Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bad news for the Eagles: Gross signed, Peppers tagged, Boldin willing to stay in Arizona

With free agency just over a week away, Eagles fans have been salivating at the idea of signing some of the top available talent. The Birds need help along the offensive line and at wide receiver so rumors have been running rampant over which free agents the team is targeting. Unfortunately for the Eagles, three players believed to be on the radar have now been taken off.

The Carolina Panthers had a pair of free agents, tackle Jordan Gross and defensive end Julius Peppers, and it didn't look like they would be able to keep both of them. Speculation around the league was that the Panthers would slap the franchise tag on one of the players and the other would be able to leave via free agency, possibly going to Philly. Well, the Panthers found a solution to their dilemma: they signed Gross to a 6 year contract and then subsequently franchised Peppers. Both are returning to Carolina, neither will be an Eagle.

The other hot free agent Birds fans desperately want to see in an Eagle uniform is Anquan Boldin. Boldin has been saying all offseason that he wants out of Arizona, citing unhappiness with his contract and irreparable differences with the Cardinals. The Eagles would be one of many teams that would be a likely landing spot for Boldin and they have the draft picks and the money to welcome him with open arms. There is word today, however, that Boldin has changed his mind about leaving Arizona. Now, instead of wanting out of town, Boldin is willing to stay with the Cardinals if they are willing to give him a new contract. Of course, with the team already paying Larry Fitzgerald a ton of money, there is no guarantee that the Cards will fork over top dollar for another receiver, but Boldin has taken the first step towards another season in the desert.

So, where does this leave the Eagles? For the most part, they will now probably have to rely much more on the draft that on free agency. With Gross out of the picture, the Eagles will also likely re-sign Tra Thomas. Peppers staying in Carolina doesn't affect what they will do on defense since they really don't have any major holes along the line. At wide receiver, the Eagles have publicly stated they won't pursue another wideout, but T.J. Houshmandzadeh will still be on the market and he becomes the number one free agent receiver.

None of the news that has come out today is good news. The Eagles will now need to look at less glamorous ways to shore up holes on their team. Getting Gross, Peppers or Boldin were never sure things but having them out of the picture will certainly limit the Birds options going forward. The draft now becomes that much more important for the Eagles.


Anonymous said...

I think they might sign Marvin to a 2 year deal maybe. But they will probably look at Jason Brown and Vernon Carey to plug holes on the line. I think when Heckertt said they have more importnat need than WR, he wasnt ruling out signing TJ or trading for boldin. So i think people misconstrude when they think the eagles said they dont want a new reciever. TE is a big issue, and they need one not through the draft theirs to many other needs than TE. Tehy need Kellen or GOnzo

Joe W. Linden said...

marvin harrison would be a waste of time. its like the broncos trying to sign jerry rice at the end of his career.

i dont see why people think tight end is a massive need. brent celek is the next jason witten, how often do you see the cowboys backup tight end? NEVER.

im not concerned about the o-line. the ealges for years have filled the holes with more than competent players, and they'll do the same again. i also like the idea of signing vernon carey. he can play both sides of the line, so if the birds get rid of both runyan and thomas, they can pick up carey and draft someone in the first round to start immediately.

Anonymous said...

Linden, youre an idiot if you think Celek is teh next Witten. Actually wittens backups play a lot wether it was Fasano and now Martellus Bennett, they do play and do very well. Celek is good but not good to be a #1 TE. If you think Oline is not a concern again youre an idiot, and Carey is resigned. Athey dont have deptha t all. MJG will becoming off a broken anckle, nick cole might be gone, Runyan wont be back, Shawn Andrews may not have the mentality to play and if teh resign Tho,as his age and run blocking are concerns. What OT is gonna be there at 21 or 28, that will make an immediate impact. Oline is the most glaring problem with this team now and should be the top priorty