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Off The Top On Slow News Day

It's coming, though. We know that. The NFL and the players have come too far to allow the negotiations to fall apart, so we have to be more patient. We have to take a chill pill and enjoy the weekend and wait for better things next week.

The drop-dead day that has been bandied about the most out there is July 15 for a deal to be done. So there is time. Get it done by then, whip through free agency, sign the rookies, make a trade or two and see you at training camp in late July.

Here is the question I have for you, Eagles fans: How will you define "making a splash" when free agency begins? What does that mean for you?

The Eagles have said they will be aggressive. They've certainly had time to think out their strategy knowing they will have very little time to implement it. They know what they want to do.

Understanding how the Eagles operate, you should expect them to make moves quickly and definitively. They have specified areas of need they must address. They have a glaring story regarding Kevin Kolb and the backup quarterback spot to tell.

What constitutes success, in your eyes? If the Eagles, for example, entertain trade offers for Kolb, what is a suitable price? Of the hundreds of free agents expected to be available, how many should they target?

How do the Eagles handle David Akers, Stewart Bradley, Quintin Mikell, Jerome Harrison and others?

To be a major player in free agency, do the Eagles have to go out and get that one guy, or do they sign two or three or four and deepen the roster with a broader base of talent?

Questions, of course. Always questions. I've asked four months' worth of questions. I thank you for your indulgence. It isn't easy to write four months of nothing and it is even more difficult to read so much about so little.

Hang in there, gang. The deal is coming and, here's a thought, training camp is only two-plus weeks away.

  • The announcement that the USA-Mexico soccer rematch will be played at Lincoln Financial Field on August 10 was something I knew about a couple of weeks ago, but it is still a great get for the stadium and for the City and, of course, for soccer fans in the region. The Eagles have been ultra-aggressive lining up world-class events for Lincoln Financial Field through the summer and area fans of sports, concerts and great events have been rewarded.
  • I enjoyed the various tributes to the late John Mackey, a defining player in NFL history. It's good to remember the players who paved the way for today's game, and for today's athletes. Mackey changed the game in his own way, in many ways, so it was heartening to see such an outpouring of memories in his honor.
  • Speaking of former greats, I want to again push the issue of Harold Carmichael as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was among the all-time greats in his time, ranking sixth in the NFL at the time of his retirement in career catches. He was durable, productive and, in his way, a game-changer. It's time for Carmichael to get the respect he deserves.
  • I think the way that Andy Reid and Howie Roseman say so little prior to the draft and to things like free agency really aid the Eagles in getting what and whom they want to add to the team. A lot of teams do a lot of talking and it gets them nowhere. Not this group.
  • I am all for the idea of expanding the rosters for training camp. I am actually all for increasing the roster for the regular season and for making more players available on game days. Let's see if those issues are addressed in the new CBA.
  • And by the way, if I ever get a vote, I am all for 18 regular season games and two preseason games. Not that anybody cares what I think ...
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