Because of an absence in available difference makers in unrestricted free agency, there are rumors that the Eagles could be players in restricted free agency instead.
The obvious drawback to entering the restricted free agent market is that in addition to the contract paid to a prospective player, there is the further price of compensation to the team that owns that player's rights, depending on that player's tender. For instance, wide receiver Vincent Jackson of the San Diego Chargers would cost a first- and third-round pick in addition to whatever contract he signs, because he was given the highest tender by the Chargers.
That's a steep price to pay, especially with a 2010 draft class that is considered one of the deepest in recent years. However, Bob Grotz of the Delaware County Daily Times believes the Eagles could have interest in Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards. Edwards, 25, has a first-round tender attached to him.
"The Eagles are expected to make a push to acquire defensive end Ray Edwards, who had four sacks for the Vikings in the playoffs last season," Grotz writes. "The Vikings would get a first-round pick if they declined to match offers for Edwards, who had three sacks in the playoff win over the Cowboys and dropped Drew Brees once in the NFC title game loss to the Super Bowl champion Saints.
"Then again, teams could work out a different compensation package for Edwards (6-foot-5, 268 pounds) providing the Vikings are in the mood."
Edwards played on one of the best defensive lines in football in Minnesota last season, and reaped the benefit of the double teams allotted to stop Jared Allen, the Vikings right defensive end. That Edwards was able to thrive on the left side could be intriguing to the Eagles, especially because they have their own superstar right end in Trent Cole.
However, aside from his breakout performance in the playoffs, Edwards notched 8.5 sacks during the 2009 regular season - the same total as Juqua Parker, who got the majority of playing time at left end for the Eagles in 2009.
Only time will tell if the Eagles dip into the restricted market, but, as Grotz touches on, it's probably more likely that a trade gets worked around a restricted free agent than it is that the Eagles, or any other team, simply signs away their draft picks.
To read Grotz's full column, click here.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 8:45 p.m., March 11