Cheating on Luke

Posted: February 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 106 Comments »

I have wanted Luke Kuechly to be an Eagle since about October.  It is with great pain and anguish that I must admit I’ve been cheating on him.  I have a wandering eye.  I’m sorry, Luke.  Please forgive me…

As I’ve written recently, I think the most likely course of action is that the Eagles go after a MLB in free agency.  I’m getting a lot of questions about who I want.  I’m still watching tape.  I want to give you an informed opinion, not just some stats and choosing a guy based on media reputation.  I will say that so far Curtis Lofton is easily my favorite MLB.  When I have done enough study, I’ll post some rankings.

I have looked at some SAM LBs in free agency, but the pickings are slim.  I would love to find someone that fits us so we could sign him and then draft Luke.

Even if the Eagles do go that route (sign a SAM and address MLB in the draft), we have to be prepared for the possibility that Luke could be taken before pick 15.  I don’t think that is likely, but it is possible.   Should the Eagles want to address MLB in the draft, they need fall back options behind Mr. Kuechly.

I’m happy to say that there are some players of interest.  Mychal Kendricks from Cal might be a major prospect if he was a step faster.  He was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.  Kendricks lists at 6’0, 240.  He has some real pop when he hits, whether that is a runner, receiver, or offensive lineman who happens to be in his way.  Cal moved him around so you can’t think of him as a standard MLB.  He “only” had 155 career solo tackles, but did have 13.5 sacks.  He was invited to the Senior Bowl, but had to pass while dealing with a shoulder injury.

The Eagles wouldn’t have him attack as much as Cal did, but Kendricks showed the ability to be patient and fill vs the run.  Good tackler.  Wraps up and puts his targets down.  Physical player who will take on blockers with his hands.  Hustles in pursuit.  Takes good angles.  Runs pretty well.  If he was just a bit faster, could be a 2nd round target.  As it is, will likely go 3rd or 4th.

James-Michael Johnson from Nevada is another interesting MLB prospect.  He is 6’1, 249.  JMJ, as I call him, has the build of a thumper, but he’s surprisingly athletic.  Watch him in his bowl game and you see a guy that has the range to make tackles all over the field, is tough vs inside runs, and has some playmaking ability.  I thought he had a good showing at the Senior Bowl.  I’m curious to find out just how athletic he is at the Combine.  I see him going in the 3rd or 4th round.

Getting Luke is still my primary goal (and then some) if the Eagles do address MLB in the draft, but it is good to know there are some other fish in the sea in case things go awry.

* * * * *

Sam is the definite Cap expert here.  I know just enough to be dangerous.  It sounds like the Eagles will have about $23M to spend.  That sounds like a lot, but it will go quickly when you factor in draft picks, either keeping DeSean or signing his replacement, and adding a LB in free agency.

The Eagles can do what they want.  The overall lineup is in good shape.  After dealing with WR and LB, most of the issues are with depth.  Who’s the backup RB?  Backup QB?  And so on.

* * * * *

Matt Alkire wrote a WR post over at ScoutsNotebook.  I do admit to being fascinated by the thought of adding Kendall Wright and/or Justin Blackmon.  The key question is this…at what point are you investing too much at WR?  Maclin is a 1st round pick.  The team will likely spend money on Jackson or a replacement.  Can you add another WR in the 1st?  Real interesting question.

106 Comments on “Cheating on Luke”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 12:47 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Personally, i am all for bringing in some new guys on offense. i think that with an offense that was event competent in the 4th quarter last season would have won us a few games. (i know, i know, its not ALL on the O, but it certainly isnt all on the D, either).

    Yes, LB was downright awful last year, but i dont think that means that we need to bring in 3 new LBs or spend our first day draft picking the best LBs available.

    my offseason priorities for the team:
    1) less turnovers by the offense
    2) more consistent production from offense (see #1)
    3) better tackling by the defense
    4) better LBs (see #3)

    if they get this done by bringing in a LB, thats great, but it would still leave me worried about the offense. granted, i’m not entirely sure what really would make me feel better about the offense. less mental mistakes? how do we know when that has been taken care of? the end of next season? haha

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 3:00 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    The offensive focus should be on the players we already have, but it is always smart to add talent if the right pieces are available. As you say, the key is turnovers and we won’t know about that until we see the guys on the field.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 10:18 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Lets assume we extend DeSean or use the $7M(?) we have budgeted to replace him with a veteran FA if he’s unreasonable. We still need a better red zone threat and this draft is deep at WR. If you can get a Sanu (I’d offer 46 and 114 to get to 40) you get a very deep, talented and young WR corps. In theory Sanu starts out as #4 but you hope he moves into #3 by year end. With Jackson, Maclin, Sanu, Avant and Cooper you are set for years. Extend Mathis and get a RB with the 3rd, say Doug Martin (if he falls past Denver at 57 he could fall to 70, I’d package 77 and the 5th to move up) . With Martin behind Shady and Sanu behind Jackson/McCoy they won’t need to draft offensive skill for 3 years. It’s not that these are dire needs but you take what the draft gives you and these two are potential stars and real value at 40 and 70. You still have 15, 51, 99 and Asante as a chip. He’s still a top cover corner and should bring a 3rd. Detroit offered a 2nd last year. Asante our 99th and 5th rounder equates to a 3rd, 74. We’d end up with 15, 51 and 54 for Defense if Detroit accepts Asante, 99 and 143. They get a ball hawk Cb to fill a desperate need for 3 to 5 years and if they package 99 and 143 they get up to 90, a late 3rd. Get it right and it’s at least solid depth if not a starting G or S or LB.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 12:17 AM on February 17th, 2012:

    detroit never offered a second. it was speculated on this site that they may offer a second. im sure if they did before the trade deadline this past year the eagles would have pulled the trigger

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 8:17 AM on February 17th, 2012:

    We’ll never know but he was worth a 2nd last year and Detroit had a serious need. I’d bet had they known their offense was going to be that good and they’d get into the playoffs they’d absolutely have done the trade. I’m not his biggest fan but he’s a playmaker and an excellent cover guy coming off 7 interceptions in 2010. The problem with Madden is, everything you know is wrong.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 11:03 PM on February 17th, 2012:

    the madden was a complete sarcastic joke. i thought you would have realized that.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 8:00 AM on February 18th, 2012:

    I did. It was well delivered and I got a chuckle. Which is why i felt it earned acknowledgment in the form of an equally sarcastic response.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 7:16 PM on February 19th, 2012:

    lol k

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 3:00 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    The offensive focus should be on the players we already have, but it is always smart to add talent if the right pieces are available. As you say, the key is turnovers and we won’t know about that until we see the guys on the field.

  10. 10 Zachary said at 1:03 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I don’t think you can ever invest enough on offense in this day and age. It’s a passing league, a high scoring league. Getting back to having a “great” offense should be our primary goal. If that’s something they can fix in house – fine….but I don’t believe that.

    I believe we need to re-up or replace DeSean

    I believe we need to replace Avant

    and I think we could use a better 2nd TE.

  11. 11 george said at 1:29 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Replace Avant?!? Seriously?? I want to hear this reasoning. He is quite possibly one of the best 3rd down receivers in the league. If we ignore the Skins game 2 seasons ago (where he dropped the touchdown to win the game even though it was a jump ball) and if we excuse his 2 fumbles in Buffalo this past season, he’s been a stud. He does what he is told and he does it well.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 1:45 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    It’s not a knock on Avant. The guy has hands for sure and if possible should be retained. But we do need a better slot receiver. It’s a key part of the new nfl offense and we need a fast route runner who can get YAC. Sorry to beat a dead horse but a Welker/Cruz type. A great slot receiver would be invaluable to Vick and the offense.

  13. 13 Zachary said at 1:52 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    The Eagles should replace Avant. I like Avant, I love watching what he’s done. But lets face it – the guy can be covered by a LB. He in no way creates match-up problems. His speed destroys his values and he doesn’t have Wes Welkers quicks to make up for it.

    I’m not arguing the guy has had value on this team for a long time, but I think the NFL has changed in the last 3-4 years. I think you need as many match-up issues as you can get….and Avant doesn’t have:


    Sorry, I’ll trade his hands everyday of the week for someone who is better in those three areas. Make teams match-up with us.

  14. 14 Zachary said at 2:07 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    To further explain my wanting to replace Avant:

    In the last five years – 78 games – he has 9 TD’s. So he’s not a threat to put points on the board.

    In 17 of those 78 games he’s only had 1 reception. In a 1 game, 0.

    In 4 of his last five years – his long reception was 35 yards of less.

    Other teams have guys like
    James Jones – has been the Packers 4th WR much of his career….
    74 games played – 20 TD’s. Longs of 79, 74, 66, and 70 in 4 of the five years. He’s a guy a defense has to account for. Sure he doesn’t have Avant’s hands, but I’d take the extra 66 points he produced in that span.

    Lance Moore – 73 games – 30 TD’s – Long receptions of 70 & 80 yards

    Aaron Hernandez – a TE – 13 TD’s in 28 games. Long receptions of 46 in both years.

    These are not super stars (well Heranndez could become one), but these are why offenses like the Patriots and Saints are more successful in my mind (well other than the fact that they also have better QB’s). They have match-up issues.

  15. 15 Eric Weaver said at 2:46 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    It also helps what QB you have throwing to you.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 7:04 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Yeah, makes you wonder what Avant could be capable of if he was the 3rd receiving option for Rogers, Brees or Brady…

  17. 17 Zachary said at 9:59 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    I’m not ignoring the QB factor, but watch Avant – As JR091 says – he’s slow. He just doesn’t get the seperation.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 1:54 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Avant has hands yes…but is slow as tar. He doesn’t create a matchup problem at all. Vicotr Cruz can catch the ball too, but he also creates seperation and turns 15 yard catches into 80 yard TDS. Avant couldnt outrun most LB’s. I am not saying I don’t like Jason, he is a model player, but look at Joe Adams real hard. He is a perfect slot recevier for us.

  19. 19 george said at 2:09 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    All points well taken. I just can’t help but see 90% of our 3rd down conversions are to Avant. Yes, that is an arbitrary number I pulled out of thin air but it seems like clock work. If it’s 3rd down, it’s going to Jason.

    I guess my shock came from wanting to get rid of someone with reliable hands. Especially what we went through with Djax this season.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 3:03 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    We don’t “need” to replace Avant. I’m all for upgrading the spot, but qualifying that as a need is going a bit far. I do think the time has come to bring in someone to challenge him for the spot as the #3 WR. I would love Avant as the #4 guy. He is a terrific role player.

  21. 21 Jack Waggoner said at 8:34 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I’m good with Avant at 3WR

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 9:33 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I swear we had this exact exchange on another thread. Maybe it was on BGN.

    Replacing Avant is a want, not a need. It’s very far down the list of priorities, and also something that might not happen right away, if we did grab a slot WR prospect.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 12:03 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    “and I think we could use a better 2nd TE.”

    I think they should use the second TE they have. Harbor came in as raw, but he blocked well on that smash play (or whatever they call it) this year, and he’s shown flashes in the passing game.

    Why start back at square one with a rookie when you can utilize a talented third-year guy more?

    Someone on BGN said Jermichael Finley would be available. Now there’s a guy I’d take over Harbor in a heartbeat.

    Otherwise I think we have a guy we can use, but with McCoy, Maclin, Jackson, Celek< Avant and running Vick, where are the touches?

  24. 24 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:25 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    The big question is weather adding Kendricks, JMJ or someone else not named Kuechly will be an upgrade over Chaney or Matthews? I have my doubts!

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 3:04 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I think Kendricks would be an upgrade. JMJ is more of a maybe.

  26. 26 James Coe said at 7:24 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    You say JMJ is ‘surprisingly athletic’…Do you think he’s athletic enough to play SAM?

    He’s got the size – if he can cover too, he could be worth shifting across, right?

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 9:33 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Stop calling him JMJ. That is reserved for the one and only Jam Master Jay of Run DMC fame. R.I.P.

  28. 28 James Coe said at 11:21 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Haha fair point… Tommy started it, blame him! :-p

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 11:48 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    He did start it. I tried to think of who I could use as an equivalent to speak Tommy’s language, but I couldn’t name anyone in Slayer.

  30. 30 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:28 PM on February 15th, 2012:


    If somehow Mohamed Sanu slides to one of our 2nd round picks, should we add him, and play him in the slot? Could he do that, or would it be a waste of his talents? Is there only room for two starting outside receivers, or is it with WRs as with CBs, that there is actually three starters?

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 3:05 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I’m a big fan of Sanu’s. Could be a good slot receiver and is athletic enough to start on the outside. He’s the kind of player I’d like added (size and toughness).

  32. 32 Anders Jensen said at 3:25 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    He will not slide, fans outside of the tri-state area might not know him, but teams will and a guy with his size and toughness will be taken late 1st, early 2nd

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 10:24 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    If SF passes in the 1st he could fall to Cleveland but they could go WR at 22 in in FA. I’d be prepared to offer 46 and 114 which according to the charts is worth a 40 to get him. He adds a red zone threat and pushes both Jackson and Maclin outside eventually. They’d be set for 5 years.

  34. 34 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:29 PM on February 15th, 2012:


    How do you like DE Malik Jackson from Tennessee and OT/OG Mitchell Schwartz from Cal? They are two sleepers for me…

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 3:07 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Don’t like him for us. Played mostly DT at Tennessee, but looked more natural at DE. Also looked better at DE at the Senior Bowl. Some team looking for a big LDE will like him. Could play 3-4 DE in a 1-gap system. Might be good fit there.

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 1:30 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Hey T
    Rumor has it that Arizona and Dallas are both looking to upgrade at LB.any chance they take LK40 ?….should we trade up? JJ might try to stick it to us since we stole Nmamdi

  37. 37 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:41 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    They both play a 3-4 and therefore don’t play as high a value on ILBs as teams do playing a 4-3. That said, anything is possible.

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 1:55 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Dallas needs CB’s way more than LB’s, Arizona needs an OT more than anything….keeping their QB upright should be priority one for them.

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 3:08 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Jeppe and JR covered it. Not a likely move, but you never know. That’s what makes counting on Luke in the draft so tricky.

  40. 40 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:40 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Looking at my draft-board, my current dream would something like this:

    1st – LB Luke Kuechly
    2nd – WR Mohamed Sanu
    2nd – CB Brandon Boykin
    3rd – SLB Keenan Robinson
    3rd (Asante) – DE Cam Johnson
    4th – WR Ryan Broyles
    4th (Tamba) – OT/G Brandon Washington

    Then swoop up DE Kentrell Lockett, LB Demario Davis, DT Derek Wolfe and FB Halahuni with our late-rounders…

    One can dream, right?

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 2:00 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I would rather go the FA route for a MLB, there is no promise Luke will be a stud in year one, we need a captain of the LB’s now, would rather have Hawethorn or Lofton in the middle. If we keep Desean, trade back from 15 and take Zack Brown for WLB. Take Joe Adam’s and Boykin in the 2nd, two 3rds I completely agree with you. After that…I don’t care…lol Lb’s could be Zack Brown/FA/Robinson…. 2nd string LB’s Rolle/Matthews/Chaney/Clayton

    Of course that all changes if they trade Desean. Then Kendall Wright at 15, or trade back for Sanu. Rolle/FA/Robinson.

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 9:44 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I thought Rolle was our best LB and really coming on at WIL. Given Juan’s statement SAM has become a LB/S hybrid Brown might still make sense but at SAM. If you sign DeSean you don’t need an Adams. They’ll need a red zone threat which is to say 6-2 or better. I’d go after Sanu if he fell past Cleveland and if he’s gone someone like Juron Criner.

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 3:11 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Good stuff. I wonder if Derek Wolfe lasts that long. I could see him going as early as the 3rd. Big frame. Productive. I expect a solid showing at the Combine. Might have some character questions. Not sure about that.

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 4:04 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Suspect D Davis will rise into the 3rd or 4th rounds after the Combine as well.

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 9:29 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Nice effort. Many have Sanu going in the bottom of the 1st or early 2nd. If he falls to 40 I’d like to package our 46 and 114 to move up and grab him. I would not take Boykin at 51 and instead would try a BPA among LB, DE or G/T and would be willing to package a 5th or 6th to jump a few spots. I might also consider a RB in the 3rd for depth behind shady. As it is this gets Kuechly at MLB and Robinson a SAM each pushed by Chaney with Rolle at WIL. That gives then 4 young guys with a ton of positional flexibility. I think despite his size Rolle could play MLB in a pinch and Chaney is fast enough for WIL. I’d not write off Mathews or Clayton either. The coaches set Matthews up to fail. He might not be good enough but we don’t know that yet. Sanu sets up for an extremely talented WR group with a better red zone threat and the others are great depth picks. The Eagles get this offseason rght they can set themselves up for a long time.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 2:17 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Tommy – keeping an eye on the enemy. Good website and material to keep an eye on what the Giants fans are saying.

    Wasn’t nice, though true, that they say how “Reese proved he knew better than the Eagles GM” (at the end of the 2nd paragraph in the middle of the page under bold “MLB” section).

    “Linebacker is a position that requires a lot of side to side movement so the question is does Goff come back right away and play to the level he did before, I truly doubt that. Since he is a free agent I think the Giants should cut ties with him and move on. Do you want to pay a player who can’t play? The Giants don’t know if or when Goff will come back to play. I don’t think Reese will do that as evidenced by what happened with Steve Smith who had 102 catches. He was not signed and Reese proved he knew better than the Eagles GM who signed an injured player that never contributed to the team. With the cap space situation you cannot waste a dime, you must make every penny count for your roster. To tie up money in a player that has such a huge question mark would be imprudent.”

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 3:11 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I don’t know if Howie or Andy signed Steve Smith, but whoever did made a dumb mistake.

  48. 48 Anders Jensen said at 3:28 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    That article is just dump, no way did Reese know Cruz would be a good receiver, he only had 7 starts because, he was behind guys like Manningham and Hixon.

  49. 49 Anonymous said at 11:36 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    If you saw Cruz in ’10 preseason you’d think he was the best WR in the league; he looked even better then. Had injury and was on IR during the season.

    They didn’t talk about Cruz in article anyway. If you check out website you’ll see. The point was he was damaged goods and there was no point in signing a player who can’t play; especially for the crazy amount we paid.

  50. 50 Eric Weaver said at 2:26 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Drafting another potential starting MLB in the fourth round will not please the rabid fanbase.

  51. 51 Anonymous said at 2:34 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I don’t have a great understanding of the cap, but 23M seems like we should have plenty of space to make moves. First off, I may be wrong, but the costly contracts that went to early round picks has been reduced a lot with the new CBA and we shouldn’t have to use a ton of cap space on our rookies. If they resign Jackson and sign a top tier LB, that will be significant, but I think if we wanted to, we would still have a significant amount of space to make additional impact moves or extend some of the current guys on the roster. I am hoping they make an effort to do the latter at some point this offseason.

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 3:14 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    WR – $7M
    LB – $3M
    LG Evan Mathis – $3M
    picks $6M

    Adds up in a hurry. I could be off on those figures. Just ballparking things to give you an idea.

    As for draft picks…the CBA took out huge pay days from the top 10-12 players. Beyond that I don’t think things changed that much. Only high up rookies were paid really out of whack. Sam will correct me if I’m wrong. And always take his opinion when it comes to money.

  53. 53 Anonymous said at 3:25 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Tommy don’t 4get about Landri..aka superman.big al just got released by TB do we take a flyer on him…can Washnurn light a fire under this guy and get him back to probowl form..I mean just food for thought.

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 9:59 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Clearly nobody reads the day-old posts.

    The $23m is *before* Asante, Jamaal Jackson and any other players who are under contract next year are let go (Tapp? Jordan or other LB?). Assuming just those two go, the number is more like $32m, and neither of them need to be replaced.

    You need:
    DeSean/New WR
    Re-sign Evan Mathis
    Sign all rookies (incl. new SLB)
    Re-sign Landri, Dunlap (?)
    Backup QB, RB

    You might eat up a bunch of it early, but let’s say DeSean gets 10 and the new MLB gets 6. That’s still $16 million left over.

    I think there’s plenty of room to be creative.

  55. 55 Sam Lynch said at 3:22 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I agree, we have enough cap space (and flexibility) that there is no practical reason we can’t sign any deal this year for cap reasons. The only reason not to do a deal is that we don’t want to: we think it would be paying too much money for the value of the player we’d get. That isn’t a cap constraint, that is just responsible spending.

    So the argument can’t be that if we sign DeSean, we won’t have cap space for Maclin and Shady and a LB and other pieces we need. That’s just not true. We have lots of cap space now, and that will only get better in the future, especially as our aging players get cut/take pay cuts because, well, they are aging. The argument has to be that we don’t think DeSean is worth what he will get from another team. And that’s a fine reason.

    It probably will get turned into a “cap considerations” excuse, though, for PR reasons. It is the same rationale as when a friend of mine used to drop his daughter off at day care. His daughter used to cry when he’d try to leave. At some point, he set his watch alarm to beep at a certain time, and when it did, he’s say, “sorry kid, I’d love to stay, but the watch is beeping”. And she’d be fine it with it — how can you argue with a watch? She was too little to know that her dad had set the thing in the first place. In this case, NFL teams often point to the cap and say to their fans, sorry, I’d love to sign the guy, but the cap is tight.” And fans are fine with that — how can you argue with the cap? But they don’t remember that the team picked the players and contracts that are going to fit under the cap. It is ultimately about value for a financially well-run team, not about cost.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 10:01 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Love the watch analogy/story.

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 11:52 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Sam I read something at PE from Dave Spadero a couple days ago that I never heard of b4. He said something like no one can really say what the cap space is because it’s always changing & payments for players are paid at different times and always changeing or something. I couldn’t understand exactly what that meant. Thanks

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 11:59 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Sorry here’s the link, it’s under the Cap Room section and he says it changes every day. Kind of weird I thought.

  59. 59 Sam Lynch said at 10:06 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    Yeah, I don’t know what to say about that. Spuds knows some things pretty well … but the cap and the draft are two things that he doesn’t.

    The Eagles know exactly what their salary commitment is. It doesn’t change every day. It changes with every new contract they sign, obviously, but they know what their cap commitment is for 2012, 2013, 2014, and onwards. What they *don’t* know is what the level of the cap will be, actually. That is based on a league-wide revenue calculation, and that number may be changing daily as more precise data comes in to replace data that had been estimated previously. The final cap level is supposed to be announced this week, I think.

  60. 60 Anders Jensen said at 3:38 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    The money goes fast, you need around 9 mill for a WR (FA or tag on Jackson), Landri and Mathis will properly take around a combined 7. See now we are already 6 mill left, thats not enough to get a MLB and sign all draft picks. Ofcourse we can cut/trade JJ, Samuel and Justice for an extra 12 mill (that includes 4 mill in dead money)

    So the Eagles have more then enough if they do what people expect em to do an cut/trade JJ, Samuel and Justice.

  61. 61 Anonymous said at 4:05 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    As Tommy said, Sam is the guy that can really answer these things, but my understanding (which is admittedly limited) is that the contracts can be structured in such a way that they do not take up a huge amount of cap space. The franchise tag, if it remains that way will be significant in terms of cap space, but if it is changed into a long term contract or we trade/unfranchise DeSean and sign a FA, the money against the cap can be reduced to more manageable amounts. The same is true for the other contracts you mentioned.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they can go out and do anything they want with their cap space and sign every FA (nor would i want them to). It just seems that they should have enough space to make a few significant moves (including DeSean) if they so choose to.

  62. 62 Anonymous said at 3:16 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Tommy: I don’t want to cause anarchy, and we’ll have a better idea of what Luke can do after the combine… But, in all reality does it make sense to spend a 15th overall draft pick on a two down LB?

  63. 63 Anonymous said at 3:28 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    The Nickel defense needs someone on the field who can play the run. You don’t want just cover guys. Teams are getting better and better at running from 3-WR sets. Just because Luke isn’t great in coverage doesn’t mean he must come off the field. You can have one cover LB in the Nickel, but one must have some size and be able to handle the run. Could be Luke.

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 4:02 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    It’s also why you don’t want someone like DRC or Asante in the slot.
    Your nickel CB is going to be closer to a running play than the outside CBs and has to contribute in run support, mighty mite Hanson has always done a decent job, though Rod Hood was like having a 3rd safety on the field.

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 10:36 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    What Luke brings to the table as his #1 asset are his brains and that’s especially valuable in a 3rd and long situation when the offense might sell pass but run a delay, a draw or a screen. You want a guy who can read and not bite on every fake. Moreover it’s not like he sucks at coverage. You don’t want him covering Reggie Bush down the middle but there isn’t a MLB on the planet doing that well. Since he will be the guy calling coverages and there will be 5 or 6 DBs on the field that flaw s/b minimal.

  66. 66 Anders Jensen said at 3:20 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    If Wright is there close to pick 15 or if Blackmon begins to slide abit (around the 6th spot) and we have already fixed the MLB spot in FA, I say we make a move.
    It also depends on what we do in FA, do we keep Jackson? If we do, did we another FA WRs aswell?

  67. 67 Anonymous said at 3:27 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    $23M could rise to $30M if they trade Asante.
    But Landri and Mathis will probably cost $6M, draft picks another $5M
    So $19M, franchise Desean and you’re down to $10M until you trade him.
    That means one major FA, one minor FA and some SFA types.

    Lofton would be tough, I suspect Atlanta tags him, wants the franchise fee for LBs?
    And I’m not sure what you pay a solid but not elite MLB, Poz’s $7M a year?

    Avant is a solid role player, however he’s made too many mistakes the last couple years in big situations (2 TD drops in the end zone in 2010, the big play in 2011) – since his strongest point is his hands, coming up small in big situations is a serious problem.

    Eagles could use a dynamic slot receiver, McCoy’s been a disappointment out of the backfield, the RB screen was absent last year, and that hurts your QB, you want a certain number of “cheap yards” off short passes to playmakers, Celek produced but DeSean was MIA last year.

  68. 68 Anonymous said at 10:05 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    LeSean had 78 catches last year, 48 this year.
    He had 207 carries last year, 273 this year.
    Played 15 games both seasons.

    That seems to indicate they threw to him less and ran him more, not that he is an incapable receiver.

  69. 69 Anonymous said at 3:55 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    How much cap space did the Eagles have heading into last year?

    The Eagles may have to sit on their hands for some positions this year and address them next year. Absolutes this year are Evan Mathis, a FA MLB or use a high pick on MLB, and also a high pick on OLB. (FA class for OLB sucks.)

    Landri and Desean are secondary issues. If they keep desean great, if they release him fine. There are MANY options this year at WR via the draft or FA. Landri, I would love to have back and he played his way into a contract somewhere if it wasn’t here.

    Oline is fine, (I remember Banner saying Laurie hates dead money, so I think Winston is back as a BU tackle which I am fine with and plus King may leave)

    DE and DT are in good shape, enough to get through the year with no major moves or upgrades. Laws would be the one to leave if anything, and I would love to get Jason Jones to replace him, but he may be too expensive.

    Safety and Corner are okay…well corner is good on the outside, but slot may need an upgrade, but Joselio isnt a slouch. SS and FS need evaluated, but LB’s are more of a concern. I really think improved LB’s will help the safety group out a lot.

    Bottom line is, Joe Banner is very good at what he does. If anyone can squeeze every penny out of FA its him.

  70. 70 Anonymous said at 4:01 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Jones won’t be expensive, he flopped as a DE (lacks the speed around the edge) and is too small to play DT for most teams, who would be interested in a 275 lb DT other than the Eagles (Indy has changed their defense).

  71. 71 Anonymous said at 4:41 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    If Laws leaves, Thornton is still a maybe, No promise Landri is resigned, and Patterson just had head surgery Jones might be nice insurance. Jenkins/Patterson/Dixon/Jones/Thortonor Landri.

  72. 72 Anonymous said at 10:49 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Patterson’s surgery makes it more likely he’s back. He’s also coming off a good year. With Dixon returning and Landri doing so well they’re deep at DT. Laws is hardly a star but he’s better than given credit and he’s cheap insurance. Landri turns 29 this Sept and at 6-2, 290 is very scheme dependent for a DT. He’s too small for NT and most prefer DTs on the other side of 310. He wasn’t on a team when the Eagles brought him back. He’s not going to be expensive and both sides wold probably like a 3-yr deal. I don’t think there’s any question they bring back Jenkins. The wild card for me is Dixon who did not have a good start under a new coach. It seems every 2010 rookie got off to a rotten start so the off-season might really have been an issue or this scheme doesn’t suit him. But Dixon was getting major praise during the 2010 season with periodic reference to all-pro potential and not from Eagle groupies. With Patterson, Jenkins, Landri, Dixon, Laws and Thorton DT simply isn’t a need and it won’t be in 2013 either.

  73. 73 Anonymous said at 12:13 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    Steve Spadaro at PE mentioned Wednesday that Washburn and the Eagles may look at Haynesworth too. We got to many DT’s hopefully we could trade some.

  74. 74 Anonymous said at 9:33 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    Jenkins is the anti-albert. Haynesworth is not the player of even two years ago and he’s a risk. If this were a position of need maybe. They have to find a spot for Dixon who is the same player with a lot more upside and less risk. Jenkins is better and a leader.

  75. 75 Anonymous said at 10:55 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I very strongly agree with this … no comment on the Banner love at the end, I like him fine, but would never type that. lol

    That’s basically the plan as I see it. DeSean is the biggest variable, but Mathis and MLB/OLB are the major needs.

    I’m okay with Justice and Tapp staying unless we absolutely need their money for something else.

  76. 76 Anonymous said at 10:59 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Winston isn’t back unless he’s healthy and it won’t be for the listed contract amount. He took a cut last year and almost certainly would again. Dunlap was their 1st guy off the bench at LT, RT and LG. They’ll try to keep him but if he thinks he can start at LT in the NFL he’d be crazy to stay. Agree completely with Mathis and the LBs. While Mathis turns 31 in November he’s in terrific shape and hasn’t played a ton. If he can stay healthy there’s no reason to think he can’t maintain this level for 3 more full seasons, with a 4th not unreasonable. This OL has a chance to be special and stay together as a unit those 4 seasons.

  77. 77 Anonymous said at 12:26 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    I hope you’re right about getting rid of Winston and keeping Dunlap but on PE they make it sound like Dunlap’s leaveimg and Winston’s staying.

  78. 78 Anonymous said at 9:20 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    Look at the facts. Dunlap was the 1st sub off the bench at LT, RT and LG. Mathis missed a game and they put Dunlap in. He’s a Mudd guy. But what do you do if you are him? If you think you can play LT in the NFL and you can’t even start at RT for the Eagles you owe it to your self to move on. Annual income for a starting LT has to be $4M higher than for back up. That’s a lot of cash. Justice is way out of line for a backup and he took a reduction last year. They like him. If his knee isn’t near 100% he’s probably done. I don’t know what reasonable is for a backup tackle but that’s all he’s getting anywhere. Logically, if he can play and especially if Dunlap leaves it makes sense to offer him $2M (?), the going rate, for at least a year. Since he’s under contract it’s probably a repeat of last year which is just a change to the top line number taking it from $4.6M (near there) to the going rate. It’s not at all impossible Mudd likes this new kid they added and grabs a 5th rounder. Look what he did at C. He’s not at all afraid to go with rookies.

  79. 79 Anonymous said at 11:31 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    There would appear to be a few MLB candidates such as Lofton, Tulloch and Hawthorne but I find myself leaning toward Kuechly or Hightower if he can get close to a 4.60 40 to prove he has the sideline range. He’s a stud but I fear a tendency to get to 270. My problem with Vets are LBs seems to be very scheme dependent WhileTulloch is savvy with the wide-9 I don’t think Juan plays it the same way. I also think the stars are aligned to get very young. Kuechly and Hightower if they have the speed seem to be excellent choices for MLB. I love the idea of adding two LB talents this draft, they’re there, to go with Rolle and Chaney. I thought Rolle got better each game and will be VG. I was very disappointed with Chaney after a VG rookie season. I thought he was our best defensive player against GB in the playoffs in 2010. It seems every one of our 2010 draft picks got off to a rotten start this year. Chaney was bounced around and he did come on. He’s big and athletic enough to play MLB and SAM and fast enough for WIL. He’ll force Kuechly and Rolle to play well to keep their jobs and compete with the 2nd LB drafted for the SAM spot. “IF” they get it right that’s 4 young LB who should be around for quite a while. Jamar did not have a god start tackling either. Kuechly and Hightower are excellent wrapup tacklers. Mathews got off to a bad start but could sue his coaches for malfeasance and win. He might not be any good but we don’t know that yet. I think he and Clayton can be solid subs and I also like Jordan as a special teams star and sub at 3 positions. I don’t think they keep 7 so that requires they all fight for their jobs. While we can’t put too much into the last 4 games they were pro teams and the stats over a full season are legit. They were 8th on yards and 10th on points given up and that’s with a mess at LB and CB and S for the 1st 8 games or so. They solve MLB and SLB with Rolle coached up and Allen healthy this D could take a major jump and stay good for years. Asomugha, Jenkins and babin aren’t kids but they have at least two full years left. If Graham and Dixon come back there’s no reason for any DL to take more than 65% of the snaps. I believe DRC was misplaced in the slot and can be a fine LCB. With Marsh getting groomed behind he and Nnamdi they s/b solid at CB for a while. People forget he was expected to need extra time having come to CB from RB in college. He was getting rave reviews in camp as the most talented of the draft picks and a very smooth athlete. This draft is a major opportunity to set the table for a top defense for many years.

  80. 80 Anonymous said at 12:25 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    Good comment. I especially liked: “Mathews got off to a bad start but could sue his coaches for malfeasance and win.”

  81. 81 Matthew Butch said at 4:11 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    re: the $23M in cap space:

    Don’t forget about McCoy. They Eagles should be thinking about signing him to a long term deal.

  82. 82 Anonymous said at 10:08 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    McCoy and DRC. But I believe they can sign the new extensions at a certain point midseason, and the deals don’t count against next year’s cap.

    So while you’d like to get them both extended, it doesn’t *have* to be done in 2012.

  83. 83 Anonymous said at 12:47 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    I would sign DRC ASAP since he might not be worth useing the franchise tag on next yr if they can’t get something done in the middle of the season, it won’t take up as much space as Shady(if we have to wait to next yr we could put the franchise tag on and quickly work out a deal next off season), we really need to sign him to long-term contract and I’d hate to have the Kolb trade net nothing in return if he leaves next yr.

  84. 84 Eric Weaver said at 4:17 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    What’s the course of action if Mathis isn’t re-signed? 3rd or 4th round guard? First round tackle and move Todd back to LG?

  85. 85 Anonymous said at 4:30 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Mathis was the best guard in football last year ,fits the scheme perfectly…and wants to be here.Not signing him would be the DUMBness mistake by the FO.

  86. 86 Anders Jensen said at 5:29 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    If the unthinkable happens, Todd back to LG and draft an OT that fits Mudds scheme, but Mathis have said he likes to stay and the only reason we havnt seen a deal yet is because of the new CBA.

  87. 87 Anonymous said at 10:09 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    He’s coming back.

    Otherwise you’re looking at Justice, Dunlap or a rookie starting.

  88. 88 Anonymous said at 11:42 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Mudd has a history of taking mid to late rounders and even UDFAs and developing them. He’s a bit of an odd duck in l preferring agility to size. He’d never draft a 330 lb Guard or Tackle unless they were 6-9 but he’s not big on tall either. Peters is an exception for him but then Peters moves like a 300lb tackle. Those lighter players generally fall. The stars are aligned for him to stay. He fits perfectly. Both the scheme and personality. While he was excellent this only the 2nd year he’s played 15 games. At 6-5, 302 he’s not the beefy guy many prefer. This is probably his only and last shot at a nice contract but the Eagles aren’t stingy at OL. They want him. He wants them. Unless someone else comes in big they’ll work it out.

  89. 89 Anonymous said at 12:17 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    I’m wondering if we draft a few more “Mudd guys” in the later rounds. How many years do we think Mudd stays? If they’re developmental, and we’re drafting guys to play his exact system that no one else teaches, don’t we sorta need a commitment from him, or a sponge of an assistant who will take over when he re-retires?

  90. 90 Anonymous said at 12:55 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    Eugene Chung is currently learning everything he can from Mudd so let’s hope he can emulate Mudd’s scheme, technique, and teaching abilities and takeover as Mudd 2.0

  91. 91 Anonymous said at 3:24 AM on February 17th, 2012:

    sounds like a plan

  92. 92 Anonymous said at 1:07 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    There’s a really good T who was the only one who consistently dominated Coples in the Senior Bowl, Mitchell Schwartz from Cal, who we could probably get with our 2nd rd pick and move Todd back to LG. He played LT in college and RT in the Senior Bowl. Coples is probably a top 10 pick at DE.

  93. 93 Kammich said at 4:29 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I’ve been enamored with Kendall Wright for a little while now. I don’t think it would be the “smartest” move for us, based solely on need, but I certainly would NOT be disappointed if we got him at #15. I agree with the other posters… in this day and age, there is no such thing as investing TOO much in offense. The Patriots won a division title, earned a first round bye, and made it to the Super Bowl with perhaps the single worst defense in the modern era. Why? Offensive firepower. Now, having Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees helps your cause… but outside of Brady, who has won with hodgepodge receivers for nearly his entire career, we don’t really know just how good Rodgers and Brees would be if they didn’t have that ridiculous plethora of weapons.

    And you know what GB, NE and NO don’t have? They don’t have Shady McCoy. Shit, those teams don’t have much of a pure ground-game at all.

    That said… I’m still firmly in favor of putting our capital into the defense. I think we have enough firepower in place to continue to be a top-7 or 8 offense. We need to get back to playing mean, downhill defense. If there is not a great FA SAM out there, and we whiff on Curtis Lofton… I have no problem spending our first two picks on LBs. Hell, I wouldn’t object to our first three picks. I’m not opposed to spending considerable money to upgrade the depth at DT, DE or S. Do whatever it takes to field a competitive, consistent defense.

  94. 94 Anonymous said at 12:23 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    New Orleans doesn’t have one running back, but they have a very complementary running game. Nitpicking though: Shady is awesome.

    Also, GoodVick gives us something none of those teams have – insane running ability.

    Of course, EvilVick gives us something none of those guys have either.

  95. 95 Kammich said at 4:30 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    The Bucs, unsurprisingly, cut Albert Haynesworth today. PFT is asserting that we are the most likely landing spot. At 30 years old and coming off of his 3rd team in 8 months, it would certainly be a low-risk signing. The ceiling is that Washburn reignites a fire under his ass and we get a good rotational player. I’m just not sure Fat Albert cares enough to even try anymore.

  96. 96 Anonymous said at 5:20 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I love the idea, especially if we do an incentive contract and make him easy to cut if need be.

  97. 97 Anonymous said at 10:15 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Right, we’re the only place in football that makes sense to take one last shot at him, because of Washburn. And frankly, I think it’s the only guy who can get anything out of him anymore. Philly don’t need him, Albert needs one last chance. If he wants it.

    Plax. Haynesworth. Moss.

    Feels like last offseason.

  98. 98 Eric Weaver said at 8:46 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    The Dream Team: Part Deux

  99. 99 Anonymous said at 4:37 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Great research Tommy!

  100. 100 Anonymous said at 6:19 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    Sort of off topic, but I saw your mock draft on the Eagles website and was curious to hear you expand on the idea of adding Dlineman with the first two picks. Since it is your mock draft, obviously you are not against the idea, but in both cases, you would be drafting players that would be backups/rotational guys, and in the case of a DE, likely at least two years away from starting (assuming Cole and Babin are still here and they don’t drop off quickly talent-wise). With the sense of urgency that AR should/likely feels, is that a route he is likely to take? I would think he would try to target positions that could provide more immediate impact if he can.

  101. 101 Anonymous said at 1:31 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    I agree. It’s become such an O passing game now a days and the Eagles seem to catch onto that from a D standpoint pileing up on Pro Bowl CB’s and spending money, but they just don’t get from the O side. They should be trying to give Vick some big targets like Pro Bowl TE’s & WR’s. If they moved around and drafted WR Floyd and the TE Fleener there’s no doubt we’d be getting TD’s consistently. And that seems to be more important than CB’s; just look at the teams that were in the SB. Great WR & TE’s rather than CB’s.

  102. 102 Anonymous said at 9:29 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    “I want to give you an informed opinion, not just some stats and choosing a guy based on media reputation.”

    This, good sir, is why we will always need your blog.

    Perhaps I can donate a VHS player to the cause? (Just read the bio on scouts notebook the other day)

  103. 103 Anonymous said at 12:21 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    Only if that shits a Betamax

  104. 104 Anonymous said at 9:34 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    I feel as if we need a LB of Asian decent.

    Preferably undrafted from an Ivy League school.

  105. 105 Anonymous said at 10:57 PM on February 15th, 2012:

    No, no, no. We need to think ahead to the next media darling. We’ve had a Jimmer, a Tebow, and now Super Lintendo. Where will the next big thing come from? We did just draft a Canadian fireman…

  106. 106 Anonymous said at 12:22 AM on February 16th, 2012:

    A satan worshiping MLB? The anti-Tebow himself?