were the last holdovers from the Ray Rhodes era. Tra was great for 11 seasons, but it’s definitely time for a younger answer at left tackle.
Correll Buckhalter – I always admired Buck for coming back after three significant knee operations and contributing whenever called upon. I have nothing bad to say about him and hope he has nothing but success in Denver, where he got a four-year contract.
Sean Considine – I thought he was a waste of a draft pick back in 2005. He did nothing to prove me wrong. A nagging shoulder injury and an inability to cover receivers is what he’ll be remembered for. He did play well on special teams last season, but he was supposed to be a starting caliber safety. Now he’s a Jaguar.
Lito Sheppard – What happened to Lito? I loved watching this guy play the first five years of his career, especially against the Cowboys. The ex-Pro Bowler started to head south in 2007 after griping about his contract. He completely bombed in 2008, which punched his ticket out of Philly. He’s missed games in five of seven seasons. Maybe he can resurrect his career in New York. I hope he does so the Eagles can get a 2nd round pick next year.
Greg Lewis - G-Lew lasted seven seasons. I have no idea why. Thankfully, Bill Belichick has a serious man-crush on him. Bye, bye Greg. You won’t be missed.
The Eagles are far from finished. Twelve picks (for now) in the April draft means they can maneuver up or down, or stay put and still land a bunch of talent. Running back, tackle, tight end, safety and wide receiver are still positions of need. How they fill these spots is anybody’s guess. The draft can’t get here quick enough for me.