By now, we’ve all had the chance to digest the specifics of the trade that sent LeSean McCoy to Buffalo. And, on the eve of the free agency signing period, it’s looking more and more like Jeremy Maclin will be going to Kansas City to play for former Eagles coach Andy Reid.
OK everyone, deep breaths here.
In Texas, during rodeo season, there’s a game played, that’s simply called “Sweat”. The object of the game is to be the last man sitting at a poker table. Sounds simple enough, right? Oh, maybe I forgot the crucial detail. The table is in the middle of the arena, and a bull is let out, to freely roam. Now, you see where the “sweat” comes into play. Each contestant pays money to be at this table. If the bull charges, and the contestants get knocked over, they can still remain at the table, because they did not try to run. But, try to run, and, not only do you forfeit your entry fee, you risk the bull.
It feels as if Chip Kelly is doing just that, making trades, and bringing in “his” people. And, when Jeffrey Lurie gave him that power, it’s something that’s certainly within his rights. The question is: With all of these trades, and the no-signing of Maclin, as a fan, who’s in and who’s out for 2015?
I’m extremely grateful for signing Byron Maxwell, CB, away from SEA. The secondary last season was atrocious. There’s still work to be done in this area, too. Maxwell can’t cover everyone. Tramon Williams would be a start, since the other FA CB’s seem to be dropping everywhere. And, how interesting would it be to see the team take a run at Darrelle Revis?
If the price is right, I’d love to see Derrick Morgan come in and fill an edge rusher spot, or maybe even a Sam Acho. I may even look at Brian Orakpo, but I’d really have to dig deep on him. Over the last three seasons, he’s only played in 24 games. It’s really a risk/reward thing with him. Acho has logged 35 games in 3 seasons, and he’ll be 27 when the season starts. His brother, Emmanuel, has been with the organization, so this could be a good fit for both of them.
On the interior D-line, Nick Fairley is out there. Detroit just lost Ndamukong Suh to MIA. Fairley is also 27, and fairly durable, with 48 games played in his four seasons in the league. Stephen Paea is an interesting guy. With 55 games in his 4 seasons, he’s a guy that shows up on game day. He’ll be 27 in May, and could take some double team blocking away from Fletcher Cox. Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton is out there. He’s proven his durability, with 93 games played over 6 seasons. He might be one of those at the upper end of the salary scale, though, and if the Maclin negotiations are any indication, Knighton becomes somewhat of a long shot.
How, then, does the team replace Maclin? Do they go the college route, and wait for someone to fall to them in the upcoming draft? Do they call MIA, and make a trade for Mike Wallace? Do they call Torrey Smith’s people before he can sign a deal with SF, as is the rumor. Especially with the news that SF LB Patrick Willis is set to retire today, just how competitive are the 49ers really going to be? Now, the “renegade” move would be for the team to sign either Dez Bryant or Demariyus Thomas. But, that move comes with a price: 2 1st round picks. And, with it being said that the Eagles are in talks with the NYJ about moving up in the draft, Kelly would need that 1st rounder to make that deal happen. One report out of SF says that WR Michael Crabtree wants to go to a team “that places an emphasis on the passing game.”
Hello, Philadelphia! Percy Harvin would be the longest of long shots. If Kelly got rid of McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin because he felt they were “too independent in their thinking”, then Harvin certainly wouldn’t fit. But, with Harvin now working on playing with his fourth team in six years, he may be desperate to stay in the league, and fall “in-line” with a team’s philosophy. Kenny Britt certainly is an attractive candidate. He’s a 6′ 3′ durable receiver, playing in 73 games in 6 seasons, He’s another one of those guys where you can just throw it up in the corner, and their size makes it hard for defenses to cover them.
The signing of Frank Gore puzzles me somewhat, but I certainly get the need for a RB. Over the last 4 seasons, Gore has played in every game, going over 1000 yards in each of those seasons. That part, I get. What gives me pause is the face that he’s a RB with 148 games, 11,076 yards, and he’ll be 32 when the season starts. When he was released by Detroit, I really felt the team would sign RB Reggie Bush. After the team dealt McCoy, I knew that wouldn’t happen, since their styles are fairly similar. I might have gone with Ryan Matthews. He’s younger than Gore (28 when the season starts). Or, I might have stuck it to Dallas, and signed RB Demarco Murray. How many times would the camera cut to a shot of Jerry Jones every time Murray scored a TD, wearing the midnight green? However, rumors have it that Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is going to bring Murray in, show him his fabulous yacht, then show him the money.
UPDATE: Frank Gore has backed out of contract with Eagles
So tomorrow, it’s like Christmas, and we all get to see who gets new presents. And, with all the numbers being floated around, who’s getting what, and from what team, consider this: In 1993, Emmitt Smith was holding out on Dallas. He wanted to be the highest paid running back in the NFL. After an 0-2 start, Jones finally opened up the wallet, and signed Smith to a 4-year, 13.5 million dollar deal. Barring a last-second push by Detroit, Suh will sign a deal with Miami for 6-years, 114 million dollars, with 60 million guaranteed. That means, if Suh goes to South Beach, goes to camp, and gosh forbid, shreds his knee in a practice or a pre-season game, and never plays another down in the NFL, 60 million, cha-ching. My, how the times have changed.
Who’s in, who’s out, Eagles fans? I’m all-in.