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Free Agency Here, So What Is Happening?

There are no visits from unrestricted free agents scheduled at the NovaCare Complex today. That doesn't mean it is quiet for the Eagles. That doesn't mean, of course, that I truly know what is going on. The world of free agency is played out behind closed doors with private phone calls and quiet conversations. So, from my perspective, here is what is happening ...

 The Eagles have reportedly shown great interest in defensive end Julius Peppers, but let's look at this from a realistic standpoint: He is in Chicago today, and the Bears have a head coach and a General Manager who are going to make the desperate moves to save their jobs. Chicago has huge holes on its offensive line, at wide receiver, at running back and in the secondary. And they are reportedly ready to go out and give Peppers the world. I understand the interest in Peppers. He is a top-level defensive end, and has been for many years. He would fit in with any defense. But it appears that the numbers being reported are incredibly out of whack. I'm all on board for the Eagles to upgrade left defensive end. I like Juqua Parker, who had eight sacks last year. Good player, but one who could benefit from some fewer snaps. The Eagles need someone who can command double teams, who forces offenses to account for him. Parker doesn't do that. Neither does Victor Abiamiri, Darren Howard or Chris Clemons. The defensive ends here, aside from Trent Cole, are good pieces, good part-time players. The Eagles defense, every defense in the league, of course, would love to add another standout. Peppers is the only one on the UFA market.  
  • There is no reported interest and no buzz from an Eagles' standpoint regarding any other unrestricted free agent. This early period of free agency could be a dud from that angle.
  • The Eagles and fullback Leonard Weaver have agreed to a deal on a three-year contract. The reports are all over the place that the Eagles are signing Weaver to a contract that makes him the highest-paid fullback in NFL history. He deserves it. Great move by the Eagles and by Weaver, one that is a rare win-win in free agency. Weaver signed a one-year deal last year and we all wondered why just one year. Well, it seems like it working out for both sides very, very nicely.
  • Are there other restricted free agents on this roster the Eagles should sign to longer-term deals? I say yes. Wide receiver Jason Avant and guard/center Nick Cole are two players whom the Eagles should try to keep around for multiple seasons.
  • Why no interest in safety Antrell Rolle? Well, my guess is this: Rolle was drafted as a cornerback and then didn't cut it there and was moved to safety. Then the Cardinals allowed him to go to free agency. Rolle is a good football player, but the Eagles just must think he isn't cut out for the role they have for the safety here. And Rolle wants to be the highest-paid safety in the league? That's taking a huge shot in the dark. So, free safety remains a hole and I'm not sure how the Eagles fill it. Can Quintin Demps step up? How much better will Macho Harris be in Year 2? Sean Jones? He is an unrestricted free agent and the Eagles made no move to keep him.
  • How about Pittsburgh's Ryan Clark, who some in our live chats last night and on Friday morning suggested would be a nice "stop-gap" solution at free safety? At this point, I guarantee you, Clark is not looking for "stop-gap" money. He wants to be paid with the big boys.
  • Is it possible the Eagles won't sign an unrestricted free agent? Yeah, sure. Nobody was kidding when the pre-free agency period questions about the lack of depth in the talent pool were discussed. There just isn't much out there.
  • Still nothing to report of any substance as far as trades of any of the team's quarterbacks. If anything happens there, it may take a few weeks.
  • The Eagles need to get another running back, maybe two. But there is no reason to rush -- pun intended -- into anything there. There are a slew of running backs on the streets and the draft is loaded with prospects. Why pay fool's gold right now?
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