With the NFL lockout expected to end on Thursday, July 21, the Eagles will have their work cut out for them to push them over the edge of becoming a real Super Bowl contender. The teams’ most pressing needs are cornerback, defensive end, backup quarterback, backup running back, and linebacker.
The question is, how do the Eagles address these needs while retaining money to resign Michael Vick and Desean Jackson to long-term contracts?
Kevin Kolb, the backup quarterback since being drafted out of Houston in 2007, has requested a trade due to insufficient playing time after losing the starting job to Vick. The Eagles will trade him, but to whom? The Arizona Cardinals have been rumored to be offering a package based around cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
This would solve the issue at cornerback, arguably the Eagles greatest need. If the Eagles do not get Rodgers-Cromartie, the other feasible options would be star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, Cincinnati stud Jonathon Joseph, or 2010 breakout star Brent Grimes.
With Brandon Graham having undergone microfracture surgery, the Eagles must go after a pass rushing specialist for Jim Washburn’s new arsenal. The top two defensive ends on the market are Charles Johnson, who has spent his whole career in Carolina, and Ray Edwards, the right end on Minnesota.
To secure either one of these players could mean over paying, so a cheaper option could include former Eagle Jason Babin. Babin was labeled as a journeyman until last year, where new Eagles defensive line coach, Jim Washburn, turned him into a 10 sack, pass rushing machine in Tennessee. Babin has expressed interest in returning to his former club, so expect rumors of this to start flying.
The Eagles will bring in a veteran quarterback to allow Mike Kafka to season a little bit more. Expect a player such as Marc Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck, or even Donavon McNabb. Yes, that Donavon McNabb.
Other free agents the Eagles may bring in are linebackers Chad Greenway, Rocky McIntosh, or Mike Peterson.
At safety, the Eagles may take a look at veterans Bernard Pollard, Gabril Wilson, or Atari Bigby.
The last step of the Eagles offseason is of course to get the team prepared for the season, along with locking up Desean Jackson and Michael Vick to long-term deals.