Sheil Kapadia put up a post today on the Eagles being aggressive in free agency. This really is a subject that fascinates me.
Howie Roseman talks about building through the draft. He means this in a general sense. Ted Thompson of the Packers says this and means it literally…as in “we don’t need free agents”. I wondered if the 2011 shopping spree and 2012 season would make Roseman shift over to the Thompson model. The problem with that is that Roseman has an aggressive personality. Going almost entirely through the draft means limiting your options.
I think the Eagles should aim to land 3 starters in free agency. I would sign a NT, S, and CB. I would look for ascending players or guys that are solid starters, but I would not break the bank for elite guys. I’ll get into some specific names on Thursday. The point is the general approach. Go into FA and land the right players at the right price if you can. Shop wisely. This isn’t the year to put the hard sell on guys.
The Eagles have $34M to spend right now and cutting Nnamdi could clear up another $10M. That’s a lot of money. Not all of it must be spent, though. Shop wisely.
I’m not trying to save Jeff Lurie’s money for the heck of it. Star players can be awkward to deal with. It is better for a new coach to get a team built and heading in the right direction and then to add elite players. Find out what you have first. Spend the first year teaching the basics and establishing how you want things done. Then bring in the big guns.
Andy Reid added Jon Runyan in his second season. Carlos Emmons and Brian Mitchell also came in, although neither were blue chip players. In Reid’s first year he added WRs Charles Johnson and Torrance Small, TE Jamie Asher, SS Tim Hauck, DT Steve Martin, and QB Doug Pederson. No stars to be sure, but that group did help Reid set the right tone for what he wanted to do.
I do wonder how Roseman will approach the situation. He can look to the state of Florida for clues. The Dolphins did little in FA. In fact, they traded their best CB, Vontae Davis, away. The Dolphins had a good draft and went 7-9. The Bucs signed G Carl Nicks, WR Vincent Jackson, and CB Eric Wright. They went 7-9. Jackson was great for them. Nicks was hurt and Wright didn’t have much impact.
Go back to the Dolphins for a second. They did get impact from Reggie Bush, Anthony Fasano, Richie Incognito, Randy Starks, and Karlos Dansby, all key FA acquisitions in the last 5 years.
I guess the key comes down to adding the right players no matter how you do it. I still think that it is important to add the right guys for a coach in his first season. Just think about what a distraction Chad Johnson was for Miami last year. His presence didn’t affect their final record, but I do think it made life harder for Joe Philbin.
The one player I could see the Eagles being aggressive for right out of the chute is TE Jared Cook. He is a unique guy. If you don’t get him, you can’t just take the next TE and get the same thing. Cook is an interesting offensive weapon. He’s tall and fast. He can help stretch the field and deliver in the Red Zone. I get the feeling he’s the kind of player Chip Kelly might really like. If so, maybe you do open the checkbook for him. Negotiations start on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
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Now for some interesting site news…
I have launched a new site called EaglesBlog.net.
Think of this as the companion site to Iggles Blitz. Here I post once or twice a day in long form. The focus is on having an informed discussion. The comments section is full of great back and forth as we discussion Dion Jordan right down to the DNA.
Eagles Blog is short, quick posts. Think of it as Eagles Twitter. I know more than a few people are not on Twitter. There are all kinds of interesting nuggets I see there all day. Most I save and put into posts here, but some become irrelevant time-wise and others I simply forget about. If you saw all the odd slips of paper with notes, you’d think I was Kevin Spacey from Se7en with his crazy writings.
Eagles Blog will not change my writing habits here. I spend most of the waking day in front of the computer. When I see something Eagles-related, it now will become a quick post. If I hear an Eagle/ex-Eagle say something of note in an interview, it will be a quick post. And so on. My long posts will still go up here once or twice a day.
Things will get a bit crazy starting this weekend. Any rumors I hear go on Eagles Blog. I’ll keep stuff going up there as fast as I hear/read it. I’ll save the in-depth analysis of anything for here. And obviously if a major story breaks I am writing about it here. This is still the key site for now. This is the mothership, so to speak.
Check out the new site. Let me know what you think.
As far as comments there go…I’m leaving them open for now, but that site will not have a focus on discussion. I can’t promise I’ll answer questions or respond to everything there. If you just want to respond to whatever I’ve posted, that’s fine. Maybe a discussion breaks out. The problem is that I’ll be trying to get 5 to 10 posts a day there. That makes it very difficult to keep something going.