Allen And the Safety Situation

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Howie Roseman
began waxing nostalgic when the safety position was brought up to him once again on Monday.

“You know, it’s amazing, Brian Dawkins was at the game and when you see a guy like that, you really appreciated him when he was here but the longer he’s away, you really get more and more of an appreciation for what a great, great player he was,” said Roseman. “A Hall-of-Fame caliber player at a position that is so hard to find. Man, we were spoiled for a long time with Brian Dawkins.”

The safety spot is starting to become Roseman’s — really, the organization’s — white whale.




Since Dawkins departed following the 2008 season, the Eagles have thrown a ton of guys out there -- Macho Harris, Quintin Demps, Sean Jones, Quintin Mikell, Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman,Colt Anderson, Jaiquawn Jarrett,  Jarrad Page, Jamar Adams, David Sims, Patrick Chung, Earl Wolff -- and each year, acceptable productivity has remained out of arm's reach.

Same is true for '13 campaign. While Allen had his best season as a pro and Wolff showed some promise, there were inconsistencies. Wolff faced a steep learning curve and rotated with Chung early on as he worked through it. Then he hurt his knee. Chung started opposite Allen down the stretch, and struggled badly.

And so, Roseman is faced with the task of improving the state of the safety position, as he has been each year since taking over as general manager in '10.

The first decision he and the Eagles need to make is in regards to Allen, who is set to become a free agent. The 26-year-old was steady for the Eagles this season. He started all 16 games and finished with a career-high 82 tackles, one sack and an interception. He said his exit interview with Roseman was very positive.

"We were just talking about the season and how the past four years of my career has been," said Allen. "I would love to be back here, so we'll see what happens."

Roseman said the team hasn't mapped out its free-agency plans quite yet, but had nice things to say about the former second-round pick.

"A guy who deserves a lot of credit for getting off the rug. He took a lot of shots his first couple years in the league, was hurt. He works extremely hard and has really high character," he said. "Sitting here on January 6th we haven't made any final decisions on anything, but just proud of the way he was able to come back, and just a guy you root for."

Once they figure out whether to pursue Allen, the Eagles can further shape their free agency plans. Interestingly, the top two safeties that are projected to be on the market -- Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward -- went to school at Oregon.  Their time in Eugene  overlapped with Chip Kelly's, so there is a familiarity there. Kelly would have a pretty sound understanding of how they would fit into this defensive scheme. Both are 27 years old.

There is still homework to be done and questions to be answered. For instance:  Byrd was sidelined early on this season with a foot injury. Is that a concern moving forward? Given that he has a 4.67 40-time, will he continue to be effective as the years wear on and he slows down some?

If these types of questions are answered satisfactorily, the next issue is money. There has been an organizational shift in philosophy regarding free agency as a result of lessons learned from 2011. They prefer to target mid-level free agents and take a shot at several of those as opposed to tying their fate (and a good chunk of their cash) to big-ticket players that could really sink them if they don't pan out. If they want someone like Byrd, they'll have to pony up.

The Eagles can also look for a safety in the draft, which seems likely.

"I think we have to look at every option," said Roseman. "Not only at that position, but obviously in particular at that position."

The search continues.

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  • David Ramos

    Haha Clinton-Dix doesnt slide by Cowboys/St. Louis… But Calvin Pryor would be a “consolation” prize and that’s just fin by me.

  • NickS1

    Shouldn’t have let Mikell go. Guy was underappreciated by the FO and has gone on to have a nice career. Of course, we shouldn’t have let Dawkins go when we did. F U Banner!

    • cliff henny

      When is Cleveland scheduled to play in Philly? think Banner would step inside the Linc…better question is, if he did, think he ever make it out?

      • NickS1

        I hope he does leave. God hates Cleveland. Not sure what they did to deserve it, but I’d probably put the blame on Jim Brown or Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn.

        • Johnny Domino

          No, God hates trailer parks.

          He just ignores Cleveland.

    • Luke Ivan

      His stats from 2010 his last year with the eagles… aren’t that bad. Guy was solid. Has been a solid starter for the Panthers and Rams. Should of kept him around to at least groom the incoming safety draft picks for an additional year or two and provide some depth for injuries/duds (which we had both of). FFFFFFFFFF

  • Richard Colton

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane Tim. Macho Harris? Ughh. For all the draft capital between rounds 2-5 up there, you’d think we would have hit on someone before Wolff. And he’s still a question mark.

    • cliff henny

      fun trip ah? next, why dont we take a lap around linebacker circle?

      • NickS1

        He won’t get past the tour stop dedicated to Casey Matthews’ illustrious career.

        • cliff henny

          since we’re torturing ourselves with ghost of crappy draft pick pasts…:LBers choosen since 2000…
          2001…quinten carver
          2002…Tyreo Harrison
          2003 and 04, forgot they eisted, probably for best
          2005…matt mccoy and david bergeron, had to make up for lost time
          2006…omar gaithers, ok 5th rdr
          2007…stewart bradley…getting better
          2008…bryan smith, joe mays and andy studebaker
          2009…Fakou, 7th rdr, wasnt half bad
          2010…keenan clayton and jamar cheeney
          2011…RC’s boy casey matthews and greg lloyd

          • NickS1

            Wow, thanks for the list of names I never wanted to see again. To be fair, Bradley looked like he was going to be our long term MLB until the broken leg, and Joe Mays has gotten some mixed starting time elsewhere, and you noted that Foikou wasn’t terrible. But, not one of these guys outside of Bradley were surefire starters.

          • cliff henny

            well, guys drafted that went on to play well somewhere else, is another eye-bashing list. oh forgot 2010, my favorite pick ever, daniel Teo-nasheim, missed cause listed as d-end. 3rd rounder and i go “who the F” take alot of effort to do.

          • Richard Colton

            one of my favorites too. I love the story of him laying on his back not even watching the draft and wondering who might sign him as a UDFA when he got the call about the Eagles taking him in the 3rd. We were soooooo smart.

          • JofreyRice

            It was always great when the FO reached on some guy and ESPN didn’t even have a highlight reel to show for them during the pick, because they were from E. BFE State.

          • Richard Colton

            Go back a year – 2nd rounder Barry Gardner. A lot of crap at that position for a long time. Stu Bradley wasn’t great either. He had one decent year. Ray Didinger loved him and that carries a lot of weight in this town.

          • cliff henny

            worst part of making the list is i had to look at ’10 and ’11’s draft again. get to play ‘which draft is worse’ game. by volume of sucktatude, i’m going with ’10

          • macadood

            the stewart bradley effect. i was a bit sad when he left but things look pretty good now at ILB

          • Michael Deen

            Don’t forget Gocong – another truly inspired pick by Big Red – DE to a 4-3 outside Backer. Ugh…

          • cliff henny

            yup, forgot the small d-ends turned to garbage olb, add Ricky Sapp to list

          • pjcostello

            Gaither plays for Atlanta, I was surprised to hear his name called during a game. Joe Mays had himself a nice little career since he’s left here, playing for Denver and (I believe) Houston. Studebaker plays for the Chiefs, I think, signed there before Reid got there, Fokou is also still around, playing for the Titans (I think). Sometimes I think they drafted some OK players, but didn’t know how to coach them to get BETTER. Barely anyone ever got better here.

        • Richard Colton

          remember Byron Evans, Seth Joyner, Willie T? The best thing about the Eagles switching from Kelly Green to Midnight is that we can truthfully say caseymatthews never wore the same uniform as those guys.

          • JofreyRice

            My only regret is that I have but one upvote to give.

  • jabostick

    The whole Dawkins thing was a debacle. I get the FO philosophies around being responsible given a players age and performance (Dawkins did have his struggles his last year or two in Philly) but exceptions should be made in extraordinary circumstances. Dawk was still good and, at a minimum, I can’t help but think he could have provided a TON of value in mentoring Allen (or whoever they would’ve drafted) as his career winded down.

    • cliff henny

      Dawkins isnt without blame here (dont get me wrong, he’s top 3 all-time fav), but if memory serves me, didnt he end up taking less in Denver then he was offered in Philly?

      • Anon1

        I don’t believe this is the case. Denver offered quite a bit more if I recall, but Dawkins was willing to give Philly a discount on that. FO wasn’t willing to meet halfway.

        • cliff henny

          i just tried scrubbing this mess. maybe it was guarenteed. i know banner and crew put a spin on it.

          • NickS1

            It was Banner. It’s always Banner.

          • cliff henny

            along with Bynum, another guy i’d done a night in philly’s finest establishments for 1 swing at!

      • joethomas215

        No Denver gave him 25 mil over 3 years, more money and years then the Eagles were offering.

        • GreenScabs

          Denver gave him a 5 year $17 million dollar deal, with $7.2 million in guaranteed money, but the contract had language that essentially made the deal voidable after 2 years for $9 million. So the Eagles let a legend walk for $4.5 million a season for two years! To this day I’m disgusted with this decision, and it breaks my heart that he didn’t play every snap as an Eagle. I have a tattoo that takes up the entire upper half of my right arm of Dawkins (Weapon X, Wolverine blades and all).

          Dawkins also made two more pro-bowls with the Broncos as a SS.

          • GreenScabs

            Here it is. My dedications to Brian Dawkins!

          • theycallmerob

            is that an O’s symbol tucked in there with the philly teams?!?

          • GreenScabs

            Yes it is! Good eye! The word “weapon is spelled out under Dawkins. I have a Wu-tang symbol for the W, and Eagles E, just a normal A & P, an Orioles O, and the UNC Tar Heels logo for the N.

            I am from Baltimore, but lived in South Philly when I was very young (like 4 – 6). I didn’t have my Dad around, and my Mom was working constantly, so the kids in the neighborhood took me in and taught me about the Eagles, and the majesty of the sport of Football.

            I have loved the Eagles for basically as long as I can remember, but I didn’t get into baseball or basketball until around age 8 or 9. At that time I lived in Baltimore, and taught myself about baseball & the Orioles. My Dad lived in North Carolina, right next to UNC’s campus (and he was a bigger UNC fan, but not a huge football fan, but would root for the Redskins if he would root at all, which I couldn’t stand for), and I went to all of the summer basketball camps at UNC.

            As far as the Wu, I mean who in their right mind doesn’t respect Wu-Tang!

          • Guest

            i don’t see it

      • jabostick

        Yeah he’s not blameless (nor his agent, I assume). I sort of remember it as Anon1 puts it though. The FO wouldn’t budge and essentially dared him to leave

      • laeagle

        No, Denver offered him WAY too much. A lot more than the Eagles (or than what was expected). He played decent up there but not in my opinion enough to justify that salary. Denver going overboard is why he left. I could see the Eagles stretching a bit to try and keep him, but there was no way they were going to match that Denver salary. Which is probably part of the reason why Denver made him that offer.

    • NickS1

      Didn’t Dawk make a Pro Bowl or two in DEN?

      • jabostick

        I can’t claim to know what his time was like in Denver and not saying it wasn’t deserved but Dawk would’ve been a prime ‘get in by name’ candidate. But, yeah, he obviously had some left in his tank

        • Richard Colton

          not ripping Dawk at all (think that’s a felony here) but you’re right about safeties getting in on name. Isn’t Polomalu going this year?

          • NickS1

            He played the whole year. So it was a given. Even in his old age he’s still better than most. Think he even added another perfectly timed jump the line at the snap play to his resume in week 1. Replay that in week 15 while he’s on the field and you’re going to get another 100k votes.

    • joethomas215

      Keeping Dawkins to mentor Allen would have been a smart move. In fairness Denver payed alot for Dawkins, and I can’t really blame him for taking it, or the Eagles for not matching, but I wouldn’t of complained had they matched. I would like to see Dawkins offered a coaching position. He would be a great guy for young players to learn from.

      • the midatlantic

        Nate Allen was drafted in 2010. Dawkins left in 2008. How would that have worked?

        • joethomas215

          I should of worded that better, they should have kept Dawkins around and drafted a young guy for him to mentor. Allen Ultimately ended up being that guy, but yea, I didn’t mean keep him directly for Allen.

    • philliesfan136

      Players Howie Roseman has passed on since Brian Dawkins was let go in 2008
      Earl Thomas
      Morgan Bernett
      Louis Delmas
      Harrison Smith
      Kam Chancellor
      Jairus Byrd
      T J Ward
      All of these safties were drafted from 2008 to 2012

  • joethomas215

    I think a safety corps with Allen, Wolfe, Bryd, and a rookie would really be an up grade. Let Colem an, and Chung walk, keep Anderson for special teams purposes. Add in another quality CB, and a rookie corner to groom, and our secondary would be greatly improved. I like Fletcher over Williams personally, but I see Williams hanging around, which isn’t a bad thing, we need his attitude, but his play could be better.

  • macadood

    Should Sean Considine not have been on that list too? dude went on to win a superbowl, no less :D

    • NickS1

      Jaiquwan Jarret went and started some this year for the Jets. The years of the wide-9 did that list of mostly failures absolutely no favors.

      • macadood

        Saw our boy Quintin Demps making returns for the Chiefs too

        • pjcostello

          But not playing good safety!

      • pjcostello

        He started, but he was not very good.

    • OldDocRoss

      Left the same year as Dawkins I think.

      • macadood

        you’re right, both weren’t resigned after the 2008 season

    • Broadcasting Wisdom

      His hits never made youtube, and he had his share of missed tackles/blown coverages, but I’ll never forget the open field tackle he made on Vick during a regular season game that I was at. Naked boot leg and Considine was the only one with a chance, and he wrapped him up for no gain.

      But I’ll also never forget him letting TO get behind him on a 3rd and long against the Cowboys one year on a double move.

  • cliff henny

    Allen will get starters money somewhere (epidemic of crappy safety play in nfl), forget the notion he’ll sign as 3rd stringer. plus, he doesnt play special teams, which backup safeties have to do for kelly. Byrd turned down 5yr 40+m with 10m guarenteed from Buffalo, the guys wants PAID, think both sides are ready to move on. Banner hates the franchise tag more than a 5yr old does broccoli. add in clemmons, get a in-prime safety to pair with wolff, who was better than chung and allen in limited PT. worst case, lateral move with wolff initially, but eagles seem to be developing talent. have no desire to see wolff sit behind nate allen. allen didnt play horrible, that’s his ceiling, not totally crappy. give another guy reps. some nice safeties coming out, can easily sell me on Joyner or either l-ville safeties, Prior or H Smith.

    • GEAGLE

      I think Calvin Pryior will end up being a first rounder, Hakim is nice, and should be on the board in round 3…I think Calvin is the next safety drafted after dix

      • cliff henny

        that high? seen smith mostly as 4th-5th rounder. all that means is landry beckham and joyner get pushed closer eagles in 2nd.

        • GEAGLE

          Yup, Calvin is one of the guys I have my eyes on as breaking into round 1 when the draft process unfolds…you can still prob get BUchanon from USC in round two…but I think Calvin will be this years Cyprien who just keeps climbing as the draft gets closer..just my thoughts..obviously I like the kid and would want him if I think this highly of him

          • cliff henny

            isnt buchanon Wash st? or is that some other guy. saw 1 game of his, was destroying guys, legally. like him.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah sorry, I meant Dion Bailey from USC..sorry I’m on a conference call as I type lol…
            ..
            Call me crazy Cliff, Calvin might get picked before Dix lol..he is that good
            ..
            Yes Dion Buchanon is the wash state kid who should 100% be a second rounder. I like the kid from USC and hakim from Lousville as well as Kstates TY Zimmerman because we have a shot at one falling to us in round two…so if we get our pass rush in round 1, you could still get your Landry in two! and take one of those 3 in round 3

          • cliff henny

            as much press as HAHA got, never popped on tv. might be saban, but cant say i need him like i need Joyner. like all these safteies climbing, joyner might tumble to 4th. get our 2 wrs and olbr, and still get joyner, pipe dream, but it’s fun

          • GEAGLE

            I don’t watch bama unless they have like 5 defensive prospects I like..I wasn’t about to watch them to see Hubbard.

            If a team doesn’t have like 5 defensive prospect, I probably haven’t watched them…I’d rather watch buffalo or BYU then Alabama this year

          • cliff henny

            hubbard did nothing, ever, all year.

          • GEAGLE

            So I hear…wonder where he gets drafted…

          • cliff henny

            thing that made me wonder about him is he literally did nothing all yr but did not drop that far on boards. maybe saban used him differently this year, cause by production and effort (seriously, he looked like he wasnt even trying half the time) if you told me he wasnt draft grade, i’d of believed it.

          • GEAGLE

            Damn, that bad huh…

          • philliesfan136

            Deone Bucannon would be a great pick !! I think we could get him in the 2nd round. I don’t think ( after the combine and pro days ) he will last till the 3rd round ( especially where we will be picking.) Watch his highlights video – on you tube – ( Too me ) he tackles and hits like Dawkins, and he goes sideline to sideline covering the ball like Ed Reed. This kid is going to be a gem, and i’m praying they get him in the second round this year ….. just like i was prying that they would take Ertz in the 2nd last year.

      • RIP illa

        I don’t know man…depends how he runs. I think he will move up, just not that high. Cyprien also had built up a nice set of game tape w/ him covering and wrecking WRs and RBs. Don’t think Pryor has that same type if tape.

    • Tom w

      Yea add one of Byrd or ward…. I could also live w Clemons. I got a guy no one has mentioned that the giants can’t sign … Stevie brown …may fit exactly w how Howie likes to do free agency … Good. Young. Reasonable price. Under reader a bit…. Best yrs in front if him. Young 25 yr old safety who had 8 interceptions in 2012 but got hurt for 2013. Probably can get him cheaper than the other three on a one yr prove it deal … Beast in coverage and a good tackler.

      • NickS1

        His knees aren’t like Kenny Phillips’ are they? Not sure his injury history, if any, outside of last year’s knee injury. Don’t want to get my hopes up like I did that Kenny could come back. Which was tough, I liked Phillips and was praying he could make the comeback.

        • cliff henny

          much younger. and surgeries done nowadays dont count like the ones done 5-7yrs ago. might be blessing for Maclin, was like he got a free upgrade. outside fletcher, the guys with bad acls that didnt pan out were ones re-injuring olde surgeries. really is great that has come such a long way.

          • NickS1

            That’s not Maclin’s 1st ACL injury

          • cliff henny

            i know, wasnt it the same knee? got the old surgery flushed out with new one? either way, just glad these injuries arent 100% career enders.

          • NickS1

            yeah I think so but don’t quote me. New topic: Tre Mason. Thoughts?

          • cliff henny

            sure, round? i’d take isiah crowell ex georgia kid in 5th. he tore up SEC b4 getting tossed out

          • NickS1

            4th or later, I think we’ve established that anything other than OLB/WR/S would be likely not be that well received unless it was just some ridiculous talent that dropped to us.

          • cliff henny

            yup nick, agreed. the 1 running back you could get me gidddy about is that kid out od baylor, seastrunk-or close to that, believe 2nd. mccoy need help. not that he’s old, but want shady to be shady for another 5 yrs, not pounded into ground over next 2. that said, bet shady feels better today than he did than most octobers under reid.

          • NickS1

            Yeah, I mean the good thing about running backs is they’re mostly not first round picks anymore. You can get a really good rb in the 3rd or later. I like this kid, smallish but appears to have great burst and top-end speed. A field with McCoy, Mason, Jackson, and Maclin would be tough for any team to defend. That said, I think he’s another like Jacquizz Rodgers. Certainly not bad, but not great, just a nice piece of the puzzle to have. If this kid can pick up a blitz, he’s welcome.

        • RIP illa

          Played all 16 last season, 16 in 2012 also. Then (counting backwards) 14, 15, and 11. I don’t know where the knee concerns come from. Even w/ his knee and hammy injury, from last year, he still remained listed as probable.

          • NickS1

            Stevie Brown missed the season with a torn ACL

          • RIP illa

            Yeah…thought I edited my post. Thought you were talking about Clemons at first. No I’m not down for Brown!!! Don’t like the stink of Giants secondary defenders and don’t like the knee injury aspect.

          • NickS1

            Not down for Brown? Racist…

          • RIP illa

            Make sure you put a jk, smiley face, or lol behind that. Some people might think you’re being serious.

          • NickS1

            :)

      • southy

        As fart as FA leaving the Giants, I’d be very, very skeptical.

        • GEAGLE

          I don’t want NFC east trash

          • UKEagle99

            I dont know I can see Eli holding place kicks. Nahh you’re right, I’m wrong.

        • UKEagle99

          Yup. Double so if first name Steve.

  • NickS1

    This is how I envision the conversation between Andy, Juan, and Jim, and the collaboration behind the worst safety play in league history….
    Andy: “Juan, we’re going to bring in Jim Washburn, here, to run the wide-9 along the defensive line.”
    Jim: “Hey, Juan, I don’t really give a f*ck what you’re defensive scheme is, you can just re-work your plans with the safeties and have them both play run support.”
    Juan: ” Umm, okay, but what about pass coverage? Their first responsibility should be to defend against the pass. You know you have linebackers for run support, right?”
    Andy: “Linebackers? What the hell is that? Is that even a position in football?”
    Jim: “Juan, you won’t need no stinking pass coverage with the horses we have up front. They’ll have the QB scrambling so much they’ll just hand it over to those, oh what did you just call them? Linebackers?”
    Juan: “Yes, linebackers, you know, those other three guys up at the line of scrimmage?”
    Andy: “Just bring the damn safeties up. This is MY career on the line and I won’t let you screw it up for me by not running what is so obviously a fool-proof plan!”
    The End.

    • cliff henny

      only good part about wide9 is how kelly refuses to acknowledge it even exists. he’s purposely deprogramming any memory of those years from current eagles

      • NickS1

        It’s generally a terrible defense. You might as well run the 3-4 where the OLBs have ZERO coverage duties and just rush 5 and put 6 in coverage.

        • cliff henny

          might as well go punt block, at least there’s a return guy to tackle the otherwise always uncovered recr

    • Will

      You forgot Tackling…Andy,Juan and Jim all together …What’s that???

  • pjcostello

    I would like to go back to the way the Eagles operated in the early 2000s, when they would target one or two premier players and sign them as free agents per year… Jon Runyan, Javon Kearse, even Terrell Owens. They did the “mid-range” free agent thing last year, with mixed results. Those guys are “mid-range” for a reason: They’re mediocre players (Sopoaga, Chung). Sometimes you get more out of someone than they showed their previous team, whether because they weren’t perfect scheme fits or were in a bad situation/on a bad team. I would be thrilled if they set their sights on, say, a Byrd or a Ward and paid him, period.

  • GEAGLE

    Chip doesn’t have the speed he needs on offense yet, so we are kidding ourselves thinking this draft will be mostly defense,..since our coach is going to want to upgrade offensive speed and get some fast young guys, it’s imperative to take care of a few defensive needs in FA,,.No bigger need then Safety, and fortunately it happens to be the strength of this years defensive market…and there are no OLBs to sign, so I just don’t see how we can afford to go into the draft worrying about safety…and I damn sure don’t want to start Wolff next to a rookie when I’m trying to compete for SB next year…

    Just pay for Ward or Byrd so we don’t have to talk about safeties any more for a few years..I have safety fatigue

    • pjcostello

      Not sure I agree… Where do you upgrade speed on offense on this team? Tight end? Done. Running back? Done. Only wide receiver, and I think you can upgrade that position by signing Maclin, rather than drafting a guy. Now that said, I would like another wideout — but I don’t want him to be under pressure to learn this offense on Day One and expect him to contribute right away. If he can, great! But if not, I don’t want the team to suffer. I remember that it took wideouts 2-3 years to learn Andy Reid’s offense well enough to play effectively; while I don’t know if the same holds true for Kelly’s offense, I’d rather bring in someone who learned it last year, and who has (probably) been studying it this year, while he’s been out.

      • GEAGLE

        We are kidding if we think chips just going to roll with Andy’s offense only adding Lane!Casey and Ertz….Maclins speed probably shouldn’t be counted on his first year back…we will bring back Riley and Celek which already compromises the speed chips philosophy is based on….How about getting some burners to replace Maehlf and Damaris for starters?
        ..
        Celek,Ertz and Casey will all be here next year, but I wouldn’t rule out chip adding another Ertz weapon….
        ..
        I don’t want to start two rookie WR…but I want two in the he pipeline getting brought along slowly like Ertz, learning from Avant, and ready to start in 2015

        We are contenders, which means if we are going to be a top organization, we have to have young guys groomed to be ready to take over when we move away from veterans….we don’t have any of that yet

        • pjcostello

          I totally agree — we do need younger guys around, and replacing Maehl and Johnson is the way to go. I’m not sure they’ll bring in another TE, we already have three under contract for next year. While Casey wasn’t used much as a receiver, he did a nice job blocking when he was finally asked to do so, and he’s under contract for more years. Celek will be back because he’s a stud blocker. Maybe Avant and Cooper can be replaced? I love the team guy that Avant is, and you can’t replace his leadership, but he runs slower than my mother. LOL.

          • GEAGLE

            I think we add two pass catching weapons…maybe two WRs, but I could also see carrying one less WR and carrying 4TE’s..or even a WR and a Deanthony Thomas type specialty weapon….all I know is I expect two fast mofos that can catch balls added to a core of Desean!Riley,Ertz,Celek and Casey..avant back for a year if he restructures..we ain’t picking up his option because I don’t think any other team pays him that money. If we bring back Maclin it would be. Cheap long shot move that I don’t think we would rely on

            I think we haven’t even seen Casey’s full value yet and that his time in this offense will come…Celek will be back, but if we think we will move on from Celek after this year, maybe they bring his eventual replacement in now….we will always have 3 quality TEs on our roster

          • pjcostello

            Wait… what option on Avant? Celek’s not a gazelle, but TEs need to be able to block as well as run (on teams that run the ball, anyway). Would you like to see Vernon Davis in Eagle green? :-)

          • GEAGLE

            Avant might not be back mate,.we have to pick up the option on his contract if we want to keep him…he said his goodbyes to philly the other day just in case

            Hopefully we can sign Undrafted Colt Lyeria and Chip can keep him out of rehab

          • pjcostello

            Are you sure? Not being sarcastic or anything, all I can find about that are articles regarding Avant’s current contract, which ends after 2014 and which is a $4m cap charge in 2014.

          • GEAGLE

            I watched videos of him saying good bye Monday and thanking his fans here in case we don’t pick up his option…today Avant has no idea if he will be back..he said he wants to be back, but we don’t owe him anything

          • pjcostello

            Gotcha. I don’t think it’s an ‘option’ per se, but it’s the last year of the 5-year extension he signed — so cutting him would mean no cap hits beyond this season (no dead money).

          • GEAGLE

            No, I literally believe the last year of his deal had an option year we need to pick up to get him back

          • pjcostello

            I found details of his contract all over.. 5 years, $14.75 mill: http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/philadelphia-eagles/jason-avant/

          • cliff henny

            per eaglescap.com avant is due 3.9m but is only 700k dead money. this point, spot 5th recr and not a special teamer. just cant see him coming back.

          • pjcostello

            I’m afraid I agree. Love the guy, love his leadership and locker room presence, but he’s too slow (and was never fleet of foot to begin with). On the other hand, you do need veterans around…

          • GEAGLE

            I guess he might have been talking about the option to pick up his roster bonus and just worded it wrong…whatever the deal is, he said his goodbyes, said he would I like to be back, but we don’t owe him anything…his future was more in question from how he sounded then the typical guy under contract who could be cut…

            Whatever the case may be, if Avant wants that money and to remain an Eagle, I’m assuming he has to restructure, give him a Few extra years on the deal to lower his cap figure

          • pjcostello

            Also found that Avant is due a $1m roster bonus in 2014. He’s probably gone, but I cannot find anything regarding 2014 being an option year.

          • Mitchell

            No risk, huge reward signing for a huge, talented, tight end with ties to Kelly from Oregon? yes please. If he does drugs? whelp, cya later kid

    • RIP illa

      I don’t get where you get your speed thing from W/ Chip and on O. He never had a whole bunch of speed at Oregon. Tommy did a post about this awhile back. I could see us bringing in more speed at TE, cuz Ertz has a very similar 40 time to Celek (combine). We all know that DJax speed is fine, Coop’s is fine for his size, and even post injury…Mac’s speed will be fine. Doesn’t mean he’ll get a lot of YAC or be the deep threat that most of us want, but hell, he was never that guy pre-injury!!! So where looking at Avant??? We got smith for that and will probably pick up a faster guy as a UDFA, if we draft a big body WR or just out right draft that guy in Landry, Lee, or Beckham type. I mean we can get a guard w/ speed to upgrade Todd, but Lane, Peters, and Kelce all have speed on our O-line and nobody’s replacing Mathis anytime soon. We have way more speed than Chip is accustomed to on O. We’re fine at speed on O, not to say that he won’t want or add more pieces…but it won’t be for lack if speed.

    • UKEagle99

      And draft offence for speed? When diid we become the Oakland Eagles

  • Tom w

    Safety — Byrd, ward, Clemons …. First two are gonna cost more than we are willing to spend I bet … Clemons could work better financially…. Under the radar name to remember Stevie brown from the giants … Meets all Howies wants — young midlevel on the rise … Had 8 ints in 2012 and a really nice yr but got hurt in 2013. May get a one yr prove it deal or just below market contract …. Kid could be a steal

    • cliff henny

      by any chance, was Brown’s injury an ACL? if yes, done deal

      • NickS1

        The contract is already written with a couple blanks to fill in for $ and yrs.

        • cliff henny

          think kelly just sits outside Dr james Andrews surgery room waiting for nfl players to be wheeled out.

      • Tom w

        Damn right Howie special

        • cliff henny

          lol, was it? well, f…why are we wasting time w/ byrd ward clemmons talk? howie and kelly with ACLs are like moths to a flame.

      • UKEagle99

        Cant help but feel KC will give us a good run for an ACL player

  • GEAGLE

    I have a problem with the article…we don’t know yet if the new way the eagles do business is just signing Bradley Fletcher type of FA, or if that was just the year one philosophy to lay a foundation because we had 300 holes to fill last year…they may have wanted to get the locker room culture right before we go spending big money…

    Now that we have a sound locker room, and much less holes to fill then we anticipated, who’s to say we won’t add premier FA?

    • pjcostello

      Good point!

      • GEAGLE

        We also needed to Chip to find out exactly what he had and exactly what he needed…signing guys to big money before Chip really knew what we had would be foolish

        • Joethomas215

          I believe now that we are closer to being a legitimate contender the odds of signing a star talent free agent go up, since we do have less holes to fill. I believe if Chip and Howie feel that they can add a playmaker on either side of the ball that they would go for it. A safety with ball skills, who is a proven playmaker would seem to make sense for our defense at this point.

    • Tom w

      Howie said it the other day and several times this past season. Been trying to tell people that but everyone keeps ignoring the obvious. One free agent stud may fit, but I think someone like Clemons or a Stevie brown may fit better for Howie.

      • Tom W

        http://gcobb.com/2014/01/08/howie-roseman-going-build-team-right-way/

        I think its unlikely (not impossible) that the eagles sign Byrd or Ward assuming they want around what the niners safety got from the Bucs last year. Basically would directly contradict what Howie has been saying about building this team the correct way … now if Byrd or Ward gives us a less-than-market deal because of the Chip/Eugene connection… then that could change things.

        I think someone like Clemons is more likely is all I am saying based on past practice and statements made by the GM and Gamble.

        • UKEagle99

          I think people are over egging the Eugene connection. Ward & Byrd will go to the highest bidder… Unfortunately.

      • RIP illa

        SMH…you seriously have issues w/ your many posting personalities, need to be right and acknowledge if you are. W/ that being said…Bryd or Ward should be top priority regardless of not wanting to get bit by the Nnamdi bug. Byrd literally took 1/2 a season off, w/ no offseason, and still came back and played at a high level. He is just that damn good!!! And Ward is a up and comer w/ serious potential and experience and tape to back it up. Both are better than Clemons and should be sought out, by us, as such. I was all over Clemons last season and wanted us to sign him desperately. But Howie and company passed on him for a reason. And that reason wasn’t money, as he was resigned to MIA for cheap. I still would love for us to go get him, but only after Bryd and/or Ward has said no to us.

        • Tom w

          Really cuz … Cause I get blasted for two days sayings Howie isn’t going to spend a ton on high priced free agents and then the reporter reaches the same conclusion by merely listening to the gm … And my entire premise was to defend the author for drawing the same conclusion but being called out by one of the more well spoken commentators on this side. …

          That being said, I don’t care what you or what geagle want when the gm comes out has two great drafts Ina row and a amazing head coach hiring and offseason. He says his philosophy is not thinking we are one player away and over paying from free agents. I am going to believe him even if I would like Byrd bc he is the expert and move on and find the next best thing not bang my head against the wall and keep chirping about something that probably isn’t happening .

          • RIP illa

            Reading comprehension my friend…reading comprehension!!!

        • Tom w

          And you missed the entire premise of the argument and article … Nobody is saying Byrd or ward isn’t good … Howie is saying that buying high priced free agents is a lose lose strategy usually bc of team chemistry, salary cap, paying for past performance, performance regression, injuries, and age… And percentage wise it’s proven out. He is right generally so I’m not going to get my hopes up that we going to get the top free agent who wants to be paid the top safety in the league when howie basically comes out and says that is the opposite of his team building philosophy. I’m gonna defer to him and moreover I am going to listen when he talks and try to understand the building through the draft philsophopy is what wins in the nfl ie niners pack Seattle Houston ravens etc not the cowboyz skins dream team philosophy

          • RIP illa

            So you don’t understand the meaning of the word should??? Interesting. So you don’t understand how us passing on Clemons last year does not bode well for us signing him this year??? Interesting!!!

            All of the mid level safeties in FA suck!!! The good ones after Byrd and Ward are gonna be resigned and if not it’ll most likely be due to age or injury, ie…a Stevie Brown type!!! Byrd is the only guy that’s gonna command a big paid day. While Ward will get paid…a big payday for him would be relative to whichever team signs him and their cap space. That leaves the draft. Ok fine, but it’s not like the draft is flowing over w/ a plethora of safety talent. And even if we draft a guy and hope he’s as promising as Wolff, there’s Norway that guy should be starting for us!!! And as far as Wolff, he only so so now. It’s just that we are so desperate for a good safety we overate him a little and when compared to Chung he actually looks great!!! Yet still he showed the same mistakes, as were listed as concerns about his game, as often as he did something’s good. And what did he do that was so good or that showed he ready to be a starter, besides look better than Chung??? I digress!!!

            Point is even if they resign Allen, and/or pick up a mid level FA, we still are going to need to address the position again next year. Hell, Allen is a mid level FA!!!this is where the word SHOULD comes into play. If we seriously wanna solve the problem then we SHOULD solve it!!! That means Brud or Ward!!! And then we can still draft a safety to bring up…ie…building through the draft. We kept 5 safeties this year, so we could easily do it again next year. Top FA signing, Wolff, Draft pick, Nate, and Colt or whoever. Still not saying Howie’s going to do this. But it does make more sense than expecting a crappy mid level FA safety to suddenly become tops or hoping Nate becomes more than what he is, which isn’t that much!!!

            Oh and guess what…the reasons why the 9ers were able to build through the draft is cuz they sucked for so long!!! That kinda helps!!! Same w/ Seattle, but they also depend on FA and trades. Some worked out for them, some didn’t. And not everyone of their core guys have been squired through the draft…LYNCH!!! The cowboys also try to build through the draft…it’s just that they shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to drafting. So yes…nobody wants to be like the skins!!! Besides 2011, when have Big time FAA signings killed this team??? Seriously!!!

            The premise of the article is that we still need to fix the safety position and have a bunch of ways in which we can try to and how does Allen fit in to the equation!!!! The premise of your argument is ‘Nobody listens to me…whaaa!!!

    • southy

      I think it’s safe to say that their first goal was to get an understanding of the system and to find under-the-radar guys to build a core where we had none. I think Howie would balk at the idea of having a FA “philosophy” though. I think he has to look at it on a case by case basis – Will this guy make us better? Does he fit our scheme? Does he fit our locker room? If the answers are yes and we can afford it, we’ll sign the guy. I think we got into trouble last time by signing a bunch of guys and trying to figure it out as we went.

      • GEAGLE

        Agreed

  • JofreyRice

    My intuition is to say that if Byrd or Ward hit the market, they should do whatever they can to sign them, and not try to get cute trying to make an “under the radar” signing of a second tier guy…However, that’s exactly what they did with Nnamdi, and it seems like they would have been better off making an “under the radar” signing like Ike Taylor or Jon Joseph.

    When we thought we had solved the last “white whale” position–cornerback–it turned out we had signed a white elephant (wearing opera gloves).

    It all comes down to the eval of the player, and what role Davis & Kelly envision for him in the defense. Unfortunately, that level of detail is going to be happening behind the curtain–none of us will have a look-in to what they really think of those guys. I like Byrd, and think he’s a great centerfield safety. I’d love to see him in an Eagles costume, but I can’t say I’ve studied all the coaching tape of him, and I sure don’t know defense the way the coaches do.

    • cliff henny

      nnamdi was just too old. think that’s the real lessen. going to pay guys, make sure you get couple years at their prime, not hoping prime last 2 or 3 years longer than typical nfl playing arch.
      .
      with you, kelly’s going to play this wide open style, need to get playmakers in secondary. i’d prefer centerfielder, get that offense the ball back

      • JofreyRice

        Was it really the age thing? I’m not sure. If he “fell off” due to age, it was a precipitous fall. I get the sense that at some point, he stopped caring about football, and no one noticed until it was too late. I think he’ll move into politics, at some point, or continue to dabble in acting. Really smart guy, maybe too smart to be a good teammate.

        • cliff henny

          got his money and went thru motions, i’ll but that. was his 2nd big contract too? think we need to get guys like byrd, getting 1st, still young have drive.

        • hillbillybirdsfan

          Nnamdi could always invest in a couple of Sonic franchises. They’re fairly profitable and they bring the food right to your car!

        • NickS1

          Might have been. Our deal was his third contract. I wouldn’t have called him old, but it just may have crept up on him sooner than others. That piss poor wide 9 sure as ish didn’t help anybody, either. Or the safeties.

    • Tom W

      Clemons is very good … not necessarily under the radar. Someone like Stevie Brown or Major Wright would be under the radar.

      Don’t think Howie wants to chase white whales anymore nor does he wanna sink bigtime cash in a fickle position like safety.

      The Oregon connection is the great equalizer … maybe Byrd or Ward gives Chip a reasonable deal Howie can live with…doesn’t sound like chip will force any free agent down Howie’s throat but Howie does give him the dollar ranges we can spend on players ….

  • ian_no_2

    Fast players like Byrd actually age better than slow players. Slow players get even slower.

  • Chris Henson

    Cary Williams & Bradley Fletcher are fine as our starters. They held their own but draft/sign a young corner that can potentially can start. As far as safety, Stevie Brown is intresting but I don’t trust when Giants let FAs walk(Jacobs,Ballard,Phillips). Ward is a fine starter & Byrd is a ballhawk so either one is fine, Its really their attitude that matters to me. Resign Allen & Anderson amd we should be Fine in our secondary. Draft wise, get a safety that can do it all. Watch game(Vs) not highlights. Highlights make players look good. Watch Dion Bailey vs Washington. Fans will love him & I agree that Calvin Pryor is a player to watch

  • PaoliBulldog

    I’d guess that the Eagles will NOT sign Byrd. He didn’t react well to being franchised. Wouldn’t spend top dollar on him.

  • JohnJays

    Allen was effective as a rookie and show a lot of promise being surrounded by veterans like Sheldon Brown and Quintin Mikell. A cerebral player playing with guys that miss assignments and blow coverages “TY nnamdi & drc” Allen flat out look bad I think Allen is a good safety but he needs sure play surrounding him. This year went downhill the first game Wolff was out. Not only did he have Coleman playing next to him but Carmichael got the start as well…

  • theedevilsadvocate

    i think we need to find someone that has the name quintin again that might work out for us… third times the charm…