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News » Philadelphia Eagles Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-01


Philadelphia Eagles Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-01


Philadelphia Eagles Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-01
TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY


If the Eagles don't re-sign veteran left tackle Tra Thomas, who has been protecting quarterback Donovan McNabb's blindside since he was a rookie in 1999, the Eagles will have to decide whether to move one of their two starting guards -- Todd Herremans or Shawn Andrews -- outside, or go outside for a replacement. There aren't really any left tackle options in free agency, so they would have to consider using one of their two first round picks in the draft on an offensive tackle.

Running back Brian Westbrook, who will turn 30 before the start of next season, led the league in rushing and receiving yards two years ago. But he played much of last year with a sore knee, and the Eagles know they need to find somebody to rotate with him. Whether they will look for that guy in free agency (Derrick Ward?) or the draft (Knowshon Moreno? Donald Brown?) remains to be seen.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Offensive tackle: Both of their starting tackles are in their mid-30s and are unrestricted free agents. Stacy Andrews fills one spot, but another could be created if LT Tra Thomas doesn't re-sign.

2. Running back: Brian Westbrook is 30 and has a degenerative knee. The Eagles need to bring in someone, preferably a bigger guy, who can share the load with him.

3. Tight end: The Eagles have no intention of re-signing L.J. Smith. Brent Celek is developing into a decent pass-catcher, but he's not much of a blocker. Eagles need someone to compliment him.

MEDICAL WATCH: DE Darren Howard had abdominal surgery late last month but is expected to make a full recovery and should be fine by the spring minicamps.

--RT Jon Runyan, who is an unrestricted free agent, had microfracture surgery on his knee and will be on the shelf for at least 4 months.

--RB Brian Westbrook didn't need surgery on his injured knee. He's been rehabbing it.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--OT Jon Runyan had microfracture surgery on his knee after playing hurt the entire season. Unlikely he'll be re-signed.

--TE L.J. Smith was franchised by the team last year. They won't make the same mistake twice. Definitely won't be back.

--OT Tra Thomas still is a productive LT despite his age. Eagles don't really have a successor in the wings. Probably will be re-signed.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--WR Hank Baskett (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) saw his production tail off in the second half of the season. But at 6-4, he's a big target for Donovan McNabb. Will likely be back as the team's No. 4 wideout.

--G Nick Cole (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) replaced Max Jean-Gilles, who replaced Shawn Andrews at right guard and played well. If Eagles move Andrews to right tackle, Cole likely will be the starter inside, ahead of Jean-Gilles.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

--LB Tank Daniels (tendered at $460,000) ranked fifth on the Eagles with 18 special teams tackles after being claimed off waivers from the Giants last August.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--CB Joselio Hanson: Potential UFA; $21M/5 yrs, $3M SB/$6.4M guaranteed.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--OT Stacy Andrews: UFA Bengals, 6 yrs, terms unknown.

--RB Eldra Buckley (waivers Chargers).

PLAYERS LOST

--RB Correll Buckhalter: UFA Broncos; 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--S Sean Considine: UFA Jaguars; $3M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

--S Brian Dawkins: UFA Broncos; $17M/5 yrs, $7.2M guaranteed; can void to $9M/2 yrs.

--CB Lito Sheppard (traded Jets).



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 1, 2009

Matt Schobel Name: Matt Schobel
#89
Position: TE
Age: 29
Experience: 7 years
College: TCU
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