Despite the outcome of the 2011 season, it’s hard to deny the excitement before the season started. With a lockout that lasted longer than anyone would have liked, the NFL jumped into an accelerated free agency period.
The rush to sign the top free agents was exciting, but the success the Eagles had in bringing in big names made it even more enjoyable. I still remember exactly where I was when the announcement came through that the Eagles had landed Nnamdi Asomugha.
There’s no denying that Philadelphia was the hotspot for free agents last year. Players wanted to be in Philadelphia and they were willing to take less money in order to do so. Everyone bought into the “all-in” mentality the front office had.
I think one of the best examples was Joselio Hanson. He didn’t start with another organization like some of the others, but he clearly believed in the team. He was cut and came back for less money to a team that already had three corners who have been to the Pro Bowl.
After a season that can simply be described as a disappointment, what will be the mentality of free agents the Eagles are targeting this year? Will players still be willing to take less money to come to Philadelphia?
It seems that the Eagles still have a “win now” mentality. It doesn’t seem like we’re going to see drastic differences between the Eagles of last year. We may see a guy like DeSean Jackson or Asante Samuel moved, but I don’t foresee anything much more drastic than that.
The Eagles brought in a lot of pieces last offseason, but they still have some key additions to make. A veteran safety and or a veteran linebacker would be a useful addition.
What I’m curious to see is whether or not players still believe in the Eagles. Would does a veteran like London Fletcher who has limited time left on his career think of Philadelphia? A guy like Fletcher will want to be in a place where he believes he has a legitimate chance at a championship.
Free agents believed Philadelphia could deliver last year. Will they have the same belief this year?