All-22: The Jairus Byrd Question

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On the surface, Jairus Byrd appears to be a near-perfect fit.

That’s why he’s the free agent Birds 24/7 readers have asked about the most in recent weeks. Byrd played his college ball at Oregon, and for two seasons while he was there, Chip Kelly was the Ducks’ offensive coordinator. At 27, he is a three-time Pro Bowler and appears set to hit the open market.




At this point, we don't even need to discuss the need for the Eagles to upgrade at safety. It's been a position of weakness for five straight years, and the personnel whiffs have led to struggles on the back end of the Birds' defense.

While Howie Roseman has dropped hint after hint this offseason that the Eagles won't be pursuing big-name free agents, I decided to take a closer look at Byrd anyway.

***

Safety has become such a valuable position because of the diverse skill set the position now requires. Teams are looking for athletes who can match up with slot receivers and tight ends, play center field and come up to help against the run.

But the Bills really played to Byrd's biggest strength, which was patrolling the deep middle of the field and making plays on the football.

According to Pro Football Focus, Byrd played within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage just 12.1 percent of the time. That ranked 60th out of the 63 safeties who played at least 50 percent of their team's snaps last season. In other words, he was almost exclusively the free safety, rarely inching up near the line of scrimmage to play in the box.

But there's a reason the Bills used him the way he did - because he's fantastic at reading the quarterback, getting to the ball and creating turnovers. Since 2009, Byrd has 22 interceptions, the most among all NFL safeties (and he's also forced 11 fumbles during that span, second-most among safeties).

Here's an example from last season's game against the Steelers. The Bills are in man coverage with Byrd set up as the single high safety.

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Ben Roethlisberger wants to take a shot deep to Markus Wheaton, who is running a fade at the top of the screen.

But Roethlisberger does a poor job of looking off the safety, and Byrd reads his eyes right away, making his way towards Wheaton.

byrd1b_all22

The ball is underthrown, and Byrd is in perfect position to make the interception.

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Again, this is by far Byrd's biggest strength. He is a ball-hawk who can control the deep part of the field in between the numbers and make opposing quarterbacks pay for their mistakes when going downfield.

***

Byrd played cornerback at a high level in college, earning All-Pac 10 honors in his sophomore and junior seasons (he left school a year early). But he wasn't asked to match up with tight ends and slot receivers one-on-one a great deal in Buffalo's scheme.

Per PFF, Byrd lined up against a slot receiver just 19 times last season and 22 times in 2012.

While he wasn't used much in man coverage in the four games I watched, the Eagles should have a pretty good idea of his skill set in that aspect because of his background at Oregon.

Going back to that Steelers game, here's a play where Byrd got matched up with tight end Heath Miller.

byrd2a_all22

Miller runs an over route to the other side of the field, and Byrd has no trouble sticking with him.

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This is just one example. I watched Bills games against the Saints and Falcons, and I didn't see Byrd matched up against Jimmy Graham or Tony Gonzalez one-on-one. So it's not like he was a tight end stopper. But he could be good in man coverage situations if a different scheme asked him to perform those tasks more often.

***

Byrd does not have great straight-line speed. Coming out of Oregon, he ran in the 4.6s at his Pro Day (a groin injury prevented him from running at the combine). But Byrd tested well in drills that measured burst and agility.

Those traits show up on tape. On in-breaking routes in front of him, Byrd is good at attacking the ball. He's not a big hitter, but he is a very good tackler. In 2012, PFF had him down as the most efficient tackler in the league among safeties. And in 2013, he missed just four tackles all season. Byrd takes good angles, wraps up and is good in the open field.

At the same time, he's not going to track down a lot of wide receivers and running backs if they get behind him.

***

The bottom line here? The Eagles should absolutely have interest in Byrd. He's in another class from the safeties they've had on the field during the last five seasons.

But there are question marks. And the biggest one is his price tag. Byrd played last year under the franchise tag, and a report out of Buffalo indicated he's looking to be the highest-paid safety in the NFL. Last year's top free-agent safety, Dashon Goldson, signed a five-year, $41.25M deal with the Bucs (with $22M guaranteed).

Earl Thomas could get an extension this offseason from the Seahawks, and that would likely set the high point of the safety market.

Along with the straight-line speed mentioned above, Byrd is 5-10, 207. In other words, he's not going to jump off the page from a measurables perspective. And he missed five games last season with plantar fasciitis in both of his feet.

The knocks are relatively minor. We're still talking about one of the better safeties in the game and a player that would provide an immediate upgrade at a need position.

Byrd has made it no secret that he's looking to get paid. The Eagles will likely see how the market plays out and decide if they're willing to match his price.

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  • PaoliBulldog

    I’m guessing that Byrd will NOT be an Eagle in 2014. Too many needs to address. I’m not saying 2013 was a fluke, but it’s unlikely that this OL will stay as healthy as it did and the unit is old. We have one DB (maybe two) who is a competent NFL starter, but nobody who is a bona fide difference maker. We have one lights-out WR. And we need an edge rushing LB.

    Paying Byrd would make it hard to bolster those other positions.

    • dislikedisqus

      Hard to spend > $8M on a free S.

      • Token

        You are thinking like its ten years ago. Its old school thinking. Its like the people that still think LT is a premium position.

        Safety has become one of the most important positions on defense. It has surpassed cornerback.

        • dislikedisqus

          I suspect Richard Sherman’s next contract will prove you wrong. I predict it will be much higher than any S contract.

          • Token

            What does that prove exactly? Vick got 100 million twice in his career.

            People want to forget that the Seahawks were down to their 4th string CB playing opposite of Sherman. Now, im sure their talent eval allowed them to be a deep team and maybe their 4th stringer is just that good. But im suspecting that safety duo had way more to do with them not missing a beat.

            You can argue the Seahawks Oline is the worst group on their team. Did that matter?

            Will teams stop picking LTs and CBs so high? Stop paying them so much? Yea, eventually. I think you already see it a little. People notice how ridiculous the Revis contract looks.

          • Richard Colton

            You don’t think much of Okung? The league doesn’t agree.
            But OK – I think I may have found your solution. Peters will make 10 million next year. 0 cap hit if we cut him out right. That’s plenty to pay Byrd. Would you make that move? Cut Peters, sign Byrd, then sign a mid-grade FA tackle to compete with Dennis Kelly at RT?

          • Token

            The good news is they dont even have to cut Peters to afford Byrd plus more.

            And Okung is one of the most injury prone lineman in the league. And just because we know his name doesnt make him a top tackle. I dont agree that hes a top tackle. Hes a low impact player. The Hawks lost 1 game during his 8 game absence.

          • Richard Colton

            That speaks more to their depth I think. LT isn’t going to win you many games, but look where the big $$$ is speant on the defensive side of the ball. If the opposing RDE or ROLB is spending all afternoon: sacking the QB and stopping the RB behind the line, it doesn’t really matter who you have back there.

            For me? My system is tier based. Tier one – QB. Two – LT & Pass Rusher, Three – DBs & Wrs, Four – ILBs, interior linemen, RBs, TEs, Five – specialists, Six – mascot & cheerleaders

          • Token

            In those 8 games the 2nd string tackle allowed 8 sacks and like 20 hurries. Still won.

            Its hard to change “common knowledge”. But over time teams will think about it differently IMO. I like taking a tackle with a skill set you can work with and having a good OL coach. Of all positions it is one that you can take a later pick and turn him into a good enough tackle with good coaching.

            We have been through the last 10 years or more of SB winners before. Not very many great tackles or offensive lines in general in that group.

            Some of the best tackles in the league consistently play on terrible teams. They just have very little impact on the overall fortunes of a team.

            Now corner IMO is changing too. I think the idea of the shutdown corner is fading. If you have good safety play you can just have good solid corners and be fine. I would would pay a premium price for a safety before I would a corner. Just a higher overall impact on the team. A corner can take away one guy if hes great. I dont think that worries many good offenses.

          • Richard Colton

            That could very well be. Say the league trends exclusively to QBs with A++ pocket mobility? That makes a premium blind side tackle more of a luxury than a need.
            I see it differently – that the league continues to trend more and more towards passing, it makes rushing the passer and stopping the pass rush more important.

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

            the only aspect I disagree with is that those Tackles who have the physical gifts are absolutely top-10 pick worthy. These guys step in day 1, as 22 or 23 yr olds, and just dominate seasoned d-ends. The rare few, but the ones we all knew coming out were going to succeed- Jake Long, Staley, Kalil, Thomas, and IMO Lane (in another year).

            I agree with you re: the importance of the safety position, but I believe the best athletes play at DE. There are so many skilled pass rushers these days, and there’s simply no way to win if your QB doesn’t have time. See: the super bowl. A tackle you can rely on for a decade? yes please.

            Also, re: Okung- yes, SEA still won, but it’s not as if he wasn’t missed

            http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/2013/11/05/reinforcements-coming-soon-for-injury-gutted-seattle-seahawks/#17154101=0

          • Richard Colton

            Rob – you see the Bears hired a martial arts expert to teach D-line techniques? Figured that would be up your alley. Any thoughts?

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

            brilliant.

            with some football players I’ve worked with, we focus on the hands- speed and strength. get them strong by punching/knife hands into sand, then gravel, eventually rocks. for speed, some basic wing chun. watch these hand movements; tell me you don’t see Vinny Curry:

            and if you haven’t, watch Ip Man

            [edit] haha, I didn’t realize quite how ridiculous that video was until posted it, and sat through the whole thing. been a long snow day, running out of beer

          • Richard Colton

            the 1970’s adult movie soundtrack made it worthwhile. The guy’s name is Master Wong. That’s amazing.

          • RIP illa

            I get your point and don’t really disagree w/ too much, other than the S vs CB thing. Can’t just throw out the generality of how a good safety makes better corners and leave out the opposite effect. If you get a shutdown or lock down CB it makes the Safeties job so much more easier. NFL history has shown that and many times, Safeties who have been interviewed have said so. Ryan Clark talked about it this year in regards to Ike Taylor…and he’s not even a shutdown corner but has been a good, if not underrated one, in this league for awhile. Of course age I catching up w/ him now. But Clark has confidence in what he could/can do, and that left him to only worry about covering for Troy and the other side of the field. That’s just an example. Great corners help out Safeties just as much as a great Safety can help out corners.

        • Richard Colton

          you’ve been on this kick for a while. Totally agree about Safety. I think the last few seasons showed that. Not sure why you’re discounting the importance of LT. Next to the QB, there isn’t a more important position on offense.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            LTs get paid for one reason, to protect the guy that touches the ball 99.9% of the offensive snaps. However, you do see some teams placing less value in the LT position with the influx of athletic and highly mobile QBs, as well as QBs that are getting rid of the ball quickly.

            As trends come & go, positional importance will also change with them.

        • anon

          That’s bc of the state of CB play. A shutdown corner is worth more than a safety b/c they can cover up poor safety play (or allow safeties to double the second receiver or play in the box.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            With more players going the route of CB because it was paying more, it has watered down the talent pool at the S position. But with that, the decrease in good safeties has put a premium on those players where the cream has risen to the top. With the likes of Byrd, Ward & Thomas coming up for their paydays, I think you’ll see more teams willing to pay the price & salaries as well as talent pool for both positions start to balance back out over the next couple of years.

            The laws of supply & demand will always dictate.

      • Clamdigger

        It’s also hard to watch WRs run free in the defensive backfield…

        • dislikedisqus

          I don’t think $8M is the minimum you need to pay to stop WRs from running free in the defensive backfield.

      • PaoliBulldog

        Ruben Amaro Jr. could. And we already know he loves Byrds.

        • Kevin

          He’s too young for RAJ.
          Although I heard Ruben tried to hire Shaun Hulls. He needs some of that sports science.

    • Richard Colton

      Not going to disagree with any of your individual points, but you might be discounting a few major things we have in our favor: A) A potential franchise QB playing for a team frindly number for the next two seasons. B) A FO that just went 2-2 on their first two drafts. C) Two stars at the RB/WR positions, with a third (Ertz) a strong possibilty.

      We could take the field with the exact same team next year, and our only glaring weakness would be Safety. Just a minor upgrade at S and OLB would make out team substantially better. Turning our major weakness into a major strength, which I belive Byrd would do, would be great. Not saying its going to happen, but now might be the time to pull the trigger.

      • PaoliBulldog

        If I could give CK a draft thought, it’d be to scout some undersized college LBs with cover skills who could slide back to safety in the NFL. You could probably grab someone like that with a weekend pick or even as a UDFA.

        • Richard Colton

          really hard to just “make” someone a Safety. Just because they have the right measureables doesn’t mean they can play the position. I just think the only 99% sure way to fix our lingering Safety problem is to sign Byrd. Your salary cap point is well made however – and is in line with the Birds’ SOP.

          • Token

            Every…..single…..year.

            I want to suffocate myself when people talk about taking this guy or that guy and making them a safety. It rarely ever works. Especially now a days.

            A UDFA LB at safety. Good lord.

          • Richard Colton

            I’m racking my brain to think of the last time that’s worked. Not saying it can’t…but we need to have a better plan.

          • NickS1

            Has it ever? It’s worked the other way, in the case of Urlacher, but even that’s rare I think. Was Chancellor always a safety? He’s a monster.

          • JofreyRice

            and for what? To stay 30M under the cap? I really can’t see an argument to not making an attempt to sign the guy. If it turns out like Keenan Lewis, where he just really wanted to play for one particular team (Saints), then that’s the way it is. But why go through all these rationalizations about why they shouldn’t add a fantastically talented player, at a position we’ve been suffering at for years?

          • Token

            Perfect fit. Perfect type of safety for our needs. When does that opportunity come along?

            I dont trust them to draft a S. I dont really like any of the “top” safeties in the draft. If they wanted that they should have just traded back a bit and got KV last year.

            Just solve the freakin position. Its been too many years. They will never have a good enough defense with Wolff and Nate Allen back there. That makes other players jobs harder. Byrd makes them easier.

            I dont worry about the cap. They have enough trash to cut this year and next year that frees up even more space. Everyone worries about these Kelce and Kendricks contracts. They wont be that high to begin with.

          • PaoliBulldog

            Yeah, next they’ll be signing basketball players and turning them into tight ends.

        • Weapon Y

          I thought we were done with the square peg, round hole approach. Andy, is that you?

    • GEAGLE

      What other positions do you expect to be bolstered? News flash, this isn’t going to be some high quantity Free agent cavalry riding into town…

      We will re sign Mac and Coop. Sign some type of safety, sign a cheap DL who you can cut if you end up drafting a DL…and you may get a few depth backup, “Jason Phillips type” signings that won’t excite anyone…we simply don’t have many needs to adress in FA. Most of our needs are depth needs we need to fill with draft picks who serve as backups now, while hopefully developing into eventual starters…
      ..
      I’m telling Yous right now…if you don’t want Jarius Byrd because you expect a bunch of FA signings, you are going to feel pretty ripped off when you don’t get Byrd, resigned two of our WRs and signed a backup or two lol
      ..
      give me Byrd, Corey Peters, Maclin! Cooper…and just draft the rest..,

    • Mr. Magee

      Agree also. Would be good to lock down the safety position and go into the draft looking at WR, CB, OL, etc, but I don’t think we’re super bowl bound next year, and in the long run I think we’d be better off saving that money for less established but high potential players.

  • DharmaBum

    Whether it be Byrd or Ward, this is the year to pony up for the safety position. When will we ever be in a position again where 1) the two best FA at our biggest position of need are guys who played for the college program of our HC, 2) we have the cap money? Half of the guesswork is already out of the picture. We already have more intel on these guys than anyone outside of their current teams, and we’ve been managing our cap for years, not only to provide the ability to deal with injuries, but to position ourselves to make signings like this. I know how they talk about the “batting average” strategy and all, but when it comes to a position where we’ve been striking out since BDawk left, I say you make an exception.

    I’m ok with either on, Byrd or Ward. Bryd is seen as more the “coverage guy”, but Ward is no slouch there, either. I’m hoping that with Banner gone, and the Browns doing a mega-deal with Haden, that they’ll be more averse to hanging the tag on Ward to the tune of 8M. Along with their other DEF players, that’s a lot of money to be tying up on one side of the ball. Ray Farmer’s background as a safety may come into play there, but I’m hoping that Ward is out there for us, as I think Byrd will be shooting for the moon, contract-wise.

    • Token

      I dont think Ward gets to FA. And I honestly think hes getting a bit over hyped. Id take him no doubt. But I think Byrd is a notch or two ahead of him as a safety. Hes a better fit IMO.

      • Clamdigger

        I think you’re right about the fit. Although, I think they’re equally talented, just in different parts of their game. Ward will thump you, whereas Byrd is a ball-hawk. With our defensive scheme, we need a ball-hawk back there.

        • Token

          I think everyone wants Dawkins back and they think Ward is in that mold.

          Honestly, I dont want that guy anymore if I have the choice between these two types. Especially when I look at Wolff as possibly the other starter.

          • Clamdigger

            Exactly. I see Wolff as having potential as more of the box safety that is “good” in coverage. Byrd would take the pass defense to another level.

          • DharmaBum

            I agree, I think the odds of Ward reaching FA are slim, and I also agree that he is more in the Dawk mold. While I think that trying to go all out in aping the Seahawks D is impractical, it did show us one thing: there are few things more valuable than having a secondary where all the players are good coverage guys. Byrd plays more to those ends than Ward. Ultimately, he’s more in line with what we need.

          • Maggie

            Half the league needs.

          • Token

            This is a lazy argument.

          • Maggie

            No. I’ve already gone through the NFC teams. AFC next, when I have time.

          • JofreyRice

            So there will be competition. Ok. That’s what sport is about, right? Competition? Aren’t we supposed to root for our team to win, rather than rationalize why they should lose?

          • OldDocRoss

            Indeed. If there was no competition we could just sign him to the vet minimum and move on but I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that. And if they are they’re clearly very stupid, and we shouldn’t listen to stupid people.

          • Token

            You can say that every year! Im cant imagine what the your point is here. There will always be competition.

          • NickS1

            Nevermind the fact that just because half the league may need a safety doesn’t mean that half the league can afford the best safety on the market.

          • Maggie

            The point is not that there is competition. I have already answered this question about the ridiculous expectations of far too many people on this and other Eagles boards.

          • GEAGLE

            It’s ok, but she can waste her breath parroting Golden Tate’s name every day at a position which probably isn’t even a need! we suggest paying top money for an ELITE SAFETY! You suggest paying great money for good golden Tate! which is exactly what it would take to sign him lol…
            ..
            Yet you have the “phantom Stones” to Chastize eagles fans for wanting a top player at a top need? Lol…what do I expect, from “the Ashley Fox of Birds 24-7″?

      • anon

        Yes and Yes

  • Token

    Hes exactly what they need. Maybe the best deep safety in the game.

    I dont care how hard he hits. I care that he can make a sure tackle. The big hit crap is just overblown. Fans want that, I get it. I think thats why Ward gets so hyped up. But that kind of guy is getting slowly taken out of the league. I want coverage above anything in my safety. Not a guy whose gonna be throwing his shoulder around getting concussed or penalized. One of the reasons im not into the Pryor idea. If anything, Wolff can fill the hitting, box safety role. Hes best when you limit the space he has to work in.

    There no excuse for the Eagles to not pay the guy. It would instantly make the entire defense better. Sure, they would still have a number of holes to fill but getting Byrd would be a big step in the right direction. I think their offseason plan should have him as the centerpiece. You get him and the whole thing starts to fall in line a little bit easier.

    The only thing that may scare them is if they dont like how he checks out medically. Im not worried about the contract. Lurie can give him a big bonus and Howie can structure the contract well.

    • anon

      Hard hits matter more for a strong safety (or safety that’s playing in the box). You can’t say what Cam Chancellor did to D. Thomas in the SB didn’t affect that game.

      He would be great matched with Wolff.

      • Token

        Did it have a affect? Probably not much. The Seahawks were just playing at a different speed the whole game. If that hit never happened would the outcome have been different? No.

        I think Ward with Wolff isnt a very good match IMO. If thats the only choice yea you have to do it.

        I also think we are probably getting carried away with Wolff. We barely saw the guy really. Now my expectations were so low on him that it was a nice surprise. But penciling him in at starter does worry me a bit. But like I said, I think Wolff will do better if you limit his space. He can be the more run support guy that does well blitzing.

        • anon

          I tend to agree on Wolff — my thought was that we aren’t going to buy 2 safeties if we’re paying top money for Byrd. I think playing in the box plays to Wolff’s strengths and i think in the box is easier.

          On broncos — is the outcome different without that play? Probably not, but that play was a tone-setting play — for both teams.

  • Dr Rick

    I’m not a fan of chasing the market but Byrd has to be on the short list of possibles to improve our safety play. A good OLB who can drop into coverage could take some heat off of the safety, as could a good coverage CB, but we have to improve the S position to get over the hump.

    • SunShine

      The price tag is just scary to imagine….Yeah he would do wonders but it won’t make a difference if our pass rush is non-existent

      • Dr Rick

        True dat… so how do we improve the D line?
        The ‘hawks win over Denver started with the D line forcing Peyton to move off his spot. We are really close tho that.

        • SunShine

          By finding guys that can complement one another in the draft. You hit it on the nail. Seahawks had both types of players that can either stop the run, pass rush, and/or both…We have players that are more suited to stopping the run at the expense of rushing the players. (some of that is by scheme but doesn’t take a rocket science to know that we had to blitz in order to provide consistent pressure

  • sprawl

    Love seeing this depth of coverage for the Bills. Having moved up to Bills country from PA I am able to fit right in with my deep and profound disdain for the Patriots.

  • Kevin

    Great post Sheil. Would love to see more all-22’s of potential free agents with thoughts on how they fit Davis’s scheme.

    Still waiting for you to come over and help shovel – have about 12″ if snow up here in the Lehigh Valley.

    • anon

      Second that (the first para anyway).

    • Mr. Magee

      Agree also. Would be good to lock down the safety position and go into the draft looking at WR, CB, OL, etc, but I don’t think we’re super bowl bound next year, and in the long run I think we’d be better off saving that money for less established but high potential players.

  • JofreyRice

    The ability to play with just a single high is crucial to the Seahawks defense, and Jairus Byrd is better than Earl Thomas. The only question here should be how quickly they can change the name on the back of jersey #31 from “Marsh” to “Byrd”.

    • NickS1

      Better than? I don’t know. 3x All Pro Thomas or 2x All Pro Byrd? I think saying that one is outright better than the other is a little strong. We’re talking about the two best safeties over the last 2-3 years. I can understand preferring one or the other because of measurables or scheme, though.

      • Richard Colton

        Did you know the Eagles had a shot at drafting Earl Thomas? We took Brandon Graham instead. It’s true. I Googled it.

        • NickS1

          Brandon Graham is to me what Casey Matthews is to you.

          • Richard Colton

            one of them can rush the passer, the other one is caseymatthews. but yeah, I think our starting ILBs and OLBs are the same as last year. I’d love to upgrade backups at both.

          • OldDocRoss

            Casey Matthews’ awfulness defies reasonable comparison with all other players.

            He is to professional football as The Room is to motion pictures.

          • JofreyRice

            “YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, CASEY!”

            Gotta disagree, though. The Room is so bad it’s good. I’m not sure what the football version of that would even look like, but Casey’s just plain bad.

          • OldDocRoss

            This is because we can only see Casey Matthews through the eyes of an Eagles fan.

            I am reliably informed by lesser mortals that he is, to them, hilarious.

          • Weapon Y

            Graham is at least good pass rusher, albeit maybe not a great one. Casey Matthews is just garbage.

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

          damn, what did we go? 4 days?

        • dollamakeuholla

          I will never get over that….EVER

        • James Skip Carl

          If you don’t know that your not an Eagles fan

      • JofreyRice

        I give the edge to Byrd for ball skills (interceptions+ passes defensed) and clinical tackling technique. I guess it’s a matter of preference, but Thomas is surrounded by talent. Byrd has to clean up other people’s messes much more frequently.

        Dude allowed a QB rating of 35.0 when targeted last season.

        • NickS1

          Bills D the last couple years hasn’t been bad, exactly.

          • JofreyRice

            eh…it was better this year, but they were flipping schemes between 3-4 and 4-3 before that. They were near the bottom of the league in D every season of Byrd’s career before they brought in Pettine, and he was still shining. They have some talent now, but didn’t have anything close to Richard Sherman playing alongside Byrd.

          • NickS1

            You convinced me. Pay the man.

          • JofreyRice

            man, I wish I could get in a room with Howie for a few minutes, but he may attempt to punch me in the nose for all the bad things I’ve said about him over the years. Would probably hard to convince him in that kind of scenario.

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

            with all the talk about needing a few minutes and Howie being hard to convince, I sure hope you weren’t meaning the bedroom

          • dollamakeuholla

            this would help me get over my not drafting earl Thomas obsession!

      • Papa

        Byrd all pro 3x and pro bowl 3x. He has 22 ints and 11 FF and 3FR. The reason he isn’t a 5x all pro is because he played in the same conference as ed reed and troy polamalu who overshadowed him plus he was on a bad small market team. He has been the best safety in the league since he came in period.

    • anon

      Yeah i think they do different things. Earl might not look as awesome b/c of the quality of the guys around him, but Earl is all over the field, not just in the box or in midfield — he also doesn’t have foot problems.

      • JofreyRice

        I believe they play very similarly–roles are almost exactly the same. Thomas is also much dicier in tackling, misses a lot.

    • GEAGLE

      I’m actually starting to believe the Byrd is on his way to the NEST!!!! Howie “splash” Roseman FTW!!!!

    • Dr Rick

      Hey, JeffR,
      I’ll be happy if he is as good as Earl Thomas! Better would be pro bowl quality.

      Chip was OC during Byrd’s time at U of O and got to know him. Might be an edge; better someone known sometimes than someone unknown.

  • Maggie

    The thing everyone seems to forget is that the Eagles are not the only team desperate for a quality safety! So many comments say, just sign Byrd. Or maybe Ward. The Eagles will not get anywhere near them. Unless there is some other enticement besides money. Yes, Byrd was at Oregon, but Chip was not head coach then and we’ve heard many times that Chip loves the offense.

    • Token

      You can say that about many positions in any FA period in history. The Eagles cant force Byrd to come here. In the end its his choice. But they can offer him a good contract and a chance to play with a up and coming team. Thats what people are saying.

      Just going out and signing a bum like Malcolm Jenkins would be a slap in the face. I noticed theres some guys already anticipating this. Coming up with ways they can make the move sound good. it wouldnt be. Jenkins is at the level of a Nate Allen. Different doesnt mean better.

      • Maggie

        Jenkins? No. Just saying that some folks are looking at Byrd as some kind of magician who will win the Super Bowl all by himself. They are also overlooking the level of desperation of some other teams. I can’t quite forget the sight of Byrd sitting on the ground in pain, just a few weeks ago at the Pro Bowl. What was causing that pain?

        • anon

          His bank balance not being where he wants it. Honestly plantar is a chronic issue — probably affects him every game.

          • JofreyRice

            “chronic” is a word that scares people. If treated, it causes some discomfort, but then again, so does playing professional football, in general.

          • Token

            Im hoping that scares some teams off.

        • Joe L

          Believe it or not, I think Jenkins WOULD be an upgrade over Allen for sure. Not saying he’s my first….or second choice even but if he was starting over Allen next year I wouldn’t be upset about it.

          • GEAGLE

            I actually think Jenkins is a real possibility. Don’t think he is our first option, but I do believe his name is on the short list

    • JofreyRice

      Maggie, what “enticements” do you think inform free agent’s decisions to sign with new teams, generally? If Byrd chooses not to come to Philly for some nebulous reason the Eagles can’t control, so be it, but they should make every possible effort to avoid having that reason be about $$$. They have money and space. Lots of it.

      • Token

        But other teams want to win and bring in good players! Why even try!?

      • Richard Colton

        When you factor in need, cap space and us being a playoff team on the rise with a real shot over the next two or three years – why not us? We have a good a shot at landing him as any team. Let’s set the odds at 30% he becomes an Eagle. Decent.

      • Maggie

        I just get a little tired of the same comments every day. Get Byrd. Get Byrd. Give him more money. It’s all about giving him more money. He’s already got lots of money. If he’s the genius he is portrayed as being, he’s got his money invested carefully or somewhere offshore already. Other “enticements” might be a city he likes or the chance to look at post-career opportunities or maybe wants into coaching, etc. But all we hear is how he will save the Eagles and single-handedly win every game net year and get 100 interceptions and kill 2 or 3 receivers along the way. With Byrd “we” won’t need to upgrade OLB or LT or MLB or NT, etc., etc. Go over the last couple of weeks comments and you would probably see Byrd at least 3000 times. it’s ridiculous. IF he ever came to the Eagles the weight of expectations would probably ruin him. And if he doesn’t come to the Eagles, half of the mob on here will try to lynch Howie.

        • GEAGLE

          But it’s ok for you to mention that scab golden Tate for 15 days in a row? Just curious?

          • Dr Rick

            Breath, GEAGs, breath.

            Maggie is definitely not Ashley Fox.
            Golden Tate has been OK for the hawks.

            Take a deep breath, my brother, it’s OK.

          • GEAGLE

            I wrote that with a smile on my face. Maybe you should breathe more and hang on my nuts less…and sorry, but signing Golden Tate is a JOKE of an idea…it’s what 13year old fanboys playing madden suggest this time of year…as in NO SHOT IN HELL it happens…so excuse me, if I’m not interested in her snotty crap. Lol Golden Tate hahahahaha what a joke. News flash to all the lil kiddies out there…you don’t sign FA WRs lol you have to pay number 1 money to get a number two WR…it’s just NOT going to happen, and Golden Tate isn’t an upgrade it would be a bullshit lateral move, change for the sake of change…now Ms. Ashley Fox junior is entitled to write whatever the hell she wants, but when I see her act like a douche because fans actually want a player who would be worth the insane money, and who plays a position that’s a REAL NEED, not this bogus imaginary Fan needs, and thinks she has the right to censor what fans talk about…that’s where it becomes a little too much for me to…

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

          ugh. welcome to february. come back in august if you don’t like the goods.

        • Richard Colton

          It’s a Byrd thread. At least we’re still not doing Vick vs. Foles every day. That argument would turn an “Eagles announce plans to sell hot chocolate in the upper concourse” into a 300 comment day.

    • Weapon Y

      They will sign somebody. I’d bet one of Byrd, Ward, Clemons, or Whitner will be an Eagle next year. It’s just a matter of negotiations to decide which it is.

  • reb

    ” Byrd takes good angles, wraps up and is good in the open field.”

    Would *love* to be able to say that about an Eagles safety next year – please!

  • Cam

    How about we get Byrd and ward and our backfield can be “the flock of doom”

    • Maggie

      Do you know what they call a group of crows? I like that term even better.

      • Richard Colton

        I want them to play single-high-safety and call him the “wolfpack” cause…you know

      • CSpangler

        Yes, A Murder

  • Max Lightfoot

    IMO, high-priced free agents are for teams that are already good but are seeking that extra push over the top. I love how our defense played over their heads this past season, but I don’t think we’re that good – yet. Maybe we can afford this luxury after another good draft this year – we still need corner depth and linebacker upgrades. We shall see.

    • Token

      A good S makes others jobs easier. The 4th corner doesnt mean as much as a S I assure you. They just have to do better at talent eval and get those type of holes filled in the middle rounds.

      S and OLB stick out like sore thumbs. If they are serious, they need to fill those holes.

      Now maybe they are ok with twiddling their thumbs and hoping the draft turns out over the next 2-3 years. I dont like that. You know that right now the division is down. You cant say it will be in another year or two.

      You strike now. They are presented with a great opportunity at S. You do it. Then you gotta figure out OLB and add depth and another weapon on offense. SEA shows us that good depth and even starting caliber players can be found up and down the draft and in UDFAs. Theres no excuse for not being able to turn over the roster and fill needs THIS offseason.

      I think the longer Chip is in the league the more the odds of us getting a SB go down. I want to really go for it in 2014 and 2015 while this thing is still fresh.

      • GEAGLE

        Not taking advantage of this window of opportunity to take a shot at the Lombardi would be a travesty

      • Dr Rick

        Must. Improve. Safety.

        eom

    • Richard Colton

      Our team is good. We’re the best team in the NFC East, aren’t we? Take a look at the other division winners. How many others have the arrow pointed up? I’m with Token on this one. Saftey stopped being a luxury for us somewhere between Jaiqwann Jarrett and Earl Thomas.

  • Jarrod

    I know everyone keeps saying we have $20M in cap to spend. This is technically correct but $17M+ of that is carryover from last year. Without the carryover we don’t even have room to sign our draft picks. I think this means Casey is gone for sure (+$3M). That gives us room to sign our picks. Therefore anything we spend in FA starts cutting into the carryover, which is ultimately putting us over the cap for next year and in a year or two will be over the cap with no carryover to compensate. Therefore I don’t see a big splash coming.

    • GEAGLE

      Huh? The 7mil we paid Vick is enough to sign draft picks

    • NickS1

      I think Casey will be here.

  • GEAGLE

    If we slash Chung’s salary to like 1.5per year to play emergency role, combined with Wolff we would have two mil tied up into the safety position…how are the other 3 safety spots being filled? If we plan on adding two more safeties currently on cheap rookie deals(draft a 3rd rounder 600k and a 6th rounder to play ST) that means we would have like 4million tied into 4 safeties…see no reason why we can’t add an 8millipn dollar safety….now if you plan on signing two Nate Allen types, and only adding one more safety that’s on a rookie deal, then you probably sign two 4mil per year guys…but if rather have the 8million dollar stud, and the two draft picks

    The Byrd belongs in the eagles nest. Bring him home howie

    • OldDocRoss

      I’m with you on most of this, but as far as I can tell if we do all of what you suggest we will end up with one Patrick Chung on the roster. This is clearly one Patrick Chung too many.

      • GEAGLE

        Would love to see Chung replaced with Corey Graham…which could actually be a possibility

    • Tom W

      I looked at teams spending in safeties … It’s all over the place … Anywhere from 3-12 million w the Average around 7 million a year.

      • GEAGLE

        Nice…someone needed to do that, I didn’t feel like doing the work. Appreciated

  • GEAGLE

    Lions released burleson…but that was expected, they also just released safety Louis Delmas

    • Tom W

      Yep. Liked him when he was drafted and last year too … Good player but oft injuries his first two yrs … Definitely a guy I like and expect the eagles to look at. Former first rounder young athletic … Not elite but above average player … Probably get him for same money Nate Allen is going to get … Less than Clemons or Whitner will get.

      • RIP illa

        Those injuries, specifically…his knees, would cause him to miss two days of practice throughout a lot of weeks. Chip’s big on practice, but Howie’s big on weak knees. What are we ever to do???

        • NickS1

          Wish I could up vote this 10 more times.

    • DharmaBum

      Delmas has bad knees, and besides, he’s a horrific tipper, lol…he’d leave a trail of pissed off waiters and bartenders all over town.

  • Tom W

    Hoping a 5 year 42 million dollar deal for 25 mil guaranteed Gets it done for Byrd for the eagles … That’s a lot of guaranteed money for that contract we can structure more upfront … A lot more guaranteed money than weddle or goldson recently

  • Tom W

    If Byrd takes the money we can’t do anything about it. Raiders have 60 million under the cap. Any deal the top 5 cap friendly teams want to put up can beat ours. Let’s not bury Howie if he takes the big money from raiders etc who will pay above market for top 5 free agent this year

  • Ale (Brazil)

    What about Louis Delmas? I watched some Lions games and i can say that the guy can ball. He’s a great, intense player, instinctive and plays downhill, not to mention that he can lay down the wood. The price would be right and he would be an immediate upgrade. I’d bring him in. He has been released earlier today.

    • GEAGLE

      We would have signed him last year if we wanted him

    • RIP illa

      Bad knees…so yeah…Howie will prolly go after him.

  • Rob

    So the Lions just cut Louis Delmas. Do we have any interest?

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

      Judging from his past contract, I’d assume he gets ~$4 or $5mil per year, maybe a 3 yr deal. I’d take him for that; still young and better than chung or allen. Cut them both, and have him and Wolff at least going into the Byrd/Ward bidding war and the draft

      • GEAGLE

        Durability concerns make me not Interested…

    • anon

      Solid mid level guy i think — he could go to Buffalo with Jimmy S…If Buffalo moves from a 3-4 to a wide 9 4-3 could be interesting possibilities. Would love to get some of the DL depth out of here and get some LBs.

  • GEAGLE

    If the Birds don’t sign Jarius Byrd, I bet their secondary looks somthing like this:
    Safety:
    Malcom Jenkins
    Earl Wolff
    Deone Buchanon

    Hybrid CB/S
    FA: Corey Peters
    4th rd Draft: Terrence Mitchell

    CB
    Cary Williams
    Bradley Fletcher
    Earl Boykin
    ….
    ST/deep emergency…will be upgraded in 2015:
    Patrick Chung pay slashed in half to 1.7m
    Roc

    The emphasis of the secondary upgrades will be Coverage and versatility. Corey Peters, Malcom Jenkins and Terrence Mitchell both have experience playing Safety and Corner.
    ..
    Malcom Jenkins is only 26yrs old, has a Super Bowl ring, and almost 65 games of experience starting, under his belt, logging time at safety and CB. Obviously young decorated safeties like him can’t be perfect if they are hitting the FA market, but I get a degree of comfort knowing the team that is letting him walk is in serious Cap HELL, having to cut a bunch of players just to try and retain Jimmy Graham. They also have a young super safety to fall back on in Vaccaro. This situation makes me feel much better than say the dolphins who have a ton of cap space! no safeties and are still letting Clemons walk. Jenkins is like 3 years younger but has 30 games more experience than Clemons..Jenkins is 6ft 205lbs, from New Jersey.

    Corey Peters was the best player on New Hampshire the entire time Chip coaches there. He is that Kelly sized pro type 6ft 200lbs drafted as a CB in the 5th round, dude is a cheap role playing PLAYMAKER who is hungry to earn a real role. Kid is a MONSTER ST player, having gone to probowls. Coming off a 2yr deal with the ravens where he balled out on ST again and was a glue guy for their secondary moving all over the place filling in, making plays wherever he was needed…Last year, Cary Williams and Peters stepping up played a big role in the ravens winning a Super Bowl..We are set at starting CB, but Peters moving to safety full time is starting to become popular train of thought(BGN even included him in their safety search Series)..peters and Chung would be really strong ST leaders, we let CP compete for a starting safety spot, if he loses, we use him in sub packages because he has a knack for forcing turnovers, and we let him back up multiple positions..
    ..
    Terrence Mitchell is basically the draft prospect version of Corey Peters. CB/S hybrid, word is he will be playing CB in the NFL.,Chip know him from Oregon, should have a shot at getting him in the Boykin Zone(4th round)

    If we can’t get that Elite Supersafety, I think we will scrap the traditional 2 starting CB, 2 starting safeties, Nickle corner and a bunch of backups way of doing things and run a secondary by committee filled with different personel groupings for sub packages..You can do a lot of exotic things with 3 players who have experience playing CB and Safety..Now if we are going to put all that emphasis into creating coverage sub packages, then it’s important that the safety we draft is a HAMMER TYPE, Like Buchanon preferably(because I like him in coverage much more then Bailey)..but someone with real size, big hit ability and quasi LB in run support..

    Putting together that at secondary would be a modest very doable investment:
    Malcom Jenkins 4mil per (batting average price FA)
    Corey peters 2.5mil chance to compete for starting position (cheap FA)
    Wolff 500k
    Buchannon 900k (2nd round)
    ..
    Cary
    Brad
    Boykin
    Terrence Mitchell 4th round 500k
    Roc or someone from

    Chung/Roc..ST player, emergency depth…Chung, Corey Peters, Boykin and Jason Phillips are going to help form top ST coverage units…Next offseason we upgrade Roc and Chung by drafting a CB and safety.
    ….
    Add Marcus Smith or Dee Ford at OLB, And ILB who can drop back and cover. And Justin Ellis to the D line and we are set. I’m really starting to hope that we trade out of round 1 with a team like Cleveland that has an extra 3rd and an extra 4th(picks all at the top of the round)..say we traded the #22pick, get back:
    Top 5’pick in round 2, extra 3rd, extra 4th and a 6th..we would have:
    Two 2nd round picks
    Two 3rds
    Two 4ths
    Two 5ths
    One 6th
    One 7th
    Cleveland might consider it because they would be left with:
    3 first round picks(ours and the colts)
    No 2nd
    One 3rd
    One 4th
    One 5th
    One 7th

    • RIP illa

      Corey Graham. Not Corey Peters. And I really hate that line up. Graham’s old!!! He’ll be 29 in July. I don’t care how much of a ST ace he is, we need to get young at the position while also getting faster. Yes he’s a decent back up, but we gotta start grooming someone(S) for the future. Moving him to Safetey this late in his career, while asking him to learn Davis’ scheme. I don’t like it. Also that line up gives us one of the slowest defensive backfield a in the league, and we’re already slow enough.

      I’m not really high on Bucannon, but I guess he would be a nice consolation prize if we miss out on Pryor or Dix. I would rather prefer to just pick up Tre Boston later on and focus on other areas.

      And after all that arguing w/ me…now you want to back a move for Ellis??? Lol. What were you arguing for then.

      • GEAGLE

        Lol…Corey peters is a little fatter lol. Yeah well we can’t get 3 young safeties in one offseason, and if we can get 3 young safeties, then I’d take Graham over Chung lol..

        I don’t even like Malcom jenkins.., this isn’t a wish list or dream scenario for me. Just my best hypothesis of what the eagles end up doing if they miss out on Byrd. I believe they will make him a good offer. But they won’t outbid everyone for his services. He will have to take less to come to philly

        Btw? Safety isn’t one of the positions we have to get younger at like CB and WR…we have no one under contract at safety lol..we have room for youth and veterans…

      • GEAGLE

        Wouldn’t mind Corey Graham taking Chung’s spot…

        • RIP illa

          True.

          • GEAGLE

            Just think he makes so much sense as this year Brad Fletcher addition…also Billy Davis managed to turn Antrel Roll from safety to CB…worst case scenario Graham is just a probowl ST leader, backing up multiple spots(frees up roster space to Dress other players)..but even if he doesn’t win a starting spot, he is someone we will want on the field in certain sub packages because he is a gamer who has raćked up some nice turnovers in limited snaps

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

          stop. just stop. Graham is not a safety. He’d be a tremendous upgrade over Roc. but he’s not taking Boykin’s spot, he’s not supplanting a starter, and he’s sure as hell not going to Safety. CBs don’t just become safeties later in life

          • NickS1

            I think it’s hilarious that this is the same guy saying that you can’t just convert anyone to safety when I suggested converting Boykin for the sole reason of having our best DB on the field more than 50% of the snaps. Now he’s talking about giving a guy 2.5 to convert…

          • GEAGLE

            He already has played safety you dope…I think it’s hilarious that you think CG wouldn’t be a major upgrade in high at Colt/Kurt Coleman role…those dudes are just emergency wastes of defensive space…CG will bring better ST play, while also having some small match up role in sub packages….CG has lined up at safety occasionally since College…that’s not the same as you suggesting some career CB move to safety lol….funny, how you couldn’t wait to try and rub it in my face….lol next time try to be more accurate and less Butthurt lol

            Eagles will make an offer to CG…you can love it or hate it, but it’s happening!!!

            Lol I certainly didn’t just pluck this average name out of the bargain safety/CB bin lol….obviously I heard something linking us to him…maybe if you didn’t act like a dick for no reason, I woulda been happy to share…

            Good chance CG will be an Eagle…might as well get ready for it

          • NickS1

            Easy bro. Just because he played it doesn’t mean he was good at it. I just want good DBs on the field so I threw an out of the box option out there that was hypothetical. Nothing inaccurate about suggesting a 2yr player get into a hybrid role of S/Nickel CB because the best DB needs to be on the field. Didn’t Woodson do something similar later in his career after being a career CB? And I’m not the one suggesting paying 2.5mil to upgrade the 4th and 5th safeties on the team. Waste. Of. Money.

          • GEAGLE

            You think I give a shit about CG? I heard he is a real target, so I passed it on…shoot the messenger if you want

          • NickS1

            Ah, I see you edited just a little. I wasn’t being a dick, dude, just stating the irony the situation. I don’t think Graham is a bad player, overall, so what I shoot down is the paying of 2.5mil to someone to be the 4th or 5th safety, or even the 4th corner. It’s a poor allocation of resources if your paying a dude that much to be buried that far down on the depth chart.

          • GEAGLE

            Who the hell wants to make him a safety? You use him in sub packages to match up against different types of weapons…you don’t make him a starting anything!! Sorry, but I’m not just interested in talking about who will be the two starters..I’m concerned with the entire secondary. Not having wastes of space like Marsh..guys that can do different things in different sub packages…btw, he has lined up all over the secondary for the ravens INCLUDING SAFETY!!!

            Lol we are talking about the Colt Anderson role lol…if you think Graham isn’t an upgrade to Colt in every single way possible then I don’t know what to tell you…On a team with Malcom Jenkins!Wolff and Buchanon! I wouldn’t be too worried about Graham playing too much safety. Just a match up weapon…next year I’m expect different packages in Nickle, maybe some dime depending on the safety we add….and I’m sorry, but you just won’t find many better depth plays then Graham….think I care who the hell the 5th safety is? Lol Don’t give a damn if we add this kid or not, but I do EXPECT US to try and sign him

          • GEAGLE

            Taking Boykins spot? Lol Did Kurt Coleman or Colt Anderson take Boykins spot? Lol….he is nothing but a depth addition..Chip will want to fill our depth with players who can back up multiple positions and play really good ST…this kid fits that to a T, and it won’t be expensive,,,he is exactly the type we try to replace Kurt or Colt with

            Geez..wait til I release my offensive name we will go after. Lol dudes will really want to bite my head off then

            I’m sure you reacted this way 365 years ago when ii said we would sign Cary Williams lol….don’t say I didn’t warn you

    • NickS1

      Earl Boykin?!?!?! You mean the point guard?

      • GEAGLE

        Lol hahahahaha not sure what the hell I was drinking yesterday, but I couldn’t get a single name right

    • Token

      Ugh, the time of year where we have to talk ourselves into thinking a guy like Jenkins is a good player. If Jenkins is their answer they may as damn well keep Nate Allen.

      If we are going over bad scenarios, id rather just sign Delmas. He can be this years Kenny Phillips.

  • ohitsdom

    Resign Nate Allen, draft a safety.

    • RIP illa

      Remain bad to mediocre at the position.

      Think you got cutoff while typing, so I finished it for you :-) Really…”A safety”…SMH.

      • ohitsdom

        Nate Allen was serviceable, don’t let his awful years in the terrible wide-9 system poison you against him. Another year in the system and he’d continue to improve. Every team struggles to find safeties, it’s not like good safeties abound in free agency. I’d rather sign Allen and get value then overspend on Byrd and limit what else the team can do. With Allen on the roster, we can continue to develop Wolff and another young safety.

        • RIP illa

          Um…your talking to the wrong guy. I was defending Allen all season long. He finally put together a decent season…yippie!!! Serviceable is just another way of saying he didn’t have many major F ups. It’s nothing to be proud of or to hang ones hat on.

          Would I like Allen back…sure…only as a back up or if we absolutely could not find any other safety, via the draft, FA, or Trade.

          And is there really such a thing as overspending on a player who’s clearly the best at his position, while in his prime??? What would be over spending anyway??? Is Bryd gonna cost us all 20 mil in cap space??? Even if not, is there no way to structure a contract for him that doesn’t completely ruin us going forward??? Are there not certain players who we can restructure or that will be let go next year, who are getting long in the tooth and set to make way more money than they are worth??? Should we just settle for mediocrity and pay a JAG just so we can keep rolling over cap $ year after year???

          Point is…we have cap money now to sign Byrd and/or a player of his caliber and we’ll still have cap money next year and the year after that. It’ll be utterly irresponsible for the team not to make a serious run at him. Bringing Allen back solves nothing. He’s not good at being a centerfielder and not good at being in the box, and is lacking when put in man.

        • Token

          Bull. Allen was about the same junk player hes always been. Many times he was bailed out by bad throws. Out of position or running behind a guy just to have the pass be overthrown.

          I cant wrap my head around this type of thinking. Stand pat, with a known average at best player. Just so we dont overspend to get a elite player? Why the hell do you care what money they spend? Is Lurie taking out a loan from you?

          Not to mention, I would think a decade of not being able to find a safety you tell you what a terrible idea you have going here.

          • ohitsdom

            I care about the money because of the salary cap. We need an OLB that can rush. Our OL is aging, we need a true WR2… I think in our defensive scheme, top money paid to a stud OLB will have more of an impact than a top safety vs a good safety. I think Nate Allen was fine last year, but could continue to grow into a good player in this system. I’m just not excited about paying top dollar for a free agent who had plantar fasciitis in both feet. We’ve seen first-hand how signing top names can be a disaster.

          • Token

            We have like 20 mil in space. Not counting the number of players that will be gone this year and next that free up even more money. Salary cap should be the last of your worries.

            But, you think Nate Allen is a good player…..so theres not much point in trying to reason with you.

          • ohitsdom

            $20 mil in space, Byrd is looking for top $ so would eat up close to half that this year (Goldson got $9 mil his first year), not to mention the impact on future years. I said Allen was “fine” last year, I think he could be good this year (another year in the same system). He’s got the talent, we saw flashes his rookie year. I’d rather keep him and draft a safety. You’d have Allen to start as the rookie took time to develop.

          • Token

            Eagle fans are some of the only fans in sports that think this way. Maybe mediocrity has just been beaten into us for too many years.

            Nate Allen blows. The Eagles have been trying your strategy since Dawkins left. How has that worked out?

          • ohitsdom

            They tried your strategy in 2011. Signing top free agents can be a disaster. Instead of having a knee jerk reaction, let’s build a team that can compete for years.

            You really think Nate Allen blew last year? Are you sure you’re not remembering Chung? He wasn’t a playmaker, but he wasn’t bad. To me, that makes him worth resigning as depth and in case we don’t hit on anyone in the draft.

          • MoreRecentTimes

            You have to worry about the cap b/c you need to think 2-3yrs down the road. Next season Cole, Ryans, Desean, and Cary Williams all make more money than you’d probably want to pay them, to name a few. You’ll want to be in position to replace those guys if need be. Shady’s deal balloons up to $12M. Johnson, Mathis and Herremans all get raises. After that you gotta re-up Foles and the rest of that stelllar 2012 draft class. If Cutler is worth $126M/$54M guaranteed over 7yrs, ($18M per over the 1st 3yrs.),whats Nicky worth? So you see how that $20M cushion needs to be preserved to a certain extent. You also see the importance of finding a few mid level gems in FA. I completely share the “just fix safety for once and for all” sentiment, but you still gotta juggle the big picture.

          • Token

            Cole, Ryans and Cary will all likely be gone by 2015. Herremans gone. Peters gone. Foles wont get a huge deal. Neither will Kelce or Kendricks. Plus theres a number of other bums that will be cut before next year.

            Worrying about the cap as a fan is kind of stupid. Especially with Howie running thing. The cap is nearly the very last thing a Eagles fan should be worried about. Its a weird fetish.

          • MoreRecentTimes

            Ok so you just stated about 5 guys who wont be here in ’15. How do you expect to replace them all? Are we gonna nail all those draft picks this yr and have cheap kids ready to step in? Probably not. So you’re gonna need. …….CAP SPACE!!!! And Foles will be cheap huh? Past few years we’ve seen Eli, Flacco, now Cutler get deals in the $16-20M range, all guys expect Foles to outperform. So tell me why they’ll be able to strike a bargain with him where other teams couldn’t. Granted Eli and Flacco have rings, but Cutller? Difference btwn the $750k Foles gets now, and the $18M he’s got coming is nearly all of what is now cap space. Soon it will be allocated, and a whole new crop of needs will arise. As a fan I need them to use that money as wisely as possible bc I don’t need a title I need a REIGN. I need my Birds in the convo with the 9ers, Steelers, Cowboys, and Pats. So put that in your “striving for mediocrity” pipe and smoke it. Its not all about 2014. They’re not the Phillies.

          • MoreRecentTimes

            ESPN ARTICLE. …… “The Eagles are one of five teams that rolled over more than $10 million in 2013 salary-cap space into 2014. While their 2014 commitments of roughly $123.4 million bring them close to the projected cap ($126-128 million), that $17 million gives them a spending limit of nearly $144 million.

            That means the Eagles don’t have to release any players from their 10-6, division-title-winning team just to get into compliance with the cap. And it means they have more space to add talent than their rivals in the NFC East”……..

            so, there’s that.

    • GEAGLE

      Scared money don’t make money!!!

  • MoreRecentTimes

    Give me Mike Mitchell from Carolina for half the price, bring back Allen and Wolfe, & draft two more one early one late. After Chung and Coleman upgrading is easy. The real quandary is how to improve the pass rush? Can’t touch Cole for another yr. Cox and Thorton, for as solid as they played run defense, only managed 8 sacks. Would you deal any of those guys? I wouldn’t. But improvement is needed. If you’re not satisfied with the pass defense, one surefire way to improve it is to turn up the heat against the qb. If you wanna beat the elite qbs, getting 4 man pressure in paramount. Safety should be simple. A solid professional will do. No need to shell out $9M on Byrd, and Ward aint seeing FA.

    • GEAGLE

      Hahaha Mike Mitchell? Basically the hard hitting version of Nate Allen? The dude who had one decent season in a contract year? ATleast Nate had ACL and Wide 9 excuses…what’s Mitchell’s excuse for underperforming every year but one?

      • MoreRecentTimes

        He was a RAIDER

        • MoreRecentTimes

          Add to that, Carolina got after the qb with a talented front 7 and 2 dynamite ends.

    • Token

      Some people just love mediocrity. Strive for it.

      • MoreRecentTimes

        Others watch teams like the Giants and Seattle dismantle all time great offenses, and understand that the best way to play defense is with the qb on his ass. Secondary is important, but over emphasized in the grand scheme. Battle is won in the trenches. You wanna must spend at all cost position of need? Look at NT.Because our bum ass secondary did a pretty decent job with Brees, Graham, Colston(not to mention Marshall andJefferies), but couldn’t stop the gut punches the Saints delivered in the run game. You’re not getting rid of the ends or OLBs, so the next logical upgrade is in the middle.

  • Bill Frank

    The Bills have more cap room and, I think, can match or franchise Byrd.