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papikaika

*IMD - Philadelphia Eagles Off-Season Review*

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2009 IMD – Philadelphia Eagles Off-Season Review

By: Papikaika

NEEDS

Left Tackle / Right Tackle

Both, Tra Thomas & Jon Runyan were free agents, so both tackle spots played a big part in what I needed to do this off-season. Thomas, still has a couple of solid years left in him, and is still one of the best left tackles in the league, but on the other hand, Jon Runyan is coming off of knee surgery.

Free Safety

Brian Dawkins is set to become a free agent and he isn’t getting any younger, so a future at this position is another one of the key components that got my attention this off-season. It is indeed tough to replace a captain, a team leader, and a true vocal veteran player, such as, Dawkins.

Tight End

LJ Smith was a waste, nothing more he could do for the Eagles. Celek showed flashes during the regular season, and he had a very outstanding performance in the NFC-CG. But, is Celek that big target that the Eagles need, that’s a question I had to ask myself this off-season.

Wide-Receiver

The Eagles lacked a true #1 receiver and it showed. DeSean Jackson is a great #2 / slot receiver, Kevin Curtis was hurt for the majority of last season – he’s another solid #2, Reggie Brown, Greg Lewis, and Jason Avant isn’t anything to brag about. So, this position was another priority for me to address this off-season. Another thing to note is that Hank Baskett is a free agent, as well.

Running-Back (Depth – powerback)

4th & 1, most common sense play to run is a running play, but if you’re the Eagles, you pass cause of the fact that you’ll get stuffed because you lack a powerback. Also, Westbrook needs plays off and I was looking to address a solid complimentary, but in ways, similar back to him.

FREE AGENCY

Cap Room (per. IMD) - $30 million

Re-signings

Nick Cole / C/OG

(2nd round tender - $1.5 million cap hit)

Cole is a versatile lineman that can anchor an offensive line, as well as slide over to play either Guard spots; he was one of the players I worked to retain.

Tra Thomas / OT

(2 yrs, $7 million + $4 million sb - $5 million Y1 Cap Hit)

Like I stated up above, Thomas is a vital part to this team, and we will continue to go with him at the left tackle spot. One thing to note is that Thomas only gave up 1 sack last season, and in my opinion, that’s proof that he still can ball.

Sean Considine / SS

(2 yrs, $1.75 million + $500k sb - $750k Y1 Cap Hit)

I know in real life, some Eagles fans don’t like Considine, but I do. He provides depth to the roster, can anchor the special teams unit, and can step in to start if any injuries occur.

New Acquisitions

TJ Houshmandzadeh / WR

(3 yrs, $9 million + $6 million sb - $2 million Y1 Cap Hit)

Here’s the #1 receiver the Eagles lacked. I could’ve targeted Anqan Boldin here as well, but I believe he was traded early in the IMD, thus I didn’t have the time to plan out a trade. So, I settled for option B, and landing Houshmandzadeh is key for the success of the Eagles. Not a deep threat, but a possession type of player, who has a knack for the endzone. I have deep threats in DeSean and Curtis, so a player of TJ’s caliber was needed for the Eagles to win, NOW!

Darren Sharper / FS

(2 yrs, $4 million + $2 million sb - $2 million Y1 Cap Hit)

Patriots snagged Dawkins with a considerably high bid that also had 4 yrs. worth of contract time. I like Dawkins, but just like in real life, we had to let him go. So, this is the justification of signing Sharper. Now, Sharper isn’t Dawkins, nor is he young, but he is a proven playmaker and has 2 yrs. left in him; but don’t worry, I got his eventual replacement.

Corey Ivy / CB

(2 yrs, $1 million + $500k sb - $500k Y1 Cap Hit)

Ivy is a physical corner that fits the mold of an Eagles cornerback. This signing makes more sense especially when I traded Lito Sheppard to Cleveland; more analysis will come from that later when I discuss the trades I’ve made.

BJ Askew / FB

(2 yrs, $1.75 million - $750k Y1 Cap Hit)

The Eagles can’t always depend on Dan Klecko (DT) to come in to play FB, so with that said I signed Askew to come in and be a solid blocker and solid receiver out of the backfield. He presents an upgrade over Klecko, but the question is, is he a dependable short yardage back? I believe he can be in certain formations and plays.

Jon Stinchcomb / OT

(5 yrs, $19 million + $5 million sb - $3 million Y1 Cap Hit)

Here’s an up and coming right tackle that fits the mold of an Eagles lineman. He’s relatively big, and the transition from the Saints pass-happy offense to the Eagles similar attack; it should be simple. Stinchcomb is a very solid pass blocker and has the ability to take his man to the next level when the running game is called upon.

Total Year 1 Cap Hits - $15.5 million

Cap Room Left - $14.5 million

Recap:

In free agency, I managed to fill both tackle spots / offensive line, sure up depth at corner and safety, sign a proven veteran fullback, and sign a big time receiver for McNabb. I, on the other hand, lost out on re-signing Dawkins because of the Patriots GM signing him to a long term deal and I felt that it wasn’t the right amount to bring him back. Overall, I think I did well. Many needs were addressed, even if it’s just a short-term answer, they’re proven veterans and I’m comfortable with that.

TRADES

Philadelphia Eagles Get:

Kellen Winslow Jr. / TE

Cleveland Browns Get:

Lito Sheppard / CB

2nd Round Pick, 55th Overall

The first proposal for this was a 3rd instead of a 2nd, but I upped the ante because I needed a proven tight end. In my opinion, this trade benefits both teams and we are even. Sheppard really got shafted down on the depth chart and in real life he was traded for a 5th + a conditional ’10 draft pick and at this point KWJ is still 1st round value, thus this trade. KWJ provides a middle of the field target / another endzone threat for Donovan. Question marks are around his attitude, but I believe he will put that aside to help this team get above that mark.

Philadelphia Eagles Get:

1st Round Pick, 17th Overall

Jesse Chatman / RB

New York Jets Get:

1st Round Pick, 21st Overall

3rd Round Pick, 85th Overall

I made this trade to assure that I landed my future All-Pro player at safety. Many questioned my move, but I did it because I felt that couple of the teams ahead of me would make the move for him, so I just went ahead and made it. Chatman came in the deal to even it out, but despite that he only played 3 games in ’08, he still is a thumper of a back and is a multiple threat out of the backfield. Fills the void left by the departed Correll Buckhalter.

Philadelphia Eagles Get:

Patrick Kerney / DE

Seattle Seahawks Get:

Brodrick Bunkley / DT

4th Round Pick, 117th Overall

A defensive end opposite Trent Cole was needed. Need I say more about Kerney? His motor is off the charts, and with him in the Jim Johnson defense; the Eagles defensive line would be a force to be reckon with. Yes, I may have lost a solid player in Bunkley, but I will replace him with Trevor Laws, who in my point, needs to be unleashed. He wasn’t a 2nd round pick in the ’08 draft for nothing. He provides solid gap penetration and with Laws teaming up with Patterson and a solid rotation of defensive ends on the outside (Kerney, Cole, Juqua Parker, Darren Howard, Abiamiri), the Eagles D just got better.

Philadelphia Eagles Get:

Tank Tyler / DT

Kansas City Chiefs Get:

7th Round Pick, 213th Overall

I believe this trade was a steal for me, personally. Tyler was drafted in ’07 (3rd round) and some may have said that he didn’t live up to anything yet, but in the Eagles defense, he will thrive off the rotation with Patterson. The prototype nose tackle for JJ’s defense, short and stumpy, Tyler can provide a lot for the Eagles team. Also, insurance for the trading of Brodrick Bunkley.

DRAFT

1 (17th Overall) – Louis Delmas / S / Western Michigan

This is the player I coveted the most when I knew that the Eagles needed a future Safety. Delmas provides a lot of swagger with his ability to come up and make the tackle against the run and he has solid coverage skills to go along with it. He will come in and be mentored by one of the best in the business at playmaking, Darren Sharper. Sharper will help Delmas become a true top All-Pro Safety for years to come and a true marksman for the NFL. An all-around player with a very high ceiling.

1 (28th Overall) – Eben Britton / OT / Arizona

The eventual replacement to Tra Thomas at left tackle. Another player that will be mentored by one of the leagues top at his position. Britton benefited from an excellent junior campaign and with a year or two to sit behind Tra, Britton will gain more knowledge and experience and when he’s called upon, he will be a surefire All-pro tackle.

5 (133rd Overall) – James Davis / RB / Clemson

Boy, I was so close to landing my pick for powerback here; Andre Brown (NC St.), but Sac (Rams GM) selected him 3 spots before. Grr. So, I just went to plan B and landed another tough back that will run up the middle and get that short yardage needed; James Davis. He was the thunder to CJ Spiller’s lightning, so I expect him to come in and do the same with Westbrook. He needs to work on catching out of the backfield, but who better to learn from than one of the leagues best at that, Brian Westbrook. Solid value here for Davis.

5 (149th Overall) – Frantz Joseph / ILB / Florida Atlantic

Joseph is a project at linebacker, but he has all the tools necessary to one day become a starter in this league. I’ve watched a few tapes of him and he gets after the ball carrier in a hurry and don’t let his size fool you, but this kid can cover a back / tight end. A defensive coach like JJ will help this kid develop all he needs to succeed.

6 (181st Overall) – Ra’Shon Harris / DT / Oregon

This is about where I projected Harris to land in the draft and I had to take him to assure depth and rotation at defensive tackle. He’s coming off an injury, but he won’t be rushed on the field. He’s in ways similar to Laws, quick, penetrating type of tackle.

6 (182nd Overall) – Nader Abdallah / DT / Ohio State

No one really talks about this guy, but I just had to draft him; again for assurance of depth and rotation at defensive tackle. Very strong at the point of attack and uses his hands well to disengage, Nader is another project, I’m predicting he will start one day. For now, he’ll be in the rotation.

UDFA (1st Round) – Eddie Williams / FB / Idaho

Despite coming off a knee injury, Eddie Williams is worth taking a flyer on here in the UDFA round. Williams is a versatile player that can play FB, H-Back, & TE for a team. The Eagles will benefit from this guy because he’s a powerful blocker and runner and he catches well out of the backfield.

UDFA (2nd Round) – Graham Gano / K/P / Florida State

Another player worth taking a flyer on. Akers is getting up there in age and I don’t mind bringing in the BEST kicker in this draft via UDFA. Gano has a strong leg, but is known for his accuracy. Assurance for David Akers.

Recap:

Overall, I filled all my needs and added much more depth to positions that needed it. I’m pleased of the way my draft went, but there’s no doubt it could’ve been better. I was hoping Beenie Wells fell to me at the 28th Overall, but he got selected by Kansas City, 3 picks earlier again. Haha. Other than that, I think this depth chart will show you what I mean about the Eagles improved team…

DEPTH CHART ‘09

Offense

QB – Donovan McNabb / Kevin Kolb / AJ Feeley

RB – Brian Westbrook / James Davis / Jesse Chatman

FB – BJ Askew / Eddie Williams

TE – Kellen Winslow Jr. / Brent Celek / Matt Schobel

WR – TJ Houshmandzadeh / DeSean Jackson / Jason Avant

WR – Kevin Curtis / Reggie Brown / Hank Baskett

LT – Tra Thomas / Eben Britton

LG – Todd Herremans / Mike McGlynn

C – Jamaal Jackson / Nick Cole

RG – Shawn Andrews / Max Jean-Gilles

RT – Jon Stinchcomb / Winston Justice

Defense

LE – Patrick Kerney / Juqua Parker / Victor Abiamiri

NT – Mike Patterson / Tank Tyler

UT – Trevor Laws / Ra’Shon Harris / Nader Abdallah

RE – Trent Cole / Darren Howard / Chris Clemons

SLB – Chris Gocong / Tank Daniels

MLB – Stewart Bradley / Frantz Joseph

WLB – Akeem Jordan / Omar Gaither

CB – Asante Samuel / Joselio Hanson / Quintin Demps

CB – Sheldon Brown / Corey Ivy

SS – Quintin Mikell / Sean Considine

FS – Darren Sharper / Louis Delmas

K – David Akers / Graham Gano

P – Sav Rocca

Recap

Did my best to improve the Eagles and get them to that next level (Super Bowl). I believe I addressed every need there was and made sure I had an ample amount of depth and assurance of rotation at each position.

Critiques & Comments?

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