The Eagles' unprecedented haul thus far this offseason, which includes the additions of five Pro Bowlers thus far, is the result of long-term planning, long-range thinking and an uncommon opportunity, said Eagles chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie.
"It's taking advantage of the marketplace," Lurie said during his annual training camp address to the media. "We thought there was a real potential for a buyer's marketplace with the ingredients I spoke of before. It's a unique situation to have uncapped-to-capped, two years of free agency rolled into one week or two and the lack of stringent minimum going forward for the first two years. We'll never see that again.
"We don't feel that philosophically there's any change. This was a very, very unique marketplace and we wanted to be very agile and strike."
The Eagles, led by Lurie, team president Joe Banner, general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Andy Reid, identified early on that there would be an opportunity to add quality in quantity for a reasonable price. Of course, courting free agents is a two-way street. Luckily, the Eagles, in addition to their foresight, are an attractive organization to players for other reasons.
"I sense players, especially players who have been in the league for a while, they've have earned a lot of money, what's missing? It's to win a Super Bowl," said Lurie. "They want to join a team that they think has a chance to win a Super Bowl, that's committed to it. Also, our coach Andy Reid has just an amazing reputation nationally both with players and coaches around the league. He's really very, very much admired and it's not just because of his success, it's the way he handles people and handles players. I think that helps us very, very much in recruiting free agents. I think when you have a quarterback as dynamic as Michael Vick, that attracts a lot of talent. Who doesn't want to play with Michael? And I think that they know that we were a strong team already and to become stronger hopefully I think is exciting."
But even with the additions of players like Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Vince Young, Ronnie Brown, not to mention the acquisition Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Lurie said the team is not necessarily done tweaking the roster. One report indicated that the team has around $4 million remaining under the cap, a number that could increase if the team restructures Michael Vick's contract moving forward. Vick is currently signed as the team's franchise player. But as we've seen at defensive tackle over the past few days, there will always be a need for extra room in case of injuries.
"I don't have the calculation in my head but we have the capability (salary cap-wise) of making more moves," Lurie said. "Injuries happen and we always try to allow some cap room between now and the point where you can't use it anymore because injuries happen in this league and you have to be prepared.
"When you sign some big-name free agents, there's an assumption you're spending more. We're literally not. We're doing what we always do - spend to the max because that's our blueprint. We spend to the max, but you try to be as efficient as you can in doing it and pick the right players."