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News » Philadelphia Eagles Inside Slant 2009-02-07

Philadelphia Eagles Inside Slant 2009-02-07

Philadelphia Eagles Inside Slant 2009-02-07
The Eagles have a number of offseason personnel issues to deal with, but head coach and executive vice-president of football operations Andy Reid wasn't able/willing to shed much light on them when he met with the media less than 24 hours after his team's disappointing 32-25 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game.

It was the Eagles' fifth conference title game appearance in the last eight years under Reid, and their fourth loss.

"One out of five probably isn't good enough, at least not in my mind," Reid said. "The end result is that I have to sit here and look at you guys and the football team. I'd much rather be moving on."

Eagles president Joe Banner confirmed after the game that neither Reid nor the team's starting quarterback, Donovan McNabb, are going anywhere. McNabb has made it clear he would like a contract extension from the Eagles. His current deal runs through 2013, but he can void it after the 2010 season.

Banner said neither McNabb nor his agent, Fletcher Smith, have approached him about an extension. He indicated he'd be willing to listen. But the Eagles aren't going to empty their bank account to make the 32-year-old quarterback happy.

Of more immediate interest is what the Eagles will do with three long-time starters who will become free agents - six-time Pro Bowl free safety Brian Dawkins and their two offensive tackles, Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan.

Dawkins is 35, but had a solid season, particularly during the Eagles' late-season run for the playoffs, and in their postseason wins over Minnesota and the New York Giants. He is one of the team leaders, and it appears the team would like to bring him back at the right price. Dawkins already has said he wants to stay in Philadelphia.

It's a little less clear what the Eagles will do about Thomas and Runyan. Both had solid seasons and anchored a line that gave up just 23 sacks, the fewest by the Eagles in 27 years. The Eagles also don't have any obvious candidates to replace either of them. They would have to go out and get replacements in free agency or the draft, or move one or both of their guards -- Todd Herremans and Shawn Andrews -- outside.

That initially was the plan with Andrews, who made the Pro Bowl in 2007 at guard. But he missed all of training camp and most of the preseason after acknowledging that he was suffering from depression. Then he suffered a herniated disk in his back in the second game of the season and sat out the rest of the year. He had surgery in October to repair the disk, and never was put on injured reserve, but didn't play again.

It's likely that the Eagles will try to hang on to Thomas, who has been protecting McNabb's blind side since McNabb entered the league in 1999. It's not so certain with Runyan. The tough-as-nails tackle with a sky-high pain threshold played all of last season with a fractured tailbone and most of this season with a sprained knee, the seriousness of which still isn't known. If the Eagles are going to replace one of them, it probably would be Runyan.

"You have to take a little time," Reid said. "You have to go back and look at the film. You have to communicate with the personnel department. You have to look at the contract side of things and how that fits in. You have to look at everything. It takes a little time. It's not as cut and dried as people might want to make it."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 7, 2009

Jon Dorenbos Name: Jon Dorenbos
Position: C
Age: 28
Experience: 6 years
College: UTEP
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