Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trade Talk?

Yesterday it was reported that the Browns had talked about trading WR Braylon Edwards. That news excited Eagles Nation in a big way. It was about the same as me watching The Great Texas Dynamite Chase on HBO in 1977. Claudia Jennings was a very talented actress. I digress.

We all know the Eagles masses want a stud WR. Braylon might be that guy..."might" being the key word. He played like a Top 5 WR in 2007, but hasn't come close to that level in other seasons.

The argument for him is that '07 was the only year he got strong QB play. Braylon responded with 80 catches and 16 TDs. He looked the part of an elite receiver. He's only 26. He is big at 6'3, 215. He has pretty good speed. There is a lot to like.

The argument against him is that he's been inconsistent and he drops too many passes. People will point out that TO drops passes. Yes, he does. And for him to be productive an inordinate amount of throws have to go his way. In 2004 TO didn't seem to drop as many balls. He made big plays and the offense flourished. He was more erratic in 2005. Remember the season opener? Owens caught 7 passes for 112 yards. The numbers sound good, but he had about 15 passes go his way. The offense struggled (only 10 points), but TO got his catches and yards. They just didn't come in the flow of the attack.

According to STATS, Inc. here are some 2008 numbers for Braylon:

Target - 138
Caught - 55
Drops - 16
Pct Caught - 39.9
Pct 1st down - 30.4

Here is DeSean:

Target - 121
Caught - 62
Drops - 6
Pct Caught - 51.2
Pct 1st down - 35.5

I'm not saying Braylon is a bad player and the Eagles should avoid him. I'm simply trying to point out the whole picture. There is a lot to like, but there are concerns as well. If this was Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, or Calvin Johnson...I'd scream for us to make the deal. Those guys look special. Braylon had a great year in the middle of 3 solid seasons.

One of the keys is value. I would not give up one of our 1st round picks for Edwards. The report is that the Browns talked to the Giants and wanted a 2nd, 5th, and Steve Smith. NY offered Hixon in Smith's place and Cleveland said no thanks.

If we could do the deal for a 2nd, 5th, and Reggie Brown, that would be awfully tempting. I don't know if the Browns would be interested. They aren't just looking for a WR + picks. They turned down Hixon. They obviously want the right guy. Reggie might or might not fit the bill.

One thing does bug me about Braylon. He got mad at some point and said he wanted out of Cleveland because the fans wouldn't accept him. He thinks they hold the fact he's a Michigan guy against him. Cleveland is the heart of Ohio State country so I'm sure he gets razzed somewhat, but gimme a break. That is a lame excuse in my mind. Eagles fans had no problem accepting Jerome Brown. He was from hated Miami, but became a beloved figure because he played well. Is Edwards mentally and emotionally tough enough for Philly?

He has spent 4 years in Cleveland, a highly dysfunctional organization. That kind of situation can bring out the worst in you. The Eagles are a solid organization. Edwards would have a structured environment here. That might bring out the best in him.

I'm sure the Eagles will feel the Browns out to see what the asking price is. The Eagles do like to know what's going on. If the price is reasonable, you could see some talks going on. Don't count on anything. The Browns may decide at some point that Edwards is too good to get rid of. The Eagles could also get outbid by a team that is desperate for a WR. We have solid starters in DeSean and Curtis. Teams like Oakland, Jacksonville, and the Jets could all make a strong play feeling like they need a starter and not just an upgrade.

One thing to be sure of is that the Eagles will do their research. They'll check out Edwards, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Peters, and any other veteran players rumored to be on the block that fit holes on our team. The Eagles will only pull the trigger if they feel the price is right. Speaking of which...something tells me Joe Banner would be good in the Showcase Showdown. He's very good with assessing value.

* In a previous post I mentioned the Eagles not spending a 5th round pick on a Fullback because of the Weaver signing. I went back and checked and in 2004, with Jon Ritchie as the starter, we did spend a 5th (#162) on Thomas Tapeh. Based on that, we could spend a mid to late 5th on a FB. I don't know if Quinn Johnson or Tony Fiametta lasts that long. I'm certainly not objecting to adding a FB. I'm just looking back at previous drafting patterns for a reference point. The lack of good FB play could cause the team to be more aggressive than usual in addressing the spot.


Mr_Boomy said...

So this report is true and Edward is on the trading block? That is an interesting story.

Tommy, how would he fit here in Philadelphia with the type of offense we're running?

And one more thing how do you feel about the rumor that Tony scheffler is now on the trading block?

Tommy Lawlor said...

Scheffler is of interest if the price is right. He isn't a workhorse TE that you feed the ball to 65 to 75 times a season. Tony is a guy that will catch 45-50 passes and average 15 yards a catch. He can be effective in the Red Zone and is tall at 6'5.

I wouldn't trade a 2nd for him, but I'd certainly consider a 3rd or 4th. He isn't a strong blocker, but his athletic ability would be nice to add to the mix.

RE: Braylon in our offense

He could easily fit in. Mornhinweg has said they'd like to get a bigger guy at the X-receiver (Curtis's spot). Braylon has the size to play there. He's also effective downfield. And he'd certainly help us in the Red Zone.

tobylove said...

I'm in the minority on this, but I believe Reggie Brown is worth more than the average Eagle fan appraises him. I see him thrown into all these trade scenarios almost as an afterthought - we'll offer them such and such a pick plus change (R Brown).

Again I'm in the minority but Brown has some real potential. His biggest problem is he has bad chemistry with McNabb. The two of them don't congel on routes and he has a hard time catching McNabb's throws. Without checking the stats, he seemed a lot more productive with other quarterbacks especially Garcia.

I keep seeing him in Seattle... I know they already signed Housh but they could still use wideouts and I think he'd gel nicely with Hasselback.

Here's where I get murdered. I don't think Edwards is THAT much better than Brown. Coming out in the draft they appeared almost twins to me, Brown was less hyped but much the same player. A 2nd, a 5th + Reggie Brown for Edwards? I say no way.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I do agree that Reggie Brown could have more value than people think. He is a solid starting WR.

The problem for us is that Reggie got beaten out of his job by a rookie. Teams know we want to deal Reggie. That hurts our bargaining position and somewhat reduces his value.

Our best hope is that some team doesn't get the WR they wanted in the 2nd round and we can trade Reggie for a 3rd round pick or something like that.

He does have value.

tobylove said...

The Eagles have shown with Lito that they aren't going to give away a worthwile player just to get rid of him. I don't think they are desperate to get rid of Brown, if they can't get a decent value for him they'll keep him around for insurance. If either Curtis or Jackson gets hurt, Brown is the best guy to throw in as a replacement. Our other WRs are role players with ST ability, Brown is the only legit starter we have. That could change with the draft but it's iffy.

T_S_O_P said...


You have previously picked Brannan Southerland in a mock for us... I think. No mention any more? Am I wrong?

Anyhow, what value? What value if we draft Knowshon? Does that make any difference?

On Edwards

I think he would get a lot of immediate adoration. Love to the max. I think he would also therefore receive somewhat of a honeymoon period of do know wrong. If he plays well when he feels loved, I think we could get some instant chemistry.

I have left a question about TEs for you on the EMB. I feel for sure we are going to use a top 75 pick on one, and this year there are so many. Maybe a blog entry on TEs?

izzylangfan said...

You are making a good case that the Eagles don't really need to add a seasoned FA receiver unless he is really spectacular i.e. Anquan Boldin.

So what about drafting one then? The Eagles are a bit jammed up with 5 receivers since that is normally what they go with. Last year's six was likely due to Desean's use as a punt returner since they did not really have to use another slot for that on the roster as they had in the past.

I really like the Eagles receivers. The last time Curtis was healthy he had over 1000 yards and he makes big plays like fumble recoveries for touchdowns. He is gritty and clutch. Guys like that are very hard to find.

The amazing thing to me last year was the improvement in Avant and Basket. Avant, who was always open at training camp and preseason finally figured out how to replicate that in games. Basket finally figure out how not to drop the ball. With his hight and speed he can do things that few NFL receivers can. It will be interesting to see if both receivers have consolidated those skills so than can consistently reproduce those 2008 results, but I think its a good bet.

Reggie Brown does have some credentials as a starter but as Lewis pointed out - with the improvement of Avant and Basket he is the odd man out. If the Eagles want to add a receiver in the draft then they probably want to jettison Brown. What do you think his trade value is. Could they for example trade their pick at 21 plus brown plus a 5th to move up to 17 (thus avoid using their second round pick) and maybe have enough to get Pettigrew or Moreno. Or how about a using Brown plus our second and our third plus a fifth to move up to two picks in the top half of the second round - maybe in more than one deal? Do you think the eagles will go with six receivers again? Since if Desean an Q Demps become starters the Eagles are again in need of kick and punt returners.

If both Quentin Michael and Quentin Demps become starters, I'm calling the defense the
Cover -Q.