Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com put together trade value rankings of the top 50 players. Aaron Rodgers is No. 1, meaning the Packers wouldn’t consider trading him for any other player in the league. Tom Brady is No. 2, meaning the Patriots wouldn’t consider trading him for anyone except for Rodgers. Get it?
Barnwell has Michael Vick at No. 17, Nnamdi Asomugha at No. 40 and Trent Cole at No. 43. Here’s the writeup on Asomugha:
Everyone jumped off the Asomugha bandwagon awful quick, huh? After carrying Oakland’s secondary on his back and emerging as one of the top two cornerbacks in football at the end of the decade, embattled Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo (his actual name now, I think) moved Asomugha out of his comfort zone at cornerback and onto some sort of hybrid Charles Woodson shit that didn’t suit Asomugha whatsoever. Sticking a guy who uses the sidelines as an aid like nobody else in the league in the middle of the field makes a ton of sense, right? Maybe that’s the sort of move you would make if you didn’t have any experience at any level as a defensive coordinator! Asomugha will be back on the outside full-time this year, which means he should be the best cornerback in the NFC.
The FoxSports.com crew made predictions for the season. Two of the seven writers have the Eagles winning the NFC East. Four of seven have the Birds making the playoffs. None of them predict a Super Bowl appearance.
ESPN.com had a crew of 16 writers make NFL predictions. One of them, Bill Williamson, picked the Eagles to win the Super Bowl. Six of 16 pegged the Birds to win the NFC East (eight pick the Giants; two pick the Cowboys). Twelve of 16 think the Eagles are a playoff team. And four pick Andy Reid to win Coach of the Year.
Antonio Dixon made Pete Prisco’s All-Cut Team on CBSSports.com. Prisco also put out an All-Division Team. LeSean McCoy, Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans all made it on offense. Jason Babin, Nnamdi Asomugha and Nate Allen got the nod on defense. On Allen:
He has to stay on the field, but he has the chance to be a really good player at a weak spot in the division.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, a former scout for the Eagles, says the Birds have the second-deepest team in the league:
The Eagles have a lot of depth in key areas. They have an embarrassment of riches along the defensive line. How many teams boast six starter-caliber defensive ends? The actual starters, Jason Babin and Trent Cole, combined for 29 sacks last season. Backups Brandon Graham and Darryl Tapp are both solid pass rushers as well as stout run defenders. They also have Vinny Curry, a very talented rookie from Marshall who has been very productive in the preseason. However, the best player of the entire group during training camp was actually Phillip Hunt. The former CFL star dominated practices and preseason games.
Drew Magary of Deadspin provides his 2012 Eagles preview.
In an ESPN Insider piece, Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus attempts to explain why Vick gets hit so much:
The line isn’t doing a terrible job, and Vick isn’t getting hit by pass-rushers at an alarming rate. It’s when he starts scrambling and believes he’s a running back — mind you, a running back with an extremely open running style that offers poor protection for his midsection — bad things happen.
Some good information in that piece, although it should be mentioned that Vick’s last six injuries have been sustained while he was in the pocket.
Dennis Dillon of SI.com writes that the Eagles need to win now:
A year ago, the Eagles came into the season as the so-called “Dream Team” (a moniker coined by then backup quarterback Vince Young) after acquiring such veterans as cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, defensive end Jason Babin and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The dream quickly faded into a disappointing 8-8 season.
The Eagles have the talent to go deep into the playoffs. And the time to do it is now, especially for Reid. On Thursday, team owner Jeffrey Lurie said that another 8-8 season would not be good enough to save Reid’s job.
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