I'm not sure what I believe at this time of the year. The nature of the business suggests that teams are not going to divulge their intentions one bit, and instead are more interested in creating diversions. I don't pretend to know what the Eagles are going to do, for example, in free agency, but I will take a stab at the madness ...
- What does it mean that the Eagles met with Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, who is projected to be the second or third player selected in April's draft? It was shocking news, for sure, when Griffin told reporters that he met with the Eagles. Does that mean that the Eagles are considering a draft-shattering move up in the first round? Are they looking for their franchise quarterback of the future in a player like Griffin, who has an off-the-charts rating these days? Or is it a matter of the Eagles doing their homework and investigating every player they have rated highly? I think it's mostly the latter. The Eagles can interview as many as 60 players prior to the draft and they have the opportunity to get in front of as many players as possible.
- That said, who* is *the "quarterback of the future?" Well, Michael Vick isn't going anywhere for at least a few years. He has to stay healthy, of course. I truly believe that Andy Reid and the coaching staff want to take a long, long look at Mike Kafka in the spring and summer. I think they are very high on Kafka, who is going to enter the spring drills second on the depth chart behind Vick. Will the Eagles use a draft pick on a quarterback with veteran Trent Edwards also on the roster? I can't see a high draft pick, unless one slips down to the Eagles unexpectedly. I see no way this team trades up to get in position for Griffin unless, well, free agency solves every one of the team's roster needs.
- Lots of confusing nuggets regarding DeSean Jackson's situation. All of a sudden, a report suggests, the Eagles are "open" to "conversations" to move Jackson? What does that mean? Here is my take: I sure as heck hope the Eagles are "open" to just about anything. As for Jackson, I will repeat what I've said all along: I think he remains an Eagle, and I think that a new contract with multiple years is not at all out of the question. That is the ideal scenario, that Jackson signs a deal that keeps him here for many years to come so that the contract is not an issue any longer.
- What's with all of this Mike Wallace talk? Rich Hofmann of the Daily News says that the Eagles should give up their first-round pick and sign Wallace, a restricted free agent. Says that Wallace is a "sure thing" and would help the offense with his vertical speed. I don't agree. First of all, the Steelers are going to retain Wallace. Hofmann isn't the only Philadelphia-area sportswriter or reporter to jump on this story. And I offer this: Name the last free-agent wide receiver who was a "sure thing." Free agency is littered with receivers who moved from one team to another and never attained the level of success they had with their previous teams. Wallace isn't going to happen. I don't get the love affair.
- No word from the Eagles on Albert Haynesworth, and I just don't believe this is even a possibility. The Eagles have Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon and Cedric Thornton. They have a chance at retaining both Trevor Laws and Derek Landri, potential unrestricted free agents. Haynesworth ain't happening.
- By the way, if you were to ask me now, and you have, I would say a defensive tackle would be very high on my list of first-round draft pick wants. Give me a young, active, athletic 350-pounder for the middle of this defensive line and watch how the run defense and short-yardage defense improves.
- Best wishes to former Eagles general manager Tom Heckert, who underwent surgery recently and wasn't able to attend the Senior Bowl or the Combine. I exchanged emails with Heckert, the Browns' general manager, and he says he feels "all good." Good man. Good news.
- Somehow, I just can't get in to watching offensive linemen running 40-yard dashes and lifting weights. I understand the importance, but it really is difficult to watch. How big will the ratings be for this Combine? If America tunes in and watches in record numbers, well, I would have to ask Troy Aikman how that registers with him. Aikman said recently that he thinks the NFL will slip in popularity in the future, a staggering statement to make about a league that has never been more popular.
- What about Evan Mathis, the left guard who fit in so well last season. As a player who signed a one-year contract as a free agent, Mathis can't sign a new deal until March 13, when free agency begins. The Eagles can negotiate with him until then, but he can't sign a deal. I think Mathis understands how right this fit is with the Eagles, but he also knows that this could be his last real NFL contract. Mathis returns, I believe strongly.