Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week:
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com writes that the Eagles’ free agent strategy will allow them to draft for quality in April:
This is the benefit of all that cap room the Eagles had when this week began. They’re able to find all kinds of pieces to fit all kinds of holes. When draft day rolls around and they tell everybody they took the best player available, it’s going to be easy to believe them. Because they won’t be caught in that not-very-fun position of having to draft for immediate need.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland writes that the Eagles are having “a truly great offseason.”
Barwin and Phillips are both 26, so if they succeed, the Eagles will have two building blocks for the future right as they hit their prime. They also added 28-year-old cornerback Cary Williams on a three-year, $17 million deal that’s a step below the $8 million to $10 million range Williams reportedly sought as he hit the market. Williams is a competent starting cornerback; if the Eagles can come away from the draft with Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, Williams would make an excellent no. 2 starter.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com believes the Eagles should strongly consider drafting Geno Smith with the fourth pick:
All of this leads me to believe that, once again, quarterbacks will be overdrafted in April. And it also makes me think the Philadelphia Eagles are quite serious about finding out whether West Virginia’s Geno Smith is right for them. With the fourth pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Eagles should take him if they believe he’s good enough. If they’re right, they are set for four years, regardless of other quarterbacks on the roster. If they are wrong, the cost is a little more than $4 million per season (average annual salary of the No. 4 pick) — compared to $3.7 million for Cassel … as a backup!
Brian McIntyre of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner blog calls the Eagles one of the winners in free agency:
General manager Howie Roseman has clearly learned the lesson and, with the team moving to a 3-4 defense, made a quartet of defensive signings to fit the scheme. The centerpiece of the transactions was Isaac Sopoaga, a versatile former 49ers defensive lineman who could play a few spots along the Eagles’ line. The Eagles added cornerback Bradley Fletcher, an oft-injured player who will certainly play on the outside in a secondary that released Nnamdi Asomugha on Tuesday and figures to lose Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to free agency. The Eagles also signed safety Patrick Chung, who should compete for a starting job, and linebacker Jason Phillips, a core special teams guy.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com likes the Eagles’ addition of cornerback Bradley Fletcher:
Eagles signing former Rams corner Bradley Fletcher to a two-year deal. Fletcher is a player who has had two knee surgeries, but when he has been healthy he has been a quality man-cover player. Fletcher didn’t play as much as he should have last year because he was on a one-year deal and the Rams were in a youth movement. They played rookie Trumaine Johnson at nickel corner, but Fletcher should have been on the field. The Eagles have a major need at corner, so this is a good move. Here’s a bet he starts.
Chris Burke of SI.com looks at the Eagles’ draft needs:
Philadelphia still needs to address some areas on defense, but injuries to Jason Peters and Todd Herremans last season left the Eagles reeling at tackle. Could one of the draft’s elite talents be the pick at No. 4? If not, grabbing an athletic rush-linebacker might be in the cards.
John Clayton of ESPN.com writes that new coaches like Chip Kelly often make dramatic changes to the roster:
Often, a new coach turns over more than 50 percent of a roster. By late in the season last year, the Colts had 36 new players on their roster.
With eight new head coaches, the roster turnover is happening at a fast pace. Philadelphia’s Kelly and Kansas City’s Andy Reid are leading the way. The Eagles are switching to a 3-4 defense, so Kelly aggressively started filling starting jobs.