Late last night, the Eagles announced that they had traded backup middle linebacker Joe Mays to the Denver Broncos for running back J.J. Arrington. Per PhiladelphiaEagles.com:
Arrington is a 5-9, 212-pound back who was a second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2005. He rushed for 654 yards and scored three touchdowns in his first four seasons. Arrington has also caught 91 passes for 693 yards and two touchdowns in his career. He spent last season recovering from microfracture surgery in his knee. Arrington also has tremendous experience as a kickoff returner with a career average of 23.6 yards per return and two touchdowns.
The deal also included a condition that if Arrington did not make the final roster, the Broncos would award the Eagles a sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft. This was a great move by the Eagles front office to turn a player on the roster bubble into either our new third-down back or a draft pick. By all accounts, Arrington has shown a fair amount of skill in blocking during passing plays and can use his speed to be an effective kick returner. He provides the Eagles with more versatility and NFL experience than Martell Mallett or Charles Scott currently do. Will that be enough for him to crack the final roster, though? We'll see.
The Eagles also announced this morning that they had signed wide receiver Kelley Washington, who worked out for the team on Thursday:
Washington is an eight-year veteran, originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 2003 NFL draft. He had his most productive year as a wide receiver last season for the Baltimore Ravens, when he caught 34 passes for 431 yards. He's also considered a high-quality special teams player.
A veteran WR who is great at special teams? Looks like Hank Baskett is going to have a harder time making this roster than initially anticipated. No word yet on who is going to be released to make room for Washington, but with the recent influx of new receivers, chances are practice squad holdovers Jordan Norwood or Dobson Collins will be shown the door.