Well, it’s been quite the offseason for our beloved Eagles and we haven’t even reached the draft yet. As the brain trust continues the miraculous roster makeover, I thought I’d take a look back at what has transpired since that awful January day in Dallas. Who’s in, who’s out? And what does it all mean. Let’s have a look.
QB Donovan McNabb (traded to Redskins)
RB Brian Westbrook – Age 30 (released)
LB Will Witherspoon – Age 29 (released)
WR Reggie Brown – Age 29 (traded to Tampa Bay)
WR Kevin Curtis – Age 31 (released)
DE Darren Howard – Age 33 (released)
DE Chris Clemons – Age 28 (traded to Seattle along with a 4th round pick in April’s draft)
OL Shawn Andrews – Age 27 (released)
S Sean Jones – Age 28 (signed with Tampa Bay)
DE Jason Babin – Age 29 (signed with Tennessee)
CB Sheldon Brown – Age 31 (traded to Cleveland)
LB Chris Gocong – Age 26 (traded to Cleveland)
WR Hank Baskett – Age 27 (signed one-year deal as a FA)
RB Mike Bell – Age 26 (signed one-year deal as a RFA)
CB/S Marlin Jackson – Age 26 (signed a two-year deal as a FA)
DE Daryl Tapp – Age 25 (acquired in a trade with Seattle)
LB Alex Hall – Age 24 (acquired in a trade with Cleveland)
Re-signed FB Leonard Weaver to a three-year contract
Re-signed WR Jason Avant to a five-year deal
2nd round pick in April’s draft as part of McNabb trade
4th and 5th round picks in April’s draft as part of trade with Browns
So, they dumped eight guys either on the cusp of 30 or over it, released another who hasn’t played since September 2008, and traded two more who failed to meet expectations. On the flip-side, they gained five players all 27 years or younger and added three selections in an immensely deep draft.
The McNabb deal is the clincher in this whole mess. Did they do the right thing in moving on with Kolb? Who the fu*k knows?! No matter what they say or how they spin it, it’s a major roll of the dice. Fingers crossed it doesn’t backfire.
The only other loss that hurts them right now is Sheldon. I’m not sure Ellis Hobbs, who struggled last year and is recovering from neck surgery, is ready to be a full-time starter. It’s also important to note than Westy, Curtis, Howard and Andrews have yet to find new teams, which says a lot about their perceived value throughout the league.
The Witherspoon move could come back to haunt them if they can’t find a suitable replacement. Akeem Jordan was playing lights out at WIL in ’09 before injuring his knee. Perhaps he can pickup where he left off prior to his health problems.
Marlin, Tapp and Hall are all enigmas. If one of them turns into an impact player, it will be a bonus. Bell will be a nice addition as a number two back and you know what you’re getting with Hank: a hard worker with a hot wife.
We also shouldn’t underestimate the importance of locking up Weaver and Avant with long-term deals. Both are vital to success on offense for the next few years.
Those three added picks could prove huge, considering how skilled the Birds are at maneuvering up and down their draft board. Overall, I like what they’ve done so far. There’s been one humongous splash move, but the overall plan to add more youth and potential is being executed nicely.
All that said, they better walk away from draft weekend with some talent ready to contribute. They hold six of the first 105 picks as of today. Reid has witnessed over the last two seasons that rookies can make an immediate impact, so here’s hoping he and Howie are identifying guys who can help this year, not just down the road.