Ricky Jean-Francois is already visiting Indy. Apparently he and the Eagles were far apart in money. RJF is the kind of player you want, but only at the right cost. He’s only got a few career starts. He isn’t a huge guy. He isn’t a great athlete. He isn’t a pass rusher. You love his toughness and versatility, but just can’t overpay for that. It sounds like he and the Eagles left things open, but now that he’s gone it is likely he won’t be coming back.
* * * * *
There are other 5-tech DEs still on the market. Here are a few names I know are still out there:
DE Vaughn Martin – SD
DE Leger Douzable – TEN
DE Ropati Pitoitua – KC
DE Jarius Wynn – TEN
There was a speculation with the Eagles and Martin, but I’ve not seen anything more on that. There is no guarantee the Eagles will add a starting caliber DE. Cedric Thornton can play the role, but I think ideally the Eagles would love him to be a backup to the DE and Fletcher Cox.
Really, this is a situation where the Eagles are tying to add the right player if he’s available. If not, add depth and get a DE in the draft. I should mention that the list above doesn’t include any recent cuts. There could be an additional player or two the team likes.
* * * * *
The Jake Long saga truly is a saga. He arrived in St. Louis on Tuesday evening. He underwent a physical today that apparently lasted for hours and was very thorough. There are concerns about his knee, back, shoulder, and triceps. Amazing that the guy has only missed 6 games in 5 years, but has the Rams that nervous.
St. Louis has another concern. There was a report today that current Rams LT Rodger Saffold would request a trade if the Rams signed Long to play LT. Saffold is scheduled to hit FA next year and wants LT money. The Rams could slide Long to RT, but he may not want to go there unless he’s getting LT money.
The Eagles might still have a chance with Long, assuming they are interested. There were other reports that the team had interest in Sebastian Vollmer and Andre Smith. Vollmer is older, but a better fit. Smith is young and a dominant run blocker, but seems to be the opposite of what Chip Kelly wants in terms of athleticism and build.
Dave Spadaro has shot down a lot of the RT talk, hinting that the team is more likely to go the draft route at that spot. That is also what I’ve said, since the team has older players on the OL already. Best to add young guys there.
* * * * *
Now for the CB update. DRC is gone. He signed a 1-year deal with the Broncos. They will pay him $10M for every bone-jarring tackle he makes. I have him down for $37 this year. Honestly, DRC was smart to sign a 1-year deal. If he can get his stuff together, the guy can be a top player. Playing for John Fox, Jack Del Rio, and with Champ Bailey will be the ultimate test. If DRC struggles this year, he’s toast.
Derek Cox signed with San Diego. Les Bowen reported that Chargers CB Antoine Cason was visiting Arizona, but hinted that didn’t mean he was close to signing. Cason is a player I like.
Sean Smith has been silent. Keenan Lewis and Brent Grimes too.
None of these CBs are guys you must have, but all could be effective starters. If the price is right, I do expect the Eagles to make a run at one or two of them. Stay tuned.
* * * * *
The Safeties are dwindling. LaRon Landry went to Indy. Dashon Goldson to TB. Glover Quin to DET. I don’t know if there is anyone else on the market that the Eagles will have interest in. Bernard Pollard was cut by the Ravens. He is a big SS type. Best in the box or attacking downhill vs the run. That is similar to Patrick Chung. It doesn’t seem likely for the Eagles to go for a similar guy to Chung.
Some of you have asked questions about Chung. He was brought here to add a physical presence to the secondary. Will Chung get burned from time to time? Yes. So have other Eagles Safeties. The difference is that Chung will make some receivers pay the price for catching balls in front of him. I have said since the season ended that the firs thing the Eagles needed was a physical Safety. No matter what you do, receivers are going to get open. Having at least one physical presence in the back end is a way to keep offensive players nervous, and that can affect their concentration on running routes and catching passes.
* * * * *
Word came out this evening that the Eagles might be interested in a pass rusher. The primary name was Connor Barwin. He played OLB for the Texans the past 4 years. I think Barwin would take over the SAM role. Since we still don’t have a confirmation on the scheme, this remains a guess.
Barwin is talented. He’s a former college TE that can run, cover, and rush the passer. He’s got a lot of potential, but teams seem hesitant to give him much money. Barwin had a great year in 2011, but was quiet the other 2 seasons.
Victor Butler and Antwan Barnes were also mentioned. Butler is a talented, young player. I’m just not sure exactly where he’d fit into the Eagles lineup. He hasn’t proven to be a starter. He also lacks the height and bulk that we think Chip would want in a SAM. Barnes is visiting the Jets on Thursday. He is someone the Eagles have liked since college.
I’m not sure I fully buy into the notion of the Eagles going for a LB, but if the price is right, they could.
How would this affect Trent, Graham, and Curry? I still don’t know since Kelly/Davis have yet to fully explain the scheme. I know many of you want Graham to have a prominent role. He might. We just can’t confirm anything because we still don’t know 3-4 vs 4-3 Under.
Just like RT, CB, and DE…stay tuned.