Philadelphia Eagles News

News, Notes And Things I Think ...

To date, they have executed exactly as they hoped. The plan was to finalize deals with several key veterans -- offensive tackle Todd Herremans, defensive end Trent Cole and the trickiest of all, wide receiver DeSean Jackson -- before venturing into free agency.

The first move there was a success: Offensive guard Evan Mathis had the opportunity to reach free agency and gauge his market, and he did just that. Mathis received a strong offer from the Baltimore Ravens, considered his options, and stayed with Philadelphia with a solid five-year deal worth a reported $25 million.

So while the Eagles have not gone out and signed another team's unrestricted free agent -- offensive guard Mike Gibson had been terminated by Seattle, so he doesn't count in this category -- the Eagles have had a very successful first several days of free agency.

Now what? If the market is, indeed, settling and it has become a buyer's market, then are the Eagles going to become buyers?

This is the week to find out. There are starting-caliber players on the streets, many of them. The price tags have been slashed dramatically since free agency opened last week. There are good players at good prices to be had.

The Eagles, of course, say nothing out loud about their intentions. They work behind the scenes without a whisper.

So what are they doing?

They are, guaranteed, working every angle. They have evaluated every player on the market. Certainly they are working the phones and talking about players who might be available for trade. They are eyeing up the draft and approaching all talks and considerations with an open mind.

In other words, I have no idea what they are doing in the closed-door meetings at the NovaCare Complex. But they are doing what they set out to do in this offseason, with much more to come.

  • Fans have focused intently on the linebacker positions with a bit of alarm: Why haven't the Eagles reached out and signed one of the high-profile linebackers available? Maybe they will, and maybe it will happen very soon. Maybe the Eagles are more interested in addressing linebacker in the draft. Maybe they think they are OK at the position and would instead like to see their young players mature. It will also come together at the right time.
  • The quarterback carousel is remarkable, looking at it from afar. The 49ers, as I see it, could be the frontrunner in the Peyton Manning derby. If they don't land Manning, they could be without Alex Smith, who is shopping around for a good deal and who looks like a possible candidate in Miami. Manning's situation has completely taken over the offseason for teams involved in those talks.
  • It is widely assumed that the Eagles are going to add a third halfback to go along with LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis (although I will also look forward to Graig Cooper in the summer) and if they do, the market is ripe. There are veteran running backs available by the basketful, and the draft has some excellent prospects.
  • Fullback is another position that bears watching as Owen Schmitt is an unrestricted free agent. Second-year man Stanley Havili is the lone fullback on the roster.
  • The Eagles would do well to add a veteran backup offensive lineman who can play guard and tackle. I'm all for taking a long look at D.J. Jones, but the team lost two reliable veterans in Jamaal Jackson, a solid interior lineman, and Winston Justice, a good swing tackle. Then again, King Dunlap is not yet signed, so maybe he is an option to return.
  • I will all but guarantee you that the Eagles want to bring in a punter to challenge Chas Henry. Not that the coaches are down on Henry, but they think he is at his best when he feels challenged.
  • I've read all kinds of stories talking about DeSean Jackson's contract and who "won" in the deal. Hey, guess what? The fans won, because Jackson is going to be an Eagle for a long time. And Jackson won, because he is being paid fairly and doesn't have to let the mental stress of a contract cloud his thinking. The Eagles win, too, because they have a very fine wide receiver under contract. Everybody wins. Why does there have to be a conspiracy theory all the time? Can't we just enjoy good things and let it be?
  • There hasn't been a lot of talk about the safety positions, but there likely will be. I think the Eagles could explore those positions. It makes sense to challenge what the Eagles have there. They've got players who are young and promising, but it never hurts to add a piece to bring out the best in everyone.
  • Finally, one from the world of Twitter. NFL Network's Jason LaConfora Tweeted out on Sunday night that wide receiver Plaxico Burress is mulling his decision and that the Eagles "could be a possibility." Who knows the truth?
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