Defensive end Julius Peppers will be one of the most highly sought-after players on the open market when free agency kicks off on Friday. The All-Pro is coming off of a season in which he registered 10.5 sacks, forced five fumbles, picked off two passes and scored a touchdown. The 6-7, 283-pound physical marvel has 81 career sacks in eight NFL seasons, five of which have resulted in Pro Bowl trips. He was also named to the NFL's All-Decade Team.
Whether or not the Eagles are interested in pairing Peppers as a three-down end with Trent Cole remains to be seen, but the answer might be yes if Peppers gets his way. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer cites a league source who told him that Peppers has the"Eagles on his short list of teams."
As for the Eagles' free agents, the team might be close with an All-Pro of their own. Fullback Leonard Weaver is scheduled to become a restricted free agent on Friday after a career year in which he rushed for 323 yards, added another 140 yards receiving and scored four total touchdowns. Weaver said during the season that he would love to remain with the Eagles and it looks like that a long-term deal could potentially get done before the start of free agency.
Weaver told Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News that he believes a deal is "close." If Weaver does become a free agent, our own Tommy Lawlor has him ranked as the No. 1 fullback available.
Scout.com's and Sirius NFL Radio's Adam Caplan told us that the Eagles quarterback situation is one of the most highly discussed topics at the Scouting Combine. The Wilmington News-Journal's Geoff Mosher reports that the Eagles are going to pay Michael Vick's $1.5 million roster bonus that is due on Friday, according to multiple league sources.
For everyone that thinks the Eagles can deal any of their quarterbacks, the trading period does not begin until Friday. Per Mosher, the belief is that the Eagles want a "third- or fourth-round pick in return" for Vick which is why they will pay the bonus.
On a non-Eagles front, there could be a change coming to the overtime rules next season. Per NFL.com, the league's Competition Committee will propose that both teams will get the ball at least once in overtime unless the first team gets the ball scores a touchdown. If the team that gets the ball first only scores a field goal, the other team will get the ball. If the second team to get the ball scores a touchdown, it wins. If the second team gets a field goal, then it becomes sudden death with the next score determining the winner. The proposed rule change would only be in effect for playoff games.
Currently, overtime is a sudden death format where the first team to score any points wins. The New Orleans Saints won the NFC Championship over the Minnesota Vikings in overtime this past season. The Vikings never got the ball in overtime. The Competition Committee will make the proposal to teams at the league meetings March 21-24 in Orlando, Fla.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 9:58 a.m., February 28