The Eagles had until Thursday to tender the remaining soon-to-be restricted free agents so the team decided to offer one-year contracts to running back Jerome Harrison and punter Sav Rocca.
Harrison was tendered a deal that will give the Eagles a second-round draft pick as compensation if he signs an offer sheet with another team and the team decides not to match it. Rocca was tendered a deal that simply gives the Eagles the right to match an offer sheet, but receive no draft pick as compensation.
Harrison was acquired from the Cleveland Browns in a midseason trade back on October 13. Originally drafted by the Browns as a fifth-round selection in 2006, the 5-9, 205-pound Harrison was a very good complement to LeSean McCoy as he rushed for 239 yards and a touchdown in eight games with the Eagles in 2010. In the historic Monday night win over the Redskins on November 15, Harrison had 109 rushing yards on just 11 carries including a 50-yard touchdown run. Harrison led the Browns with 862 yards and five touchdowns in 2009 and is best known for his 286-yard performance on December 20, 2009 against the Chiefs. It is the third-highest single-game rushing total in NFL history.
Rocca has quickly established himself as one of the best punters in Eagles history. His 42.87 yards per punt is second in team history. His 37.6 net yards per punt is tops in franchise annals. In fact, Rocca has set the franchise single-season net punting record in each of the last three seasons. In 2010, Rocca averaged 43.8 yards per punt and 39.0 net yards, a total that was tied for eighth in the NFL. He also had a career-high 28 punts downed inside the 20-yard line this past season to go along with a career-low two touchbacks.
Harrison and Rocca join linebacker Stewart Bradley (second-round level), guard Max Jean-Gilles (original round/fourth), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (right of first refusal) and running back Eldra Buckley (exclusive rights) who were tendered one-year restricted free agent contracts on Wednesday.
Note that the rules for restricted free agency could change when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed upon. By doing this, the Eagles protect their ability to retain the rights to these players if the rules from the 2010 league year remain the same.
The Eagles now have nine players who are unsigned when the 2010 league year officially ends: guard Nick Cole, linebacker Omar Gaither, safety Antoine Harris, cornerback Ellis Hobbs, linebacker Akeem Jordan, defensive end Bobby McCray, strong safety Quintin Mikell, linebacker Ernie Sims and guard Reggie Wells.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 3:50 p.m., March 3