Where Things Stand

Posted: March 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 82 Comments »

The first couple of weeks of March are a crazy roller coaster ride. The team signs players. There are rumors about potential deals. Lots of activity, some of which totally catches you by surprise. You live and die with the moves and rumors. The first couple of weeks are just the beginning of a long offseason, though. We’re not even a month into things. There is a lot of activity left.

The second wave of free agency is officially underway. This is when teams go bargain hunting. You aren’t looking for starters so much as good depth and role players. There are a few exceptions. Michael Vick is still on the market. So is Jared Allen. And so on. These are veterans looking for the right situation. Most of the guys left are fringe starters. They aren’t worried about money and fit. They want a job.

Chip Kelly and the coaching staff are doing a lot of travelling. They’re attending Pro Days and checking out draft prospects. Soon enough, kids will start visiting Philly for some pre-draft meetings.

Kelly has been very active with going to Pro Days. Some dismiss this as him just liking to do that. To a certain extent, yes. Kelly doesn’t have a wife and kids so for him to go to all the local Pro Days makes sense. If he’s got the time and he enjoys that, go do it. That said, when he hops on a plane and goes to the Florida State or Louisville Pro Day, that is more than just a fun trip. He’s genuinely checking out those players.

Don’t get caught on just the big names. Kelly went to the LSU and Alabama Pro Days last year. The Eagles drafted Bennie Logan, but also signed UDFAs Brad Wing, Russell Shepard and Damion Square from those teams. Kelly is gathering as much info on as many players as possible. Since he’s just a year removed from the college game, Kelly might be able to pick the brains of the college staff more effectively than most NFL coaches.

The Eagles will use free agency and the draft to add talent to the team in the next 8 weeks. There is another possibility as well…trades.

The NFL owners meetings are coming up next week. There is plenty of talk between teams about potential deals. You can bet more than a team or two will inquire about the status of DeSean Jackson. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out. The Eagles could go and inquire about some possible trade targets. I mentioned OLB Shea McClellin as one possibility. That’s a complete guess on my part. The Eagles keep lists of players they liked from previous drafts and will check on the status of those players. You never know when someone could be available at the right price.

Howie Roseman has proven to be creative when it comes to finding players. He’s not bashful and will work the phones to see who is available. I’m sure Roseman has an idea or two already in place. That doesn’t mean anything will happen. The NFL isn’t much of a trading league. Trades have become more common in recent years, but it still lags far behind the other 3 major sports in that area.

Aside from the draft, the Eagles have made their big moves for the year. They will continue to add pieces to the puzzle. While these names might not be impressive to the casual fan, you never know when you’re going to find a key role player or spot starter. Donnie Jones signed last year on March 25. I’d say that was a pretty good move.

While the main part of free agency is over, the offseason is just starting.

* * * * *

There was a report that Kelly did speak to DeSean yesterday, but Les Bowen got to the bottom of the situation and found out that didn’t happen. Les did have a great line at the end of the piece.

One thing we do know: Eagles officials, including Kelly, are obligated to speak to reporters next week at the NFL Meetings in Orlando. As someone once said, get yo popcorn ready.

Indeed.

_


  • Iamallthatisman

    DeSean and our 2nd.. For New England or San Francisco 1 and 3?

    • sflomenb

      Why? NE and SF’s #1 picks are later than ours. Doesn’t help.

      • Neil

        We get to move up our second and get a third.

        • Vick or Nick

          Not good enough compensation.

          If an injury prone Percy Harvin is worth a 1st, 3rd, and 7th.

          DeSean should net at least that much.

          Otherwise he’s more valuable to the offense.

  • nopain23

    The most glaring need on this team is rush lob.i know this draft is deep at the WR position but it seems to be bereft of rush olb.outside of Mack and Barr (who is a project) there aren’t stud olb to speak of.also there are some DE who project to be OLBers…but that’s just it.a projection and nothing more.does anyone see a rush olb worthy of the 22nd pick not named Mack or Barr?

    • ICDogg

      No. Unless you count Clowney who will be long gone.

    • ICDogg

      Not worth a 1st, but Kareem Martin is an intriguing prospect.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        He’s more of a developmental guy that may take more than a year to figure out what you have. Plus he’s more a Barwin type than a consistent pass rush type. I’d take a flyer on him, but I wouldn’t hang my hat that he’s my answer at ROLB.

        • ICDogg

          Maybe it’s just me, but I see a lot of promise with him.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I think you’ve got two guys.

      Dee Ford is definitely valued to be in that range. He’s not my favorite pick by any means, but that’s where he’s expected to go, in that range. The thing I personally don’t like about Ford is that he’s a project at converting to ROLB. He’s played almost exclusively from the left side at the DE position. So not only are you looking at a transition from DE to OLB, but also switching from the left side to the right side. He does possess a good amount of pass rush moves, but my fear is that success beating RTs will not translate so easily to beating LTs.

      A guy that I’ve been high on and is regarded as an early 2nd, but could also find himself a late 1st rounder is Marcus Smith of Louisville. Smith transitioned over to the defensive side in college after his freshman year. At first Louisville played him at ROLB, where he shined as looking like a natural at the position. He displayed athleticism, strength, a developing pass rush & a knack for stripping the QB of the ball. He played 9 games at ROLB that yr. The past few years, he has been moved all over, but his primary position was listed as DE. He put on a little bit of weight with the move to go along with the move. But don’t let that sway you into thinking he’s another DE to OLB project. Even while listed as DE, Smith has lined up as OLB, DE & DT on both sides and will still occasionally drop into coverage. That’s versatility. While you’ll notice that his speed has dipped a tad with the added weight (245lbs up to 260lbs), he has gained even more strength and can drive back double teams. He is a good pass rusher. He can speed rush, has good bend, knows how to dip his shoulder, can bullrush & also stunt inside. Outside of Mack (who excels in run defense), Smith is the most complete and versatile LB in the draft. He has good size (6’3″ – 251lbs) and dropped back down in weight from the 260-265lbs for the combine where he impressed.

      • nopain23

        Oh man.please don’t mention dee ford.that dude is going to get over drafted. I’d take KVN over him any day..even if he may a Barwin clone.we could a lot worse than to have to Barwin type LB.since both can cover we could disguise our blitzes better.since it’s obvious you’ve watched a lot of Louisville football where are you on Pryor?.i don’t think he is a RD one prospect and I think ALL Alabama DBS are a product of saban’s system and should read “buyer beware”..just say no to Ha HA!

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Didn’t say I liked Ford. Just said who’ll be there at 22. I think Smith is a much better OLB prospect for us than Ford. Problem is that 22 is a bit too high for Smith & our 54 is too late. I don’t like Attaocho for that spot & while I like KVN & Christian Jones, I don’t know that I particularly like them primarily at ROLB. So if I had my choice, I’m moving up if Barr falls to say past 14, or I’m moving back to say very early 2nd to grab Smith & an extra 3rd or 4th.

          As for Pryor, I like him. He has holes to his game that many safeties coming out have (ie; better hitter than tackler; doesn’t bring his arms to wrap up enough; questionable man cover skills (mainly because he hasn’t done it), and can draw some flags for hitting a tad earlier than the ball getting there). But he is a better all around safety than he’s given credit for. He can play deep/intermediate in zone coverage, has good instincts that allow him to close quickly despite his lack of elite speed, can play the box with authority, is a good blitzer & can separate ball from receiver. With some good coaching to hone his skills and get him to play under more control, he could become a really good safety in the pros.

          Ha-Ha isn’t a bad safety. I just don’t see him as a guy that can make big plays on his own. He’s good at being the second guy in coverage situations and helping over the top. To me he’s a good complimentary guy to a physical type safety. He’s solid all around but isn’t special at anything. He can come up in run support, but he’s not a guy that’s gonna stop a RB in their tracks with a big hit/tackle, but rather ride the guy down, as he tends to tackle too high and can get run over. He’s best at being the help over the top and is good at determining where the play will be going. Lacks elite speed but always seems to be in position to defend the pass. Unless he can get stronger up top & significantly improve his physicality, he’s better suited as an over the top deep safety.

          • Insomniac

            I think Smith will be there at our 2nd pick. The amount of talent in this year’s draft will push down a lot of solid prospects.

            Speaking of Christian Jones, I think he’s the better value compared to KVN. Jones might not have the stats that KVN has but he’s just as versatile. He might slide in the draft because of his pro day.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I like Jones’ value. I’m not so sure that Smith will be there at 54. Too many 3-4 teams between our picks at 22 & 54. With Clowney, Mack & Barr gone, those teams that missed out will be looking pass rusher the second time around. That’s why I REALLY wish we had a 2nd somewhere around 40. Because I think he’ll go somewhere between 40-50 & I don’t want Attaocho as a conciliation. I want Barr or Smith, period. However, I’m not salvaging my entire draft for Barr & Smith is a less risky pick. Lower ceiling potential than Barr, but higher floor.

          • Insomniac

            Haha sadly, if the Cardinals/Ravens/Packers decide to ignore their OL/WR/CB needs then we won’t get either. Not to mention that the 4-3 teams too since both guys are tweeners.

            I really hope Mack falls like Shariff Floyd did. A guy can dream right?

      • ztom6

        My favorite edge rusher prospects: Attochu, Marcus Smith, DeMarcus Lawrence… hoping they can come away with one of those guys…

  • greenblood0118

    We’re not getting a first round pick for DJ, if we move him so accept it and move on. LOL TATE lives on at Igglesblitz!

    • A Roy

      Welcome, TATEr.

  • eagleyankfan

    These were “big” moves? puke.

    Egads! we’re still talking DJ? I’d rather read about who CK might be looking at during the visit to Florida State.

    • Mitchell

      What else were you looking for?

      • Anders

        He is sad we didnt go all 2011 and sign Byrd, Ware and Revis

        • Neil

          Everybody knows you win in this league by asking the biggest names how much money they want and then giving it to them.

          • A Roy

            So true. Just look at Washington’s success with that approach.

        • eagleyankfan

          No — I’m not sad about that at all but thanks for assuming. Signing Jenks is a good move. It’s not a “BIG” move.

      • eagleyankfan

        A little more depth. I’m not about to get excited because we signed special team players and a safety. Maybe there’s just not a lot of talent out there (which is ok). To call any of these move as “big” is a stretch….

        • Mitchell

          We needed the ST starters because that unit wasn’t very good last year. I can see why you would call them “big” moves compared to everyone else in free agency but they were our big moves, small in comparison to others but big in our own building. I think that’s what Tommy was trying to say.

  • Joseph Dubyk

    To me fixing the OLB position seems best dealt with via trade. Rush OLB is definitely our biggest need… I still wouldn’t mind giving Woodley a 1 year prove it deal

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I believe he signed with Raiders a few days ago. Yes, he did along with Tuck.

      • Joseph Dubyk

        ah…missed that

  • barneygoogle

    Can’t agree that our big moves are over–we must get a pass rush linebacker, and also, we didn’t play the run very well down the stretch. Defense still needs some work. If we draft the best player available scenario–we may not get to D until rounds 3 or 4. Yikes!

    • Anders

      How do you see us getting that pass rusher?

      • barneygoogle

        Take some risks. Package picks to move up in draft. (Then get similar picks back by trading some players like B Graham.) Or trade for an underachiever like Dion Jordan or Shea McLellin–hopefully not giving up too much. I think Jordan fits this system very well–don’t know if Kelly wants him. He sure knows him though.

        • Mitchell

          I can get on board with acquiring more picks but trading them away makes my butthole pucker.

        • Anders

          I love to trade for McClellin and I would love to draft a guy like Kony Ealy. Hell do both as McClellin can backup Barwin.

  • Mike Roman

    If you haven’t read this yet, it’s an interesting article. He discusses everything that was going through my head about the DJax situation yesterday. As much as I don’t want to see him go, I think I can live with it if he does (provided we get a decent value in return).

    http://the700level.com/sports/the-pros-and-cons-to-trading-desean-jackson/

    All in all, I’m in draft mode now. I think if the Eagles don’t move up, the value at #22 is going to be WR or CB. Sadly, I don’t see how they get into position to land a stud pass rusher so maybe they just need to wait until round 2 or 3 and take a run after someone like Attaochu.

    Sadly, great pass rushers don’t grow on trees. The key is getting a prospect who can contribute and evolve, and also spell Trent Cole. IF DeSean gets traded, we can add a WR, OLB, S, and CB in the first three rounds.

    • Mitchell

      Marcus Smith too. The rushers are there we just need to get one of them and hope our coaching staff can help them develop. I do however have all the confidence in the world in regards to our coaching staff.

      • Mike Roman

        I agree. In a hypothetical situation where the Eagles trade Jackson for a 3rd round pick, this is what I’d like to see based on perceived value (and I really don’t know the CB depth in this draft).

        1. WR
        2. CB
        3a. OLB
        3b. S

        I’m very bored today. Seems like a slow news day. I may have to actually start paying attention to the tourney.

        • A Roy

          We’re trading back in Rd 1. And still selecting a WR with the 1st pick. Oattachu (sp?) in second. So show 2 as OLB and 3a CB 3b S and 3c DL

          • Mike Roman

            Love your scenario!

          • Mitchell

            I like trading back in the first, picking up another 3rd. Selecting OBJ with the first, Marcus Smith with the second, and finally grab your DB’s in the third. For example. Dontae Johnson (depending what they think his value is because I have seen him go much lower he could be a CB or S) and possibly Christian Jones.

            In the later rounds I would like to see us grab, a OL with some potential/ another DB with potential (Tre Boston?)

    • A_T_G

      On the other hand, if they did grow on trees, it would probably be a terribly invasive plant and would make hiking dangerous.

      • Mike Roman

        Only if you’re hiking with a football.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      what do you think about trading back from #22? move back to the top of the 2nd round and land some extra picks?
      i’m not sure how happy i’d be with it, though to be honest…

      • Mike Roman

        I think you could probably move down five or 6 spots in the first round and still pick up a mid 3rd round pick. Of course, finding a trade partner with that ammo and desire to move up is the tricky part.

        But with no blue chip prospects at #22, multiple holes to fill, and a deep draft, I wouldn’t be terribly upset if they moved down.

  • Patrick Pauling

    Remember that story last year about the Colts owner going on and on about how he had something big going on trade wise? I don’t remember if it was about a WR and I can’t remember, but I don’t believe any trade ever happened. Anyway, when I read the story, I got the sense he was talking about a WR. In light of recent rumors it makes me wonder if maybe there were some talks about dealing Jackson last year. After all, it took a bit for DeSean to buy in to Kelly’s program and Kelly wanted his guys. Then Maclin got injured and all the sudden we need DeSean a lot more than we did before. I’m just speculating and I could be totally off base here, but what do you guys think?

    • Duracell

      I believe it was the Vontae Davis trade that Irsay was going on about.

    • Iskar36

      It was definitely about a WR. At the time, we were debating whether it could potentially be Maclin in fact. Here is a post from Tommy about it:

      “Longtime reader eagles nut threw out a rumor tonight about the Colts making a trade for WR Jeremy Maclin. Then Jim Irsay started tweeting about the team possibly making a big deal.

      “In Arizona,but the phone lines burning up…we want to win so damn bad our toes ache and our brains are gurgling!!!!!!!”

      “Colt Fans,hint—— it’s a Wide Receiver!!”

      “Everyone stand buy,pour strong drink…do
      ur voodoo,Colts need the strength of it’s nation to get this wopper in
      the boat! DO U UNDERSTAND!?”

      http://igglesblitz.com/?s=irsay

      • goeagles55

        Everyone stand buy,pour strong drink…do ur voodoo,Colts need the strength of it’s nation to get this wopper in
        the boat! DO U UNDERSTAND!?

        I’m glad Jeffrey Lurie doesn’t do this.

        • Iskar36

          I love how passionate Jim Irsey is about his team, but being this upfront about it is counter productive. I am sure Jeffrey Lurie is equally passionate, but he understands that being so transparent in the process hurts the team in the long run.

          • Tumtum

            Cocaine is a hell of a drug, so said Rick James.

        • lonfident

          You mean get high in public?

  • SteveH

    Desean and BG for Dion Jordan strait up. Because player for player trades need to happen more often in this league.

    • D3FB

      They would eat 12 million by trading Dion. Then they would be paying 14 million for BG and Djax. They would be paying Wallace and DJax a combined 25.5 million. Doesn’t make sense.

      • SteveH

        A man can dream can’t he? Besides, this is the Dolphins we’re talking about here, they aren’t exactly the gold standard for organizational capability and success.

        • Anders

          My dream is Jackson+Graham for Hardy. Cam Newton to Jackson would be like Eaglles 2009/2010 all over again and Graham might fit with his original DC.

          There is no way the Panther do that, but as you said, one can dream :P

          • Insomniac

            Khalil Mack in midnight green after he gets the Shariff Floyd treatment at the draft.

          • Anders

            Seems Barr is getting that by the media right now

        • barneygoogle

          This can work. But first we have to get Joe Banner made the GM in Miami.

    • Sean Stott

      BG is a better OLB than Dion Jordan.

      • Tumtum

        Jordan looks like he could be a really good WR though. Make it happen at once!

  • Anders

    "15 Valor Christian DB Brian Dawkins Jr at the @PylonEliteCamps @xosdigital #Vegas7v7. @GHowardXOS pic.twitter.com/mUKXC5cOEx— Gaizka Crowley (@Gaizka_XOS) 20. marts 2014

    #nextdawkins

    • D3Center

      I honestly hope for his sake that if he goes pro he doesn’t end up in Philly

  • Dragon_Eagle

    With Braman and Maragos signed, would the Eagles also look at Eric Weems if he’s cut by the Bears?

    • GermanEagle

      If he’s a special teamer I am not interested. Who cares about special teams in 3 years time anyway?!

  • SteveH

    For those following the Desean saga(tm) according to BLG the Jets, Raiders and Panthers have all inquired about the peanuted one. That means that he’s been linked to the Pats, Niners, Jets, Raiders and Panthers. Hopefully if there’s a little competition it will jack up his price a bit.

    • Mitchell

      With that many teams potentially interested, I doubt we could only get a 3rd for DeSean. It just doesn’t seem possible.

      • SteveH

        It was hard to wrap my head around it at first but I can see where teams might be reluctant to spend too much for him. He’s definitely not going to be an elite player in all schemes, he has a pretty big contract, and then there are the dreaded “character concerns”. I would think a team like Oakland, who traditionally loves speed players, would be willing to take him on since their salary cap situation is such a joke anyhow.

        Edit: I should add Carolina actually might make the most sense of all if it weren’t for their salary cap situation. Cam Newton is a big armed QB who can extend the play, a perfect fit for what Desean does, plus they have one of the worst WR corps in the league as it stands right now.

        • Baloophi

          To add to your point about Carolina, I think it would also have to be a team that feels like it’s close to a championship run… whether that’s true or not.

          Oakland doesn’t make sense to me because they’re obviously not a player away, and draft picks should be extra important to them. Unfortunately, with Reggie McKenzie at the helm, these Raiders aren’t the comedy show we used to count on for belly-laughs during the off-season. Now it’s just Snyder, Jerry Jones, and Jason La Canfora.

          The Jets could be a fit in that they’re just delusional enough to think they’re a player away – OR – are really at the end of their Rex Ryan rope and think one move will finally put him over the top. In other words, “let’s give him some offensive talent and see what happens,” (if they sign Vick that might support the theory).

          I don’t see Jackson and Harbaugh chest-bumping on the San Francisco sidelines, though that would certainly make the Niners extra difficult to defend. It’s possible they see their only competition as Seattle and that secondary (and they might be correct), and therefore might think they’re just one piece away. We’ve got Tom Gamble as a conduit, but given that he helped build that team through the draft, I wonder if they’d part with a valuable enough pick to make it worth it.

          New England… maybe. Seems like we hear two, conflicting things about Belichick: either “he’s too smart to take bad character guys,” or “he’s the only coach who knows how to handle bad character guys.” Seems like Aaron Hernandez would quickly dismiss both claims, but what do I know? I’d be more wary of Belichick as GM – I don’t see him making an attractive offer, even if he saw a role for D-Jax in his offense.

          Even though these teams may have cap, depth chart, or other reasons to avoid Jackson, they might think they’re “one player away” (whether that’s delusional or not is another discussion):
          – Cincinnati
          – Indianapolis
          – Atlanta
          – K.C.
          – San Diego

          Again, we haven’t heard anything about them being interested – and maybe they never would be – but they MIGHT feel justified in forking over a draft pick(s) in a talented draft to strengthen their team.

          Let me add that the team that makes the most sense is the team that currently pays Jackson, but making that argument is just boring.

  • Frencheaglesfan

    The only way I accept a trade is, Raiders first for Desean, If clowney or Mack are gone, trade down to 10-12 for a 2nd next year or a 3rd this year, draft evans. Impossible you may say, but this is for me the price of a top 10 WR in the whole NFL. The story about the 3rd pick was from last year when we finsihed 4-12, not from this year where desean was amazing.

    • mksp

      Literally no one cares under what circumstances you accept the trade. It is irrelevant. And your scenario is entirely unrealistic.

      • Frencheaglesfan

        if you think that way, we have no reason to exist as fan commenting about a profesionnal organisation. unrealistic sure. good way to you sir

        • Flyin

          I like it.

    • Mac

      I care :)

      • Baloophi

        Good on you, sir…

      • Flyin

        Subconsciously… you will not sleep until the deal is done.

  • GermanEagle

    ***BREAKING NEWS***

    The Philadelphia Eagles trade DeSean straight up for Jackson. While the exact compensation is not yet known, it is believed that at least one Coop of Geez & Mac(lin) was involved.
    Unhappy with his recent lack of rap success, DeSean Jackson is reunited with his former teammates and his best buddy Bicknell (not BoB the rapper though).
    At the age of 27 DeSean is a perfect fit in Chippah’s offense, who was caught on camera at his 247th college pro day he attended:
    “Ya’ll knaw, we just wanted 2 play wit da man DeSean. It’s all good in da hood now, aight?!”
    DeSean Jackson was not available to the media, but several journalists on twitter know better anyway..

    Go Eagles!

  • barneygoogle

    Can’t we trade DeSean Jackson for a 3rd round pick– and just ship the other team DeMaris Johnson in Jackson’s uniform?