Aggressive Shoppers?

Posted: March 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 57 Comments »

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.

* * * * *

Now for some interesting site news…

I have launched a new site called

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.


57 Comments on “Aggressive Shoppers?”

  1. 1 micksick said at 12:15 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Love jared Cook, i was pissed when we traded back to get ingram instead of just staying put and drafting cook.

    Love his speed and his leaping ability. And all that with his height make him a legit red zone weapon, but i do have some concern about his hands. does he have those natural football snatching mitts? idk. But id sure as hell like to find out

  2. 2 Iskar36 said at 12:16 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I love the compromise you decided on with the short/quick posts. I remember you asking advice about it a month or so ago and most of us were concerned that it would affect the conversations here, so I am glad you found a great way to make it work without disrupting the conversation here.

    One question I have about is whether or not you plan on letting anyone know when you put up one of your short posts there. Will you tweet each time you post? Will you link to the posts at the end of your long pieces here? Or do you plan on just posting there and we should just check periodically? I’m just curious.

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 12:34 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Best advice is to check there several times a day, but I’m trying to figure out the best way to publicize the posts. I’ll keep you guys as best informed as I can.

  4. 4 doublgee said at 3:20 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Tumblr maybe??

  5. 5 aceandson said at 10:08 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    You can install a syndication plug-in like Networked Blogs which automatically feeds new posts into Twitter and Facebook.

  6. 6 pjxii said at 7:42 PM on March 7th, 2013:

    I’m grateful for your understanding that not everyone is on Twitter, Tommy. I also am not on Facebook (probably the only person in America who does neither) so the new quick note blog instead of Tweets is appreciated.

  7. 7 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 12:17 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    My three players would be:
    NT Roy Miller – very good run defender
    CB Greg Toler – worked with Davis in Arizona
    SS Patrick Chung – played under Kelly in Oregon
    Those players would be relatively cheap, and should be adequate starters at least

  8. 8 westy36 said at 2:09 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I really agree on Chung. I’m surprised I haven’t seen many people mention him even though he was a pretty good player and would be a young and cheap option. I’d obviously give him a shorter deal to prove he can stay healthy, but there would be a lot of upside if he does.

  9. 9 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 12:24 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Wow another site. I am happy even before checking it out. Is there a logistic reason to making a new site rather than just making some twist to this site Tommy?
    Anyway this is great news, as you are my main source of Eagles news.

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 12:31 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Discussed this with readers 6 weeks ago. They didn’t want the format of Iggles Blitz to change.

  11. 11 Duracell said at 12:31 PM on March 7th, 2013:


    What about creating a side bar on this site that shows the ‘quick posts’ (possibly with comments disabled)? I know it’s a tough compromise either way, but I feel that the two site format is somewhat awkward. It’s just a suggestion. If you decide to stick with the two sites I’ll read them both, anyway.

  12. 12 ICDogg said at 12:27 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I don’t take for granted that they will be aggressive in FA… things have to fall into place for that to happen.

  13. 13 TommyLawlor said at 12:30 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    No. Too old for me.

  14. 14 Iskar36 said at 9:21 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    According to Les Bowen, the Eagles disagree.

    @LesBowen: Hearing the Eagles definitely have interest in OT Eric Winston, released by their old friend Andy Reid in Kansas City yesterday.

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 10:04 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    We’ll see. I like Winston, just not the age. If the Eagles have the right plan the move could make sense.

  16. 16 GermanEagle said at 10:21 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    What is wrong with his age?! It’s not like he’s a “skill player” when most players are on their decline when they hit their 30s. He will be 30 at the end of this year, so he realistically has 4 or 5 more good years in his tank as an OT.

  17. 17 austinfan said at 10:32 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    He’s a zone blocking OT, where athleticism is more important. I wouldn’t project 4-5 good years, I’d think more in terms of 3 years, at age 33 you start sweating.

    You pick him up because you’ve determined that Kelly and Herremans don’t fit Chip’s blocking scheme, and you want to plug in a veteran while you draft a raw athletic lineman like Tretter on Cornell to groom.

    He was paid $5.5M a year on his last 4 year deal (that lasted one year), so something in that range might work, but it also suggests that Kelly might not be in their plans and Herremans is out the door in 2014.

  18. 18 Iskar36 said at 10:58 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    My thoughts so far have been heavily leaning towards going into FA and targeting young, ascending players who will fit into Kelly’s scheme, so your initial comment that he is too old made me agree that he wasn’t a good target. Having said that, could the Eagles be interested in trying a different strategy altogether of going after several cheap, serviceable, aging veterans with short term contracts with the idea that these guys are not part of their future plans, but they can be serviceable while the Eagles focus on developing young talent through the draft the next few years?

    In other words, if building through the draft it really the best way to develop a team (something I think most of us agree with), what is the best way to ensure that strategy? One thing I would think is essential to that is that by the time you get to the draft, you have the freedom to target the BPA. In our case, we have a ton of holes throughout the team, and it is very unlikely we can fill all those holes through FA, particularly if we focus on getting the rare, young, ascending, quality players. Thus, most likely we will go into the draft still having important roster spots to fill, likely including several starting positions. That means that we simply have to hope that in the first 3 or so rounds of the draft, we have to not only move around carefully, but we have to hope that the BPA also matches a position of need. If we instead go into FA with the plan to sign a bunch of stop gap players, maybe that gives us a little more freedom in the draft.

    Just to be clear, I am not in support of that idea really, but it just was a thought when thinking about how to best tackle FA and the draft.

  19. 19 SteveH said at 12:39 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Question though, if Jared Cook is such a unique talent why are the Titans letting him hit the FA market? I’m not trying to be snarky or anything, I’m genuinely curious.

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 1:00 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    They wanted to franchise him…as a TE. Cook argued that since most of his snaps came from the slot, he should be considered a WR. That meant more money. The Titans didn’t want to pay that much. They considered the situation and knew that if this became a legal battle it would be ugly and complicated so the Titans are letting him hit the market.

    They want him back. Cook wants out. He wants to play with a QB that can throw and not Jake Locker.

  21. 21 austinfan said at 10:28 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    He played less than 500 snaps last year, so it tells you they also don’t see him as a true TE. Which means he’s not going to be what Chip wants at TE in his running game.

    So what do you pay for a big WR pretending to be a TE?
    Cook doesn’t strike me as a priority target if some teams are willing to pay real money for him.

  22. 22 limodriver27 said at 10:41 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I’ve also read recently that he wouldn’t mind going to the Rams to play for his old coach who has shown interest in him as we’ll.

  23. 23 austinfan said at 12:50 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I could see them signing a half dozen players not named Kruger or Goldson or Andre Smith.

    Given their roster, the need for competition in camp, and the desire not to have to draft for need, I think they want to add talent, but not bring in a high paid FA before they even know what will work – they want hungry guys who can be cut in camp if they don’t work out.

    Guys that would fit this MO:

    Kevin Huber P
    Dustin Keller TE (may be underpriced due to follies in NY)
    Tyronne Greene OG
    Lance Louis OG:
    Desmond Bryant DE
    Vance Walker DE
    Ricky Jean-Francois DE
    Sammie HIll DT
    Terrance Knighton DT
    Alan Branch DT (2 year deal)
    Ropati Pitoitua DE
    Victor Butler LB
    Dan Skuta LB
    Brad Jones LB
    Keenan Lewis CB
    Derek Cox CB
    Greg Toler CB
    Brady Fletcher CB
    Chris Clemons S
    Glover Quin S
    Corey Lynch S
    Patrick Chung S
    Rashad Johnson S
    Sherrod Martin S

  24. 24 Jack Bauer said at 1:31 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Completely off topic, but just got done NFL Network’s “A Football Life: Tom Landry” with plenty of cameos from one Tom Henderson. I grew up in Austin and was privy to Hollywood’s story, but also had the privilege of having him come to speak to my High School (It was all kinds of fun going to school in an Eagles Starter jacket in enemy territory). Excellent speaker, we jabbed back and forth for a few minutes afterwards about my Eagles jacket and how he wouldn’t want to chase down Donovan…..Good memory, but i can never get over the fact that Hollywood Henderson won the freaking lottery (literally won $28M Texas state lottery after leaving the NFL)….where is my coke filled inhaler?

  25. 25 Tumtum said at 10:08 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I don’t get how people are not more down on Louis. When he was serving as a revolving door for the Bears in the pass game and a road block in the run game Jay Cutlet and the NM were eating up his and the rest of the lines play. Now that he is a commodity for sale people get excited at the potential he brings to their team.

    I mean correct me if I’m wrong but Stacey Andrews was someone to get a ton more excited over than this guy?

    Not calling ya out OP, just noticed in general how he is getting looks from fans across the league.

  26. 26 goeagles55 said at 2:55 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Over the last few days, I’ve started thinking that the Eagles are going to bring back DRC. Going into the offseason with no starting cornerbacks in a very suspect secondary makes for some big holes to fill. In a contest between DRC and Nnamdi, I’m all for bringing back DRC. Nnamdi adds nothing to this team 2-3 years down the road. DRC showed some flashes early in the season and still has the potential to be a very good long term player.

    My bookmarks bar now consists of roughly half Eagles/NFL news. I will definitely be a regular reader of the new site.

    Tommy, can you verbally list your Eagles websites in 15 seconds or less?
    “I started on the Eagles boards, where I posted in Eagles Blog, then I started Eagles Blitz, followed by joining Iggles Blog. Derek had kids, so I made Iggles Blitz. Then I made Eagles Blog.

  27. 27 Mac said at 9:17 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I’m on board with bringing DRC back to be our “solid starter” at CB, on the condition that our new DBs coach wants to work with him and believes he can get him to play like the DRC we saw in the first 6 games last year.

  28. 28 Tumtum said at 10:15 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    IMVHO I think DRC is gone. I hope another NFC team over pays him. I love his potential but WOW does that guy get disinterested quick. I think he could really be the top CB in the league if he had the head for it.

    I feel like the birds are trying to string this Nnamdi thing out as long as they can. If/When they sign the CB from Miami they have been linked with I think they feel comfortable letting him walk.

    Draft/UDFA a couple young guys that can play outside or in the slot. Let Marsh and Boykin battle for the outside spot, hoping Marsh wins (possibly a draft pick). If that works out your CB situation could be at least mostly solved.

  29. 29 goeagles55 said at 10:24 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Like Mac said, the coaches would have to be confident they can get him to be the pro-bowl caliber player.

    I wonder if they have been planning on releasing Nnamdi right at the start of free agency to dilute the CB market. I’m sure some teams think they can get something out of him, and adding another CB to to free agency could slightly bring down DRC’s price.

  30. 30 ohitsdom said at 7:47 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Great, a site with multiple posts a day. As if I didn’t refresh igglesblitz enough… Thanks for all you do, Tommy!

  31. 31 Guest said at 8:48 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Chiefs released their right tackle. May still take Joekel first.

  32. 32 Ark87 said at 9:10 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Brandon Graham: emerging young leader?

    Not talking about pep talks or being a field general or any of that. But coming into last year, BG was written off by many as a bust. He came back from the off season in the best shape of his life and seems to have put his career back on track. Vinny Curry seems to have followed suit. He appears to be in great shape (though the article you linked says he’s still 270, should he be aiming for 260?). I hope they can be our OLB’s, these guys are driven. I believe they would have been our future at DE in a 4-3.

  33. 33 Mac said at 9:14 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Brilliant solution to your “problem”. I’ve been more than a little curious as to how you’d work it out, but didn’t feel like I had any suggestions worth mentioning in that post.

    Thanks for all your hard work Tommy! We love you!!! (in a strictly platonic brotherly sort of way)

  34. 34 TommyLawlor said at 10:07 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I love you too…in a strictly platonic brotherly sort of way. Just don’t tell Jimmy. He gets jealous no matter what.

  35. 35 Ark87 said at 11:47 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    yeah but Plato def. casually banged his students (all male) sooo, I don’t trust “platonic” love. Bromance, maybe.

  36. 36 P_P_K said at 2:34 PM on March 7th, 2013:

    “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

  37. 37 Mac said at 2:57 PM on March 7th, 2013:

    I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere before…lol

  38. 38 BlindChow said at 9:16 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    “Just think about what a distraction Chad Johnson was for Miami last year. His presence didn’t affect their final record…”

    His absence might have. He was cut during training camp, and for the first half of the year Miami had no receivers…

  39. 39 Cliff said at 9:29 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Crap. Now you’ve got me on the Jared Cook bandwagon. Dammit.

  40. 40 Kyle David Schneiderlochner said at 9:52 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Just a suggestion. You should put it on your blog roll so I check it out while I am rolling through them. Thanks.

  41. 41 TommyLawlor said at 10:07 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Will do.

  42. 42 bdbd20 said at 10:10 AM on March 7th, 2013:


    Any thoughts on Glenn Dorsey as a possible target for DE?

  43. 43 goeagles55 said at 10:13 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Okay…..anyone on the fence, can we cut Nnamdi now?

  44. 44 Justin Sengstock said at 11:37 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I do like the “The Eagles in free agency in 2011….got Nnamdi’d!”

  45. 45 austinfan said at 10:34 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    May I suggest you put the link to at the top of “my links” for easy access from this site. I have way too many links in my favorites.

  46. 46 P_P_K said at 2:33 PM on March 7th, 2013:

    Good idea.

  47. 47 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 11:04 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was reading a scouts takes on the TEs in this draft and he seemed to think there are 3 or 4 big, athletic TEs in this draft. Anyone rather them take a stab at one in the 3rd round than go after Cooke?

  48. 48 Mitchell said at 11:18 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I really like Travis Kelce actually

  49. 49 Mac said at 12:28 PM on March 7th, 2013:

    Agree, my concern is that he’ll be off the board at the point when we’re looking to add a TE.

  50. 50 hotcakes33 said at 11:19 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    Thanks, Tommy, for a great job! If I could, I would arrange for the PBR truck to drop off cases of brews for you whenever you started to get low. If you are ever in Charlotte, I’ll buy you one!

  51. 51 hotcakes33 said at 11:20 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    A beer, not a truck!

  52. 52 Mitchell said at 11:36 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    I saw today that the Seahawks picked up a 6’7″ tight end who only played basketball in college to a three year deal. Is there any reason we can’t find some massive tight end like 6’8″ to be a red zone threat? I know most guys that tall play basketball but its cool to dream.

  53. 53 Malcolm Jones said at 11:57 AM on March 7th, 2013:

    FA’s I want us to go after- Levitre, OG, William Moore, S, Kennan Lewis, CB, Terrence Knighton, NT, Jared Cook, TE

  54. 54 Jordan Stuart said at 12:38 PM on March 7th, 2013: is blocked at my work because it is categorized as “online gambling”. Any way you can fix that? I can see igglesblitz without issue.

  55. 55 Adam said at 1:29 PM on March 7th, 2013:

    Hey Tommy, in the article you say negotiations start Saturday. Wondering what that means, thought the 12th was start of FA

  56. 56 birdsofprey said at 7:09 PM on March 7th, 2013:

    i went to bleedinggreennation today tommy and then remembered this post and eaglesblog, i’m never going back. woot!

  57. 57 PK_NZ said at 9:28 PM on March 7th, 2013:

    Tommy, love the fact you’re sharing more of your thoughts even on smaller items with Eaglesblog.

    I did a quick top banner for your consideration –>

    Not wanting to bag your design skills, but…