Alright my fellow Birdwatchers, the Eagles have begun to take a few steps to add some much needed depth/competition to the roster. Shortly after the Bethel Johnson signed, the Eagles announced they'd re-signed Will James to a 1-year contract.
Ok, so a I hear ya, so folks are yawning. BUT. The did host their first two free agent visits as well. the first being a heretofore unheard of guy, restricted free agent Ryan Fowler, a 6-3, 250-pound LB from - of all places - DALLAS. The second and more notable visit: former Rams burner, WR Kevin Curtis. He apparently had nothing but praise for the Eagles. (well what else would you expect the guy to say to or about a team from whom he is seeking millions of dollars).
So here is my take:
- Bethel Johnson is a training camp insurance policy. Is he good enough to be 4 or 5 WR - YES. But his real value will be in the return game. He provides a nice security blanket should last year fifth-round pick Jeremy Bloom be unable to complete his comeback to football. Moreover, if someone gets hurts, he's an experienced guy who can step in to help.
- Will James is a decent re-signing. He gets a one-year "show me" deal, and from his bravado (“I’m a starter and that’s the goal,” James said. “Obviously, I’m not going to the Pro Bowl as a nickel back. That lets you know my intentions.") I'd say that bodes well for the Eagles CB depth. Heck, he was a starter, and played decent, if sparingly for the Eagles as a reserve last year. He'll get more action this year because Rod Hood is as good as gone. This move gives the Eagles a one-year reprieve. Either James plays well and says goodbye in FA or he proves he doesn't have it. Either way, the Birds can look to find a tall CB in the draft without necessarily having the pressure to put in them critical 3-wide situations right away.
- Ryan Fowler - Rarely do players visit the Birds without getting offers...since he was an undrafted FA, the Eagles would not have to surrender a draft pick to sign him, but Dallas does retain the right to match any offer.
- Kevin Curtis - will the Birds bring in the Stormin' Mormon? I'd say Curtis, right now, it looks like the Birds are trying to tell Drew Rosenhaus that they're not going to get taken to the cleaners for Stallworth. My preference remains Donte', but his loss would be assuaged greatly if the Eagles brought in Curtis....