SportsProf

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Musings on NFL Free Agency

First, the Philadelphia Eagles, who would be foolish to go into the season with two aging tackles, Jon Runyan and William "Tra" Thomas. Word on the street was that the Birds were going to sign one of them before the free agency period began, but the Eagles couldn't reach an agreement with Thomas. They had to demure on Runyan, who is recovering from a microfracture of a knee and probably couldn't pass a physical. Runyan was interviewed on local radio yesterday and sounded like he would be happy if anyone called him.

Second, they have signed Stacy Andrews, the free-agent tackle from the Bengals, a good player in his own right, to join his brother, Shawn. Good move all around, as the Birds get a good tackle and someone to keep his troubled brother company. Not a huge name by any means, but a good signing.

Third, John Clayton reported on ESPN that eight teams called Eagles' free-agent safety Sean Considine after midnight, and that he was headed to Jacksonville hoping for a deal. It's hard to speculate on the amount of interest, because Considine has proven to be no better than an above-average backup who can help on special teams. Jags' fans shouldn't get giddy if Considine ends up starting.

Fourth, it looks like Eagles' running back Correll Buckhalter signed with Denver. The Eagles clearly need to develop depth behind Brian Dawkins. Buckhalter is able, missed two seasons because of injury, but proved late in the season that he still has something left in the tank. Not a huge loss, but any loss to a thin backfield is significant.

Fifth, it looks like the Broncos also have signed, yes, Brian Dawkins, the (aging) heart and soul of the Eagles' defense. The boards on philly.com contain mixed reactions. Some people call the Eagles cheap and soul-less, while others offer that Dawkins has faded and that even great players have expiration dates. If true, we'll miss #20 in Dawkins (and I'll have to buy my son a new Birds' jersey), but perhaps the Eagles' can turn Dawkins' departure into an opportunity.

Sixth, I don't care if the Redskins have signed Albert Haynesworth and D'Angelo Hall to long-term contracts, they'll still find a way not to win the Super Bowl and perhaps not even to make the playoffs. There's something about that team that suggests that the front office confuses the owners' largesse with free-agent funds with a good prescription for winning.

Seventh, the Jets' inking of Ravens' LB Bart Scott is a good signing. Scott is outstanding and should be a big addition to a pretty good defense.

Somehow, I expect the Eagles to have more signings up their sleeve. The question is whether whatever combination of players they sign will help the team get back to the NFC championship game.

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