Jeffri Chadiha is a senior writer for ESPN.com and in his most recent column, Eagles getting old at key positions, he came to a realization.
He goes on to cite Donovan McNabb, Brian Dawkins, Jevon Kearse, Takeo Spikes, Jon Runyan, and William Thomas as the Eagles' over 30 players.
I have a few thoughts on this. First, you can't say the Eagles are getting old at key positions without also noting how young they are at other key positions. They have 2 young quality, proven corners, their entire interior offensive line is young, proven, & talented. They're young in the WR corps, and for the most part they're very young on the defensive line. 3 of the 4 starters on the D line were drafted in the past 2 or 3 years. They're also young at running back. The linebacking corps is very young. Plus, to say at 30 that a QB is old is really a misnomer.
Chadiha says "In fact, Trotter's departure is just the first indication that the Eagles are on their way to building a new foundation."
No, no it's not. The fact is that the Eagles began re-tooling and rebuilding 2 years ago. Trotter may well be the most significant name in the past few years to be cut, but the Eagles have started to replace their depth and draft replacements well before this year. Look at the aging vets on this team.
Kearse - The Eagles have been drafting DEs like crazy in an effort to have his replacement ready to go. Some haven't worked out like McDougle, others have like Cole. Even this year they spent a second round pick on Victor Abiamiri.
Runyan/Thomas - This is an interesting situation because depending on how you look at it the team could already have a young pro bowler to fill one of these slots. Certainly former second round pick Winston Justice is waiting in the in the wings to take over for William Thomas. Now, he's never played and we can't be sure of what to expect but the fact is that the team invested a high pick 2 years ago for Thomas' eventual replacement. Plus, Todd Herremans, who was tackle in college, could well be the guy to move over there if Justice falters.
As for Runyan's replacement, there isn't one obvious guy... but consider that it could be college right tackle and pro bowl NFL right guard Shawn Andrews. With a young guy like Max Jean-Gilles waiting in the wings at guard, I think it's very likely that the Eagles see one of their 2 current guards as the replacement for Runyan or Thomas.
Dawkins - The Eagles resigned Quintin Mikell to a long term deal this offseason because they think he's the real deal. Certainly, no one is ever going to fully replace Dawkins... but Mikell has proved in my opinion that he's at least a starting caliber free safety in this league and when that day comes when Dawkins leaves I'll feel confident if Mikell takes over.
McNabb - Again, 30 is hardly old for a QB... in fact it's often when a QB is in his prime. That said, it's no secret that the Eagles have made plans to get younger at QB if they need to.
In the end, who knows if all these young guys will work out. History will tell you that it's almost certain that not all will. However, this is not the first year we've read this kind of article. It's not the first time we've heard the question "is the Eagles window closing?" Reid has been able to continue rebuilding this team and keep it competitive for 7 years now. Vincent, Taylor, Douglas, Staley... countless numbers of solid veterans have left this team leaving someone to ask the question whether the window was closing. It never has and with the young talent on the team, Andy's track record, and the ample cap room in the coming years, I have no reason to think the window is any closer to closing now than it was in 03 or 04.