1. Rescind David Akers' Transition Tag - PFT's Gregg Rosenthal believes this is the first thing that the Eagles must do. It remains to be seen whether the tag will even exist in a new labor agreement. It has been assumed that Akers' tenure in Philadelphia is over after the team selected Alex Henery in the fourth round of this year's draft. Dave Spadaro pointed out in his On The Inside column that the hype train regarding Henery might be a little out of control at this point. Remember Akers' first year with the Eagles in 1999? The Eagles carried Akers and veteran Norm Johnson on the roster. Two kickers could be a luxury, but could be a possible approach to bring along the young kicker.
2. Find The Right Deal For Kevin Kolb - Even though Rosenthal's own website claims that the Eagles have a "disconnect" regarding the value of Kolb, it realizes that the Eagles hold the cards in what is a "seller's market" for quarterbacks and states the Eagles should not get less than a first-round pick for the veteran signal-caller. Rosenthal does point out that the Eagles could bring back Kolb as insurance for Michael Vick this year and proceed from there.
3. Sign A Starting (Right) Cornerback - Right now, it looks like second-year cornerback Trevard Lindley would be the starter opposite Asante Samuel with Ellis Hobbs and Dimitri Patterson set to become free agents (although Patterson was given a restricted free agent tender that might not be valid in a new labor deal). If the Eagles make a move, credit Rosenthal for coming up with more options than just Nnamdi Asomugha.
4. Bring Back Stewart Bradley - Rosenthal makes an intriguing point regarding Bradley, who like Patterson was given a restricted free agent tender. How many teams would be interested in Bradley's services with a shortened offseason program? The Eagles did add three linebackers in the draft and two of them - Casey Matthews and Greg Lloyd - are projected to play on the inside. The Eagles also have second-year linebacker Jamar Chaney, who started in the middle at the end of last season following Bradley's elbow injury. Either way, the Eagles have options and Juan Castillo will also have to determine how Bradley fits in his new scheme.
5. Sign A Tailback - Jerome Harrison was given a restricted free agent tender and played well for the Eagles in 2010. The Eagles also drafted Dion Lewis in the fifth round back in April, but he's more of a LeSean McCoy-type player instead of a bigger back. Another person to watch here would be fullback Stanley Havili, who was an offensive weapon at USC. Havili is more in the mold of a Leonard Weaver-type fullback who can run and catch instead of being simply a lead blocker.
6. Get Veteran Insurance At Safety - Quintin Mikell is set to become a free agent. Nate Allen is expected to be 100 percent healthy from a season-ending knee injury, but is still coming off of an injury. There is also the addition of second-round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett, who is in the mix to start at strong safety. Kurt Coleman played well as a rookie, a seventh-round rookie at that, starting at the end of the season when Allen went down. As Spadaro pointed out in his On The Inside column, a person to keep an eye on is Marlin Jackson. Signed as a free agent in 2010, Jackson was the starter at free safety for the initial OTAs last year before he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. He's worked his way back to being healthy and is looking to earn a roster spot on the team next year.
7. Make Sure That The New Defense Is Simple - Yes, it is Juan Castillo's first year as the new defensive coordinator. What helps Castillo is that he plans to implement a similar system that was first used by Jim Johnson and more recently by Sean McDermott. During a recent interview, Castillo explained that the learning curve shouldn't be too steep - even for rookies - because at the end of the day football is football, a Cover 2 is a Cover 2 no matter how you slice it. Castillo has preached that he wants his defense to play fast and not spending a lot of time thinking will be essential.