Thursday, March 15, 2007

So Much for THAT Theory

Well folks, hours after posting a little diddy about Jack and Diane (that's code for the Eagles and their WR situation) about how the Eagles might just look to the draft to supply a WR to address the hole left by Donte' Stallworth's departure (scroll down) the Eagles blew that out of the water by announcing they've reached terms with FA WR Kevin Curtis.

6 years/30 mill (which a couple of escalators that could make it worth $32 mill) - $9.5 of which is guaranteed money.

Not bad. According the salary breaks out thusly: Curtis gets a $7 million in bonus money: $2 million signing bonus and a $5 million roster bonus. The remainder of the guaranteed money comes from a fully-guaranteed base salary of $1 million in 2007 and $1.5 million in guaranteed base salary in 2008. His total 2008 base salary is $2 million, and he's due to receive a $1.5 million roster bonus in March of next year.

Right now I have no clue how this affects the Eagles Cap, but I doubt they'd make a signing would require them to get all shifty with the cap and have to cut players to have any further flexibility (they might go ahead and convert someone else's deal to Create some space)....

My thoughts on this deal
- Do I like the signing? I'm O.K. with it. Personally, I would've spent the same money to keep Donte' but I think the Birds adequately addressed the hole left by his departure. Curtis is NOT a bad player.
- Now that the Eagles have addressed WR, there is no chance they'll draft one
- The signing paves the way for the Eagles to do the following in the draft: Round 1 (#26) - take the best defensive player available (LB, DB) Round 2 - take the best Big Back to compliment Westbrook (Rutgers' Leonard anyone?), Round 3 - address the position you didn't in Round 1 (DB or LB, perhaps even DL)
- This deal shows me the Eagles weren't "afraid" to make a deal, or "cheap" as many of accused them of being. But I don't Super-agent Drew Rosenhaus would've accepted a similar deal for Stallworth. Of course, I also think that based on the substance program stuff, the Eagles probably would've wanted stricter language written in the contract and more protection. Finally Tom Heckert on Sirius' NFL Talk show discussed how the Eagles weren't interested in matching or making a Patriots-type offer that all but guarantees Stallworth will be an unrestricted free agent next year as well (unless they decide to break the bank for him and pay all those bonuses).
- Barring injury (crossed fingers) Curtis and Reggie Brown will be the Starting WRs for the Eagles on Opening Day.
The Rest of the WR corps breaks out like this in my mind:
First WR off the Bench in the 3-WR set: Hank Baskett
Second WR off the Bench for 4-WR sets: Jason Avant
#5 WR/KR: Jeremy Bloom or Bethel Johnson - open competition
Odd-man out right now: Greg Lewis and whichever undrafted camp cuts from last year (Like JJ Outlaw and Gasperson, etc) that held out some hope to make the team.

Is the deal a good one? Well the Eagles willing to spend tells me that they could've kept Donte'. That said, the Eagles paid what the market currently demands for a player like Curtis (just two years ago that price mightve been in the 5yr/low20s range, just goes to show you what a difference a year or two makes).

Curtis' numbers dipped last year after a strong '05 campaign. The reasons are plain: 1) Isaac Bruce was not injured very much in '06 like he was in '05, so Curtis clearly was the #3 behind Bruce and all-world Torry Holt for the Rams last year; 2) New coach Scott Linehan RAN the ball A LOT more last year, which meant fewer 3-WR sets and fewer chances for Curtis.

What will be able to do with the Eagles? Time will tell. The Eagles don't spend money frivolously, but I have to hope this signing works out better than the Darren Howard signing....(who by the way, could be gone after the '07 season with little cap damage if he underachieves again).

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