The trading/free agent signing period is fast approaching, so the Eagles front office will have to decide who they plan to pursue come March 5th. Over the next few weeks at BGN, we will be taking a position-by-position look at who we could see in an Eagles uniform come training camp. Today's position? Centers.
Jamaal Jackson's season-ending ACL tear may not have just cost the Eagles a postseason win, but may also affect their play in 2010. It is unlikely that the quarterback of our offensive line will be ready come week one, so the Eagles will need to find a temporary replacement to hold the line. Nick Cole, Mike McGlynn, A.Q. Shipley, and Dallas Reynolds are the current options, but none possess the top-end talent necessary to consistently protect McNabb/Kolb/Vick/whoever's backside. The best option for the Eagles at this point would be a Brett Favre-like signing - a skilled starter brought in for a single season while the depth at his position is sorted out. Here are a few available players:
Kevin Mawae (UFA): At 39, the former Titan is certainly the Brett Favre of centers. His resume is loaded with eight Pro Bowl selections (including 2009) and three All-Pro selections. Mawae is a natural leader who possesses superb football acumen. He can also be a deadly force in the run game, and was a large factor in LenDale White's 1,110-yard rushing yard season in 2008 as well as Chris Johnson's MVP season in 2009. If Mawae chooses to play for one more year, he could be an amazing anchor for the Eagles line. As for the possibility of Mawae re-signing and staying with the Titans for one more year, it looks like that option is quickly fading.
Casey Rabach (UFA): The 32 year old Redskin is a reliable starter with good technique and a high level of football smarts. He would be a good option to captain the offensive line in Jamaal Jackson's absence, but would likely relinquish his starting center position once Jackson is back to 100%.
John Wade (UFA): After being waived from the Raiders roster on September 9th of last season, the 35 year old Wade has stayed out of football and is currently available to sign with any team. If the Eagles are willing to take a one-year gamble on this oft-injured center, he has the chance to perform as a suitable stand-in for Jackson. The 6'5" 300lb Wade uses every bit of his size to produce tough, physical play. He also is an experienced starter who makes good adjustments at the line and could bring discipline to a very young offensive line.
Other Available Free Agents:
- Chris Spencer (RFA)
- Jason Spitz (RFA)
- Chris White (RFA)
- Duke Preston (RFA)
- Rudy Niswanger (RFA)
- Eric Ghiaciuc (RFA)
- Seth McKinney (UFA)
- Wade Smith (UFA)
- Nick Leckey (UFA)
- Dennis Norman (UFA)
In the next installment, we will be taking a look at defensive tackles. Feel free to leave any suggestions on who to examine in the comments section. For more information on unrestricted vs. restricted free agents in a potentially uncapped year, check out this great article over at Mocking The Draft.