Wake-Up Call: The ‘Batting Average’ Approach

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There was no good reason for the Eagles to swing for the fences in free agency last season.

They were coming off a 4-12 campaign and were in the midst of an organizational reboot. The focus was on foundation building and no one knew exactly how long that build would take; it made little sense to splurge for big-ticket players at that time. Instead, they went shopping for “mid-level” free agents and ended up with the likes of Connor Barwin, James Casey, Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Patrick Chung, Donnie Jones, Jason Phillips, Isaac Sopoaga and Kenny Phillips. Some good, some bad, some in-between. Decent return rate.

“That group as a whole I think contributed a lot to our football team. We certainly weren’t perfect on our free-agent signings but I thought it matched what was out there in free agency last year and served us well,” said Howie Roseman.


The team is in a much different place than it was a year ago. The turnaround happened quickly, and Chip Kelly claimed an NFC East title in his first year. The Eagles are further along and presumably in position to contend. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they will alter their plan when free agency opens on March 11. Last year's approach was more about a shift in philosophy than it was a reaction to circumstance.

"If you can sign a bunch of guys that maybe aren't the high-price guys, you have a chance to kind of have a batting average," said Howie Roseman. "As opposed to, if you sign one or two big-price guys and one or two don't work out, it kind of puts you in a bind. If you sign a bunch of good players or solid players, you want them all to work out but you don't necessarily count on them and it doesn't really hurt your team going forward if one or two don't work out."

Safe to say, the 2011 offseason splurge still haunts this franchise. Not only was the overall production from that crop a disappointment, but team chemistry was profoundly affected when Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Steve Smith, Vince Young and company were added to the mix.

The Eagles were coming off a 10-6 season and had fallen just short against the Packers at home in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. They loaded up in the offseason, thinking that was the key to reaching championship heights. It backfired. Here they are again, coming off a 10-6 campaign and a narrow home defeat in the playoffs. The thinking is much different this time around.

"I think we have to learn from that moment. We're going to try and continue to build this team the right way. There are no quick fixes in the National Football League. It's such a team sport that one player is not going to make the difference," said Roseman. "We have to build this, and hopefully we're competing for a long time. I think you'll see a markedly different approach from the last time both in free agency and the draft...Regardless of where we are right now or what we finish with [record-wise], we've got to keep the process right and build onto a young team and hopefully have a good core of young players that we can build with, and do things the right way."

WHAT YOU MISSED

Evan Mathis might have been a Pro Bowl snub but is feeling the love elsewhere.

Sheil and I look into the crystal ball to try and figure out Jeremy Maclin's fate.

Sheil offers 10 observations from the divisional round of the playoffs (with an Eagles slant).

DeMeco Ryans debunks the tempo theory.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Maclin talks contract with Derrick Gunn.

"Both sides have had talks," Maclin said about returning to the Eagles. "I respect [GM] Howie [Roseman]. I understand this is a business, I understand he has to look out for what's best for the organization, and that's what he's supposed to do. I have all the faith that he's going to do what's best for the organization, whether that's deciding to keep me there or moving in another direction. I'm a realist, I understand that's a possibility.

"For a team that wants to give me a one-year deal, that's cool, I'll just go out there and ball out, do the things I think I can do. Hopefully get that type of deal I'm looking for. If a team wants to give me a long-term deal, I'll go out there and still do the same thing."

DeSean Jackson is offering a reward of $50,000 for information leading to a conviction in the burglary of his South Philadelphia home. From ESPN.

A statement from a spokeswoman for the receiver said Sunday the burglary happened while Jackson was out of town on vacation.

Police say at least $250,000 in cash and jewelry was taken from the home, along with a handgun. Jackson's statement says a small amount of money was taken and stolen items make up the bulk of the loss.

The statement says Jackson is upset about the break-in but confident police will find those responsible.

COMING UP

We'll continue our feature on pending free agents with a look at Riley Cooper.

  • cheapmeat

    How soon until DeSean is on 30 for 30, Broke?

    • cliff henny

      seeing how he makes 4m after taxes a yr, he only needs to get robbed another 19 times to be break even for the year. least of his worries is the spending on jewerly, least that’s insurable and an asset. now, how much is he sinking into Jaccpot? after hearing ‘diamonds on my neck’ (or something close to that), he’d be better off investing with Randolph and Mortimer Duke in frozen concentrated orange juice futures.

      • Richard Colton

        The Duke Brothers are trying to corner the market in frozen concentrated orange juice.

        • cliff henny

          it’s a very informative movie. i learned about stock market, all ladies of night are really just misunderstood down on luck great people, and never wear animal costumes for halloween-just never know if prank will go too far

          • DirtyWaters

            Not to mention where you might find bacon.

      • laeagle

        I’m still waiting on the report from Beaks before I commit.

      • cheapmeat

        My point is the lifestyle issue. All these guys get caught up in the money and the life and end up getting burnt.

        $250k in cash jewelry and guns? Launching a rap studio? He’s on the path. Doesn’t matter how much money you make, it’s easy to burn through at any level, but (maybe) Lurie’s…

  • Bullwinkle

    I think mid to lower priced free agents are more highly motivated than the high priced ones and therefore, provide a better return for the dollar. Guys without large contracts still dream of making the big money and this is reflected in how hard they play.
    I like Maclin. He is a class act, unlike many other players out there. I hope the Birds keep him.

    • pjcostello

      They also tend to be less talented. That’s OK — as Howie says, it’s a team sport. When the Eagles used to identify that one top-tier guy or two to add to the team, they reaped rewards. Jon Runyan, Troy Vincent, Javon Kearse, Terrell Owens.

      • Tom w

        How’d that work out in 2011 w Nnamdi Cullen Ronnie brown Vince young … Worked out horribly … To they got in a trade and Runyan was 25. Recent history says your wrong. And Kearney sucked after year one or does everyone forget that.

        • pjcostello

          Yeah, way to pay attention to what I wrote. Good job. Yes, they got TO in a trade. I didn’t say they signed him as a free agent, did I? Nope. Try some reading comprehension, it works wonders. Maybe a class?

          The Eagles used to look at the market, identify the top player or two at a position of need, and acquire them. Kearse sucked a year or two later? So what?? Does that negate my point, or was he the best defensive end on the market when they signed him? Jon Runyan was 25? SO WHAT?? That is my point. They went out and signed (for good money) the best right tackle available.

          • Tom w

            so what is the point of your entire post? In 2001-2005 they identified the best talent and acquired it. The article is talking about free agency not trades. The article also mentions more recent toplevel talent acquisition that blew up in our face. And Owens and kearse both hurt the team after year one … Is your reference to the Runyan and Vincent signing mean anything? Sounded like you were saying that is what the eagles should do this yr irregardless of what happened in 2011 and what Howie just said? I understand your ipost well it just makes no sense that Is why I had to guess as to your meaning .. And I am having to do it a second time. We all remember those signings over a decade ago … What’s your point relative to today?

        • RIP illa

          Actually Cullen played pretty well for us. He was better than anything we had at DT in recent history!!! And yes Cox was just a Rookie!!! And how does VY and Ronnie Brown equate to top tier??? Even in 2011??? Nnamdi was the “top tier” FA that really bit us in the ass!!! You can try to add Babin into that, but he actually produced for one season!!!

          • cliff henny

            babin wasnt bad signing, he just represents whole fd up fiasco the wide9 and mudd became. i have more issue with age and tred on tires for rest. why sign more expensive mid level vets that are on downside, sign mid level vets with hopefull upside, like b fletch.

          • RIP illa

            Don’t know why you would do that. Not advocating it. If we were a Super Bowl contender, I could still see us adding a vet here and their, whether expensive or not. But we’re not. And of course those type of signings should be done only after extensive player evaluation has been done, as posters have already said and suggested. I get the once bitten twice shy thing…but when we do our player evals correctly we have shown that not to be the case. Granted it’s been awhile. And I never said Babin was a bad signing. He did what he was told and asked to do for one year.

          • Tim w

            We didn’t win with any if those bums and soon as things went bad the following year they all turned their back on the team … Drc and Nnamdi were cancers, Cullen was Aveage at best his second yr, babin was a dick and didn’t try to stop the run, Ron brown was garbage, vyoung garbage … The whole thing was a mess. Younger midlevel guys vs 30 yr olds vets who already got paid big and or get tinge paid big again are a problem … Maybe one older vet a year if you are close but not 5 and not high priced free agents … Ask Tampa how that safety helped them bomb again … Ask Miami about mike Wallace …ask browns about Krueger ask colts about rjf, ask titans about their shiny new guard … Bad teams and top level high priced free agents don’t mix. Heck high priced free agents hardly ever makes sense bc of the natural inclination to relax and regression and lack of ownership of team chemistry

          • anon

            Think it has to do with coaching / system. You bring a bunch of high priced guys in here and then make your OL coach your DC, run a TERRIBLE system and see if they respect you.

          • RIP illa

            Really…you don’t say….the team starts to fall to shite and the guys recently added don’t play as well as you hoped. Amazing!!!

            Seriously tho, what did you expect when AR and company, and the players that had been entrenched here for years were playing at abysmal levels, that the new guys would save us and make wverything better??? What did you think was gonna happen??? We brought a whole bunch if new guys into a corrosive situation and yes some of those new guys only added to that corrosion…including coaches.

            You throw out a bunch of names that I’ve already clearly addressed. Already said Nnamdi bit us in the ass…but you a F’n liar if you say you weren’t excited when we 1st announced we signed him!!! Already said VY was not a top tier FA and I had issue w/ that signing based on price and the point he was at in his career!!! Already said that I did not think Brown was a top tier FA and he preformed exactly as such in his limited role!!! You just still holding on to the 1/2 back option pass at the goal line!!! DRC was used incorrectly from the beginning, but I don’t think he was a cancer at all. He had flashes but not at the level or consistency that we hoped. Yet this year he’s ballin out in Denver…mmh…can you say coaching and organizational issues!!! And Cullen was great his 1st year and played to the level of a 4-12 team the next. I would hardly say that he was the reason we sucked!!! Lasty, Babin was a dick cuz…you know him personally??? Yet he and Cole were bff’s!!!Even if he was a Dick who cares??? Yet he did suck against the run. Too F’n bad that’s not what he was brought in here to do…be good against the run!!! He was brought in to be a pass rusher and take some pressure off Cole and he did exactly that the 1st year!!! The team knew what they were getting when they signed him. Asking him to be a run stopping DE is like asking Williams to lose his attitude!!!

            “Bad teams and high priced FAs don’t mix” Well that’s an obvious, cuz they’re still gonna be a bad team despite the signings. More goes into being a bad team than just the players on the field!!! And were we a bad team when we made those signings??? I’ll wait!!!

            Didn’t I already address adding a (keyword meaning singular) vet here and their if we were a Super Bowl contender, in my 1st sentence??? So you agree w/ me on that…cool.

            If you were on this sight regularly, or not just some made up name (and I’m pretty sure I know who’s responsible for the post I’m replying to) you would understand that I’m in absolute love w/ a balanced approach to and during the offseason!!! That means not going overboard w/ FA by breaking the bank our trying to sign too many pieces!!! And that also means not going overboard w/ the draft and reaching or just using BPA in it’s rigid form.

          • Richard Colton

            and NOW you drop the mic

          • Andy124

            People dropping mics like crazy the last couple days. Mic’s done gone get broked. Mic dropping needs to be restricted to Rakim.

          • theycallmerob

            should have started and stopped with Eddie Murphy in Delirious: http://youtu.be/OvdcN4csakk

            Although, I’ll allow one other, because I can’t help but laugh every time I see it: http://youtu.be/6X9tuwH9I5Q

          • Andy124

            I guess that did come first. Never thought about that.

          • Michael Deen

            I think the most consistent thing about all the teams you named here would be either weak Head Coaching and or Front Offices. Ask Tampa if it was really the safety play or the HC who sunk that team? Ask Miami why Jeff Ireland was still the GM when he signed Wallace? Ask Cleveland why they fired their head coach after one season and terrible QB play? Ask the Titans FO why they wouldn’t let their HC choose his own coaches? I wouldn’t classify them all as bad teams – but the common theme being they didn’t have the right management in place. Much like the Eagles in 2011. Today I think the Eagles FO is in a great position to get this team where it needs to go. I would very much like to see the Birds sign a FA safety because it seems more and more that it is becoming not only an incredibly important position to fill but a tough position to fill. Why not fill it with a proven all-pro familiar to the head coach? Then we can use the draft to upgrade the pass rush, the WR position, and depth around the board….

        • Will

          Who did the player evaluations? So you blew it, you’ve blown the draft too. So now you execute more caution….FA aren’t all bad…

      • RIP illa

        Asante Samuel maybe that was a trade but still

        • pjcostello

          Same principle — good catch.

          • RIP illa

            Yup. Any meansof acquiring a player excluding the draft. Some people (below) have a hard time of seeing the connection in the concepts.

          • pjcostello

            ^5!!

          • Tom w

            Dork. Still failed to address the article or make a point.

          • pjcostello

            OR, option B — just found better things to do than keep replying to you. Like watching paint dry, or pulling out my toenails with pliers.

          • Tom W

            Still reading this site … guess you didn’t.

          • pjcostello

            LMAO!! Seriously, man, see if there’s a course on Reading Comprehension at your local high school or college. I didn’t say I wasn’t still reading the site, I said I wasn’t going to reply to YOU any longer (with this exception, since I couldn’t help but again address your obvious deficiency).

          • Tom w

            The article was talking about free agency nitwit. In a trade you are giving up other pieces and sometimes just paying then their old contract so it has completely different ramifications … Like in to case ,,, after Super Bowl he went nutz and wanted a new contract How’d that work out for us?

          • RIP illa

            I know what the article was talking bout little guy…I was simply following off of what pj said and adding. You know the guy that you replied to!!! You could also note how I referenced the connection(s) of the two concepts…yet in no way said they were the same or didn’t have different pros or cons. But seeing as how I’m a nitwit, and you are obviously so superior…one would think that you would have no trouble comprehending the statements provided. Guess I was wrong!!! What a burden for you to be so much smarter to others yet to rarely show it…Damn!!!

          • tom W

            So you addressed his post that had no point in the first place and failed to address the article …. great job. Trade concept is completely different than free agency. And his original post completely ignored the 2011 debacle season and instead referenced acqusitions from 7 yrs earlier that didn’t lead to a ring. Still waiting for anything resembling a intelligent post in response to the article .. my original point in response to his article … rather than a post that completely ignores recent history.

          • RIP illa

            Same response(s) pj gave you!!!

          • RIP illa

            Oh I thought I was replying to Chuck but it turned out to be Tom W in disguise!!! Tom…are you having another bout of Disassociative Identity Order??? Might wanna see a doctor for that!!! SMH

          • RIP illa

            LMFAO…you make yourself look so foolish w/ ease!!! It’s called holding multiple conversation in one thread!!! I addressed the 2011 debacle in a reply to an earlier post before I got to pj’s. And have made my view on FA known, multiple times, since last offseason!!! SMH…do try to keep up man!!!

      • aub32

        I’d argue Kearse doesn’t belong in that group.

        • pjcostello

          He didn’t wind up a great signing, but at the time he was signed he was a terrific player (and we did go to the Super Bowl the year he — and TO — were brought in).

  • DirtyWaters

    I want to renegotiate that reward for more guaranteed money.

  • Tom w

    Based on fo philosophy and smart cap management, it would appear Byrd and ward and decker and orapko will be priced out of free agency for us hence why I believe eagles may look at a safety like Clemons from Miami or Stevie brown from giants or resign nate. Add in a young nt like Cody from ravens and maybe a youngish tall corner and g/c to push vandy and then we head into the draft. Another 3 4 de if geThers flies too

  • B-West

    I still tend to agree with the strategy of 2011. The Eagles thought they were one of a handful of teams in the mix to win a ring, so they pushed their chips in. I like that. I thought the fault lied in player evaluation and defensive scheme.

    On the same note, I agree with the strategy last offseason. Rebuilding stage, new coach, no need to spend big in free agency. They needed to reset the foundation and hopefully find some young talent. The good news? They accomplished that in spades.

    I will be curious to see their free agency style the next time they believe they are on the cusp. Hell, that might even be this year. I’m not so sure they are ‘haunted’ by the strategy of 2011, more the execution.

    • Tom w

      Nope sure sounds like Howie just said he doesn’t wanna relive 2011

    • RIP illa

      Exactly. Everyone wanted Nnamdi so I can’t fault Howie and the boys there. But if he was showing signs of decline then that should have been spotted during the evaluation process. And Babs gave us a dominant year as a pass rusher. Clearly there was tape out there showing his no commitment to run defense…hindsight…might have been a good idea to have a backup run defending DE and use Babs as a situational rusher. I even understand getting DRC, w/ Asante getting up there in age. However, they should have estimated how Asante would take to that, and even w/ the touting of Hanson, for years, and about the nickel role being a specialist…still don’t understand why they thought they could just plug and play DRC like a game if madden!!! The only signing that I could not try and defend was the VY signing, and that had more to do w/ the 5 mil price tag for a player that had been in a downward spiral, career wise!!! I could barely stomach the Smith signing, but I thought they would have been way more patient w/ him. Didn’t think they were gonna try and get plays outta him so early.

      • Maggie

        And yet there are many folks commenting on this site that they think they can grab anybody they like then plug-and-play them all day long! Just like Madden.

        • RIP illa

          I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Yes you get some of those comments during the draft talk, but that’s just people not studying the player well enough, hoping for the best, and/or they genuinely think that player can fit in this system. If you’re referring to Byrd or Ward, then I’m not sure too many people are far off. Both have vast experience playing in a 3-4 and are the top in the game at what they do.

  • RIP illa

    I could be really wrong, but doesn’t baseball have the lowest average of the 3 major sports in America? If so, then why not try for a FG percentage (basketball)???

    • Andy124

      Or better yet, FT% (basketball).

      • RIP illa

        Are we talking Shaq free throws or Reggie Miller’s???

        • Andy124

          Definitely Miller.

  • JofreyRice

    Ugh, hopefully this is just a smokescreen, because I read this as “don’t expect us to go after Byrd”.

    I understand the “batting average” approach, to a degree, but doesn’t that indicate you’re not fully confident in your evaluation process?

    Byrd has been an all-pro in 3 of his 5 years in the league. If the in-house evaluation agrees with the objective awards and accolades, pull the trigger, and fix the S position. Don’t load up on more Chungs, Sopoagas and Williams’.

    • cliff henny

      yeah, byrd shouldnt be classified with nnamdi, he’s like 4 or 5 yrs younger, isnt he? get being gunshy, but be gunshy of 30+ vets. eagles signed how many last yr, 7, including benn. so sign byrd and 4 others.

      • Tom w

        Some team w 60 million under cap like raiders is going to make him highest paid safety Can’t chase that

        • Will

          Banner will most likely Franchise Ward…

          • cliff henny

            doubtful..Banner loathes tagging guys. think Akers is only guy who ever got it in philly

          • Will

            Hope your right….still Ward and Byrd will want a lot of $ can’t see the Eagles spending over 3-4 million a year to kill Howie’s white whale problem….

    • Tom w

      Tried to tell ya. He said these things last week but no one was paying attention and just yelled at me. I don’t mind getting Byrd or ward but i think we aren’t one piece away and recent history around league shows big signings don’t help most teams .. Look at big signings last yr … Look at skins and cowbiyz … Hurts chemistry, regression of stats, injuries, and cap problems are what happens. So although is love Byrd I think Howie is dead right and it’s proven out. Can’t buy a ring. Ask mr Snyder lol

      • anon

        What big FAs did the skins in cowboys have? You mean 3 years ago when they tried to get cute in the uncapped year?

        • RIP illa

          Thank you!!! These guys just go off the narrative their fed instead of actual thought and reasoning based on history. And not just the parts of history that support their opinions.

          • Tom W

            Your an idiot … guess you forgot how Snyder and Jerruh have tried to overpay for free agents over the last 15 years to no avail …

            Roy Williams, Brandon Carr, Orton, TO, PacMAN, vanderjagt, marco rivera, Joey Galloyway, Tony Banks

            Haynesworth, Stubblefield, Bruce Smith, Adam Archuletta, Deion Sanders, Trotter, Jeff George

            I could go on. Is that enough “actual thought and reasoning based on history” that goes back 15 years not just two freaking years …dope.

          • RIP illa

            I wish you could see the smile on my face when I saw your reply!!! I couldn’t wait to get home to give it the proper attention it deserves!!!

            Yes I’m an idiot and you once again have proven your superiority over me. EXCEPT…

            You keep referencing the Skins, as if they are the norm and not the extreme!!! No one is arguing that we do what they do. Besides it would take years and years of blatant disregard for common sense from our FO to even get w/in an ear shot of their mismanagement. I guess it’s a good argument…if you completely ignore the previous mentioned fact and the fact that from top to bottom, that organization has been one of the most dysfunctional and incompetent organizations. From the FO to the coaches on the field!!! Yeah if you completely disregard all of that, then they make a pretty good example of why we should not!!! Last time I checked…Lurie was in no way shape or form in danger of turning into Snyder and both Chip and Reid were miles ahead and better then their numerous coaches previously hired!!!

            On to the Cowboys. We all know good ol’ Jerrah is a god send for Eagles fans. Yet still, that’s no reason for you to include falsehoods, misinformation, and/or cherry pick data to fit your argument while omitting some things. I pretty much don’t think you’re doing this totally intentionally tho. I mean nobody is that ego driven. Not even the guy that post under multiple names to try and look more intelligent in his arguments and give himself more up votes…

      • JofreyRice

        Yeah, credit to you for anticipating the company line. I still don’t agree, though. If you have the money–which they do–and they trust the evaluation, why not sign the guy that’s the best at football, rather than a second or third tier guy? If you’re really not sure of what you’re looking at on film, then yeah, sign a bunch of guys and hope one breaks out.

        I think the middle is being ignored when you consider cases like the Redskins, or the 2011 Eagles. Free Agents can make a huge difference, ask the Broncos; they signed a very questionable Peyton Manning to a 90 Million dollar deal, and are the favorites to have that investment pay off in the form of a big silver football. Maybe that’s a special case, but guys like Julius Peppers, Charles Woodson, and Darren Sharper have all helped their clubs after signing big money contracts. Hell, look at the 9ers, one of the most loaded rosters out there. 3 of their key guys on D, Justin Smith, Carlos Rogers, and Donte Whitner came in on FA deals.

        I was bearish on this team, but they made it to “the tournament”. That’s the goal, right? Gotta strike while the iron’s hot.

        • Tom W

          Gotta strike but not blow your load.

          I would be fine w one stud free agent this year in byrd or to a lesser extend ward. maybe not every year. But if Kelly says ..”hey I know Byrd, kid is a competitor, he will go ballz out for us and bring his all for 10 years …” then yes maybe howie goes and gets him.

          I think there is room for exceptions … byrd and ward (being from oregon) or a good vet looking for a ring at a cheap rate. Depends on the money they want too … and byrd will be 28 in october … ward too this season. Maybe ward doesn’t break the bank hopefully who knows. Maybe Byrd/Ward give chipper a discount for their ole ball coach who believed in them in college and for a chance at a super bowl?? wishful thinking.

    • anon

      Though based on our history maclin is probably a sure bet to get a conract. Good WR with injury history. Think Howie watched too much moneyball.

      • tony

        does maclin get on base? :)

    • anon

      That’s exactly what it’s saying to me. We don’t evaluate talent well. That’s why we got Gamble. But it’s evident in our drafting, especially when it comes to that safety position.

      • Maggie

        Don’t evaluate talent well?? Were you even watching the drastic turnaround in the overall production from numerous FA signings this year?

    • theycallmerob

      evaluation can only go so far; it’s hard to determine a player’s willingness to be coached, practice mentality, and discipline off the field. It’s clear those are very, very important factors to Chip.

      • anon

        That’s all part of evaluation. I’m sure he Knew Barwin was a work horse by reputation (that’s why we keep taking Texans).

        • theycallmerob

          that’s one good example. Look how DRC fared here, or the entire DL once they knew Washburn had full control. The locker room was a mess in 2011. That seems to be the point of the article, not Howie’s ability to evaluate talent. Reid’s confidence in managing all egos led to that disaster, with both the players AND coaches.

          • anon

            So given that’s gone why the reluctance to sign people?

          • theycallmerob

            see my post to Jofrey; it’s merely the discipline to know that the very best “talents” aren’t necessarily the best players for the team. I don’t see it as a reluctance to sign players, simply a greater degree of caution before making those signings. I don’t think Howie is saying that he’ll never sign a “big-name” again.

          • Andy124

            Wonder if younger Reid actually would have managed them better.

          • JofreyRice

            I think it’s way underplayed, but I really think the stuff with his kids has had a bigger effect on him than he’s allowed for. As a father, what he’s gone through is unthinkable; I don’t care if his negligence had some part or not, it’s going to resonate throughout his life.

          • Andy124

            100%

      • cliff henny

        sort why i like ward. davis has 1st hand knowledge.

        • theycallmerob

          yea, he’d be great. honestly, I like him more than Byrd. Chip knows him too. the antics pulled last year scare me from Byrd a little, I get not wanting to ruin a career in a place like BUF but I’d prefer a man with some character. I get tired of some of the acts these guys put on.
          For all the sh!t I give sconces, his attitude and desire to work with rookies (particularly Wolff) is a big “+” in his personnel file. And Barwin, making sure the front 7 goes out to dinner every week. I get some guys value talent over anything else, but from a guy who’s played at a competitive level there is nothing more important than a team in sync. We had that at Delaware, and even on the field we could see in-fighting among our opponents even in the middle of a game. Once that cat’s out of the bag, you just knew you had the game in hand.

          I’d say the most of the success we had this year was due to everyone buying into what Chip was preaching. Those are HUGE changes for grown men to go through. It’s a testament to what Howie/Lurie said about him being a program builder.

          • JofreyRice

            So why not have faith that Chip, with the weight of an invested locker room behind him, can get the most talented football players to buy in?

          • theycallmerob

            it’s not a lack of faith in chip, more an indictment of some of the personalities around the league.
            remember what he did to Djax last year, “benching” him to make the point that everyone has to learn all positions? or not allowing McCoy to make up that practice which cost him 100k? It was great those 2 incidents worked out so well. But that’s not to say it’ll be the case universally.
            I’d be wary of falling into that trap; having so much confidence in Chip that we overlook some flaws in players. To a degree, it’s the same trap Reid fell into by thinking he could manage all those player and coach’s egos in ’11. At least, that’s how I saw it.

          • JofreyRice

            Serious question, are there a lot of stories about Byrd I’m not aware of? I don’t see him as a toxic personality. He doesn’t want to play in Buffalo, for a franchise that is notorious for underpaying young talent until it walks away; and not to the benefit of the franchise, by the way.

            I think to a certain degree, you need to be able to count on the head coach to manage the personalities on the roster the way a good CEO would. That’s part of the job. Belichick is one of the best at it, managing a golden-boy workaholic like Brady, along with getting the most out of Randy Moss, and being able to relate to a TE that enjoys a busy schedule of merking people in the offseason.

            It’s hard for me to compare things to Reid. The situation was so stale and poisonous at the end. Cullen Jenkins screaming at him on the sideline, in the preseason game, guys quitting. If we were seeing that kind of thing from Chip I’d have bigger concerns than just who we’re going to sign in free agency.

          • RIP illa

            No there’s not. And it wasn’t that he didn’t want to play in
            B-Lo, cuz he has been a model supporter/player through all their shite. He just didn’t wanna be dicked around by them!!!

          • JofreyRice

            This is a team that was still trying to pay Jason Peters as an UDFA TE after he had made a Pro Bowl, as a tackle.

          • theycallmerob

            Just this season concerns me a bit. The guy turned down a big contract; I understand that, but I don’t see those numbers as BUF being extremely cheap. Also, was all that time missed due to injury actually real? any milking involved? and then to be named a pro-bowler after half a season (which even Geagle, optimist-extraodinaire, didn’t agree with?)
            I wouldn’t call it toxic. But it does raise a yellow card for me.

          • RIP illa

            Oh…they’re cheap…real cheap!!! They have a 1/2 dead zombie owner who nobody knows what he’s thinking or why he does what he does. And his daughter, who was the face of the move the team to Toronto movement!!! Even when they gave Fitz his big contract…people were surprised. Not cuz of him not deserving it, but more so cuz they opened up the books. Plus thu let a key piece of their line go even tho they had every intent on Franchising Bryd and had the very real possibility of drafting a QB. We’re not talking tackle money either…we talkin guard money!!!

          • theycallmerob

            I’ll defer to you, being the resident and all. The Levitre thing really made me go WTF? But I thought they offered Byrd 5/40? I don’t think that was a slap in the face, I thought it was pretty reasonable.

          • RIP illa

            I thought that was later on in the process after he knew it was getting down to the wire. Could be wrong tho. Yeah that’s a reasonable offer, but then maybe he weighed it against playing out his career in B-Lo for a non contender. Who knows. Lets just hope he takes his talents to Philly for not some astronomical price. I’ll make you a deal…if he sings here, I’ll call up Howie and do whatever necessary (even blackmail) to make sure he takes Joyner w/ the 1st pick!!! Lol.

          • theycallmerob

            I wouldn’t do that…..he may think you’re the Mystery Mailer. I’m pretty sure Howie has personal bodyguards at this point. Just yesterday, I sent this one out:

            iF yOu dON’t sIgN tHE bYrDMaN aND dRafT JoYneR, i wILL fiNd wHeRE yOu sLEep and eAt yOUr fAcE (sTarTInG wITh tHaT moLE)

          • RIP illa

            LMAO. Damn…you took it to the mole??? Now that’s hardcore!!! Remind me never to piss you off!!!

          • Andy124

            Moles are great. They really add that nice umami flavor to whatever you add them to.

          • Maggie

            Well, half of the Buffalo season ticket holders are from the Toronto area. They keep that franchise afloat. Also the NFL is dying to expand into Canada, just like all the giant retailers. We didn’t have the huge crash a few years ago like the USA. Our bankers are just as greedy, but have tighter regulations. One more thing, even the PBS station in Buffalo calls itself Buffalo/Toronto, because of how much financial support comes from southern Ontario.

          • RIP illa

            I can understand most of that, but the 50% number bugged me, (don’t know if you’re just using hyperbole) so I looked it up and could only find an article that suggest the season ticket holder for torontonians (???) was around 15%.

          • JofreyRice

            Jeez, I have no idea if it was real. I’ve had plantar fasciitis–and mine happened when I was about his age. Shit hurts, and mine was exercise-induced. Totally plausible to me he was working out to stay in shape for the season, and brought it on himself. Mine took months to heal–cortisone, opioid pain killers, going to see orthopedists, PT. Really the only thing that finally helped was the offhand comment by the physical therapist that I needed more arch support. Insert in, presto, pain gone.

            4 INTs in 11 games, and let up a QB rating of 35.0 when being thrown at. Not just probowl nod, but 2nd team All-Pro, which carries a lot more weight, for me. Father is a secondary coach for the Buccaneers. I think he’s the real deal.

          • theycallmerob

            ha, hope that PT got a nice christmas card from you! inserts are god’s gift to feet.

            thanks for the clarification. As I said, didn’t follow him too closely aside from the b.s. ESPN headlines. I should know better.

            All that said, if he’s signed, I’ll most certainly rejoice. In fact, I should probably go make an offering to Jobu to expedite the process

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, he even went so far as to say that I didn’t need to get expensive orthotics, recommended some off the shelf brand for 20 bucks. Good guy.

            what was crazy was that the doctor was more than happy to keep prescribing me loads of hydrocodone. I’m like “dude, I have to work, I can’t be doped up all day. Can’t you figure out why my foot hurts all the time?”. This is a few years ago now, I think they are cracking down on that kind of thing.

          • Maggie

            He wants 5 years. Rules say it has to be at more than $9 million a year! Too much.

          • RIP illa

            I wouldn’t be too hard on Bryd for the way he handle things w/ the Bills. Things get funny when you involve money. As far as I know he’s been a pretty stand up guy for that organization…even when things were pretty bad (organizational wise) earlier in his career. Plus he Mead it all to clear, the year before, that the one thing he would not and could not stand was to be franchised by them. Take that for what it’s worth, but it was a chest stab instead of a backstabbing. Meaning they knew what was gonna happen when they applied the tag and even had a bunch of fans and media up here saying font F w/ the guy. Sorta like how we were all screaming to pay Djax and not to let it get to that point.

            I do understand your concerns, but for some reason, along w/ what I said earlier, if Howie made the move I don’t think we’d regret it or that Chip couldn’t handle it. A it would have his stamp of approval. Outside of injury maybe.

          • theycallmerob

            that’s fair. I can’t say I know much about him, only started paying attention this year.

          • Will

            If Buffalo Franchises him it will put his price around 9 million…Does Howie spend that on him? or two mid level guys at 3-4 million? Byrd has made 3 pro bowls already…

          • Maggie

            Take the 2 guys. Also your Byrd was voted to the Pro bowl this year by the “fans”, when he barely even played. So-called fans vote for names they recognize, not actual talent.

          • RIP illa

            Umm maybe you should take a look at Byrd’s numbers after coming back from injury!!!

          • Will

            Supposedly had foot problem this year missed a couple of games…that’s the only negative looking at his stats he is a great Safety for picks…all the reports I’ve read about him were very positive hands down the Best Safety that might hit FA…

          • RIP illa

            Yup. I’m confused on the whole foot thing and JR has experience, but all I know is when he came back to play he balled out as usual.

          • Maggie

            Howie should know better than to grab players with leg injuries, remember???

          • Will

            Jairus came back and played great after foot injury, not a knee injury…missed 2 games I think…

          • Maggie

            Missed 5 games and will cost close to 10 million a year. He wants a 5-year deal. That’s $50 million, folks. On 1 player, who has to run and jump a lot, with an injured foot! Bleacher Report. Now, could we get back to what this article was talking about? Batting average. Not endless fascination with 1 over-priced player who has lost a step.

          • theycallmerob

            get off this 1 foot ledge. It’s not true. It’d be one thing if he came off surgery; he just played more than half the games this year.

            and considering that’s the hardest position to draft/fill in the NFL (go look at how many good S there are), and he’s the best to hit the market in a looong time, and it’s the Eagles White Whale…..pay the damn man.
            this isn’t moneyball. we have the cap room.

          • Will

            It is more like 9 million a year and worth every penny….Jairus Byrd will only fix half of the White Whale problem… Ward would look good in Eagle green as well….http://www.buffalobills.com/team/roster/jairus-byrd/48488e58-c1d9-49f9-9b3d-557c6380565f/

            At least do your homework on Jairus Byrd before you blow him off as overpaid…Bleacher is so so in it’s information….

          • Will

            Well the locker room from 2011 compared to 2014 is two very different environments, we have great Coaches in place, a great system in place from a great HC….no one can argue the Safety spots are in need of an upgrade…FA is one way to address Howie’s White Whale, hopefully with Tom Gamble in place the player evaluations situation is vastly improved…So 2 mid- level young healthy guys would be a good thing for the team…Depending on who hits the FA market and there price tag maybe they get a top tier guy and one 2nd tier guy for the Safety spots…maybe…

          • Maggie

            Of course. But Chip and company decide who the top players are, not people here.

          • theycallmerob

            wtf are you contributing here? anyone who has watched football clearly knows who the top 2 safeties are.

          • RIP illa

            Up vote for most of your post!!!

          • theycallmerob

            ha, thanks, but curious what you mean by most? Guessing you like Byrd more than Ward :)

          • RIP illa

            Yup!!!

          • RIP illa

            Also the antics part and I think Bryd has good character. I still see your point tho.

          • Will

            I liked the team comrade part….

          • aub32

            I like Barwin. I’m not the biggest fan of CW. However, a team full of guys like this will never win a SB. You can be a big fan of character, but you need talent. Also, I think some of you look at every little thing as a character issue. How about blaming the team? Look at DeSean. The guy played his butt off and earned to get a major pay increase. Instead, the team paid a bunch of FAs and left their own to play for peanuts. DeSean, being a human being, let his emotions affect his play. The guy then gets paid and puts up record numbers. Coincedence?

          • Andy124

            You have to agree that the ideal is to add that upper level talent through the draft, right?

          • aub32

            I think you have to use both. I think it’s hard to find good secondary talent in the draft. Even if you do, there is still a big transition period where a young CB or S may struggle mightily. That’s not good for a team with SB aspirations. On the other hand, some positions never hit the market (QB, pass rusher, LT). So you would like to find them in the draft. I think you have to use FA, the draft, and trades to make the best possible roster. That’s ideal in my book.

          • Andy124

            Again. Shades of grey. How much do we rely on FA? Based on your other posts in this thread, I don’t think we’d disagree about how much FA should be used if there was a convenient way to quantify it with an intuitive frame of reference.

          • aub32

            I think it’s relative to what’s available. If one of the top 8 pass rushers, one of the top 10 safeties, and and one of the top 12 CBs were all availble, I’d say get them all. I am not in favor of grabbing names just to make myself feel like the team did something. However, if there is a player that would be a significant upgrade available and we can afford him, then I am all for it. I don’t like “needing” my rookies to play major roles like #1 WR, CB, or S, with a few top guys as exceptions of course.

          • Maggie

            “quantify it with an intuitive frame of reference”. Does that mean the same as “if it feels good, do it”? Lol.

          • Andy124

            lol

          • theycallmerob

            I don’t remember saying we don’t need talent. If you’ve seen any post of mine, you must know how I feel about Sconces. And I never brought up Djax either; of course the guy can get paid. But can Barwin start on a super bowl team? absolutely. You seem a bit too hung up on hyperbole; I’m not advocating for 11 choir boys on that side of the field.

            Look no further than the ’12 Ravens defense. They had some mediocre talents. But they also had Ngata, Suggs, Webb, and most of all Lewis. That was probably the tightest locker room in the NFL. Yes, Flacco did his thing, but that defense played big when it mattered, being far removed from the epic levels of talent they had in the previous decade

          • aub32

            I think you missed my point. I brought up DJax to point out that guys who may “under perform” during a contract dispute should not be labelled “poor character guy”. You seem to place no owness on the team. Just because Byrd had some problems with the Bills does not make him a poor character guy. He still had a pro bowl year. I would team willing to show him the appreciation he deserves in the form of a big contract would get his full efforts.

          • theycallmerob

            I don’t think I labeled Byrd poor character; read the rest of my interaction with Jofrey. I clearly stated I didn’t know much about him beyond the headlines from this year.

            And I have no idea what you mean by “owness”

          • Andy124

            That was a pretty funny misspelling of onus. Funny haha, not funny point and laugh.

          • theycallmerob

            ah….thanks. still incorrect in him saying that, but thanks

      • JofreyRice

        Isn’t that part of the evaluation? I know figuring out what’s in a guy’s head is much trickier than what he’s done on the field, but it’s part of the process.

        At any rate, Chip should be more familiar with the top 2 safeties than he is with most FA’s.

        • theycallmerob

          sure it’s part of it, but it’s much harder to discern that from FA than from the draft. I just think that led to a lot of the issues in ’11. just my take. And also, that’s more what Howie’s referring to than necessarily spending $ on the big names just because of their big names.

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, I don’t think Byrd is a name only. He’s put together an outstanding resume, so far. All signs would point to him being in the prime of his career. To address one of your earlier points, we understand the situation of why he’d be available–cap situation/lack of desire to play for the organization in Buffalo, which by the way, is how we got Jason Peters.

            I feel like this is a slam dunk. They can outbid the Raiders, and I’d have to imagine they offer a better prospective landing spot than a franchise that’s in the commode.

          • Will

            Good point…$ isn’t everything…playing for a contender does matter to some player’s…and great Coaches, and a Great environment, hope Byrd considers Philly….

          • theycallmerob

            I can get on board with that. I don’t mean to use Byrd as an example of a guy-to-avoid-at-all-costs.

            I think it’s a blessing in disguise that the top 2 names at our position of biggest need are familiar to Chip.

            So, say they ignore Byrd and make the huge offer to Ward; I wouldn’t stomp my feet that we didn’t get the biggest name, I’d just assume a deeper level of understanding by the FO and coaches.

          • JofreyRice

            Agreed. I think a certain level of trust has to be granted, here. I want to see them sign someone to address S, though.

        • Maggie

          Who are the top 2 safeties? Who made this decision? Are the folks on this site ranking safeties based on 2013?? Number of injuries to the legs? Which college they attended? Please. How many times has the FO been slammed for taking a chance on players with injuries?

          • JofreyRice

            Byrd and Ward, by most analyst’s consensus.

            I think you’re over emphasizing Byrd’s injury. The guy’s resume really speaks for itself. All pro in 3 out of 5 years in the league, with 22 INTs. Ed Reed had 27, just for comparison. So the first five years of his career aren’t quite on the level of a HOF guy, but pretty darn close. Ed Reed!

            Hey, I don’t want another underperforming, overpriced FA, either. I just think that if Byrd is what he appears he is, this is a unique opportunity.

    • Tiburon

      I disagree entirely. I think that Roseman and company are fully aware of this team’s deficiencies. I think as frustrating as the secondary was this year, Billy Davis made the best of it, yet broadcast what this team’s needs are and made them very clear. Why do they play CBs 14 yards off on 3rd-and-12? Because they don’t want anyone behind them. Why? Poor, if any over-the-top support. I think they go after Byrd or TJ Ward. The Oregon connection is there, and those are the two best safeties available. I’d also expect them to target a guy like Calvin Pryor from Louisville in the draft. I wouldn’t expect much MORE big flash than that, but I don’t think this precludes them from making ANY big deals. Just don’t expect the fantasy football mentality of 2011.

      • JofreyRice

        So you disagree that these comments mean they won’t be going after a big name free agent? Interesting stance. That’s how they read, to me. I hope you’re right.

        • Tiburon

          I think the difference lies in not adding a big name. They’re going to add a veteran or two, and one of them IMHO will be a “big name guy.” I think Roseman learned his lesson in trying to pick up EVERYBODY–all these “big names” who turned out to be turds on the field and in the locker room.

          I think by not repeating the mistake of 2011 you’re not putting together a fantasy roster. They’ll be in on Byrd and Ward. In big too. They should be in on Pryor in the draft as well. I think shoring up the secondary will do wonders for the defense. Doesn’t take a lot to see what they’ve been missing since Dawkins left.(in 2008, Eagles were 5th vs. pass in NFL–Dawk’s last year. 2009-11th, 2010-11th, 2011-19th, 2012-31st, 2013-15th)

    • Tom W

      Personally I think Byrd is safe acquisition as well like you …and I think kelly’s experience with him and Ward may still allow Howie to make an exception from the batting average approach …. However, I dont wanna get in a bidding war w any franchise for either of them …

    • Maggie

      What is this fixation on this board with Byrd? Especially from people who turn around and lambaste “Howie” for picking up too many players recovering from injuries? Even more especially, players with injuries which affect their mobility??

      • JofreyRice

        He’s a great player at a position we’ve needed desperately for years. Do you remember how we bellyached about a #1 WR while McNabb was throwing the ball to Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis? The argument may have gotten stale, because it was repeated so frequently, but I think there was something to it. They went all the way to the NFCCG the year Jackson came onboard, and he contributed big time.

        Plantar fasciitis isn’t an injury like an ACL, or microfracture surgery. Honestly, it’s not even on my radar.

      • Andy124

        Yup, pretty much has to do with the position he plays.

  • Will

    Swing batter batter Swing…Scared $ don’t Win….Our secondary needs help…OLB, Both Safety spots, Kicker, CB, WR…..Swing Batter Batter Swing….no one over 27 might help Swing Batter Batter Swing…you might want to avoid player’s with Knee injuries just saying… Swing Batter Batter Swing…

    • Tom w

      Disagree. Didn’t work in. 2011. Never works for cowboys or skins. Trich trade looks horrible. Even harvin deal looks bad. Last year fa big signings did squat for most teams — they still bad. More about team chemistry and realizing a person doesn’t play as hard after they get big money or their stats will naturally regress … And we have a thing called a cap .. Ask cowbiyz. ,, trying to buy a ring kills your future

      • Will

        So your saying no FA signings??? 6 of the 9 they signed last year contributed…Barwin, Williams, Flecther, and Donnie Jones all in a big way…

        • Tom w

          No where did I say that. No big signings. Young mid tier signings are still hungry and trying to get paid again or get better extensions or trying to prove something. Still have a chip on their shoulder

          • Will

            Young with no knee injuries would help this team…Agree they will avoid the big ticket items….Safety is a lot harder because not many good ones and the Eagles have had no luck thru the draft….maybe they can get Ward or Byrd for a reasonable deal…I doubt it we shall see….Ward most likely gets a Franchise tag slapped on him by Banner, Byrd will be above what we are willing to spend….So maybe a Donte Whitner and Chris Clemons are guys they will consider in FA for help at Safety….

          • anon

            More like guys with high draft ratings that have blown out knees.

          • Tom W

            Cary Williams? Fletcher? Barwin? Barbre? Donnie Jones? shoot even Geathers

          • anon

            Didn’t fletcher have a blown ot knee (or some injury history). Cary (though i love him) graded out as one of the worst CBs in the league (PFF). why is barbre on that list?

            Donnie Jones – we went out and signed the best punter available. Was he a bust? Would you not sign Justin tucker if he was a FA?

          • Tom W

            Our free agents were not all high draft ratings w blown out knees was my point… and personally I like taking chances on young talented highly drafted guys who didn’t pan out … change of scenery works sometimes once a guy has grown up a bit.

      • anon

        Please. So if you date a hot chick that’s turns out to be crazy so it doesn’t work out do you never try and date another hot chick?

        Big FA signings work when you put guys into a good system with good coaching. To compare what’s here now with the last two years of the AR term is silly. I’m not saying buy a team but we need talent soooo bad it’s frustrating to hear that we won’t pay for more talented dudes b/c HR is worried about his job (actually i think that makes sense clearly JL was frustrated by the dream team but again, big FAs into the wrong system with terrible coaching).

        • Tom W

          Huh? You think howie is adopting this philosopy bc he is worried about his job … are your serious??? he killed the last two drafts and hired chip. He is saying it becaus signing big priced free agents typically doesn’t work unless you are on the cusp of the superbowl. We aren’t. We are young. We are still building a defense. We aren’t one piece away.

          Tell me one big free agent signing in the nfl in the last 2 yrs .. and I will show you 5 more that didn’t work.

          Haven’t we learned from the past … signing big free agents doesn’t work out the great majority of the time.

          • anon

            Yes, i think if 2011 happened again (or we maintained a track record of big FA busts) he’d be worried about his job — so he changed philosophies. I also think one year isn’t enough to evaluae a FA signing especially if they move to a different system.

            Some big ones from last year:
            Cliff Avril / Micheal Bennett to SEA (mmm love to have those guys)
            Paul Kruger to Browns (everyone know this was a bad deal Jruger got paid for playoff performance he wasn’t good during the regular season).
            Dumervil to BAL: good move
            Mike Wallace: this may be a bust, but it was a reach in the first place. Burner for a guy with no arm? that’s silly.
            Welker good
            Desmond Bryant good
            D. Goldson — love to have that
            Jake Long, Brent Grimes, Amendola all good moves

            Am i just seeing these with rose colored glasses?

          • NineseveN

            How many of those teams that made multiple big-name FA moves also made the playoffs? Of those that did, how many were already a playoff team the year before? Multiple big-name free agent acquisitions is indicative of desperate moves being made by a sub par team. No thank you. One such signing would be enough for me, and it doesn’t need to be a current rockstar like Byrd, someone from the next level down would be fine.

          • anon

            I’m sure if you put enough conditions then no team will qualify. Most teams in the playoffs don’t have a TON of cap room to have multiple top of the market FA signings.

          • Tom W

            The smart ones do like the seahawks last year … packers many years … and the eagles will. We are young…. and cap flexible .. lets stay the way so we can sign our own studs we drafted and keep drafting more studs …. get depth and competition in free agency .. patch holes in free agency … build a sustainable successful winning program for Chip by not sacrificing our future by signing older outsiders to big contracts.

          • NineseveN

            Nope. Of the teams that made the playoffs this year, only 3 were in really bad cap spots immediately heading into 2013 (49ers, Panthers and Saints). Most of the teams with tons of money that made the playoffs didn’t spend it with crazy big signings.

          • Tom W

            Very well said.

          • Tom W

            How did those signing help their teams one year later .. most did not…most didn’t make the playoffs. So then if we looking 2-3 yrs down the road those signing are going to hinder a teams ability to resign its own players and react to injuries (ie cowboys). What happens is you create a divide … a few very high priced players (get one or two a year) and a bunch of young d level players … injuries decimate this type of team and lead you to be cap strapped …..

            Krueger, Goldson, Vjax, Jake Long, Grimes, Wallace .. don’t see how they helped win a ring.

            We aren’t one piece away ..we aren’t the seahawks. Going all in burns you more often than it helps. Ask the Flyers. 40 yrs and counting but its okay bc mr snyder atleast goes all out. Please give me a smart front office and good talent evaluattors like packers any day of the week over a “buy buy buy” mentality.

        • theycallmerob

          the only catch is, if these guys are so good why are their teams letting them walk? I realize cap has a big role to play in that, but the lolskins could definitely re-sign orakpo if they wanted. Ward could be re-signed in CLE. The NYG let steve smith and kenny philips walk for a reason. And Babin was nothing more than Washburn’s pet, there’s a reason he stinks any time he’s asked to do something other than run-up-the-field-and-tackle-guy-with-single-#-on-back

          to me, the more egregious errors were with the coaching. Reid was always a player’s coach, but he went too far allowing that a$$hole Washburn disrespect the other coaches, particularly Juan (whose promotion to DC was also a HUGE swing-and-miss). Once the players see that, there is no accountability. It’s the same thing in education- any good teacher will tell you that the first 2 months are the hardest; you must put your foot down and enforce the rules from the get-go. You can always ease up once the relationship is built, but there is no way to “grow a backbone” in january if you lost respect in september.

          • anon

            I agree

          • Andy124

            I read a real interesting piece once about how most free-agents are, by definition, overpaid.

            Super simplified version: If a free agent receives 10 offers, his true value is will tend to be somewhere in the middle of those 10 offers. But he’s (usually) going to sign the biggest offer, thereby getting paid more than his true value.

            The article spelled out some of what I’m presenting as assumptions and was much more convincing. But this is the basic gist of it.

          • Michael Deen

            As a former Philadelphia school teacher I was taught the rule is, “Don’t smile/laugh until after Thanksgiving”…

          • theycallmerob

            in Baltimore, it’s “make sure the cameras are off before beating kids” (i kid…..kind of…..)

        • NickS1

          Love the analogy.

      • JofreyRice

        Harvin got hurt. Total wildcard. Bennett and Avril really helped the passrush. They were second tier guys.

        The Cowboys are hamstrung by decisions like signing Romo to 17 million dollars a year, until he’s 48 years old, and way too much meddling by Jones. That being said, if you want to make the argument that big $$ free agents can help push a club over the top, the Cowboys effectively “bought” their last SB in ’95 by adding FA’s like Charles Haley & Deion Sanders and hiring Barry Switzer to stand around on the sideline.

  • chuck

    the eagles “philosophy”lost me when they didn’t bring in a #1 or #2 WR when maclin went down for the season. that could have made all the difference.

    • cliff henny

      was too late.

    • aub32

      He went down in TC. Who was available to bring in at that point? Do you not remember how we thought there was an embarassment of riches at WR before Maclin and Benn went down? Why would we have picked up any of the top FAs?

      • Andy124

        Psh. Should have traded Coleman for Megatron.

        • NickS1

          Or Graham, could’ve even gotten a 2nd back, too.

          • Tom W

            Love the sarcasm .. didn’t you know its so easy to find a stud wr in training camp …

    • anon

      No Howie said it was too late, but they didn’t even bring people in. He just assumed that if people weren’t signed yet they must be terrible. And i can’t even believe we brought Benn in here — talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel for FAs.

      • aub32

        Then please give us some names of guys who we should have given a chance to.

        • anon

          I’m just saying we should have looked.

          • aub32

            Hahaha ok guy. They did look and figured there was no one worth their time. Why take away reps from the other guys just to make you feel better?

  • Stuart Philp

    Byrd is a waste of money. I’d go after Whitner from the 9ers. He’d be around 5 a year, but front load his deal so his 2016+ cap hit is less (which is when we need to sign a bunch of our young guys).

    • anon

      I agree with that — don’t need Byrd and i think Howie just said we aren’t getting him.

      • aub32

        I don’t know about that. Howie has made some major moves when we least expected him to do so. I don’t think he would go after the top FA for any other position after how well last year’s crop of FAs contributed, but the safety position is his white whale. I think he will definitely go after one of the top 3 safeties. Otherwise, visions of Jarret, Chung, Coleman, and so on will continue to haunt his dreams.

        • Will

          Agree if he splashes in FA Safety spots need addressed mid -level guys like Donte Whitner and Chris Clemons….unless Byrd does a discount won’t end up here….I would love to have Byrd on this team but the Eagles aren’t spending 14 million a year or in that neighborhood for a Safety….

  • aub32

    I really love what the team did with FA last year. We got some solid players that played their role well and drew very little attention. Also the few that didn’t work out were seen as low risk high reward guys anyway. We even managed to trade Soap after he held down the fort while Logan got up to speed. I do hope we go after a big name safety, but I’d love to see another group of mid-level FAs right behind Byrd to help fill out the team with quality depth and good STers.

    • anon

      Eh we need big talent guys if we want to compete. People complain about Cole, but if you want to move from an 8 sack to a 12 sack guy that’s gonna cost you money. Better safeties and DBs are gonna cost money, better lineman cost money. I think it’s easy to get fooled by our SoS this year and what CK was able to do with the offense against teams that generally were terrible on D.

      I mean realistically if you look at the secondary which is where most of those pieces went, we still had literally the worst (or second worst) secondary in the league — so it’s hard to say those FA signings really accomplished what they were supposed to.

      • aub32

        Look at some of the best players at their position. Megatron finished under .500. JJ Watt was on the worst team in the league. It’s not all about big names and talent. I would much rather take a big class of FAs that can play key roles than sink a bunch of money into 3-4 guys who may or may not pan out. The secondary gave up yards, but the D did keep the majority of opponents under 21 points. Given the talent and coaching we have on offense, that should win us plenty of games, which it did. I don’t know how you can say the FA sigingings didn’t do what they were supposed to do when you objectively look at what was expected versus what actually happened.

        • anon

          C;mon man please. Taxans are the worst team b/c the Coach cheaped out on Peyton in lieu of Matt Schaub. He lost his job. Lions are under .500 b/c of coaching, not talent, he lost his job too.

          On expectations most people didn’t really have any for this season, so we blew them out of the water. Next year i expect us to win a playoff game or two, to do that i think we need better talent. It’s very easy to go form 4-12 to 10-6 in a TERRIBLE division. But to become the best in the NFC, we need more talent.

          • theycallmerob

            Of course we all agree with that. But football isn’t math, you can’t take this year’s equation and assume that adding X, Y and Z won’t hamper what’s in place and merely boost us to the next level. The talent must fit the vision.

          • Tom W

            Good point. you get it.

          • anon

            No i don’t think a big talent safety, OLB, NT, CB, and WR would hurt this team. Maybe don’t grab divas at the positions. Maybe don’t get a 43 defensive end and try to convert to an OLB. But you can’t keep getting OK guys and be surprised if teams with better talent eat our lunch.

            As much as those FA signings are maligned i think they were the right thing to do. They aren’t the reason this team cratered, think that started with coaching. I think everyone would say from a FO point of view we’re in a much better place in terms of culture, etc. than we were then. Even if we brought in 8 big FAs i don’t think we’d have the Dream Team mentality. See Cary Williams transformed from that guy who was constantly picking fights, etc. to a guy that played in the system and did ok considering and for the most part had no dumb penalties (that Vikings game got out of hand).

            I’m not saying everyone needs to be a top of the market guy, but i don’t thnk we should shy away from getting big ticket guys if they check out from a scouting perspective.

          • theycallmerob

            I don’t disagree with that; not sure I said anywhere on this post that we have to shy from big name/big money guys.

          • anon

            I’m sorry i thought that was the whole point of Howie’s statement, that’s what i was reacting to (and aub32′s comments). Maybe i missed something.

          • theycallmerob

            I just see it as him saying (1) there’s more to deciding whether or not to sign a player than just pedigree/past performance, and (2) the FO is taking a more holistic and comprehensive approach to signing guys, rather than assuming “good team + great player=better team”

          • aub32

            I don’t know which CW you watched. That guy had plenty of dumb penalties. I wouldn’t be surprised if he led the league in PI calls.

            Again, I don’t see where you come off thinking this roster is so void of talent. Our offense was full of weapons that teams in the playoffs would drool over. You think Brady wouldn’t take DeSean, Shady and Ertz over the mash unit he’s playing with? How about Seattle? We have better skill players across the board in comparison. Yes we suck at safety, but so does 75% of the league. I get bringing in a guy or two, but what 5-8 big names are you looking to bring in?

          • anon

            Nah i think you give him a bad wrap. B Fletcher was actually 3rd most in PI calls this season, Cromartie was no. 1.Cary had 3, which considering he has one of the highest target rates isn’t that bad.

          • anon

            We’ve always had talent on offense. Aside from another WR i think we can leave that side of the ball alone. On D i’d be hard pressed to name a stud, though i love all of our guys even chung. As Chip preaches ‘we’re looking a competition at every position’ at this point i think we can do better than bringing in the Jason Phillips’ of the world. And if CW is your high priced FA signing…

          • aub32

            Names? You are not naming names. You cannot simply say we can bring in someone without offering any names. Without being realistic and naming players that we have a chance of pursuing and would be an upgrade, I don’t see your point. If all you want is competition, then what’s your problem with bringing in a slew of mid level FAs? You don’t sign big name FAs to make them compete for a starting spot.

          • Andy124

            I’m only skimming, but it seems like this is a debate over very close shades of grey. I mean, pretty much everybody is on board with signing a big money Safety unless I missed something in my skimming.

            And it would have to be a strawman to assume you’re saying we shouldn’t stop there but should sign every big money guy we have the cap space for.

            I just don’t see that there’s a lot of disagreement here.

          • aub32

            Where are you getting all of this talent? You have to be realistic. This isn’t Madden. We have a QB, RB, and #1 WR. We have a stable of good and one potentially great TE. He have a good and improving O line. There aren’t many WRs available in FA that would be better for this system than Mac and Coop. So I really don’t see us adding big names on offense.
            ….
            We have a good D line. I doubt that any significant upgrades will be found in FA. Barwin is one of the better Jacks IMO. Ryans played his butt off, and Kendricks isn’t going anywhere this offseason. We could definitely improve at ROLB, but elite pass rushers don’t hit the market often.
            ….
            The secondary needs upgrade, but we have to be realistic. I am all for getting a top safety. Hell we could get the two top safeties, and I will be happy. We have one of the best up and coming slot CBs in the league. I like Fletcher as a #2 CB and CW as a #3/4. So that just leaves CB and S that can and may be upgraded significantly through FA.
            ..
            I really don’t understand why you are making it seem like we have very little talent on this team.

          • anon

            I think we have a lot of b/b+ guys on [defense]. I think part of that is because of youth up front and the fact that we rebuilt this team after having years of bad drafts.

            I’m not saying we should chase talent, I’m saying we shouldn’t run from it just b/c hi priced FAs are risky. Do you think we can compete with SEA, SF, DEN, NE with the talent on this team? We don’t have anyone close to a pro-bowler on D on this team (though I do love Meco and Barwin). It’s ok given the above, but i don’t think you can be complacent with what we have.

          • theycallmerob

            again..well said.

    • theycallmerob

      well said.

    • RIP illa

      Can’t go against that. Besides I like the draft for our key positions this year w/ the exception of Safety.

    • Tom W

      Me too. If its working, why try something else … lets follow how the great teams got better .. niners, pack, seattle, pats … basically through the draft … are their exceptions .. yes …. but for the most part I think its proper way to build a team — besides just having money or wanting “better talent” there is so much more that is affected by a big money free agent …like team chemistry, system changes, alienating other players, regression to means, paying for past performance, injures, future cap problems, team identity … that is why the skins and cowboys could never buy a championship when they acquired loads of free agents.

      Do I think one great signing of a youngish (25-28 yr old) player that the coach recruited and coached in college would be a bad idea … no i think byrd or ward would be good signings.

      Do I think signing a 25 yr old stud corner like verner would be a great signing .. sure do.

      But we forget all three of these guys could get franchised, that one player isn’t going to win us a superbowl next year, and we have a bunch of young players coming up for contracts in next 2 yrs .. foles, kendricks, cox, boykin, curry, brown, kelce, thornton … if these guys see shiny new pieces getting big time money and they have never been part of the team before … they didn’t grow here … it creates a bad vibe in the lockerroom and begins to force our drafted young players to wanna get paid too … it sets a bad example of bringing in an high priced outsider who doesn’t owe the team shit and doesn’t need to be a good teammate … Not its not all the time, but alotta the time.

      I will defer to Howie bc financially and emotionally I think his philosophy works well and is risk averse. We aren’t getting burned by a Nmadi signing that affects our cap and team for 3 yrs … law of averages is on our side w howie’s strategy …low risk .. mid to high reward … if a guy sucks, cut him and no harm because we have others at that position and didn’t spend a ton. Nothing we can’t get out of in a yr or 2. Nothing that prevents us from doing another move. Think thats the way you get develop a lasting winner along w drafting well and coveting draft picks … wish Howie started doing that more … like banner.

      • theycallmerob

        can’t say I’m familiar with TEN’s cap situation, but I can’t imagine them letting Verner hit the market

      • aub32

        I agree for the most part, but I will say though one player may not win us a SB, he could definitiely get us there (T.O.). Also, I don’t think the youngs guys would be upset if they saw 1-3 FAs get big money. They can’t get a bump yet. That’s the CBA, not the Eagles. Cox has made all that he can make. Other guys that were second round picks have to settle with the money they are making. I don’t think anyone has clearly outperformed their rookie contract to this point.

  • Beastmode

    I’d submit that some of 2011′s failings were a result of poor coaching/poor team culture in regards to FA signings.

  • Dr. Reginald Pennypacker

    Anyone else hoping we outbid everyone and grab charles johnson from cinci? 6-7 270 athletic freak who would be a hell of an outside pass rush olb in our 3-4. I feel like edge rusher is more important than safety and unless we trade up in draft I don’t see us getting a premier talent there.

    • theycallmerob

      same question I have as Verner in TEN….what’s the likelihood of CIN letting him walk?

      • D.R.P.
        • theycallmerob

          thanks for the read. I get they invested a lot elsewhere, but curious they didn’t re-sign him earlier. Like Nate Allen, usually if a guy gets to that last year in the rookie deal the organization plans on letting him walk.

          2 things scare me: if the article’s right, and he’s getting north of $12mil, that’s a LOT of money for a guy who’s not exactly a superstar. second, he’d also be converting from a 43. Same predicament as Cole last year (aside from age), but twice the cost.

          also, that would imply that Cole or Graham has to go.

    • Dr. Reginald Pennypacker

      plus dude’s only 26.

      • RIP illa

        All in all I love What the Bengals have/had at DE. So yes I want us to go get him. I also wanted Manny last year and he killed it for the Bills this year.

    • RIP illa

      Outbid??? But I thought that we shouldn’t sign high priced FAs and Howie was dead set against that???

      • D.R.P.

        there’s no downside to johnson. that is the thing. he is a freak, young, fits our mold.

        • RIP illa

          And what’s the downside to Byrd, Tom W???

          • Tom w

            None I want Byrd or tjward bc of the chip connection and would see them as an exception to Howies strategy bc chip knows if they would buy in or not and not act like primadonnas… You would have to expect chip can okay them from a fit standpoint including ward too. If we don’t get either one makes me believe chip wasn’t all that thrilled in getting either one in the first place and that Howie didn’t believe a high priced free agent at a non premium position was our best option or we got outbid by another team.

            As for Johnson I believe he has operated mainly as a d end and has little experience is pass coverage …dunno if he can make switch

  • Colin Baggs

    Pretty please Howie???

    • anon

      I think you just summed up the whole thread.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Big-name free agents are for when a team is right at the doorstep to going far in the playoffs, which we are not, IMO. I’d rather see Howie get a safety or OLB free agent who can actually play the position decently in the NFL, rather than mortgage the future for a Jairus Byrd-type superstar. After another good draft and a stronger 2014 season, maybe. One Jerry Jones per conference is enough, although there’s always that wackadoo Daniel Snyder – when you think about it, half of the owners of NFC East conference teams are insane. Better odds for us!