Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Will Eagles pursue recently released Orlando Pace?

Now that Tra Thomas has signed with the Jaguars, the Eagles have a hole to fill on their offensive line. If you look at their depth chart on their official website, Winston Justice is listed as the first string left tackle. Even though there is little chance that Justice would ever start a game for the Birds, the team will have to bring in someone else to either start at left tackle or move Todd Herremans or Shawn Andrews out there. The way I see it, the Eagles have three options: they could make a trade, they could wait and address the open slot at the draft, or they could sign a 7-time Pro Bowler who has recently become available.

The Rams have released left tackle Orlando Pace in a move that saves the team 6 million dollars in salary cap space. The move was a no-brainer for the Rams since they couldn't find anyone willing to trade for Pace and they figure to draft a tackle with the number two pick in the draft. While Pace has struggled with injuries over the last few seasons and is 33 years old, he can still play at a high level when he's healthy.

The question now is whether the Eagles choose to pursue Pace. The Birds will never give him a long-term contract, but at the right price for one or two years, Pace would make a lot of sense. The Eagles could plug Pace in as the starter and still draft a left tackle that could learn the position and wouldn't need to be thrust right into the lineup. Then, if (or when) Pace gets hurt, the Eagles can turn to their rookie tackle who should have learned a lot watching the veteran tackle do his thing.

For the right price and a short contract, Orlando Pace would be great for the Eagles. Unfortunately, this will likely be the last contract Pace ever signs, so the chances of him actually settling for a cheap deal are slim. The Eagles would still be smart to reach out to Pace and see if he wants to finish out his career making less money but playing for a winner after so many losing seasons in St. Louis. The chances are slim, but it can't hurt to ask.

No comments: