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How Aggressive Should Eagles Be Ahead?

Here are some of the assets: Seven draft picks, four in the opening three rounds in April; three quarterbacks who are good enough to start and win in the NFL, a roster that certainly needs to be improved, but one that has a lot of good things going for it, and a list of free agents -- unrestricted and restricted -- that is not nearly as extensive or as urgent as some of the teams in the league.

As we kill time until next week's Scouting Combine, so many thoughts are running through my mind and perhaps the biggest one of all is this: Just how aggressive do the Eagles need to be to build this roster into a Super Bowl group?

Certainly, the Eagles don't have to go in thinking they need a rip-and-rebuild of the roster. There are too many good young pieces, too many Pro Bowl-caliber players, too many solid fits to tear apart the foundation. The Eagles won 11 games last season and, yeah, I've heard all the hum-drum about "not beating any good teams" and it doesn't matter a lick. Eleven wins is certainly proof that the Eagles had a good team, a playoff-worthy team.

But the Eagles also showed they weren't a Super Bowl-worthy team, and that is the only goal that matters. The Eagles know they have work to do, and these slow days for us are busy, busy, busy for the Eagles as they plan their course of action.

With seven draft picks, and with the expectation that the Eagles can retain as many of the potential free agents as they want, how much action should the Eagles anticipate in free agency and through the trade avenue? Would it be the worst thing in the world, for example, if the Eagles brought back all three quarterbacks -- Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick?

From this vantage point, the Eagles are operating from a position of strength. They don't have to give away any talent just to "make a deal." All of the media posturing regarding McNabb and Kolb and even Vick is simply a ridiculous game right now, as the supposition is that teams are going to make offers compelling enough for the Eagles to take action.

Well, what if the offers aren't up to snuff? The Eagles would be fools to trade away any of the quarterbacks -- any of their players, really -- without receiving strong value in return.

I have no idea, and I mean it, of what the Eagles are going to do in this off-season. I could talk about the many scenarios all day, and I admit that those visions are constantly running through my mind. What if ...?

But I also think the Eagles don't need to tear this team apart. Make improvements, yes. Add top-level talent, of course. Bring in a difference-maker or three on both sides of the ball and, yeah, let's go! Start from scratch? No need at all.

An unpredictable free-agency period waits and, truth be told, no team has a clue what to expect. Is it going to be a spender's climate? Or are teams going to be less responsive to veterans pushing their late 20's to sign to long-term contracts?

Oh, it's going to be wild? Or is it? Maybe the Eagles take the conservative approach and use more of their energies to retain their own free agents and concentrate on the draft. Maybe they go into the proceedings with pens and contracts blazing and set the pace for the league.

Maybe they just don't know yet, which is probably the state of every team in the NFL with unchartered waters waiting.


  • Quarterback Kevin Kolb showed great maturity and a team-first attitude during an interview on 610 WIP on Tuesday, which is no surprise. He wants to play, he wants to start and he wants to be an Eagle. And he has great, great patience. I really believe that no matter what the Eagles do at quarterback in the off-season, the team is in a no-lose situation. It is an incredible happenstance, to have three quality quarterbacks on the roster in a league where good quarterbacks are really hard to find.
  • Had a good chat on Eagles Live! with Sirius/XM's Adam Caplan and he made a good point to keep Reggie Brown on the roster: The Eagles ideally would like a veteran as the fourth wide receiver who can play special teams and Brown fits that description. Maybe he stays. I mean, if you need a guy to start in the case of an injury, Brown is an excellent option.
  • I'm keeping an eye on some veterans now on the streets, and I wonder if the Eagles are interested in a couple of players Buffalo cut -- special teamers John Wendling and Ashlee Palmer. Certainly, Bobby April knows those players very well. They were key players on the Bills' special teams last season.
  • I don't know what the numbers mean, but Oakland's deal with kicker Sebastian Janikowski to a four-year contract worth a reported $16 million, including a reported $9 million in guaranteed money, is going to have an impact around the league. No doubt David Akers, whose contract expires after the 2010 season, is paying attention.
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