Hey guys, it's been a while since I've posted but I figured I'd stop by and share some thoughts while I take a break from school work (Gotta get them A's)..
In this post I felt like it'd be a good idea to take a look at some of the free agents that might interest the Eagles when it's time to start the bidding wars. Keep in mind I'm going off of a large list of expected FA's, I wouldn't be surprised if I included a few guys that have signed extensions or will likely end up being signed before the FA period even begins so just bare with me and omit those mistakes. So lets get started:
Joe Flacco, Ravens- Flacco is a strong armed QB who is young, I'm surprised the Ravens haven't locked him up and I'm sure they will, however when a former first round pick who will only be 28 years old by the time Free Agency starts has a possibility to hit the market then you have to pay your dues and mention it. He has his issues however I feel if the Eagles implemented a heavy running game featured around McCoy and Brown this would make things easier for Flacco and allow him to use the cannon attached to his shoulder to beat defenses deep with our speedy WR core. This is a guy you sign to be a Franchise QB, not a lame duck, not to groom Foles, he becomes the man.
Jason Campbell, Bears- I know 90% of you just groaned and probably skipped to the comment section to rip me a new asshole, however you need to hear me out; Jason isn't a guy you sign as a Franchise QB, you basically bring him in to back up whichever young QB you roll with (Foles or Draftee) and act as an insurance policy. Jason has actually played well in relief before, take a look at what he did in Oakland before injury, however he was less than promising when he filled in for Cutler. Jason is still a guy that I'd trust to do anything from backup for a young QB to act as a lame duck QB while we give Foles/Draftee time to adjust to the NFL.
Matt Moore, Dolphins- Moore looked good at times late in 2011, he made that Miami team look decent. Moore is in the same boat as Campbell if he sign here however I trust him more than I do Jason. Why do I trust him more? Because he's been consistent throughout his career, he's average, he won't hurt you often and he can get the ball to playmakers.
Note: I think it's fair to question Celek at this point and I'm a huge Celek fan. His drops have hurt us numerous times, he is a tough player though but he has been inconsistent throughout his career and it might be time to find somebody else to come in and share the load with him or give Harbor a chance. So for arguments sake lets just assume Reid or a new coach want to replace him.
Fred Davis, Redskins- I'm not even sure he will really be there when FA opens but with the emergence Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul the Redskins might be ready to part with Davis. If they really do I wouldn't mind grabbing him, up until he got hurt he was on pace for a career year and was actually leading the team in almost every receiving category. The issues with him is the fact he has a tendency to get in trouble with Coaches and even off the field and he hasn't been able to stay healthy. But with his athletic ability why wouldn't you make an offer?
Dustin Keller, Jets- Keller played well in 2011, however the Jets offense has been in a free fall all season long. I think it will be hard for the Jets to retain Keller since just about anybody in the right state of mind would run from that locker room. Philly might be a place for him, he's a good receiver, he's a good redzone threat and he's a good blocker, he's solid all around and up until this year he's been consistent.
Delanie Walker, 49ers- I doubt the 49ers let him walk, however like Weaver in Seattle sometimes crazy things happen. This year his receiving totals are down because they've used him mostly as a blocker to get Vernon Davis his touches and maybe it's time Walker made a move in order to get a feature role. Like I said above he seems to be a guy that is like Weaver, capable of playing FB and TE and he's damn good at it. He's just a guy I'd love to see in Philly.
Andy Levitre, Bills- I like Andy better than I do Urbik, that's why he's listed. I honestly think it's safe to say Watkins maxed out his talent at Baylor which is a shame. Andy is a very underrated Guard and with Peters, Herremans and Kelce coming back healthy next season and the emergence of Kelly I feel the Eagles could put together a very good OL and have quality depth in 2013 with the addition of Levitre. I'm not saying to sign him as a backup, I'm saying bring him in to compete with Watkins and I think he wins that battle.
Erin Henderson, Vikings- Erin has been a tackling machine in 2012 and with Kendricks and Ryans playing well I think the addition of Henderson could solidify this LB core even more. Granted this move would mean moving Kendricks to a WILL LB role which I feel he's more than capable of playing I think it's a move that is worth it in the long run with Henderson being only 26 years old.
Note: This is a tricky area, I'd rather give DRC another year with a real DC than let him walk however who knows what that guy wants to do. Not only that but how do you pay Nnamdi that much to be pedestrian at best? We might be looking for two CB's, which scares me to death.
Tracy Porter, Broncos- Porter has had his moments, I felt like he was a solid CB for the Saints and he was looking good for the Broncos before he had the seizure and the after affects of it. He's a risk, however he's got experience and he's show he can cover good WR's, and since his health issues are a big red flag we might be able to grab him cheap and if it turns out well we find a way to keep him, if it is a failure we just cut our losses and move on. In today's NFL you have to have good CB's and Tracy is one.
Sam Shields, Packers- Talk about a guy that disappeared; I don't attribute it to his play as much as I do the play of Hayward though. Shields has played on big time stages and has played well, he was a guy that the Packers trusted covering very good WR's and I think he would be able to do that here in Philly. He is sure to hit the market due in part that the Packers are loaded at CB.
Brent Grimes, Falcons- Grimes tore his ACL, that's a huge red flag however many players have been able to come back and play well after such an injury and since it happened early in the season I see no reason why he wouldn't be ready to go in 2013. He's sure to reach FA with Robinson and Asante playing very well and the fact that Grimes will demand quite a bit of money. He's a ballhawk and will actually make a tackle or two, you know like football players are suppose to (cough Nnamdi cough). At this point the risk is worth it, especially if DRC or/and Namdi are gone next season.
William Moore, Falcons- Moore has developed into one of the better safety's in the NFL and I doubt the Falcons let him walk, but like Flacco above the possibility of it happening requires you pay your dues. He's a guy that won't miss tackles and not only that but he brings the lumber, he also adds playmaking ability which is a huge plus. In the NFC East we're going to have to get at least one competent safety.
Jarius Byrd, Bills- Byrd will likely be one of the most sought after FA's if he hits the open market which is possible since the Bills are set to lose 2-3 of their starting offensive lineman whom have all been playing great football this season. If Byrd hits the market I expect the Eagles to make a run at the young safety because honestly there's not much I don't like about him.
My final guy I see as a target:
Josh Cribbs, Browns- Cribbs seems to hate it in Cleveland, he saw a dramatic decrease in his offensive opportunities and he vocalized that pretty clearly just a few weeks ago. This pretty much solidifies the fact he's going to hit Free Agency. As an Avant fan I'm sad to say that Cribbs would be an upgrade over him in the slot, they both have good hands, Cribbs is simply more explosive with the football. Not only that but a huge issue with this team over the last 2 seasons has been the Return game and guess who happens to be one of the best Returners in the NFL today? Yep Cribbs. He'd essentially be signed with the intentions of being an upgrade over Avant and he'd definitely be an upgrade as a returner over both Boykins and Johnson.
I'm not ripping on Avant for the record but if you take a look at his product over the years compared to Cribbs you'll see there's a huge difference. Not only that but Avant would get plenty of opportunities considering Jackson and Maclin miss time every season, Avant would still be a very valuable piece to this offense.
Let me know what you guys think.