Quick Free Agent LB Update

Posted: February 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 49 Comments »

Stephen Tulloch fans will be happy to know that PFT is reporting that Tulloch and the Lions aren’t close to a new deal.  He can’t be re-signed until the new league year starts on March 13, but the two sides can certainly talk.

I know Tulloch has some serious supporters amongst Eagles fans.  I’ve watched a few 2011 games and I’m just not enamored with him.  He is a solid player, but I don’t see him as someone that I would make the primary target for MLB.  I think he expects to be paid like a top MLB.  I just don’t see that level of play.

It is interesting that he and the Lions aren’t close on a deal.  Last year Tulloch scared off teams by asking for $6M per year.  He then settled for a one-year $3.25M deal.  Should be interesting to see how things shake out with him.

* * * * *

London Fletcher was interviewed on Sirius XM NFL Radio (did I leave out any letters) and told the hosts that he wants to stay with the Skins, but he’s not afraid to test the market if things don’t get settled before March 13.

Let me sum up my thoughts in formal football lingo:  me likey.

London Fletcher is a player that I have ultimate respect for.  He’s started to lose a step in recent years, but remains a good MLB.  He’s also a man that teammates respect.  If not, he hits them so hard they mistake John Beck for a starting QB.

Fletcher would be a great band-aid solution at MLB.  Sign him and then take a MLB in the middle rounds to compete with Casey Matthews and Greg Lloyd for backup spots.  A veteran like Fletcher could be a great teacher for a young guy.  Casey failed to impress last year, but that doesn’t mean he can’t turn his career around in 2012.  Casey didn’t have the best teachers in 2011.  A guy like Fletcher could have a tremendous impact on him.  Or not.  That’s why you add someone else to the mix.

I should also add that I’m tired of London hurting our players with his punishing hits.  It would be nice to see him putting down Giants, Skins, and Boys instead of our beloved heroes in green.

* * * * *

It is being reported that the Ravens will place the Franchise Tag on RB Ray Rice on Friday afternoon.  PFT is speculating that other teams could follow suit and use the tag at the same time.  Their thinking is that teams would do this prior to a weekend so that the story wouldn’t get the same level of coverage as if it happened on Monday.  And tags do have to be used on/or by Monday March 5.  Maybe we’ll see DeSean get the tag.

49 Comments on “Quick Free Agent LB Update”

  1. 1 Pitmanite said at 11:04 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Agree w/you on Tulloch. If he was as good as people think I don’t think we would’ve seen a 1 yr 3.5mm deal last year followed up by not being close this year on terms w/Lions.

    I’d rather take Luke. Also, would love DT for our first pick w/maybe London as short-term guy and maybe Kendricks 2nd round, but he’ll probably be gone, right?

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:27 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I don’t think Kendricks is necessarily a lock for the 2nd round. I’m trying to decide if he should go there or the 3rd. I would hope he’s on the board for our 2nd. Him and London Fletcher would be okay by me.

  3. 3 JRO91 said at 7:30 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Tommy – Are you still thinking Boykin with one of our 2nds? Also, aren’t you the least bit scared that with the Eagles luck, they sign London as a bandaid and this year the wheels fall off and his age catches up with him?

  4. 4 Pitmanite said at 11:21 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Just read your column for Eagles site. Excellent work, but something caught my eye and I’m like a momma grizzly bear right now ready to attack.

    “Tommy Lawlor is an amateur football scout”? Amateur? I’m pissed! This best be a typo, and Spuds needs to remove that word ASAP.

    Nobody calls Baby an amateur! Nobody!

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 11:25 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    But I will sit in the corner if that’s where the keg is.

  6. 6 NoDecaf said at 8:25 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Greatest response ever!

  7. 7 Steve H said at 11:24 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Imo we should try to get Kuechley even if we get someone in FA. I mean why not? The guy could possibly be the BPA at 15 anyhow.

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 11:25 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Possible, but not likely. We need an upgrade at LB to be sure, but NFL games are now won and lost with QBs/DL.

  9. 9 the guy said at 12:24 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    So you only think a pick that high is really worthy of being a QB/DL, or are you including need into the discussion?

    If I’m guessing, it seems like you’re saying the only positions worth an early/mid 1st round pick are QB, OT, DL, and maybe CB. Then you adjust your strategy based on need, star potential, etc.

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 1:25 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    My answer was in regard to adding a FA & spending pick 15 on a LB. Using one key resource there is fine. Using 2 doesn’t seem wise.

    I think you draft really good players up high. Some positions are downgraded (S, LB, C), but that doesn’t mean you avoid them entirely. Eric Berry was a great prospect and deserved to be a high pick.

    If we don’t get a LB in FA, then I’ll be pushing like heck for us to get Kuechly.

    One reason DL are so good to pick up high is that you rotate them. Young guys can get mixed into the lineup and offer some impact. They don’t have to start and play 60 snaps a game the way other players might.

  11. 11 rdw56 said at 9:28 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    No question QB rules and then comes DL but there’s also a saying, ‘you are only as strong as your weakest link’ that has merit. LB has killed us two years in a row. Not been bad, killed us. In the NFL if you have gaping holes you get exploited and lose. There is a great argument for BPA at 15 but if Luke is there at 15 he is either BPA or so close the need for MLB so outweighs the need for DL drafting Luke is a no brainer. I do like Fletcher but Luke is so promising, so young and so healthy the thought to turning MLB into a strength for a dozen years means you don’t sign a FA until/unless you can’t get Luke.

  12. 12 bridgecoach said at 3:47 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I agree with you on a lot, but I’m not following your logic here.
    I think most would agree that it has been unwise to ignore our weakest defensive area for years. I think most would agree that spending a few resources to improve our weakest area would in fact be very wise – and long overdue. Especially with a rare talent that could lead our defense for 10 years.

    Our three weakest positions (by a long shot) on the entire team are MLB, OLB and OLB. Every team we face knows where we are most vulnerable and exploit it every chance they get. If you have glaring holes, your team will improve most by filling them with quality and talent.

  13. 13 rdw56 said at 8:26 PM on March 2nd, 2012:

    I’m with you but I think we can do fine with two LBs. I think Rolle can be above average and Chaney deserves another shot. For some reason every 2010 draft pick got off to a rotten start. With Chaney possibly because he was moved around. I’d take Kuechly at 15 and if a Lavonte David were there at 51 I’d take him but go no lower than 77. I’d expect Kuechly be the MLB for a decade and let David, Chaney and Rolle battle for OLB. I think all 3 can play all 3 positions as well.

  14. 14 hallcr3 said at 11:26 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Someone needs to compile a “Best of” list:

    “He’s also a man that teammates respect. If not, he hits them so hard they mistake John Beck for a starting QB.”

  15. 15 tball_man said at 11:51 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    FULLY agree with London Fletcher signing. Three year 15 mill (really a reasonable two yr deal) draft a second day MIKE and a third day SAM (or vice versa) keeping payroll light with a rock solid mike with competition on the outside while prepping fletchers replacement in the meantime. Just give me a tall legit red zone threat and a welker clone for the slot between the 20’s and call it an off-season.

  16. 16 Outtenbucks said at 12:20 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    I would love Fletcher. Perfect fit here. A draft pick or two wouldn’t hurt plus he wouldn’t be expensive.

    This week, many things will change and this conversation will be much different.

  17. 17 A_T_G said at 8:09 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    You aren’t talking about the Mayan thingy, are you?

  18. 18 Matt Hoover said at 2:09 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Really hope we let Djax walk and sign a FA like Vjax.

  19. 19 JRO91 said at 7:33 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Rather have Colston over VJax….I think Colston is more reliable. VJax seems to miss ALOT of games due to injury.

  20. 20 James Coe said at 2:24 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    ” I think he expects to be paid like a top MLB. I just don’t see that level of play.”

    So he’s the D-Jax of the defense?

  21. 21 JRO91 said at 7:37 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Add Fletcher, Kendricks in the 2nd/3rd and Keenan Robinson in the 3rd. Rolle/Fletcher/Robinson…Matthews BU at WIL, Chaney BU at SAM and Kendricks backup at MLB. Didn’t spend a lot of $$$ on LB, but upgraded a ton. Plus, Rolle, Fletcher and Kendricks would be the perfect under 6FT tall LB corp!!!

  22. 22 rage114 said at 7:43 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    I agree with Tulloch and Fletcher. I would love to see Fletcher as an Eagle. One of my top 5 players in the league….and that is with him being a Redskin.

    Tulloch to me is an immedate upgrade to what is on the roster but he isn’t a player that should be built around or a guy that makes the other LB positions better (if that makes sense).

    And Fletcher is a stop gap. Would be good for a year or two but doesn’t solve the problem.

    So if either is signed, I would hope that the signing isn’t looked at as “solution” but only a step in the right direction. To me, Kuechley, other drafted LB, and other signings are still on the table.

  23. 23 iskar36 said at 11:56 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Honestly, while I would certainly be happy with Fletcher, I think the point you raised is why he is nowhere near the top of my list of potential LBers. At some point much sooner rather than later, his age will catch up to him. For all we know, he could struggle this year. The way I see it, might as well invest the money and/or draft pick in someone that has the potential to man the spot for the long term (or at least more than a season or two).

  24. 24 izzylangfan said at 8:34 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    The Eagles have about $28 million in cap space. But if they were to cut or trade for picks Asante, Justice, JJax, and Tapp they would have over $40 million of cap space. Now, the free agent market last year was stressed by the late lockout settlement and did not really clear. Many free agents like Tulloch and Plax only signed one year deals and are back on the market. The free agent supply is high and this year again is a buyers market. Last year after the dust settled the Banner and the Eagles said they were duty bound to take advantage of such a market which they noted would recur this year. Thus it may be premature to assume that the Eagles will not be major players in the free agent market. Although they must leave cap space to sign next years free agents including Mac and Shady.

    It seems likely to me that Fletcher Cox, Luke Kuechly and Michael Floyd will not all be gone by pick 15 and if they are, there will be a great player available there. So there is no need to move from the 15 spot. But I’m thinking that it might be a good move to trade up to the top third of the second round. Maybe someone like a Zach Brown could be snatched up there. Even if he is gone there should be some big wide receivers or pretty good D tackles there at that point. Asante will likely go to a good team that needs a piece. But guys like Justice, Tapp and JJax could go to a good team needing a piece or a building team that needs to stabilize the Oline or Dline. Wouldn’t a building team like to get JJax plus one of our second round picks to give up their pick at the top of the second round?

  25. 25 JRO91 said at 8:57 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    I agreed with Tommy that the SB is won at the QB and DLine position…see Giants. Their Oline, secondary and RB’s were all avg to below avg. I think we need DL in the 1st. Tag and keep desean and sign a FA MLB. Draft Sanu and Boykin in the 2nd. Sanu would be a great slot receiver. Not the fastest guy, but sure hands and jumping ability. Could be moved outside in a pinch. Boykin upgrades our return game and slot corner. Draft Kendricks and Keenan Robinson in the 3rd (assuming we get a second 3rd for Asante) You now have a MLB to develop and a starting caliber SAM. Two 4ths can be used on OLine depth, and possibly depth at DE or Safety.

  26. 26 rdw56 said at 9:31 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Our DL is every bit as good as the NYGs and that’s w/o Graham. JPP is a stud but we are more balanced ans deeper. Qb and DL are critcal but there are 11 guys on the field and they go after the 11th best. If he sucks you lose.

  27. 27 Ben Hert said at 10:11 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Kendricks is a really interesting player to me. I see a lot of people say that we should let him sit behind Fletcher for a season or two and he’ll be a starting caliber MIKE. Its obvious he’s a good player, per his records and awards from his CFB career, but I think one thing we need to focus on is his instincts.

    The reason LK is so intriguing to us right now is that he has killer instincts and a nose for the ball-carrier., key for any MIKE Not to say Kendricks doesn’t have that, but I would imagine that if he did have the ability to sniff out a play and be the core of a defense, combined with his athleticism, he’d be garnering much more attention from around the league.

    Don’t take this as I don’t want to draft him. Hell, I was defending him over on BGN from being a “workout warrior”, but I just wonder if he can really learn everything you need to learn to be a starting MLB in the NFL in just two years.

  28. 28 Mac said at 12:44 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I haven’t heard many people talk about intangibles… I’m sure someone on here has. But I think that may actually be my #1 reason to target LK.

    I would love to have an intelligent, team leading persona on the field for this team. I love Jenkins, but I don’t think you get 100% of that leadership due to his hand being in the turf pre snap.

    An athletic and instinctive LBer who can help line things up, get the play in and executed properly, who studies game tape like a cloistered monk studies the Bible…

    Could LK be the Holy Grail for the woes of this Defense? (mind you I’m not as down on the D as some are… i would assign blame for most of the 2011 losses 50/50 between O and D). But LK might be the missing link… oh, and he’s healthy.

    I definitely value DL over LB, but in this case I might make an exception, especially if Washburn thinks we can get a good value pick for DL in the 2nd/3rd round… I’m not enough of a draftnick to say who that would be…

  29. 29 rdw56 said at 1:50 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I don’t recall a talent line up more perfectly for the Eagles needs. He looks to be the kind of guy who might be as durable as Fletcher. He’s got everything they need. Further the 5 teams in front each have several other needs. He should fall to them. That said Fletcher / kendricks would be an excellent plan B.

  30. 30 hallcr3 said at 8:45 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Is this the 2nd or 3rd year the NFL will do the 1st round a night before the rest of the Draft? I was adding the Draft to my calendar today and remembered how much I hate that.

  31. 31 Eric Weaver said at 8:54 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    I actually hate having just the first round on one night. I’d rather do 1 and 2 then 3 through 5 then 6 through 7. Start the first round at 7, I’ll stay up until 12 to see the end of the second.

  32. 32 hallcr3 said at 9:00 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. I’d rather go back to the old format.

    I understand the NFL and ESPN want to capitalize on the hype, especially the hype surrounding 1st round guys, but fans like us get that the Draft is more important than just the first 32 picks.

  33. 33 ChaosOnion said at 10:32 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Does anyone else draw a parallel between signing Tulloch and NYG signing Antrel Rolle?

    Did Antrel Rolle deserve to be come the highest paid safety in football? I do not think so.

    Did Antrel Rolle fix a glaring hole in the NYG defense? Yes. The man may not have been worth the money, but the solution to the problem was worth the money. NYG paid what was necessary to fix their secondary. Rolle was the beneficiary.

    I am not saying make Tulloch the highest paid MIKE in football. Just spend what is necessary to fix the LB corps. If it is Tulloch, Connor, Lofton, Hawethorn, Fletcher, or whoever it may be reaping the rewards, I do not really care.

    Spend the money to fix the problem.

  34. 34 GermanEagle said at 11:18 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    I kinda agree. Though I hate Antrell Rolle from the bottom of my heart.

  35. 35 Mac said at 12:46 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Maybe we’ll all get lucky and it will turn out that Snooki is bearing the offspring of Rolle. Somehow that may be a little bit of justice.

  36. 36 Liam Garrett said at 3:13 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I won’t live in a world where Snooki has Tommy’s grandchild.

  37. 37 Mac said at 3:48 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Wrong Rolle… you’re talkin Potato Roll, I’m talkin bout that guy who is the pasty good for nothing white Roll you get at McDonalds.

  38. 38 Liam Garrett said at 4:04 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Oh, yeah, you’re right. I was thinking Brian Rolle. My bad.

  39. 39 GermanEagle said at 11:28 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Alright fellas,

    would you rather give up our first round pick and sign Mike Wallace to big bucks than spending almost as much as money on re-signing Desean Jackson (hoping that we get something in return for him, maybe a 3rd rounder)?

  40. 40 Ben Hert said at 11:37 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Resign Jackson. Neither player would ever warrant a first round pick in the draft to me.

  41. 41 aleandro green said at 11:52 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    mike wallace>>>djax but you right about both of them not being worth a first

  42. 42 Mac said at 12:49 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Too many interesting options in the draft floating around 15 for me to give it up for Wallace.

    I’m still praying the Eagles tag n trade Desean… 3rd or 4th round pick even… I don’t care just get SOMETHING for him.

    While I’m at it… flip AS22 to the Lions for a 3rd.

    Let’s get the party started!

  43. 43 Liam Garrett said at 3:15 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    First round pick AND big money is too much. I’d only do that if we were absolutely desperate or the player was Fitz.

  44. 44 hallcr3 said at 12:45 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Not trying to pick a fight with anyone here, but the growing consensus among Eagles fans is that Mike Wallace is definitively better than DeSean Jackson… why?

    Mike Wallace
    2009: 39-756-19.4-6
    2010: 60-1257-21-10
    2011: 72-1193-16.6-8

    DeSean Jackson
    2008: 62-912-14.7-2
    2009: 62-1156-18.6-9
    2010: 47-1056-22.5-6
    2011: 58-961-16.6-4

    Honestly, I don’t think you can compare the two players in terms of fitting our offense. If you can re-sign DeSean, sign Plax, and keep our 1st round pick; to me, that’s way better than giving up our 1st and adding Wallace.

    I guess this boils down to how you value DeSean. I’m not saying he’s purely a better receiver than Wallace, but he plays a unique role on our team. Isn’t Jeremy Maclin our Mike Wallace anyway? He’s healthy and getting stronger. He’s got the speed.

    I’m not anti-Wallace, I just don’t think there’s as huge a gap between him and DeSean as Eagles fans seem to think. I wonder if this is the classic overvaluing of other teams’ players. We do that a lot.

    The same goes for Vincent Jackson and Colston.

  45. 45 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 12:55 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Wallace, 24tds in 3 seasons, DJack 21tds in 4. Not saying he is or isn’t better, but the ability to score consistently is what we lack from the WR position.

  46. 46 Mac said at 3:51 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    A plague, a plague on both their houses!

    A modestly fast, tall, powerful receiver can do what SPEED does, and is a threat in the RZ… bring me the next MEGATRON plz.

  47. 47 Kevin_aka_RC said at 1:13 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    Ideally, we sign Landri and an LB not forcing us to draft a DT or an LB high. Take BPA at #15. What’s the worst case scenario, we have London Fletcher AND Kuelchy on this team? Fletcher is pushing 40. Luke can learn from him and backup other spots if he’s not the starter. Maybe Luke wins the SAM job outright.

    Similarly, if we have Landri/Patterson/Dixon/Jenkins/Thornton, I hope we still Cox/Poe. Let Dixon/Thornton WIN jobs.

  48. 48 Eric Weaver said at 1:50 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    I turned my calendar excitingly to March hoping the month had something special for me. It turns out it’ll be rather ho-hum as it was only Nate Allen. A player I like, but never feel will be anything more than a bit above average.

  49. 49 SuPaFrO said at 4:33 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    So im a huge fan of fletcher. N i hink he would be an amazin additikn for us. But i would lole to kno if therea a NT that would be helpful. I think POE would be great as a nt in combination wit cujo. Hard for me to choose. Tho i do prefer fletcher. But is there any good nt later rounds thamd have potential to start?