Monday, March 9, 2009

Another Eagle moves on: Tra Thomas signs with the Jaguars

While it certainly won't have the impact of the departure of Brian Dawkins, the Eagles have lost another veteran leader today. Tra Thomas, who had been an Eagle since 1998, signed a three year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Thomas went to Florida State and is a native of Florida so the move will be a homecoming for him.

The writing had been on the wall for a while on this one. The Eagles essentially broke off talks with Thomas at the beginning of free agency and were clearly ready to let their left tackle move on. Thomas is still an effective football player, but at age 34, his skills are only going to degrade. The Birds were never going to give Thomas a 3 year deal at that age, so he was smart to look elsewhere.

The Eagles now have a hole on their offensive line. Who will play left tackle? There is some though that Todd Herremans or Shawn Andrews could move into that role. Of course, the Eagles could also address the tackle position at the draft, but there is no guarantee anyone they draft will be ready to play right away.

The Birds continue to lose veteran leaders on the offense and the defense. With Dawkins and Thomas already gone and Jon Runyan not likely back, the team will have a serious void of quality leadership. It will be up to the young guys to step up as the Eagles move into another phase of development.

With the Eagles so quick to drop veteran players when they get just past their prime, one also has to wonder how soon they will ship Donovan McNabb out of town.

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