At the cost of, and I'm projecting here, 2011 sixth- and seventh-round draft picks, the Eagles have acquired offensive guard Reggie Wells (Friday) and linebacker/defensive end Antwan Barnes (Saturday). And don't stay away from you computer for too long, because things are just heating up as the team continues to churn the roster.
These are moved to acquire good football players, to improve the roster, to challenge positions. How Wells and Barnes fit in, well, I will speculate in a moment. And as we melt into the middle of Saturday afternoon, who knows what is coming down the pike?
The Eagles must get the roster down to 53 players by 6 p.m. They have more moves to make -- trades, waiver-wire acquisitions, whatever. Players are on the move, and the roster is a fluid subject and this sure is a whole lot of fun to follow.
How Wells and Barnes fit in remain to be seen, but the Eagles clearly didn't add Wells to have him sit and watch the action. He is here to challenge as an interior offensive lineman and is likely to line up and push for the starting job at right guard immediately. Wells started 90 straight games in Arizona, most of them at left guard. With the way the right guard spot has been unsettled, it makes sense that Wells would challenge right away there for a starting position.
Barnes' role isn't quite as defined. He is speed space defender who has had success off the edge, as an outside linebacker and on special teams in Baltimore. Maybe Barnes comes in and plays the Joker position for the Eagles in some of their defensive packages and helps Bobby April's special teams groups.
No question that Barnes affects how the 53-man roster breaks down. I figured the Eagles would keep five ends -- Trent Cole, Juqua Parker, Brandon Graham, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Darryl Tapp. Is one of them not going to be around, then? Or are the Eagles going to go heavy there, keep Victor Abiamiri on the books for a possible activation after Week 6 and beat teams with waves of players?
How about the linebacker positions? This is where the core of special teams comes from, so with Barnes here, who goes? The Eagles will likely go with six or seven linebackers, and it was widely assumed that Ernie Sims, Stewart Bradley, Akeem Jordan, Omar Gaither and Keenan Clayton were definites to make the roster. After that group, players like Moise Fokou, Jamar Chaney and Tracy White were expected to challenge.
Now, there are no assumptions.
The clock is ticking and the Eagles have one thing in mind: keep adding good football players. Improve the depth of the roster. Keep working at it.
Can't wait to see what is next ...