Now that the offseason has officially started for the Eagles, Andy Reid and company will have to spend the next couple of weeks carefully scrutinizing the 2010 roster. The free agency signing period begins in a little over a month and a half and by that time, the front office should have a good idea of which Eagles players they'll want to bring back for the 2011 season (if there is one). Today, BGN takes a look at the guard position.
Todd Herremans: Although he was no stranger to penalties this year, Herremans proved once again to be the reliable player that has kept him in Philadelphia since 2005. He even managed to surprise on a trick play, scoring the second receiving touchdown of his career during week 14. Currently, the 28 year old guard is signed through 2013, so expect him to be back in a starting role next season.
Max Jean-Gilles: To say that the 27 year old guard has had an up-and-down career in Philadelphia would be an understatement. Jean-Gilles' professional tenure has been marred by a laundry list of injuries, including an NFL-first gastric lap-band surgery last summer. After riding the pine for much of last year, the veteran was named the starting right guard in week four and managed to hold on to the position for the remainder of the season despite a plethora of bumps and scrapes (including a concussion). His contract will be up this year, but he could return in a backup role next season, assuming the team finds an upgrade at the guard position.
Nick Cole: Most remembered for his disappointing fill-in for Jamaal Jackson during the Cowboys' double beatdown of the Eagles last year, Cole saw mostly backup duty this season, starting only seven games in place of Max Jean-Gilles. Although he has valuable experience at both guard and center, his contract will end this year and the Eagles could very well choose to go with a younger option. If he is re-signed, expect a one-year deal.
Reggie Wells: What a disaster. After the Eagles acquired the 30 year old veteran from the Cardinals in exchange for this year's sixth round draft pick, he was assumed by many to be the eventual answer to the RG position (guilty). Seventeen weeks and one start later, Wells has left zero imprint on this team, whether due to lack of ability or coaching mistakes, we'll probably never know. Regardless, the Eagles will let him walk.
Who Could Leave
Nick Cole, Reggie Wells
Who Could Sign
The 26 year old Leroy Harris is coming off of his first season as a starter in Tennessee and looks to have a big upside. He has the ability to play all three interior line positions and has "[drawn] comparisons to some of the top offensive linemen in franchise history" according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. His contract is due to expire this season, so if the Titans are willing to let Harris walk, he could be a valuable pickup.
Should the Buccaneers let him slip away, Davin Joseph could be one of the hottest linemen to hit the market this offseason. The 27 year old Pro Bowler is an excellent run blocker and, despite coming off of a season-ending foot injury in late November, is a high-reward option if available.
Despite missing almost half of the season due to a contract dispute, Logan Mankins apparently impressed so much in his nine active games that he earned his third Pro Bowl selection. The 28 year old phenomenon paved the way for the likes of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead to have fantastic seasons and is slated to hit the free agent market after six seasons with the Patriots. Like Joseph, Mankins should be a high priority to any team looking to upgrade their offensive line.