In their attempt to get back into the sports discussion in Philly, with the Phillies in spring training, the Flyers dealing with their annual goalie controversy and the Sixers well on their way to a lottery pick, the Eagles decided to attend to some things that were well overdue.
First, the cuts. Gone are Shawn Andrews, Kevin Curtis, and Darren Howard. While injuries have severely limited Andrews and Curtis the past 2 seasons, Howard just couldn’t deliver on the lofty expectations that come with a huge contract.
Shawn Andrews was a very good tackle during the time he was actually on the field. A 2 time Pro Bowler, he motivation was called into question recently. After missing all but 2 games the past 2 seasons with back problems, the Eagles just couldn’t afford to keep him around anymore.
Kevin Curtis was another flash in the pan who was bit by the injury bug. Coming over from St. Louis to fill the outside WR spot, after being a slot receiver, he showed he could handle the task. Unfortunately, injuries and overcrowding force Curtis out. With Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, and Jason Avant on the roster, there simply wasn’t any room for Curtis anymore. I will miss him though. He was the only Eagle who actually looked good in those blue and yellow throwbacks, which I absolutely love.
Darren Howard was brought in to be a pass rushing beast off the corner, but was signed coming off of an injury, which is never a good thing. After starting all 16 games his first season, he fell out of the starting role and into a situational end. While getting rid of the only pass rusher besides Trent Cole. Howard just wasn’t living up to his huge contract and had to go before he costs the Eagles any more money.
Spring cleaning also brought a few new faces to the Birds. Chris Clemons and a 4th round pick in this year’s draft for Darryl Tapp, a defensive end from Seattle. Both of these speed rushers were in need of a change in scenery after seeing their production slack off. Hopefully it works.
The Eagles made a couple moves to shore up their offensive and defensive backfields as well. They signed RB Mike Bell to an offer sheet and are just waiting to see if New Orleans matches it. As of now, it doesn’t appear that they will, after bringing in other RBs for visits. Bell is a hard runner who doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional West Cost running back, but could help out in short yardage situations.
Safety Marlin Jackson was signed to a 2 year deal in order to take over the free safety position in Philadelphia, still waiting to be filled after Brian Dawkins left prior to last season. Jackson will be moving to a new position here, as well as try to come back from ACL surgeries on both knees in successive years. The Eagles have had success with Correll Buckhalter after he had ACL injuries to both knees, so they know what they’re dealing with.
With this flurry of moves, the Eagles are positioning themselves well for the draft next month. The Eagles have the 24th pick in the first round. They could go in a few different directions, but there is a need on both sides of the line.
They do have some trade bait in those 3 quarterbacks….
In other news, several new player numbers were recently revealed, most notable LeSean moving from 29 to 25.
16 – Chad Hall, WR
25 – LeSean McCoy, RB
28 – Marlin Jackson, FS
91 – Darryl Tapp, DE
Speaking of LeSean, it’s good to see Westbrook continuing to mentor him as he heads into his sophomore year.