04 March 2007

Free Agency News

While I'm disappointed to see Jeff Garcia leaving Philly, I'm not terribly surprised. Some part of me always believed that he was saying he wanted to stay because it was politic. After all, when you're on a hot streak and being interviewed about your plans, you're never going to say, "Hell yeah, I'm using this as my ticket to a starting job! Why would I want to sit around as a #2 when someone will pay me big money to start? This gravy train won't last forever. I'm 37 for chrissakes!" I do think it's a shame that Garcia's likely to finish out his career with an inferior team (the Bucs), but I can understand him wanting to cash in while he can, and I certainly wish him the best - unless we end up facing the Bucs in the playoffs, of course.

In other moves, the Eagles surprised no one by letting Michael Lewis walk and letting Buck and Rod Hood talk to other teams. I'd be real surprised if either of those guys are around to start the 2007 season, although if I had to pick on to hang onto, it would be Buck. Quentin Mikell and Juqua Thomas have been signed to multi-year deals, as has AJ Feeley. So far, there hasn't been a rush for anyone else to sign Donte Stallworth, which is good news for us, since it looks like we want to hang onto him, if the price is right (which is always the caveat with the Eagles).

As usual, we're not shopping the FAs. Which is probably a good thing, since it tends to be a waste of money. Which little Danny Snyder never seems to understand. The Eagles' front office, staying true to form, has spent its Benjamins on locking in our promising young guys, and is likely to bet the rest on the draft. And I'm not complaining, as the teams that have consistent success in recent years are teams that focus primarily on the draft for acquisition of new players.

So who do you think we should look to draft to shore up our D? Because, damn, we sure do need some help.

Other FA news of interest: in ex-Eagle news, Ike Reese is out of Atlanta, Carlos Emmons is out of NYC, and Troy Vincent is leaving DC and, rumor has it, probably retiring. Drew Bledsoe's been dumped (duh!). The Vikings dropped Fred Smoot, and the Skins picked him back up (for more money than if they'd just hung onto him? Probably, knowing Danny Boy's typically bone-headed personnel maneuvers). Joe Horn's out of New Orleans (I'd feel pretty comfortable with my wideout situation if I had Marques Colston, too). In addition to Emmons, the Giants also ditched LaVar Arrington (wonder if the Skins will pick him back up, too?), Luke Pettigout AND that thug Bob Whitfield. Housecleaning? Nah - they're still stuck with Tom Coughlin. The Bucs are going QB crazy, picking up two guys who are inches from Vinny Testaverde territory (Garcia and Jake Plummer). Guess Chuckie's not feeling Chris Simms OR Bruce Gradkowski.

Around the AFC, the Ravens dumped a bunch of people, including Jamal Lewis, as did the Broncos, including Jake Plummer (see above). The Browns picked up ex-Eagle Hank Fraley. The Dolphins seem to have cut half their second team. The Patriots chose to let Corey Dillon walk. Patrick Ramsey's on the market again. Aaron Brooks is out there again, too. That was quick. Someone should let the Bucs know they missed a few late-career FA QBs.

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