Monday, June 20, 2011

The Eagles May Be the Hot Team in Free Agency

With rumors swirling lately about a new CBA agreement getting close in the NFL it’s time to start talking football once again.  The owners and players have met 6 times in the month of June so far, without a court order or being forced to meet.  This tells the fans that as the season gets closer, a sense of urgency is finally kicking in.  The NFL owners meeting tomorrow in Chicago, a greater measuring stick will be available to see just how far off a deal really is.  An outline seems to be in place the owners will all have a chance to have their say on the new structure.  Following Tuesday’s meeting, I would expect the owners and players to meet again later in the week or early next week.  If all goes well, and every NFL fan hopes that it does, a deal could be hammered out and signed in a few weeks. 

Once a deal is signed and in place, there will be a very short free agency period and teams will have very little time to sign draft picks as well as undrafted rookies.  The Eagles seem to be the talk of the town as the team that is looking to strike quickly in free agency.  The Eagles feel as though they have a great shot to make a run at the super bowl this season and they seem willing to spend on a few missing pieces of a championship puzzle. 

First let’s talk money.  There was no salary cap in 2010, and the last salary cap from 2009 was $120 million.  A salary cap will return with a new CBA agreement and the projected 2011 cap is $140 million.  If this is the case the Eagles would have roughly $42 million to spend in free agency and rookie signing.  This does not factor in guys that they may cut to free up some more space.  With $42 million to play with the Eagles could make some moves that could make them the best team (on paper) in the NFL.

The first free agent the Eagles will target is Nnamdi Asomugha.  A bookend shut down corner to go along side Asante Samuel.  This signing would give the Eagles the best cornerback duo in the NFL.  Asomugha, at 29 years old, is in the prime of his career.  Just looking at his stats from 2010, one would ask why is this guy so coveted; he had no picks and only 19 tackles.  The reason for low numbered stats is because opposing offenses refused to throw the ball his way.  If paired with Samuel, who opposing offenses do the same thing with, their will be no place safe to throw the football. 

Another big name being thrown out there is Albert Haynesworth.  Haynesworth has character issues and after last seasons training camp, he may have a glaring red flag over his head.  Haynesworth didn’t want to play in a 3-4 and basically acted like a child over the situation.  That being said, the Eagles have a way of taking problem children and turning them around.  In signing with the Eagles Haynesworth would return to the 4-3 system and once again be paired with defensive-line coach Jim Washburn.  Washburn coached Albert in Tennessee where he had his best seasons; in his last season with Washburn, Haynesworth had 8.5 sacks.  This may be a good fit for the Eagles and Albert Haynesworth. 

With those two signings alone the Eagles, already an NFC favorite would have to be the favorite to win the super bowl.  Pre-season favorites are somewhat of a joke, the games have to be played, but if the Eagles make these moves and a few others in free agency it would show the fans that the organization thinks it can win this season.  The Eagles have always been the kings of the salary cap, now it’s time to spend that money. 

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