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Keep Calm: Eagles On Point to Start Free Agency

Underachieving. Undisciplined. Not good enough.

These are all ways to describe the performance of the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.

And over the first two days of free agency the Eagles have made only one addition to last year’s roster–OG Mike Gibson. Not exactly an earth-shattering move.

Yet, the Eagles have enjoyed a solid start to free agency. As other teams gobble up “big names” and mediocre talent, much as the Eagles did last offseason, the team has placed a clear focus on continuity and extending its own core players. The Eagles have reverted to a more conservative free agency philosophy, similar to the one employed when they enjoyed a fair amount of success in the early 2000s.

This team has holes. We all know about the pressing issues on defense. We all know about the shortcomings of the Eagles’ management philosophies, just as we know about the flaws of Andy Reid’s in-game coaching.

Still, this is a talented team that simply failed to meet the great expectations they foolishly heaped upon themselves during the moments they took pause from their free-agent shopping bonanza.

This is a team that can contend in the NFC East and contend for an NFC Championship and maybe, yelp, a Super Bowl. Will they be the frontrunner? No. Nor should they be. But if they do plug a few of their remaining holes, there’s no reason this team can’t win now. And win big.

The guys who have inked deals over the past 44 hours are guys that, for the most part, don’t fit here. I love DE Mario Williams, but the Eagles aren’t going to break the bank on a guy like Williams given their current depth at the position. Washington can have Josh Morgan, Pierre Garcon, and Eddie Royal (if they eventually sign him). And sorry, I don’t get the Peyton Manning thing.

Yeah, Vincent Jackson would have made a lot of sense. But there was no guarantee he would have ended up here. Frankly, for all we know, the Eagles may have inquired about Jackson.

The point is–the Eagles did well to lock up Todd Herremans, Trent Cole, and DeSean Jackson to fair deals that provide long-term stability for all parties.

If and when the Eagles lock on LeSean McCoy, the core talent of this team will be completely in tact for the foreseeable future. There aren’t many teams in the NFL that can boast about such a luxury.

But now the Eagles need to paint the finishing touches on the 2012 roster. They need to make a decision on Evan Mathis and solve the left offensive guard situation. They must add linebackers to the mix that help support the “wide-9″ front. And they must continue to add young players to the mix across the secondary.

The Eagles were 8-8 last year. And they earned every bit of the mediocrity they achieved. But the core elements are in place for this team to make a run in 2012. That’s why I’m not throwing a fit.


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