General manager Howie Roseman recently said that the NFL Owners Meetings signal when teams start to shift gears from free agency to the draft, which is now less than a month away.
With that in mind, Roseman told Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer in West Palm Beach, Fla. - the site of this year's Owners Meetings - that the Eagles are "excited about what we've done" in free agency.
"Our first goal coming into this offseason was making sure that we re-signed our own players, and then to see if we could get an opportunity to get a difference-maker ... That doesn't mean that we don't feel like we have other areas that we're going to look to improve," Roseman said.
The Eagles, indeed, focused on taking care of their players as they signed defensive end Trent Cole and offensive tackle Todd Herremans to contract extensions; and wide receiver DeSean Jackson and guard Evan Mathis each received new five-year contracts. The Eagles also bolstered the depth of the offensive line with some under-the-radar moves bringing back former draft pick Mike Gibson and signing another interior lineman in Steve Vallos.
But the difference-maker came on March 20 when the Eagles acquired two-time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans to solidify the middle of the Eagles defense.
With the first phase of the offseason essentially complete, the Eagles of course could add a veteran or two in the coming weeks, the team can hone its energy on the draft where they have nine picks including three of the first 51 selections. It appears that those positions that still need to be improved will be addressed during the three-day draft process from April 26-28.
Could the Eagles add additional picks before the draft? Roseman "hinted," according to McLane, that teams have inquired about the availability of one of the Eagles' Pro Bowl cornerbacks - Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel - in a trade. Roseman declined to say which of the cornerbacks has been discussed in a potential deal.
McLane did note that according to "a source close to the situation" Samuel would be willing to restructure his contract to help get a deal done. Asomugha was signed to a five-year contract last offseason. Rodgers-Cromartie is entering the last year of his rookie contract. Samuel's six-year deal with the Eagles expires after the 2013 season.
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