Philadelphia Eagles News

Debating The Early Results Of Free Agency

The Eagles have dedicated the early portion of free agency to taking care of their own players as they re-signed fullback Leonard Weaver and wide receiver Jason Avant to long-term deals.

That isn't good enough in the eyes of Pro Football Weekly, who declared the Eagles as one of the early losers of the early free agency period.

"They failed to land (Julius) Peppers, (Aaron) Kampman, (Kyle) Vanden Bosch, (Antrel) Rolle or (Kerry) Rhodes, the top pass rushers and safeties who were moved over the first few days of free agency," wrote PFW's Eric Edholm. "Now the draft looms extremely large with word that the team isn't planning to trade any of its quarterbacks now. Perhaps Andy Reid believed, like many, that the top players were not worth the money they were given. But for a highly profitable team with a rapidly closing window, sometimes overspending can be justified."

What's ironic is that PFW criticizes the Chicago Bears - who landed Peppers, running back Chester Taylor and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna in day one - for giving Peppers the big-money deal because he "is a giant risk given his age, his inconsistency and the fact that he's not a leader. That's a lot of dough for a very talented role player."

Kampman is a risk because of his knee injury, so if the window is closing how would that help this year? And while the Eagles need to decide the best route to stabilize the free safety position, is making Rolle the highest-paid safety in the league - which he is now thanks to the Giants - the best course of action? Especially with what's Chris Steuber has called the deepest safety draft in history on the horizon. Certainly, time will tell.

It's also funny that PFW praises the New England Patriots for focusing on keeping their own, like nose tackle Vince Wilfork, even though that's exactly what the Eagles did.

As for the "rapidly closing window" comment, the Eagles essentially rebuilt the offensive line and other various parts of the team last off-season and still managed to win 11 games in 2009.

The biggest moves aren't always made in the first four days of free agency. The Eagles signed Weaver to a one-year deal last season in late March. The Eagles pulled off the monumental deal to get Jason Peters in mid-April. What blockbuster moves did the Saints or Colts pull off a year ago? You could say Darren Sharper was a pivotal piece of the Saints' title run, but he wasn't added until mid-March.

As general manager Howie Roseman said before the start of the Combine, "It's a marathon not a sprint." The Super Bowl is not decided in the first four days of the new league year.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:12 p.m., March 8

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