That, my friends is the question on the minds of anxious Birds fans everywhere. What is the Eagles' next move? We've witnessed the not unexpected departure of some favored players (Garica, Stallworth) and some good role-players (Hood, Lewis), but not a lot new blood.
For those keeping score at home:
Key Losses: WR Stallworth, QB Garcia, DBs Hood & Lewis
Key Retentions: DBs Mikell and James, DE Thomas, QB Feeley (extension past '08)
New Additions: WR Bethel Johnson
Still in play: RBs Buckhalter and Mahe (though its safe to assume he's a goner), LB Barber
However because the Eagles have let 4 players walk, and only signed 1 in return, a lot of fans are getting antsy, no one wants to take a step back, and the notoriously complex schemes the Eagles prefer seem to make it awfully hard for many players to come in as rookies and contribute immediately. (but that's an analysis I've already delved into and won't repeat here).
Here's how Spuds sees it.
I have to say its surprisingly refreshing to see some frank appraisals of key Eagles performances and discussion of their needs. They do need to replace the legit downfield threat Stallworth's presence provided. A complimentary back to Westbrook (someone with size and power) is a necessity as well. Better play from the D-Line and a play-making LB would be nice too.
Here is what I would do:
Sign two FAs to plug in the offensive holes:
say Corey Dillon for the Big back...this gives us a good veteran presence/toughness and a not-so shabby limited term insurance policy in case Westbrook misses a game or two
sign Kevin Curtis to replace the deep threat. He's got the speed, we all know that.
Then draft defense
Alternate scenario to address some defensive concerns via FA, and perhaps go take a couple of offensive guys on the first day of the draft.
- sign Kawika Mitchell, the Chiefs UFA. He's an every down LB and those are pretty rare (and other than OG, non-existent on the Eagles roster). I would go with Mitchell, personally, because the only other feasible LB who might fit our system is Cato June, and he probably expects a sizable payday
- perhaps bring in a guy like Titans UFA DT Robaire Smith to shore up the middle of the line with a vet (this would precipitate the departure of say perhaps a Rayburn or a Darwin Walker)
Then choose the best player available at #26 (be they WR, RB or DB) and address the other two positions with the #2 and #3 picks
Well there you have it. A plan...will it come to fruition? Stay tuned