Friday, April 2, 2010

Veterans be damned: Eagles ship Brown, Gocong to Browns

We've all been speculating for days about a possible Eagles trade but this wasn't the move we expected: the Eagles have traded CB Sheldon Brown and LB Chris Gocong to the Browns for LB Alex Hall and 4th and 5th round picks in the draft. While on paper it looks like the Eagles didn't get much in return, it's going to be impossible to gauge this trade until we see who the Birds get in the draft. Clearly, with this move, it looks like the Birds are trying to acquire many picks as possible in a deep 2010 draft.

Hall is a strong-side linebacker with 30 career games under his belt. He is thought of as a pretty good pass rusher although he only has 3 career sacks, with zero coming last year. Hall is expected to compete with Moise Fukou for a starting spot but I wouldn't look at him as much of an upgrade over Gocong, another supposedly good pass rushing linebacker who didn't put up big sack numbers in the NFL. Essentially the Eagles swapped one backup linebacker for another.

With Hall and Gocong nearly the same player, the move essentially works out to be an unloading of the disgruntled Brown for a few draft picks. Brown had been unhappy with the Eagles refusal to give him a raise and the Eagles decided they were better off moving their starting cornerback rather than listen to him complain for another offseason. It's a shame, too, because despite all of his whining off the field, Sheldon Brown was the most reliable member of the Eagles secondary on the field. He always gave his full effort despite what he thought about the Eagles front office.

The trade leaves the Birds very thin at cornerback. Ellis Hobbs presumably moves into the second cornerback spot vacated by Brown but he is coming off an injury. One has to assume that the Eagles will be looking to draft a cornerback or two with the 10 (!) picks they have now accumulated for the 2010 draft.

The Eagles continue to jettison veterans left and right. Brown was a good player but he just turned 31 and was entering the downside of his career and we know the Eagles don't keep guys like that around. At this point, one has to assume that the Eagles will complete their youth movement and finally cobble together a trade that sends Donovan McNabb out of town.

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