Wake-Up Call: On OLB Free Agent Mike Neal

Mike Neal 1
Mike Neal
is the fourth-best outside linebacker 0n the free agent market, according to Rotoworld. It’s a bit of a feat that he is listed as an outside linebacker at all.

A four-year down lineman at Purdue, the Packers selected Neal with the 56th overall pick in 2010. He weighed a shade over 300 pounds when he entered the league, and was used as a rush defensive tackle in Green Bay. His career got off to a slow start. He appeared in less than half of the Packers’ games over his first three seasons, in part because of injury, in part because of a four-game suspension for violating  the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. (He claims it was for taking Adderrall).

Things turned around for the 26-year old in 2013. Knowing that he had good feet and mobility for a big man, the coaching staff made a pretty bold move and asked him to switch to outside linebacker. The gamble paid off. Neal shed some 15 pounds to make the transition, and went on to supplant Nick Perry as starting left outside linebacker. He played all 16 games this season and finished with 47 tackles, 30 QB pressures (good for second on the team) and five sacks — four of which came over his last seven games.


"His upside is tremendous, especially when you look at how well he played in his last eight or nine games because the game slowed down for him," said agent Roosevelt Barnes in a conversation with Birds 24/7 Wednesday afternoon.

"Honestly, you think about people making transitions, and to make it in as short a period as I did and to be as successful as I was, if I play another year I wouldn't expect anything less than to be great," Neal said via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Neal, who hails from Gary, Indiana, would prefer to stay in the Midwest and continue his career with the Packers, but could draw interest elsewhere. Might the Eagles take a look? He checks some of the boxes. He has pretty good size (6-3, now 275-ish), he's versatile and he will probably have a "mid-level" price tag. Plus, he's a young, seemingly-ascending player.

"Mike's a great athlete," Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers told the Sentinel. "And to me, in this day and age with everything being so specialized, this is a really nice thing to do with Mike. He's more natural at his size right now...and I think we've kind of discovered this is a pretty good role for him to be in."

The list of free-agent outside linebackers won't blow you away. The top name, Brian Orakpo, has begun contract talks to stay in Washington, and he probably won't be the only one to re-up with his team before March 11 comes around. The Eagles are in the market for an outsider linebacker or two. A player like Neal could make some sense.

"I would think that they would [have interest]," said Barnes. "Philly would be a good spot for him, but we still have a little while to go before free agency."

WHAT YOU MISSED

Is DeMeco Ryans in line for a pay cut? Sheil and I discuss.

“I know for a fact that I’m [Pro Bowl] caliber. No doubt in my mind.” Mychal Kendricks hoping to take the next step.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Former Eagle Asante Samuel was released by the Falcons Wednesday. From ESPN.

Samuel, who was drafted in New England by new Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli, was benched in favor of rookie cornerback Robert Alford. Samuel battled a thigh injury to start the season but simply got beat out in the end.

The 33-year-old Samuel was a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2003. He has 51 career interceptions and is the only player in NFL history to register at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of his first six seasons.

Samuel told ESPN.com he would like to play at least "two or three'' more seasons.

Rich Hoffman says the Eagles don't need to be dominant on defense, but they need to be dominant somewhere if they want what Seattle just got.

[T]he lesson from this Super Bowl is pretty consistent with what we have seen in recent years.

That is, in order to win a championship in the NFL, you need to play at an elite level on one side of the ball and a good, resourceful level on the other side of the ball. Both are important: truly elite on either offense or defense, and not significantly deficient on the other side.

Oh - and you have to play well in the big game.

All of which means the Eagles are doing this properly, and don't need to undergo any kind of wrenching midcourse correction.

COMING UP

We'll take a look at the Eagles cornerback situation.

  • anon

    I like these FA primers, keep em up!

    • NickS1

      Can’t wait to see the mayhem that ensues on these boards when it’s about Byrd or Ward.

      • Richard Colton

        The Tim/Sheil needs scale was originally 1-4. They added 5 just for safety.

        • NickS1

          They should have incorporated decimals or done 1-10. OLB and S should be 4.5 and 5 or 9 and 10, respectively…. Either way, when the posts about Ward and Byrd happen, Geagle’s gonna need to change his drawers.

          • Richard Colton

            When your two starting safeties in week one are Wolf & Allen, backed up by Chung and Jimmy Ward, going to be a lot of sad faces in Eagle-land.

            I can live with that scenario, provided we get better at other positions.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            Replace Chung (or even Allen) in that sentence with a guy like Clemons, and I too could live with it. Again, assuming there’s at least 1, if not 2, new LBs and a new DL player. And of course, Mike Evans

          • OldDocRoss

            You had me at “Replace Chung”.

          • GEAGLE

            I need a solution we can count on at either OLB or safety! that way I can watch Chip stock up on WR in the draft without losing my mind. And stop gap and solution to me are two very different player types..and both a very important positions in today’s NFL..

            A MJ signing to a Barwin deal could make it easy for me to swallow watching Byrd and Ward go to different teams, but we already have so much money tied up in Cole,Graham,Barwin and we having chump change invested at Safety. Earl Wolff makes peanuts, and Chung’s money will get slashed down to 2mil, so we have less than 3mil invested in the safety position. We are also in a position where we have no choice but to sign safeties because we can’t draft 3 of them this. If we want to keep Nate Allen, I’m assuming it would cost somewhere in the ball park of 5years 3.5mil per, with a 4-5m signing bonus, probably totaling 5years 20-22mil, so even investing an extra 13mil to offer Byrd a deal, sign a cheap Colt type of ST safety and daft another safety at modest 3rd round rookie money, makes more financial sense to me, then Adding another pass rusher at Barwin money to a team that’s already paying Barwn,Cole and BG..OLB is a TEAM we need to get younger at no matter how good of a player we sign in FA, and as we stand today, we need to replace 3OLBs in the next two offseasons. safety we are so bare that it’s a position where you can add a veteran.

            If we pay a safety 35 mil, 8mil per
            Pay Wolff what 400k?
            pay chung 1.5-2 to lead our ST and be an emergency
            Draft a kid in the 3rd round paying him rookie 1mil type money

            It’s really NOT THAT MUCH to be investing in one position, we would be paying like 11mil a year to our safeties which isn’t that absurd…It’s still probably more responsible then paying Cole,BG who is on first round money, Barwin and a FA to Barwin deal

          • GEAGLE

            Not really…can’t really write anything about either that would be news to me..nothing to do but sit and wait to hear what happens on March 11, LOVE the 3 day negotiating window before FA starts..All I know is that there are only two names that could make me not invest a high pick in a safety, although I could live with Donte Wittner as well…..I don’t even want more veterans. there isn’t even positions I want to fill with other teams veterans besides safety and OLB, and I find it absurd that with Only two positions that really need dramatic, immediate upgrades, we can’t eliminate ATleast 1 of these issues in FA, with someone we can count on to b the ANSWER for the next 3 years. we need 3 safeties, two will prob be signed, which means one will be GUARENTEED to be a Chung/phillip type, and Clemons for me isn’t enough

      • Justin

        Eagles aren’t expected to target either of them.

  • GEAGLE

    I will laugh if we sign him….

    • laeagle

      If we jump to overpay overpriced free agents, we become as cap-starved as the Cowboys. History has shown that successful teams only make a move on high-priced free agents when they’re as close to a sure thing as you can get. Otherwise you overpay for underperforming stars.

      And I don’t know why the Eagles need to “show you that [they] are willing to spend some money on more than just stop gaps”. They have a LONG, LONG history under Lurie of spending as much money as necessary to sign difference makers at key positions (Vincent, Runyan, Samuel worked out. Most of the “Dream Team” didn’t). They do not have a record of signing bright and shiny objects who never pan out for their teams (Randle El, Price, etc.).

      The question to ask, then, is not “why don’t the Eagles spend big money”, but rather, “is there anyone out there worth spending big money on”. You have made your position very clear that you think Byrd is worth it. Time will tell if the Eagles think the same. I personally would like the idea of someone like Byrd, but I can’t deny that he comes with some big question marks.

      And I’ll also ask what I’m sure everyone else is asking: can you please contain your thoughts a bit more, so every time I come here, I’m not wading through paragraph after paragraph of you responding to yourself in post after post? It’s like there’s a conversation going on and one person keeps yelling to drown everyone else out. I’m not saying this to be a jerk, just asking politely.

  • GEAGLE

    COle,BG are basically already specialists…we need to find a damn real Future 3down OLB solution before I care about adding any more “specialists”. I guess if I saw us add a Dee ford, Marcus Smith in the draft, then this type of signing makes sense to me, but I’m much more concerned with signing an OLB who allows us to not go into the draft needing an OLB, and allow us to focus on the more versatile OLBs like KVN and C Jones who can back u multiple spots for us….

    Put it to you this way, to sign this kid, I would want us to cut Graham And eat his dead money, and I just don’t see THIS as THAT type of signing…
    ….
    Now you wanna sign Micheal Johnson? Then moving on from Graham starts making some sense…although, NEXT years offseason, I don’t expect us to be active at all, so letting Graham walk at the end of this year probably gets us an extra 3rd round compensatory pick which is very very salivating for me….imagine how happy we would be to have two 3rd rounders in this draft

    • Andy124

      Concern over Graham’s future: Let’s assume his next stop is a 4-3 DE where he belongs. Doesn’t this time spent at OLB hinder his progress there? How much extra damage is done to his career by making him play another year as an OLB when he, theoretically, could be an above average DE?

      • GEAGLE

        No idea, but stunting his growth for the next team he signs is not my concern lol

    • NickS1

      I hope we pick up Jones regardless of what we do in FA.

  • GEAGLE

    The last defense I want to poach players from is GB…they have like 4players on that entire defense that I would want, the real Mathews, Datone Jones, and the two CBs…I have NO INTEREST in GB’s version of BG

    • Richard Colton

      “The Real Matthews” – nice

      • Andy124

        I thought he retired a long time ago.

        • Richard Colton

          Bruce? He was good too. Casey is to Clay what Danny DeVito was to Arnold in Twins.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            is he the fredo of the matthews? and should Howie take care of him similarly? I feel just a cut in TC isn’t enough

          • Richard Colton

            I’m going to savor that moment

          • GEAGLE

            Wait we have to cut him? Why did I think his contract was expiring? You mean to tell me that TODAY he is still an Eagle? Say It ain’t so…thought his contract was up

    • Ale (Brazil)

      you’re forgetting about something that could change his mind…money! The steelers are suffocated beacuse of their veterans pricey contracts, and have a ton of important FAs this year (Woodley, Clark, Ike Taylor, Ziggy Hood, Sanders, Brett Keisel). The Eagles are in a good position to offer him a better contract. If Howie reaches to Cole and reestructures his contract, i t would be awesome to have him as a situational pass-rusher and he would be poised to retire as an Eagle, and we could have Worilds too.

      Sometimes, however, i wonder if Trent makes a big leap this year and turns into an impact OLB. It absolutely could happen. Cole is a freakish athlete and is still productive.

      • anon

        Agree with Abe, but I do think Pitt has gotta let some of those guys go (Taylor and Clark).

      • GEAGLE

        Worlids won’t even make it to FA, so “money” won’t get the chance to change his mind..but thanks..

      • GEAGLE

        I’m actually not..see I expect Worlids to never even hit the FA market, thus “money” won’t even get the chance to change his mind..and if I don’t expect him to hit the market, how do I expect him to become an eagle? I would be pleased to add him, I just don’t see it as high probability

  • Myke Lowery

    He’ll probably sign with Seadderrall

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  • cliff henny

    was talked into micheal johnson/clemmons combo yesterday, saw value in that…dont go trying to sneak neal in on me. better be neal/byrd combo.

    • GEAGLE

      Don’t let the down 3 sack year fool you, MJ is an amazing athlete that we would be very fortunate to add..just wish we could get out of Coles deal….

      Also like Meco!Cole is a guy where you can give a lot of this years money upfront to and create extra cap space, like Meco he won’t just take the money and then become lazy…you can free up like 10million of extra cap just by paying Meco and Cole upfront..

      It talk about Coles importance this year, if we are going the draft route for OLB. College kids won’t be ready to play the run as rookies better than Cole, so there is value in having Cole while the rookie adds weight, but if we can get our hands on a guy like MJ, I would love to get out of that Cole deal.

      • cliff henny

        that’s what the cowboys do. it shoves contract 1 yr longer and pushes dead money outanother year. in fact, cant even do that with ryans since he had no guarentees or dead. he could get new contract withsome guarentees and take reduce pay as consession. cole, just need to ride that out.

        • GEAGLE

          What are we going to do about Cole next year? He ain’t seeing that 11million. Noi WAY, No How!!
          ..
          Ideally Just give Meco a new deal with an out clause after 2015

          • cliff henny

            yeah, i dont see why eagles would be at fault to give 2 or 3 yr contracts to ryans, peters and celek, little more cap friendly with guarentees, all with out clause in ’16. players know the day they sign contracts the last 2 or 3 yrs get a little dicey, and none want to play on last yr with no guarentees like peters and celek.
            .
            think cole has 1 yr then gone. really couldnt careless about bg. i’d keep him buried on bench for emergency depth since cutiing/trading/benching is 6 one way, half dozen other…unless someone gave pick.

          • GEAGLE

            If we are serious about taking a run at a SB in 2015, we are better off extending those players. Cole is the head scratcher to me. no idea WTF we are going to do about him, but I know he can’t count for 11mil next year. I also believe guys like JP,Meco, Celek can still be productive after this next season, but I would worry about Cole starting to fall off by then, so basically, I would prefer adding enough so that Cole isn’t on the roster in 2015, unless he wants to take a depth role for much less money, even then I would prefer replacing him with young athletes.
            ..
            I have no idea wtf we are going to do about this Cole contract and it’s dead money

      • cliff henny

        i cant stand turner. reading sbnation, philly/charlotte sites about trade was so funny. bobcat fans were all-in on a gordon portland 1st till couple knowledgable guys crossed over to libertyballers and saw what we think of him. then they went back and wanted to give nothing. moving hawes cripples sixers. cavs are dying, and desperate to keep irving, thad would work there. i’d sell turner for bag of balls, but having him on tanking team works, cause i can root for sixers and hate on him at same time. think 2nd worst record is where they’ll finish.

        • GEAGLE

          Why are you against moving Hawes? Being crippled is a good thing this year lol. There is no way I envision Hawes or ET surviving the deadline. Hinkie will take whatever the best offer is..Thad could be had, but you would have to give up real value for him, not just the best offer

          • cliff henny

            i’m not. almost a guarentee someone will pony up enough for him, that’ll be enough to cripple sixers. 2nd worst record is well within site

          • GEAGLE

            Gotcha…

        • GEAGLE

          I actually think ET could be a good player, but his personality screws it all up for him. I see those Mcnabb type Charecter flaws which will always put a limit on your success. Like if ET was honest about his ability, and focused on playing to his strengths instead of trying to be a player that he isn’t because he has the passive aggressive Complex of trying to become a player that’s worthy of his draft status..he could actually be a half decent player. But viewing himself as a superstar, the sulking, I just can’t take it much longer.

        • Tom W

          If we can trade all 3 please do.

          Turner first, Hawes second, Thad Third.

          Speculation w taking Thad off the table but I bet its just Hinkie trying force Houston’s hand.

          Waiting for that deal from OKC for Turner and/or Hawes for Dallas’s first (top 20 protected) or one of the Suns firsts. Heck package them both.

          I’d even be open to a 2015 first for Hawes or Turner at this point … about 20 teams w that type of pick available to move vs 5ish teams likely in position to trade 2014 first (non-tankers/rebuilders)

          Looks like Spurs, Rockets, OKC, Charlotte, Atlanta, Suns … maybe detroit could trade the 2014 first.

    • JofreyRice

      Adam Caplan reporting Johnson could command 10 Mil per year in FA. Would you pay him that much and ask him to convert? I dunno. Seems risky.

      • cliff henny

        am deferring to others on his skill level, but at that rate might as well get ward/byrd. guess they could, but it’s not as much ’14 caps, as how these numbers work into ’15. the more salary they take on, less it can be front loaded, which means cap hits are higher in ’15-whenever. less they can front load, the longer the dead money drags out, and we know the Eagles dont want to go past 3yrs with free agents, 2 more likely. start signing couple 10m guys at a time, they’ll be 4yr liabilities. it aint happening. do think they can do 1 byrd/ward contract and then a bunch of barwin, williams and casey types. sop and chung werent free either. neither was fletcher. eagles didnt exactly sit out free agency. if add up 2yr committments on those 6, it’s about 49m(math in head-but think that’s very close) if all played 2yrs.

      • GEAGLE

        Adam Caplan said that? I respect that dude, and if he is right I will tip my friggin hat to him, but If someone offers MJ 10million per, coming off a 3sack year, then we might as well skip FA all together. I don’t see how a team could offer him that. I don’t see how a team can offer him 7mil per, Multi year deal….If Adam Caplan is right! god bless him! but IMO I think he has two options:
        ..
        1) 1yr prove it deal like Bennett and Talib signed last year
        ..
        2) Barwin type of deal, where if the team is happy with you, it will be a very lucrative 35mil dollar deal, but if you don’t perform that shiny big money deal will turn into a pumpkin when the clock strikes twelve..

        A guy like Greg hardy who has been BEASTING for YEARS is hitting the market, I don’t see how MJ is even close to what hardy deserves
        ..
        I ONLY write about MJ because he is coming off a down year and he has some competition at his position on the market. If we could get him at Barwin deal, I think we would have to strongly consider it, but I wouldn’t even want him if he were that expensive..

        Dude was playing opposite a pretty damn good DE in Dunlap and only managed 3 sacks, No way in hell I would guarentee him anything. However, if he wants to gamble on himself and he is convinced that he will give his new team their money’s worth, he is more than welcome to sign a big money contract with us as long as it has serious out clauses that can turn that deal into a lot of smoke and mirrors…like people will like to point out the smoke and mirrors in Barwins deal, but the man is probably going to earn that deal and see all 36million dollars from us(May have to restructure at the end to get the rest of his money).. As much as I talk about wanting MJ, I wouldn’t guarentee him a damn thing. If we are talking about guarenteeing 10mil per, then It would have to be a guy like hardy who been getting 14 sacks for multiple seasons in a row

  • GEAGLE

    Tom LAwlor suggests Saints safety Malcom Jenkins, CSN suggests Carolina’s Mitchell, fans are on the Clemons wagon…..none of these signings do anything for me

    • pjcostello

      I like both Jenkins (who was a cornerback at Ohio State) and Clemons, and I would count it a successful free agency period if we signed both. :-)

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      I’d take any of them as 3rd S off the bench, assuming/hoping/praying we get someone better and Wolff can beat them all out.

      • GEAGLE

        Well yeah, as a 3rd safety they would all be great adds…problem is I don’t know how much sense it makes to give a starter type money to a FA you want on your bench

    • Tom W

      Jenkins does nothing for me … may as well keep allen who will get to much. need to make at least marked talent upgrade (if not a stud). I understand Mitchell played better this year but I suspect alot of had to do being on a dominant defense w qbs who had no time to throw.

      • Ale (Brazil)

        I really like Jenkins. He is a guy with natural talent for the corner position (which we lacked from our safeties this year, especially Chung) and that can make plays on the ball. He would be a great upgrade.

        • GEAGLE

          Malcom wasn’t even that good playing next to a supreme talent in Vaccarro

    • JofreyRice

      Ugh. Why would they do that? What a waste. Neither of those guys have been good in coverage.

      • GEAGLE

        Just change for the sake of change..,not any REAL upgrade

        • JofreyRice

          Let’s hope that it’s not real, but I see Lawlor as a Spadaro-lite type. Think there is a chance he’s getting some kind of inside info?

          • GEAGLE

            Oh god I hope not…but can’t rule it out. I def believe Tom hears things at times, but even when someone gets intel like that, it’s still a slim chance of it actually happening. Like I head on really really good faith that we wanted Terron Armstead, but the other 31 teams had something to say about it lol…if he is hearing something about Malcom, I hope someone cock blocks us or Malcom takes less to be a saint like the cornerback did last year…
            ..
            Is Malcom better then Nate? Probably, I guess, but is he that much better that it makes a real different? Doubt it! He damn sure ain’t that rare safety that would allow us to incorporate a Dime package, because not only can he handle TEs one on one, but he can act like a LB if teams try to get slick and run out of 4Wr formations…

            Nate Allen coming back for year two in THIS scheme, May even be better than what Malcom would be for us in his first year learning new coaches,scheme and new team mates…..

            This safety ish is worrisome man. It can turn out to be a very exciting march or a depressing March…I don’t know that I can stand two more stop gap Chung/Phillips signings at THAT position…wanna miss on a player? Do it at some other position. How much more safety failure can we take? And I like what Howie has done, but if he uses the “Dawkins was so special that spoiled us excuse” one more time I think I will lose it…
            ..
            It’s actually pretty simple. I pray we don’t blow an opportunity to stack our roster while we are paying our QB peanuts. FOles makes not even a Mil. How about we just front load the hell out of a contract, and give Byrd all the money we will have to give FOles when we extend him right now?..all the money that we have to put to the side for FOles, give it to a safety NOW!!!

  • BleedGreenJames

    I’ve heard Howie would like to avoid having to draft a safety. Sounds like it will be a FA priority. We know he won’t reach for another Jarrett, and drafting safeties are really tricky unless they’re Earl Thomas (sorry, had to haha). I like Howie’s attitude of making sufficient but non-franchise crippling moves in FA and BPA’ing the crap out of the draft. Just herd up a mob of badasses on offense and defense and develop them the Chip way. I’m really looking forward to Chip and Howie getting to that Carroll/Schneider level of personnel prowess.

    • GEAGLE

      No idea what to think of it any more…sometime i think it’s a smokescreen and we will target them, other times I get dejected and think we will just look more more Chung stop gaps….If we were to get Ward/Byrd it wouldn’t be a case of us making him the best offer, we probably make him a comperable offer, but ask them to leave like 3mil on the table to come to Philly, which I actually like the strategy because you get to see if guys really want to become an Eagle, or are just thinking of the money…If a guy who has been stuck in Buffalo or Cleveland hell for years takes 42million to go be forgotten in oaklands black hole, instead of taking 38million to come to our team on the upswing, then I can l live with not adding THAT PLAYER, especially if you are a safety with a chance to come to the most safety starved fanbase in the USA, Byrd and Ward would be GODS here!

      • anon

        Maybe we are going to go after them. If we wanted clemons we could have just taken him last year. but we got people that were very clearly stop gaps, maybe that was in preparation for signing a guy this offseason. honestly i’d be fine with two midlevel FAs and a rookie.

        • Richard Colton

          Is there a single position on this defense that can’t be upgraded? I’d be OK with stopgaps at safety again as long as we got significantly better at other places.

          • borntosuffer

            In terms of Safety, Stopgap >> StopNothing. Right?

          • Eagles4Life

            If we stopgap at safety, our front 7 better end up being murderous.

          • GEAGLE

            Disagree…allocation of resources! I don’t think there is any position on defense where we can’t use DRAFT upgrades, but I don’t view FA that way. For example, Dline is a strength, would I love ANOTHER beast on the Dline? Hell to the yeah!!! But I think we would have to be Braindead to invest 6-7mil in Soliali,Linval, Randy Starks, when we have a nice young line, and major safety liabilities you can turn into a strength giving Byrd 8million per year.
            ..
            You can upgrade any defensive position you want in the draft, but can’t look at FA that way. Only enough money to go around, and it’s foolish to not spend that money turning glaring weakness into strength…

          • Richard Colton

            D-line is not a weakness. I won’t say it’s a strength…yet. Certainly a lot to like.

            I’m on the sign Byrd-wagon with you. Actually not “with” you since you’re driving. I’m just trying to wrap my head around the possibility of not signing a premier Safety while still getting better.

          • Token

            If Byrd gets to free agency and the Birds dont pay him I look at that as a big failure.

            Safety is a REALLY important position now. And they are very hard to come by, let alone a top coverage safety like Byrd. The Eagles cant draft them.

            Byrd fits the exact thing the Eagles are looking for. Ward, not so much. Dont really get the all out love for him or the talking about him and Byrd as if they are 1A and 1B.

            Sure Id take the guy. But I dont think hes the elite coverage guy they need back there for this team. I dont view him and Wolff as a good match. Too much of the same player. Ward is at his best in the box. One particular guy will tell you Wolff is a future stud cover guy, I dont see how that conclusion can be made. 40 times? High jump numbers? I dunno. But its not his body of work on the field. I think Wolff maxes out as a guy that can be solid in run support, be a good blitzer and make a couple plays in coverage. Hes not a single high safety that can be left all alone back there.

          • GEAGLE

            Dline might not be a strength in your eyes but it damn sure isn’t something you can invest 8million dollars adding another veteran. We can play fantasy all we want, but if we don’t factor allocation of resources into our predictions, then we can’t possibly ever be right!

          • Richard Colton

            That’s all?

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            I’d say we’re pretty set at slot CB.

          • Richard Colton

            that’s very specific. I think we can get better at CB.

    • usmcnole

      Herd up a mob of badasses on O? Sounds like kelvin Benjamin to me

  • JReamer

    Not really sure how thrilled I’d be about adding another “transistioned” player. I would really like to sign/draft an actual 3-4 OLB. Any interest in bringing back Asante?

    • pjcostello

      NO!!!!

      • JReamer

        Ok. I wasn’t implying that I would. I was just curious about the sentiment toward him.

        • pjcostello

          It’s all good. Just giving you my own opinion. :-)

  • RIP illa

    I actually had Neal on my list of FA DE targets for the fact that he has been at ~300lbs as his playing weight, he’s fast and athletic freak of a DL and he’s strong as an ox…seriously freakishly strong!!! However, after researching him, every site had listed at 285lbs and he has looked the best this year out of his last 4. Got me thinking well maybe this is his natural weight. And if a player looks his best at his “natural” weight, then you really don’t want him to add too much more. So if we signed him for the DE rotation and made him add weight…what, we could maybe expect him to put on 5-10 more lbs?! He’d still be under 300 (not by that much) and would fit in as another Cox and Curry type. Doesn’t sound too bad, but we already have those two, who are better at the pass rush than just 2-yapping and run support. And that’s what Neal was for GB. He was a stronger Vinny Curry. He wasn’t all that good at occupying blockers, and add in the fact that they were suffering through OLB injury problems this year, they decided to transition him to better utilize his pass rushing abilities. He played well.

    Read his interviews about his play this season, and they show a guys that’s pass rush driven. So why couldn’t he play OLB for us??? Well (IMO) he’s just not athletic enough for the position. He is a tweener, and doesn’t offer the versatility that Davis wants in an OLB. Although he’s pass rush driven, he’s not dominant. He gives, at his best, nothing more than Cole does. He has also had a lot of injuries throughout his young career and is also coming off of a knee injury suffered in their playoff loss. Plus his heart is in GB, as he’s been quoted to having a strong desire to stay w/ the team.

    All of these things combined, makes me, and hopefully the FO, say pass.

    • GEAGLE

      I would have more interest in him if he were coming from a poorly coached defense…but the dude gets coaching and is still nothing more than a BG type, so I don’t see the point

  • GEAGLE

    Hoping the skins and steelers hurry up and announce the extensions of Worlids and Orakpo so we can start to get an idea of the price tags for this years pass rush FA market. Think Greg hardy gets the biggest deal around 45mil, with Orakpo signing for similar money….MJ’s money should probably be close to what Worlids signs for, but I assume Worlids deal would be more lucrative..think the hometown discount Bennett gives to the Seahawks will be similar to what it would cost to get MJ coming off a down 3 sack season……

    Starting to believe that trying to get MJ on a Barwin type if deal where it’s good money if he pans out!but has out clauses that could make it a chump change deal if he isn’t playing well enough would be high on our FO Wish I list for this offseason…but If MJ wants to sign a 1yr prove it deal to get his value up, I would want no parts of him! because I would then expect him to just use us and play his way out of Philly..
    ..
    A Barwin deal would make sue MJ is hungry to produce so he can see that money and he has so much ability that with our coaches, I would fully expect him to have a nice season, so that’s not a player I would give a one year deal to! because it will come back to bite us in the ass to where we are forced to pony up big money! or lose a player that was producing for us. But if you can get him to sign for 4years with out clauses, then that’s probably one of the few somewhat realistic signings we could make to soften the blow of not signing Byrd or Ward…all I Know is that this is an amazing draft class for WR, And if we can replace Damaris and Maehl with say a first and 3rd round WR, adding to Mac,Desean,Coop,Avant, we would have serious talent and depth for Chip to work with and Nick to grow with…we can’t draft two WRs in the first 3 rounds if we still have major holes at OLB and Safety. ideally one is addressed in FA with more then just a stop gap signing

    • Token

      I dont see the benefit. Why would they spend a good amount of money on a 4-3 end and ask him to convert? Theres no way to know how that will work out. And its not even a elite rusher we are talking about here. Theres been questions about his motor his entire football career. I think theres a chance hes just dog. He could be a prime candidate to be a guy who gets paid and then coasts.

      He had one solid year. Thats it. Then in a contract year again this season he was invisible in a good defense.

      Other than that, I dont love the idea of a 6’7 guy as my rush OLB. I think its hard to bend around the edge at that size. I think your balance can get thrown off easier. Im more into the idea of a 6’3 guy with some strength.

      • GEAGLE

        I actually think he should have never been playing DE to begin with..playing him and Dion Jordan in a 4-3 Wreaks of reaching praying for the next Jason Taylor. BG is hurt by converting to OLB, but I view guys like MJ and Dion as being hurt by Not playing in a 3-4…just my oppinion. Don’t have the tangible evidence available to not respect anyone’s opinion on the matter….I just wrote a post at the end of the page about positional financial responsibility..you MAY not love the idea! but that Long 6’7 guy is EXACTLY what our coaches desire.

  • Eagles4Life

    Too much of a question mark coming into this scheme when we need a true OLB. Green Bay’s pass rush wasn’t remarkable this season anyway. Pass…

  • Tom W

    Pass. Sounds like brandon graham. May as well keep graham.

    Please do similar write-ups on top 10 safeties (byrd, ward, clemons, whitner, stevie brown, mike mitchell, bethea, malcolm jenkins)

    **Cliff — Could we do byrd at the contract you described last week and mjohnson (at barwin type deal w little guaranteed), resign Kelce to 10th best center deal (4 for 16 w 7 guaranteed), resign cooper to jordy nelson/earl bennett deal (4 for 15 w 6 guar.) and carry over near 10 mil (you can assume we cut chung and avant and graham or not and restructure Djax so he gets some guaranteed money and we get a lower cap number). 3d tender thornton. dont resign maclin.

    • NickS1

      In short, yes. Aside from D-Jax, just about the rest of our restructuring will be done next offseason: Peters, Celek, Ryans, Cole (if he wants to retire here), probably LeSean, too.

    • cliff henny

      yeah, they could. but it’s not so much this yr, it’s how the contracts work into ’15 cap. the big issue is they wouldnt be able to front load Byrd enough now to get that to be only 3yr (and that’s stretching FA) liability. eagles obviously are focused on not going over 2yrs out on FA. they spent last yr. add up 6 FA signed, if all of chung, casey, fletcher, barwin, soap and williams played out 2yrs it would cost about 50m combined or 25m yr, so they spent, just controlled yrs. so the real question for the eagles is if they go with Byrd/Ward and allow that contract to be 4yr liability while making any other moves, and those moves have trickle down effect not so much on ’14 cap, but really ’15 caps. ’12 class will get resign, but then they are going to move on from some of the guy that are working off of no dead money in ’14/’15 like peters celek or ryans. Jeff just post MJ is talking 10m, that just destroys everything. guess to me it comes down to byrd/ward-bringing in minor cap issues (very minor barely worth mentioning) vs midlevel olb and safety, keeping extreme cap flexibility.

  • JofreyRice

    eh…I wouldn’t mind bringing this guy in for depth, but not as “the solution” to the lack of consistent passrush from the OLBs. He is an intriguing athlete. Can’t say I’ve ever noticed him when watching Green Bay games.