Despite the massive buildup caused by the four-and-a-half-month lockout, the first day of free agency wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Kevin Kolb remains in Philly and Nnamdi Asomugha is still (for the moment) jobless. Still, the Eagles were not without their surprising moves.
Earlier this afternoon, front office announced that they would not be re-signing any of their free agents. This means that we have likely seen the last of David Akers, Stewart Bradley, Nick Cole, Omar Gaither, Antoine Harris, Jerome Harrison, Ellis Hobbs, Max Jean-Gilles, Akeem Jordan, Bobby McCray, Quintin Mikell, Dimitri Patterson, Sav Rocca, Ernie Sims and Reggie Wells.
While most of these names don't come as much of a shock, this leaves the Eagles relying heavily on rookie help at the linebacker, o-line, running back and punter positions. However, there is still a boatload of cap room and plenty of free agents to choose from. Next to cornerback, I'd say the Eagles are most likely to pick up a veteran linebacker within the next few days.
As for actual transactions, the front office lost no time signing this year's crop of undrafted rookies, managing to assemble a very promising group. We'll take a look at the role each one could play after the jump.
WR Perry Baker: At only 170 lbs, Baker has a slight frame, but has enough speed to make him stand out. He'll likely be a camp body unless he can really shine in the return game.
WR DeAndre Brown: A big-bodied, 6'5" receiver with the potential to be a red-zone threat. If he can stay healthy and contribute on special teams, he might beat out Chad Hall for the 5th receiver slot.
RB Graig Cooper: Jerome Harrison's departure certainly helped Cooper's chances. If his knee holds up, he could oust Eldra Buckley as the third running back.
P Chas Henry: With Sav Rocca in the unemployment line, look for Henry to take over the role of punter for the Eagles. He'll also bring his holding experience to the table.
QB Jerrod Johnson: The troubled Texas A&M QB offers an interesting mix with his speed, but won't have a spot on the roster if the Eagles bring in a veteran like Vince Young. He might stick around as a practice squadder, though.
LB Brandon Peguese: The Eagles are very, very young at linebacker, so Peguese has just as good of a chance as anyone to make the final roster. He'll bring his solid tackling skills to the special teams unit.
DT: Cedric Thornton: Thornton shows promise as a pass-rushing specialist, but will have to beat out Trevor Laws and Jeff Owens if he wants to sniff the final roster.
WR Terrance Turner: A large possession receiver who will likely just be a camp body barring a rash of injuries (knock on wood).
TE Martell Webb: A blocking tight end who is a bit one-dimensional. He'll compete with John Nalbone and Cornelius Ingram for the third tight end spot, if the Eagles even carry three this year.
RB Noel Devine: Probably the biggest signing of the day, the diminutive Devine brings his electrifying speed and quick cuts to the Eagles' running back corps. With Jerome Harrison out of the picture, Devine will have a clear shot to making the roster as a situation runner/return man. If he can keep his weight up, his upside is enormous.
As for the Kolb deal, or lack thereof, the Eagles certainly lost some of their leverage when the Seahawks decided to hedge their bets with Tavaris Jackson at the helm (good luck with that one, guys). The Cardinals are currently playing coy, reportedly looking into quarterbacks like Kyle Orton, Marc Bulger and Matt Hasselbeck.
However, Kolb remains Arizona's best option for a QB to build a franchise around. The Eagles will obviously try to hold out for as much as they possibly can, but the clock is ticking. With the drastically shortened offseason, in order for the move to be effective, the Cardinals will need to get their new signal-caller in house and studying the playbook as soon as possible. Expect Kolb to be dealt to to Arizona tomorrow, although probably for not quite so much as everyone is expecting.