Eagles Tip-toe into Free Agency

Posted: March 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 86 Comments »

I think the Eagles may have gotten the formula right.  They were very aggressive on Day One of free agency, but chose the targets in a careful, measured way.  There were no Blue Chip additions.  The Eagles went and signed high quality players that fit the roles they’ll be asked to fill.  No player got mega-bucks.  No one will be coming to town blowing kisses into the mirror.  These guys have talent, but not the kind of pedigrees that will have denizens of the Milky Way galaxy blowing sunshine up their skirts.

Let’s talk about the new Eagles.

CB Bradley Fletcher – 6-0, 200 — You may look at the stat sheet and see that Fletcher wasn’t a full time starter in 2012 and wonder what the Eagles were thinking.  Watch the tape.  I wrote a few times about this guy recently.  He had the best pure cover skills of any CB on the market.  Is there risk in signing him? Only in the sense that he hasn’t started at CB for 16 games in his 4-year career.  Before you get fired up about durability, Fletcher played in 16 games in 2010 and 2012.  He started 15 in 2010.  He started 4 last year.  Why just 4? Because the Rams spent big money on Cortland Finnegan and an early pick on Janoris Jenkins.  Fletcher was coming off an injury and they made him the #3 CB.  The twist here is that STL put one of the other guys in the slot and Fletcher played LCB.  He faced top flight competition.  I watched him in several games.  Fluid player.  Good speed.  Good coverage instincts.  I wanted the Eagles to get him because Fletcher was the best cover guy available. Simple as that.  He gives us a very talented starting CB.

Note from ProFootballFocus:  “FWIW Bradley Fletcher gave up 0.52 yards per snap in coverage last year. Lowest of any CBs with at least 250 snaps in coverage”

TE/H-back James Casey – 6-3, 240 — In a word, versatile.  Casey can line up at FB on 3rd/1 and open a hole for the RB.  He can line up as an H-back on 3rd/4 and catch a short pass in the flat to move the chains.  Casey can line up in the slot on 3rd/10 and catch a pass downfield.  This is a talented, versatile guy.  He never came close to fulfilling his potential in Houston.  Here is a tweet from Lance Zierlein, who covers the Texans:

“I really hate seeing James Casey leave Houston for Philly. The Texans showed me what was possible w/ Casey & then failed to follow through.”

Casey allows Chip Kelly to be creative on offense.  You run the no-huddle with him on the field and you can go I-formation, 2 TEs, or to a spread look.  Kelly loves that kind of flexibility.

S Patrick Chung – 5-11, 210 —I’m curious if the Eagles project Chung at SS or FS.  I think he can handle both spots.  Good hitter. He can come down and lay the wood on a runner or receiver.  Has okay ball skills.  Picked off 6 passes over his 3 years as a starter.  I love the fact he’ll turn 26 in August.  This is a guy with lots of good football ahead of him.  Durability is a concern.  3-year starter, but only played in 34 of 48 possible games.  That’s the one reason I was hesitant with him.  I love the fact that Chung is coming over from the Pats.  If you start for Bill Belichick for 3 years, you understand a complex gameplan and different coverage schemes.  The Eagles liked Chung going back to before the 2009 draft.  They had him in for a visit at the NovaCare Complex.

NT Isaac Sopoaga – 6-2, 330 — 2-down NT. Run stuffer.  Veteran player who can anchor vs the run and help keep the LBs clean. Without him eating up blocks, Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman aren’t nearly as impressive.  Sopoaga played in about 35 percent of the Niners snaps in 2012 so he is somewhat of a role player.  Still, that is a critical role.  You must be able to control the LOS on key run downs.  Antonio Dixon has potential, but Sopoaga has been a 3-4 NT and knows what he’s doing.  Dixon will learn from him.

Excellent article on Sopoaga as a person/teammate/leader.

LB Jason Phillips – 6-1, 249 — Funny, I’ve been after Jason for a while.  I had him as a 3rd round target of the Eagles back in the 2009 draft.  He was cut before the 2009 season began and I had interest.  He was cut by the Ravens in 2011 and I had interest.  Always seemed like a good STer and backup ILB.  Let’s be honest about the current backup ILBs. I don’t trust Jamar Chaney or Casey Matthews.  Phillips will likely take one of their jobs.  The other two can battle it out for the other spot.

I’ll keep it short for now.  I’ve got lots more reading/writing to do.

* * * * *

Here’s something kind of cool.  Here’s part of a mock draft I did for PE.com back on 4-15-09.

4 – 121 – CB Bradley Fletcher – Iowa

The Eagles secondary could use a cornerback with some size.  Fletcher is just over six-feet tall and weighs more than 190 pounds.  He’s no Troy Vincent or Bobby Taylor, but that is pretty good size.  One thing that I like about Fletcher is that he can play man or zone.  A lot of big corners need to press.  They struggle when playing off.  Fletcher played a lot of zone at Iowa and is comfortable pressing or playing off the ball.  He has excellent awareness and good ball skills.  Fletcher picked off three passes this year and was credited with 10 passes defensed.  He hits and tackles well.  Fletcher has the potential to be a starting corner.

5 – 141 – WR Brian Hartline – Ohio State

Interesting player.  Looked like a star on the rise after his sophomore season of 2007.  Hartline caught 52 passes, six for touchdowns.  He also returned a punt for a score.  OhioState really struggled with the passing game in 2008, mostly due to a freshman quarterback.  That killed Hartline’s production.  He only caught 21 passes.  Hartline decided to leave school early.  I didn’t agree with the choice.  Hartline redshirted in 2005, so he had four years at OhioState and wanted to move on to the NFL.  He finished his career with 90 catches and 12 touchdowns.  He lacks top speed, but has excellent quickness and agility.  He runs good routes and has good hands.  Hartline can play in the slot or outside.  One of the things I think that makes him a good fit is that he had to fight for playing time in college.  He was a standout on special teams as a freshman.  He had no problems doing the dirty work until he was able to get time as a returner and receiver.  Reggie Brown had a hard time getting activated for games in 2008 because the Eagles needed a receiver to help on special teams.  Hartline will do whatever is asked of him.  The Eagles do well with guys like that.

5 – 153 – DT Terrance Knighton – Temple

Knighton had a good career at Temple, finishing with 26 tackles-for-loss.  He then played very well in the Texas vs. The Nation all star game.  That really got him noticed and earned him an invite to the Scouting Combine.  Knighton displayed good athletic ability at the Combine and his pro day.  He has excellent size at 6-3 and 321 pounds.  He needs some coaching, but has very good potential.  The Eagles defensive line doesn’t have any massive players.  Knighton would change that.  I’m not sure if he would ever be more than a role player, but big defensive linemen can be valuable even coming off the bench.

5 – 157 – FB Quinn Johnson – LSU

Leonard Weaver signed a one-year deal to handle the fullback job.  The future is uncertain.  Johnson would have a year to learn before having a shot at being the starting fullback.  He is an outstanding lead blocker.  Johnson played in an offense that ran out of the I-formation most of the time.  He knows what he’s doing, hits with real power, and can adjust to moving targets.  Johnson isn’t a great athlete or receiver.  During the season I saw him catch some passes, but handled others like he was dealing with a live grenade.  Johnson caught the ball very well at the Senior Bowl.  The Eagles offense needs someone to pave the way for Westbrook and company more than they need another receiving threat. Johnson also played on special teams at LSU.  Reid prefers that his fullback be productive on special teams.

5 – 159 – SS Otis Wiley – Michigan State

Quintin Demps looks like the free safety of the future.  That leaves an opening for a young strong safety to be added.  Wiley should be a player of interest.  He doesn’t stand out in any area, but is good against the run and in coverage.  He has good size at 6-1 and 212 pounds.  Wiley had nine career interceptions.  He can play zone, but is also effective in man coverage.  He does a good job when taking on tight ends.  Wiley is a good tackler.  He has punt return experience as well.

6 – 194 – LB Victor Butler – Oregon State

Butler played defensive end at OSU, but has the size and skill set to move to linebacker.  He would play on the strong side for the Eagles.  Chris Gocong is set as the starter, but will be a free agent at the end of the 2009 season.  Butler is 6-2 and 248 pounds.  He runs pretty well and has good agility.  Butler can rush the passer (26 career sacks), but would have to develop cover skills.  He has the agility to cover well.  He has the motor to succeed at linebacker.  Butler got to play linebacker at the Shrine Game and handled himself pretty well.

6 – 195 -WR Brooks Foster – North Carolina

I know a lot of fans would love the Eagles to add Hakeem Nicks or Brandon Tate, the other UNC wideouts.  Those guys will go much earlier.  Foster is a really intriguing guy.  He has a muscular build at 6-1 and 211 pounds.  He ran in the 4.45 range at his pro day.  Foster did 27 reps at the Combine, making him the strongest receiver there.  He never was “the man” at Carolina, but did catch 97 career passes.  He was very clutch.  Foster caught a lot of passes on third downs as well as late in the game.  The Buffalo Bills drafted a similar guy last year, Steve Johnson from Kentucky.  They took him in the seventh round and he is a player they are very excited about.  Foster also played a lot on special teams.  He’s another guy that will gladly do the dirty work.  I don’t know if he could ever develop into a starting receiver, but I think Foster is one of the hidden gems in this draft class.

7 – 230 – TE John Nalbone – Monmouth

Nalbone was a 4-year starter who caught 101 passes in his career.  He has pretty good size at 6-4 and 254 pounds.  He could challenge for a roster spot as a rookie or spend a year on the practice squad.  Nalbone faced I-AA competition.  You never know how those players will adjust to the NFL.  Receiver Miles Austin of the Cowboys played at Monmouth so they have had pro caliber talent.  Nalbone showed good strength, speed, and quickness in his workouts

86 Comments on “Eagles Tip-toe into Free Agency”

  1. 1 Baloophi said at 11:43 PM on March 12th, 2013:


    (ahh… nostalgia)

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:45 PM on March 12th, 2013:


  3. 3 TrentColeHamels said at 11:47 PM on March 12th, 2013:

    I actually watched the game last year where Fletcher was flagged 3 times for PI vs the Patriots. It was ugly. I cant say that I know much about him other than watching that game, but I remember thinking at the time that having guys like Fletcher that on their 53 man roster is why the Rams lose year after year. (Sorry to be negative on this one).

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 11:51 PM on March 12th, 2013:

    Didn’t see that game. I’ll go back and watch it (to see Chung & him). Will report my take on things.

  5. 5 ohitsdom said at 7:26 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Excellent, thanks T Law.

  6. 6 Kevin Powell said at 11:49 PM on March 12th, 2013:

    I’ve waited up for this all night Lawlor, you better be happy!

  7. 7 D3Keith said at 12:44 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I refreshed both sites constantly and figured he must be working on something big (or having a real life … but nah, never that).

    I don’t even know what this means, but it was totally worth the wait:
    denizens of the Milky Way galaxy blowing sunshine up their skirts.

  8. 8 Ryguy55 said at 11:51 PM on March 12th, 2013:

    Seems like a lot of people are down on Chung on the EMB. Tommy in your opinion are these depth signings in the secondary and we aren’t done? Or are Chung and Fletcher projected as starters?

  9. 9 Anders said at 11:57 PM on March 12th, 2013:

    Both should be starters.

  10. 10 ICDogg said at 12:04 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    As of now, they would be, but we don’t know what else they plan to do.

  11. 11 xlGmanlx said at 3:00 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Hopefully release Kurt Coleman

  12. 12 Cliff said at 8:39 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Why are you so down on Coleman? He’s a good backup, but never should have been a starter. He wasn’t exactly put in a position to succeed. He can be an excellent special teamer and back up at the least.

  13. 13 fran35 said at 9:54 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Second this thought. I have no idea why people hate on Coleman so much. He is a limited athlete but has heart. There was no quit in this guy. He is DEFINITELY not a starter, but is a decent back up and very good special teamer. Along with those traits and his intangibles, I love this kid as a back up safety. Plus, Nnamdi was always blaming him, so I feel bad for him. And I abhor Nnamdi, for what it’s worth….

  14. 14 Birdsrookie said at 11:19 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    You made a key point I want to expand on. Maybe I’m assuming a bit much, but it seems that there were equally major problems in the locker room as on the field last year. Chip brought in two guys in Sopoaga and Casey known for their character and work ethic. Screw overpaying pansies and guys who quit on the field.

  15. 15 xlGmanlx said at 1:24 PM on March 13th, 2013:

    For me, he doesn’t pass the eyeball test. Not to over simplify it, but players make plays. In spots where he could make plays, he didn’t. We can say scheme, locker room, etc, but I could point to plays where Juan put him in a position to make a play and he either dove and whiffed or simply didn’t make the play.Trying hard and being a good guy sometimes just isn’t enough, so why not use that roster spot for some one else?

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 12:13 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I project both to be starters.

  17. 17 Songbird Rescue Cat said at 11:59 PM on March 12th, 2013:

    I read somewhere tonight that Fletcher once got benched (not sure the season) for giving up 3 DPI penalties in one game to New England or someone. It’s not especially worrisome to me, but just wanted to share it.

    e: oh someone else watched the game, heh

  18. 18 Baloophi said at 12:06 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    We now officially have a Wang and a Chung, which means everybody can officially have fun tonight.

  19. 19 TommyLawlor said at 12:10 AM on March 13th, 2013:


  20. 20 D3Keith said at 12:43 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Xeynon deservese a hat tip for making that joke on the previous thread.

  21. 21 Baloophi said at 12:47 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Ahh… didn’t catch it. Sorry, Xeynon. I would NEVER knowingly steal a joke.

    For what it’s worth, I did in fact post a solemn prayer for this combination back when we signed Ed Wang.

  22. 22 D3Keith said at 12:51 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I believe you.

    It proves wonderful minds — yours, not mine — think alike. No harm done.

  23. 23 Baloophi said at 1:00 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Unfortunately it only proves that I’m either recycling my own material, or losing my mind. Or – more likely – both.

    “This is a dream come true. Actually, if we could add Patrick Chung, then everybody could have fun tonight.”

    Apologies all!

  24. 24 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 12:29 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I made a comment in one of the previous FA posts, stating that I wanted three of the following players:

    Ricky Jean-Francois – visiting
    Greg Toler – Signed with Colts
    Patrick Chung – Signed
    Desmond Bryant – Signed mega deal with Browns
    Bradley Fletcher – Signed

    Needless to say, I am a very happy camper. Just sign RJF, and I think this FA is a succes

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 12:32 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Good work. RJF is in Philly tonight. Hope he’s signed tomorrow.

  26. 26 TrentColeHamels said at 1:08 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    After landing in Philly tonight RJF Tweeted “gotta get use to this cold”. Sounds like a guy who plans on staying.

  27. 27 Matthew Verhoog said at 8:37 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Or he is going to Buffalo

  28. 28 nickross23 said at 12:34 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    So it begins..2013 is underway, i really like what has been done so far. All these guys are solid additions to the squad with there best days ahead of them…well except for Soap. Can’t help but wonder if there’s a big splash comming or if he stay with this current format of low cost age ascending players.

  29. 29 TommyLawlor said at 12:37 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    From PFF:

    FWIW Bradley Fletcher gave up 0.52 yards per snap in coverage last year. Lowest of any CBs with at least 250 snaps in coverage

  30. 30 Baloophi said at 1:17 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    For the benefit of Eagles Europe, that’s 0.475488 meters per snap.

  31. 31 Matthew Verhoog said at 8:36 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Don’t forget us Metric Canadians up here. That’s really only .000475488 Kilometers per snap. Which is really much more impressive.

  32. 32 Michael Winter Cho said at 11:09 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Only last year’s secondary should be measured in kilometers a snap.

  33. 33 Baloophi said at 11:47 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I could never forget my beloved frozen neighbors! A tip of the touque to you…

  34. 34 GermanEagle said at 9:21 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    However he only played 20 snaps in the last 7 games of the season…

  35. 35 47_Ronin said at 12:40 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I think Casey is the best acquisition thus far. But I’m not high on Chung. Chung is an incremental upgrade at Safety (possibly a stopgap as I see the Eagles drafting a Safety). Chung lost his starting job in NE and appeared to be considered a lability in coverage.

  36. 36 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 12:41 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Making my first preliminary depth chart of the defense

    DE: Cox + Draftpick
    NT: Sopoaga + Dixon
    DE: RJF + Thornton
    Predator: Cole + Graham
    WILB: Kendricks + Matthews
    SILB: Ryans + Williams
    SOLB: *Cough* Jordan *Cough* + Curry
    LCB: Fletcher + Hughes
    Slot: Boykin
    RCB: Draftpick + Marsh
    SS: Chung + Coleman
    FS: Allen + Anderson

    If we get Jordan in the 1st and a CB in the 2nd we could be looking at a good defense. Not great, but definately going in the right direction.

    Question: Which RCB do you like for the Eagles at the top of the 2nd or 3rd round in the draft?

  37. 37 D3Keith said at 12:48 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I am much more open to the Dion Jordan / CB scenario now. The Eagles could still use another safety, and they might not be done shopping for defensive players, but the D looks better than it did yesterday. (projecting the RJF signing)

    Do you mean Phillips or is there a Williams I am forgetting about?

  38. 38 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 12:52 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I meant Phillips, thanks for noticing, i edited my post. And yes, assuming we get RJF, we should be set for picking the best players on our board come April.

  39. 39 brza said at 6:17 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Yeah, I was hoping for Jordan and Cyprien with our first two picks but with the signings Jordan and a CB are probably the better move. I guess Jordan, CB, Phillip Thomas would complete the defense pretty nicely too.

  40. 40 D3FB said at 1:15 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Logan Ryan, Jamar Taylor, Robert Alford, Leon Mcfadden

  41. 41 TommyLawlor said at 1:18 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Still figuring out CBs. I like Johnthan Banks as a big CB. I like Jordan Poyer as a playmaker. Jamar Taylor is one I don’t like. Allergic to tackling.

  42. 42 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:32 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    How important is it to find someone who is used to playing on one side? Do you think we’ll rotate guys, or will they be assigned to one side of the field? If so, we can maybe narrow down the list of potential CBs more. I really like Poyer for what it’s worth.

  43. 43 BG said at 3:19 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    IIRC Davis said that he’d designate players to one side of the field so that itd reduce confusion

  44. 44 livingonapear said at 12:42 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I will say that I am hesitant to get excited about a Bellichick safety cast off. You know, the last one didn’t work out so well.

  45. 45 Iskar36 said at 12:51 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I’m surprised you consider Chung a potential FS. Seems to me that his skill set is a lot more suitable for SS. The biggest weakness in his game that I have read is that he gets lost in coverage at times.

  46. 46 D3Keith said at 12:52 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    That was my thought too, based on what I read and what I remember of him. Besides, Allen is the incumbent more likely to keep/earn a starting job.

  47. 47 xlGmanlx said at 2:59 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I’m pretty sure that is why he fell out of favor with BB.

  48. 48 D3Keith said at 12:53 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    How many of those guys from the mock are still in the league? Fletcher, Hartline and Knighton all just got their coveted second contract. Butler in the league? Nalbone? Johnson?

  49. 49 Anders said at 12:55 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Butler is a backup in Dallas

  50. 50 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:01 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Anders have you been up all night like me? Or just up early?

  51. 51 Anders said at 5:14 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Was up all night

  52. 52 TommyLawlor said at 1:02 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Couple of good Patrick Chung videos. Dude can hit.


  53. 53 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 1:09 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    If only highlight tapes represented his game as a whole. Then again, he wouldn’t be available if that were the case. But it is with Chung like Allen, if they both play up to their potential, they can be good starting safeties in this league. They have showed they can play.

  54. 54 xlGmanlx said at 3:02 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I like all the signings, and hopefully Chung isn’t what I think he is. Otherwise, try and fill in some of the roster and then look to the draft. If you add RJF in FA, does that now free up the first to draft “best player available” based on the FA signings?

  55. 55 Matt Hoover said at 3:49 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Maybe I am really silly but I hope Curtis Marsh and Trevard Lindley actually get a chance to show if they can play/start.

  56. 56 Anders said at 5:19 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I actually thought Lindley played well last pre season and Marsh well in very limited time.
    /edit If Lindley stick and Allen begins to play well together with Graham the 2010 draft suddenly look really good, same with 2011 and Marsh and Watkins

  57. 57 Mac said at 11:43 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    If Watkins knows what’s good for him, he’s going to work out with Long and maybe have lunch with his family too…

  58. 58 Matthew Verhoog said at 8:40 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Jamar Chaney.

  59. 59 D3FB said at 9:45 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    As it stands right now I would imagine it’s going to be Marsh and Fletcher with the inside track and Lindley, Hughes, and a 2nd-4th round rookie in the mix too for the two outside jobs.

  60. 60 GermanEagle said at 5:52 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I hope Howie is far from being done in this year’s Free Agency.
    While certain signings were OK (Casey and Chung), other signings were either only as a short-term solution (Sopoaga) or coming with lots of (penalty) question marks (Fletcher). Especially the latter signing is the most disappointing for me. It’s not really promising if you sign a CB from a team (Lions) who couldn’t even be a full time starter on arguably the worst secondary in the NFL. Plus his “cover” skills won’t help at all if he gets flagged for DPI all the time.
    If the Eagles don’t let RJF leave Philly without a contract, the short off-season will look a lot better. He’d be my favourite FA signing of all so far.
    Apart from that I strongly believe that we still need O line and secondary depth/help which should be addressed BEFORE the draft.

  61. 61 brza said at 6:23 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Fletcher played for the Rams. He was their best CB in 2010 but coming off a knee injury last year so they signed Cortland Finnegan and drafted Janoris Jenkins. He still played a lot last year in Nickel formations where he was out wide and Jenkins bumped to the slot.

  62. 62 westy36 said at 6:30 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Plus, the Rams’ defense played the pass well so it’s not really his fault he wasn’t a starter. They finished 15th in passing yards, tied for 4th in passing TDs allowed, and tied for 11th in INTs.

  63. 63 GermanEagle said at 7:00 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    My bad, somehow I am still confusing the Rams with the Lions these days. 😉
    Anyway, I am still not thrilled with the signing as other CB FA’s (Smith, Cox, Keenan Lewis) would have been more appealing to me.

  64. 64 GermanEagle said at 7:21 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    “Fletcher played just 20 snaps in the final seven games, according to Pro Football Focus”
    I wouldn’t consider this “he still played a lot last year”…

  65. 65 brza said at 8:06 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Sorry, you’re right on the playing time. Must have mixed up his snap counts. But he has performed well when he’s played. Injury and a new coaching staff was the main reason he didn’t play much the past 2 years.

    He’s supposedly not making much so its a low-risk signing anyway. I’m not overly excited about Fletcher either but think it is a solid signing. Paying any of the FA CBs a bunch of money this year would have been a bad move in my opinion. Most candidates either seemed to be bad fits (Keenan Lewis), unproven/limited PT/injury concerns (Toler, Fletcher, Cox) or highly inconsistent (Sean Smith, Talib, Cary Williams, DRC).

    I think they need to draft a CB round 2 and see if Fletcher, Marsh or Lindley can be a solid starter. I also wouldn’t mind giving DRC a one-year deal if the price is low. I just wouldn’t shell out big bucks for anyone on the market.

  66. 66 GermanEagle said at 8:09 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    You make valid points, however – just out of curiosity – why would Keenan Lewis be a bad fit?

  67. 67 brza said at 10:48 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I could be wrong as I haven’t seen him much myself but I read somewhere that he’s more of a fit for a cover 2 scheme and not a man cover guy. If he doesn’t fit that then he does fit the limited PT category though since he only has one year of real experience.

    But according to Paul Domowitch the Eagles aren’t done shopping for CBs:
    Paul Domowitch
    I suspect Eagles will be signing one more corner in the coming days. Probably not Sean Smith, but maybe Lewis, Williams, Cason or Cox.

  68. 68 Kevin said at 7:16 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    OH THANK GOD. I got home from a poker night with the boys at around 10:30 (anything to distract me from incessantly refreshing BGN/PFT/Twitter like some obsessed paranoid) and I checked Iggles Blitz, certain that I’d find a neatly organized and well-reasoned analysis of the Eagles moves on Day 1 of NFL Free Agency.

    “Final Thoughts” showed up at the top – “Oh good!” I thought. I started reading… “Wait…” I continued… “…wait, what the… oh god… oh god, I’ve read this before. I read this… at like 3:30 today! These aren’t his final thoughts on Day 1 of free agency… these are from before it even started!”

    My heart started pounding and it felt like an icy blanket was being slowly draped over my body. Sopoaga? Isn’t he old? Isn’t he more of a pure 3-4 NT? What happened to the 4-3 Under? The shade nose? Aren’t they lighter, more athletic? He’s 330 lb and old! This isn’t what Tommy had me mentally prepared for! Bradley Fletcher? We barely talked about him! Who is he? And for that matter, who’s “Brady” Fletcher?? He’s not Sean Smith! What’s going on?

    Am I mad at the Eagles? Am I happy? How am I supposed to know what to think? Should I be ranting right now? Burning my jerseys?? Stress-eating myself into a diabetic coma??? Fist-fighting my roommates out of panic????? I’M SO ALONE!!!

    Glad to see you pulled together a nice summary analysis. I almost got impatient. 😉

  69. 69 Ark87 said at 10:08 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I’ve been there. Eagles things happen. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF THIS!!!! TOMMY TELL ME HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS!!!

    Tommy did like Fletcher and James Casey a lot going into FA. So those I was excited about. The rest, I def needed an assist on haha.

  70. 70 ohitsdom said at 7:25 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    If I ever refer to Fletcher as “Brady” throughout the year, I’m blaming Tommy.

  71. 71 Mike Flick said at 7:40 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Interesting start to FA.

    In draft terms, we got some 2nd + 3rd day picks, but no first rounder.

  72. 72 GermanEagle said at 8:07 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Well played, Sir.
    I still got my hopes up for one (at least borderline) first rounder in Free Agency, though the chances of signing the Jake Longs, Barwins or Smiths are slim to none.

  73. 73 new coach said at 8:10 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    think we are setting up for Dee Millner as the pick (or a trade down). A Millner/Fletcher secondary isnt bad. It’s hard to get an elite corner, so Millner has more value than Jordan

  74. 74 aub32 said at 8:37 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I don’t know if Milliner would be considered elite. I think Jordan has more upside and much more versatility, which is one of the things we are starting to see this new regime likes. The need is also there for a SAM, and with the league valuing TEs more, I don’t think you can overvalue an OLB that’s big, fast, and athletic enough to cover the better TEs in the game.

  75. 75 new coach said at 8:53 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    not elite perhaps.. but has a score of 93 on nfl.com, high end of their immediate starter range.

    In fairness, Jordan has a similar score. Obviously he is versatile. But, it is hard to get top corners. While the offenses are more versatile too, there is still a role for top corners and the impact they can have (Sherman in SEA, for example)


  76. 76 D3FB said at 9:39 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Sherman was picked in the fifth round. That draft much like this one was deep at corner.

  77. 77 Mac said at 10:26 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Yep, and with stone hands I don’t think Milliner stands out from the crowd.

  78. 78 Ark87 said at 8:25 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Excellent haul on day 1. We picked up a bunch of people that can help us out year 1 and beyond. Nothing that will ruin us if things don’t work out. I’m sure Howie has his eyes on some big expensive players, if they sit long enough after the draft you know Howie will go for the discount.

  79. 79 Cliff said at 8:44 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I like everyone we added.

  80. 80 Bebin Abraham said at 9:01 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Well Tommy if we do end up playing the 4-3 Under it won’t matter if the safety can play SS/FS a more hybird player is needed and that’s what we got with Chung. If he can get it together that move can be a big steal.

  81. 81 Iskar36 said at 10:24 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    I recognize the two videos you put up on Eaglesblog.net are highlight reels, but it seemed to me that Chung didn’t use his arms to tackle often and was just using his shoulder to get a big hit. In watching him play throughout a full game(s), is he both a good hitter and a good tackler, or is he just a good hitter?

  82. 82 Birdsrookie said at 11:26 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Check out the video of chung over on Eaglesblog.net. He does a good job wrapping up and stopping Reggie Bush, who is running full speed. Also looks like he could be a ST asset too.

  83. 83 Eric Weaver said at 10:30 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    With Jarvis Jones having a better-than-we-thought medical result, is he possibly a target again at #4?

  84. 84 Michael Abrams said at 10:43 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    Hey Tommy and Eagles Fans,

    I thought I’d post a public service announcement. I just ran into Don Tollefson in the Starbucks in Chestnut Hill (for those not in Philly, he’s been a local news sportscaster for 30+ years). He’s organizing a series of Eagles road trips to the away games this season. Seems like a hell of a time, so I thought I’d pass along the info. Basically, he gets all of the pieces to the package donated and then all proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

    Package: Two people get 3 days/2 nights with air, hotel and game tickets. You go on a plane with like 100 other rabid Eagles fans plus a disabled vet or two that Tollie comps.

    Cost: $750… for two. Not per person.

    Games: Packers, Broncos, Raiders, Cowboys, Bucs, or Vikings. Schedules TBD (once the NFL releases them), but Tollie says he’ll swap you out if you have a particular weekend that doesn’t work. Never been to Lambeau? Me neither. This might be the year.

    For more info: See http://www.employyoungadults.com (he says, but I can’t find it up there yet), or email Tollie directly at tollie66 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  85. 85 Malcolm Jones said at 11:09 AM on March 13th, 2013:

    3/13/1998: The #Eagles traded 2nd and 5th round picks to the New York #Jets for DE Hugh Douglas…any significance to the secret team after revis

  86. 86 Osiris said at 4:26 PM on March 13th, 2013:

    Over at the Eagles’ website they have the interview with the Houston reporter, and the quality he repeated over and over regarding Casey was sure-handed. That’s not a word I would pair with Brent Celek. He has more than his share of drops, and on the eye test, he seems to have more than his share of bobbles and tipped passes too (which lead to INTs and/or fumbles).

    Adding a versatile player is a good thing, but if Casey can be the sure-handed receiver that he’s touted to be, then that value is even greater. Often tight ends and backs are referred to as being security blankets, but I’m really not sure that Celek has been all that secure. With that said, I do like Celek’s ability to get open for big gains. He’s not worthless by any stretch of the imagination, but it is important to be honest with his abilities and limits.

    You need a guy that you can throw it to when you’re about to be knocked on your butt or when you’re in need of four yards. The league knows Shady. Adding another guy underneath (or over a LB’s shoulder) is exciting.