Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Thoughts

***

I don't really have any major updates for you guys.  Things are still fairly quiet.  I was very happy to see Jason Avant get a 5-year extension.  I've loved him since his days at Michigan.  And considering how much I hated the Wolverines that is really saying something.  Avant is a terrific player and might be my favorite guy on offense.  He's tougher than a $2 steak and as reliable as you could want a #3 WR to be. 

Things are going to stay pretty quiet with FAs.  The Eagles just don't like the choices and they feel spending money on these guys is a waste.  The Eagles will add a veteran RB and possibly Safety.  It doesn't sound like Atogwe will be the Safety. 

We've been linked to 3 FAs:

RB Mike Bell - Saints --- Bell is a N-S runner with good size and some pop.  He goes 6'0, 225.  Got a lot of carries for the Saints this year going 172-654.  That's only 3.8 YPC, but he served a valuable purpose for the Saints.  Bell was the power runner.  He ran for 5 TDs and helped move the chains on plenty of drives.  He is a RFA, but no compensation is due. I'm not sure if Bell is thrilled at the prospect of being the backup on a team that doesn't run much. 


WR Hank Baskett - Colts --- There isn't much need to discuss Hank.  Ideal fit as a #4 or #5 WR.  Good blocker and STer.  Can start if needed.  Good for at least one 80-yd TD every year due to a missed tackle or bad angle by the DB. 

DB Marlin Jackson - Colts --- He's cancelling an appearance on M*A*S*H to make a FA visit with the Ravens and us.  They might want him as a corner.  I think we'd look at him as a FS, but I'm not sure of that.  Marlin has started at SS, FS, LCB, and RCB in his career.  Sorta versatile.  Injuries have plagued him in recent years.  Marlin isn't a guy you can count on, but he is intriguing.  When healthy, he's a pretty darn good player. 


* Justin Fargas remains my preference at RB.  We'll see if the Eagles actually listen to me on this one.
* If Marlin isn't a FS target I'm not sure who will be.  I wonder if they would bring in a guy like Mike Brown in a Blaine Bishop type of role.  We're looking more and more likely to go FS early in the draft. 


QBs

San Fran is a team that had been talking to us pretty closely about Vick.  I assume their signing of David Carr cancels out any desire to add Mike.  I was disappointed to see that deal happen. 

Could the Eagles be overplaying the QB situation?  Yes, absolutely.  The Eagles put an extreme value on QB.  That's why we signed Vick at a time when we were already 3-deep there.  They helped Vick re-adjust to the NFL and want good compensation for it.  I've heard that other teams think the Eagles are just asking too much for Vick. 

This could prove to be a mistake, but let's also look at the other side.  We're just a few days into the offseason.  You should always start high and work down in negotiations.  There isn't much for teams to choose from in FA or the draft at QB.  There is some logic to asking for a 3rd for Mike and seeing if anyone bites.  We can always come down.  Ideally we'll deal Vick prior to this draft so we get a pick this year.  This is a deep, talented class.  The more picks the better. 

The Eagles have to be maddening to negotiate with.  Joe Banner and the personnel guys have a very firm sense of value.  They will not give players away.  Banner and Reid each have great poker faces.  You don't know when no means no and when no means "let's tweak the offer a bit".  The Eagles are also incredibly patient.  They don't panic and make a deal out of fear.  Neither Banner nor Reid is afraid to lose the game of chicken that negotiating really is. 

All that said, the Eagles have made a ton of deals in the last 8-10 years.  I think teams know the Eagles are a good trading partner.  We are willing to trade picks and players.  We normally have some players that other teams actually want.  We have a clear chain of command.  Off the top of my head here are the teams we've dealt with since the 2006 offseason:  DAL, NYG, MIN, CAR, NO, STL, SEA, BUF, NYJ, NE, CLE, IND.

I'm sure I left a team or two off.  I wasn't trying to be exact...just trying to show that we are an active trader and have lots of good connections.

As for McNabb...I'm sticking with what I've said.  He is available if another team makes a good enough offer.  There is no way Big Red is giving away "his guy".  As Col. Trautman might say were he coach..."I scouted him. I drafted him. I coached him for 11 years. I'd say that makes him mine."   Some team has to want Donnie enough to make a good offer.  There will be no discounts for #5.


RG UPDATE

Adam Schefter tweeted that Stacy Andrews re-did his deal.  He lowered his salary for this year, but still got his bonus.  I know many fans are skeptical about Andrews, but I'm told the Eagles still think he can be a good OL.  This is good news, although not the kind of exciting development we're all looking for.  
___

33 comments:

arby said...

Do you think the Eagles have learned from the Lito Shepherd deal that it's not a good idea to overplay your hand? They wanted a 2nd rd pick for him and got a malcontent for a year, had to pay him, and then a 5th and a 4th. That's not nothing but it's not what they thought they could get. With Vick, it appears they want a 2nd because if they just let his contract run out this season, they'd be due for a comp pick of a 3rd next year. (Ahem, someone on this blog said Vick could be worth as much as a 2nd toward the end of this past season....where's my smug whistling emoticon when I need him..) That said, I'd be happy to take a high 3rd right now. But the Eagles are not going to deal both Vick and McNabb, I think. They want to keep 2 guys who know the system in case of an injury. And I agree that McNabb can be had for the right price. That means they are waiting for a team to make the right offer for either one of those guys. Either a first rounder for McNabb or a 2nd for Vick. You're right that we are in the middle of a game of chicken but hopefully Reid comes to the conclusion to just take the best deal on the table. But that may not be until a few days before the draft.......

Cliff said...

Whoa... why would Vick be worth a 3rd round comp pick next season? Not happening.

Eddie said...

we traded reggie brown to the bucs for a conditional pick in 2011.

arby said...

I don't have the link but I did read it somewhere reputable....they were saying this as if it were a conversation the Eagles have already had with another team, i.e., supposedly it's their rationale for asking for a 2nd. Don't know if there's any validity to the story/rumor/gossip/what-have-you... Perhaps it's hogwash. It does seem like a lot to ask for him given his last 3 years.

Eddie said...

apparently avant will get 8 million guarantee, and 7 million this year. that mean the last 4 years he will only get 3 million. so when the cap comes back next year, it seems that avant will be relatively cheap.

Cliff said...

RE: arby

No, I mean why would the Eagles receive a 3rd round comp pick? There's no way.

Cliff said...

Hmm.... I wonder if Kevin Curtis will stick around this season, then. Because if not, we'll only really have 3 high-caliber receivers.

I imagine we'll be making another move pretty soon.

arby said...

@Cliff - You're probably right on this. I'm just reporting what I read somewhere - sorry I don't have the original link to parse it better. Keep in mind Tommy's comment about the game of chicken. Vick's worth is totally up for grabs and will finally come down to what the market will pay. In the meantime, the FO can say whatever they want about what his value is and of course they're gonna ask for the moon.

bthackra said...

Lombardi at NFP made that 3rd round pick comment. Not going to happen. Comp picks are mostly based on up-front money in the new contract. Vick is not going to sign a big contract after riding the bench again.

I understand the 'waiting for the right deal', i.e. first rounder for McNabb. Doubtful anyone in top-half of round will do it, they are in rebuilding mode. Who in back half of 1st round is in the situation to give their first? Everyone except ARZ and SF has a franchise QB. They both want to give their young QBs a chance. So who, exactly, is going to give up their 1st round pick for a 33 yr old Pro Bowl QB?

The decision should be McNabb or Kolb. Whoever is not the answer, they should trade for what they can get. Because the longer it drags on, the less they will get.

Nathan said...

Browns acquire Senaca Wallace from the Seahawks. I'm assuming this means they're out of the market for Vick.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/football/nfl/wire/sns-ap-fbn-seahawks-browns-trade,0,2366619.story

mcud77 said...

This is becoming more and more frustrating by the day for me.

We trade Reggie Brown, a guy who never lived up to his 2nd round pedigree, but nevertheless had value as a spot starter (in the event of an injury) at either X or Z with a COMPLETELY affordable contract. Not only do we trade him for merely a 6th round pick, but we do it for a 6th in 2011, which basically means we traded him for a 7th rounder.

Meanwhile, Kevin Curtis still has a job making roughly 400% of Reggie's 2010 salary, while not being willing or able to play special teams, coming of an injury plagued season, only able to play the X, and is a couple of years older to boot.

I have been, and continue to be, a defender of the front office. I think they make more right decisions than wrong, maybe many more. Still, some of the moves (or lack thereof) thus far in the 2010 offseason boggle my mind.

The trade of Reggie Brown is the latest, and perhaps most unexplainable example.

What I need is for the Eagles to get some sort of compensation for at least one of their QBs, preferably before or on draft day. If the Eagles go into the 2010 season with all three pending free agency, I'm going to light myself on fire.

Alexander said...

Well if Mike Bell isn't very interested in us, consider the feeling mutual. Sub 4 YPC behind one of the top OL in the league isn't too inspiring

Give me old man Faulk from NE. I don't know how he still does it but all he does is catch first downs. Guy has over 90 catches last two years, and his YPCs are still great over that time. We had luck with the other greybeard RB signing under Reid, Mr Levens

arby said...

@bthackra - thanks.

@cliff - here's that link: http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/DMN-Did-the-Bears-tamper-with-Peppers.html

Lombardi is somebody I have a lot of respect for - that's why I took it at face value...

ZackISM said...

Eagles cleaning out waste or saving dollars? Tommy - how are they going to try and sell us on a improved team, when 2 of the big off season moves (well 3) appear to be more along the lines of trying to keep the books low.

First they cut Westbrook. Sure this move is to be expected, if they feel he has nothing left - which is looking to be the case as there isn't exactly a list of teams lining up to sign him. But cutting him only gained the Eagles - dollars...which they haven't spent (unless you're talking Avant&Weaver)

Next they cut Will Witherspoon. Again, maybe his play didn't warrant $5 million for a salary in 2010, but he's better than what they've replaced him with so far (nothing).

Continued they force Stacy Andrews to reduce his salary to keep him from hitting the free agent market....smart business decision, but where are those dollars going?

Lastly they ship Reggie Brown out. This may not have been a cap savings or big financial gain, but they won't have to pay that 2011 draft pick for a season, and even then a very small portion of his salary will be guaranteed.

Right now as I see it, the Eagles are just trying to save funds. There isn't anything left to spend the funds they are saving on. So while I've never been one to call our front office cheap - this year, that's exactly what they are.

Prem Prakash said...

Last year, when the Eagles signed Vick I thought they'd put him on the field enough to show that he still has talent. This would have made him much more valuable than he is now. Either he never got his chops down or Reid didn't want him on the field for some reason.

Probably all three qbs are available for the right price, and I agree that a trade is likely somewhere along the line. If I were Kolb and nobody is moved, however, I'd be pissed off at having to spend another year as the #3 guy.

Great news on signing Avant.

em26jamie said...

Geesh. You guys realize the offseason is less than a week old, right? Relax. You don't always save money just to spend it. Just because you have $20 in your pocket when you walk into Taco Bell doesn't mean you're going to spend $20 there. Don't forget that they are still going to have pay D-Jax and if Maclin has a 2nd year like D-Jax, they will have to pay him too. And then they will have to pay at least one of these QB's. And sometimes, especially with a young team, team improvement comes from the guys you already have improving.

Cliff said...

@ arby

I read the link, but I think Lombardi is way off. A third round comp pick is extremely high. Vick isn't a huge part of our offense. Why would we be rewarded such a high pick if we lost him in free agency? Not to mention, if we make a big free agency signing that sort of cancels out the loss of Vick. I don't understand.

Cliff said...

@ ZackISM

I spit up my Cinnamon Toast Crunch when I read your "I've never been one to call the front office cheap" line.

You might not say it explicitly, but all your posts seems to imply it, especially when you get on your "Lurie and Banner don't want to win" rants.

Your points are borderline ridiculous. You want to know where the money is going... where is it supposed to go? There's nobody out there! After Peppers, there was a huge drop-off in vet talent. Did you want the FO to blow a ton of money on Kampman and risk his knee not being 100%? So then next season you can whine about us not spending more on another DE to replace Kampman and his dead money?

Pitmanite said...

I've never understand "the eagles are cheap" theme that is out there. The same guys who call them cheap will also criticize them for giving stacey andrews way too much money. How does that make sense?

Even though their decisions haven't always worked out, the eagles have spent big money on FAs they've wanted (i.e. Kearse, D. Howard, A. Samuel & S. Andrews), and they often times sign our young guys to long term deals, when they don't have to. You might say that's to save money later, but it doesn't take away from the fact that they are ponying up the dough early, and it doesn't always work out in their favor (i.e. R. Brown). Also, the same guys who say they move back in the draft to save money forget to mention times when they've moved up in the 1st rd to get players (i.e. j. mcdougle, s. andrews, and maclin), which meant they had to pay more money.

I complain sometimes about wanting them to be more aggressive, but only if it makes sense. For instance, I wanted a shot at Rolle, but not once I saw his contract, which doesn't make sense for a guy with character issues who hasn't really performed up to snuff the last couple years. Look around at the teams who generally spend the most money in FA and it doesn't translate to winning.

frankfurtler said...

First Blood is a classic, nice reference..... "Don't push me...."

Myron said...

There is one chain of events that can salvage this off-season for me as an eagles fan:

1a.) Pry OJ Atogwe from the Rams and he plays reasonably well in 2010.

OR if they are bold:

1b.) Pull off some crazy trade with a team picking in the top 10 and with another high first rounder, draft Eric Berry, a la Tommy's fantasy off-season plan.

2.) Draft an impact DE in the draft (any one of: Jerry Hughes, Everson Griffen, Brandon Graham, but NOT Carlos Dunlap) and he plays as well as, or better than, Peppers plays in Chicago.

If this happens, I will sing the praises of the Eagles FO.

It's not entirely impossible that this could happen. I mean, they freed up a ton of money. That money was probably meant for Peppers, but now that he's gone, I don't see why they can't throw a portion of it on Atogwe OR a high first round pick contract like Eric Berry.

Make me a happy fan, Joe Banner and Howie Roseman.

mcud77 said...

So is Kevin Curtis asking Andy:

"What expendable mean?"

Dan said...

I'm starting to feel like the Eagles are overplaying their hand with McNabb, too.

With their stoic "he is our guy" stance, they are indicating that they want Cutler-esque compensation in a trade...which is just not gonna happen. No one is gonna give us a top-20 pick, sorry. Other teams are not eager to overpay for a QB that is past his prime (despite however many good years he has left).

It seems like a lock that Kolb will be our starter in 2011...so what happens to McNabb if he's an Eagle after 2010? He walks away as an FA to the team of his choice and we get no compensation.

If you're the Eagles and you are confident that Kolb is your guy, just get a decent deal for McNabb and don't blow your draft pick. A high 2nd rounder & a decent player or two 2nd round picks should get it done. And you have some control of where he ends up.

The bottom line is that McNabb's value is determined by what other teams are actually willing to trade for him...not what the FO thinks they should get in return.

I fear the FO is so stuck on getting his "value" that they'd rather get nothing than the best available offer.

Cliff said...

@ frankfurtler

First Blood? I thought that was a Hot Shots reference. Haha.

Cliff said...

Javon Walker was officially released. Perhaps we should go out and spend some of this "extra" cash on the WR coveted most by Eagles fans just 4 off-seasons ago.

Kidding, of course. But this is a great example of why we should trust the FO more than our fanatic brains.

ZackISM said...

@ Cliff

I disagree - and think you'd be hard pressed to find a post of my calling them pennie pinches.

I do question why they never have a go for broke off season. I do question our QB and our coach. And I am extremely negative.

This year, I have concerns, as they have yet to have a visit, and seem more interest in shedding salary than adding.

Please quote me calling Laurie cheap or Banner a pennie pincher. Maybe I got on a rant one day - it'd be fun to see.

As for who was out there.

Cliff - who's better:
Macho Harris or Antre Rolle?
Chris Gocong/Moises Fouku or Karlos Dansby?
Macho Harris or Kerry Rhodes?
Nick Cole or Kevin Mawae?

No offense but the name of the game can't only be value. Free Agency makes it almost impossible to get the value player. That said there were upgrades available, and the Eagles didn't go after them - there still are some.

Anyone who claims the Eagles wouldn't be better off today with Rolle & Dansby or Rhodes & Dansby is flat out a lair. My statements ridicilous? HA. Hard to improve a team by not adding anything. In my mind to build a champion you do your best to field the best player you can at every position, not the guy who offers the best value for play at the position.

Maybe Bobby April is the difference between the 2009 Philadelphia Eagles losing to the Cowboys and Winning the Lombardi. I'll be shocked, but hey Cliff - you stick with that theory.

Prem Prakash said...

I am reserving judgement on the quality of the pre-season performance on the part of the fo until the pre-season is over, or at least a little further down the road. I might have done things differently during these intial stages of fa, but I understand the reasoning behind the decisions. They now have available cash, at least one quality qb to trade, and some good draft picks. I'm still optomistic there could be some very positive action before next year. We'll see.

Pitmanite said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pitmanite said...

ohoh it looks like we may have our first cyber battle (that i've seen on tommy's blog anyway) brewing here between Cliff & ZackISM.you have to love the internet.

sometimes, just for fun, i show my girlfriend our comments on here, and she is shocked at what we waste our time doing. initially, she thought it was funny, and then the shit hit the fan when she noticed that i had tommy's Fan-Deomonium pic set as my background on my computer

Thrash said...

> Cliff - who's better:
> Macho Harris or Antre Rolle?
> Chris Gocong/Moises Fouku or Karlos Dansby?
> Macho Harris or Kerry Rhodes?
> Nick Cole or Kevin Mawae?

In a vacuum where only talent matters, obviously the FA is better in each case. But this isn't happening in a vacuum. I'd rather have a lesser talent at 1/10the price (as is the case with Dansby and Rolle).

Its about a fit in the system, not the biggest name. Dansby has spent his whole career as a ILB in a 3-4 scheme (and I believe a MLB at Auburn). I'm assuming that the scouts had a handle on whether he was a fit at the SAM for us (and I'm guessing he wasn't a fit for $45 million). As for Rolle, if we weren't going to make Dawkins the highest paid safety in the league, why would we make Rolle. Rhodes has a reputation as a space cadet.

The offseason is only 4 days old. I think its just a little bit early to declare it a failure. Last offseason, where arguably the Eagles had the best offseason of any of the 32 teams, they made 2 moves in the first 3 weeks of free agency: signing Stacy Andrews on the 1st day and Sean Jones on the 7th day (2 huge impacts). It wasn't until three weeks into FA that they signed Weaver. Then, leading up to and including the draft is when they added Peters, Hobbs, Maclin, McCoy, Ingram, Macho, and Fokou.

So I think we need to take a collective deep breath before thinking that the offseason is a failure b/c we couldn't overpay Peppers, Rolle, Dansby, or Kampman. While it would have been nice, the front office usually has a plan (emphasis on usually...ahem, fullback, punt returner).

Jay said...

@Pitmanite

That is hilarious...

arby said...

@Pitmanite - re:"sometimes, just for fun, i show my girlfriend our comments on here, and she is shocked at what we waste our time doing."

1st rule of EaglesBlitz?

What happens in EaglesBlitz
Stays in EaglesBlitz!

btw, my wife is the same way. They will never understand...

ZackISM said...

@Thrash

I could be mistaken - but I believe the Cardinals switched to the 3-4 with the arrival of Ken Wisenhunt (or just slightly before). Dansby has been in the NFL since 2004 - and has played in a 4-3. Maybe he lined up at MLB during that period, but your point is valid on him.

You're point on Rolle - is exaclty what I'm saying. The Eagles are value based. This off season, being value based is going to be difficult, when you don't like signing older veterans. Any player under 30 with any potential what so ever (that doesn't have two blown out knees) is going to get over paid. Value players are going to be very, very hard to find. Rolle wasn't a value player, but was a upgrade.

Rhodes - I don't watch the Jets a ton, but when I did in prior years, I thought he was a very good FS. Locker Room problem? That I don't know about and can't comment on. I do know he didn't get along with Rex Ryan and the new Jets staff, but never heard anything bad about him before that. In fact I'd be willing to bet, many fans would have been thrilled if we had traded for Rhodes prior to the start of last year...THRILLED.

It is definatley too early to declare the off season a complete and utter failure, but if we're relying on the draft to improve the team - I'll say, I'm not going to be overly opptomistic (granted barring we field a roster of all-pros I'm not likely to be). But I do remember the great reviews we had from the 2006 Draft - and how little it paid off in 2006. The draft isn't usually going to put you over the top year one.