The Patriots are Brilliant. Except When They Aren’t

Let’s make a quick comparison.

Yesterday, the Eagles traded one of their backup defensive backs, a guy who has virtually no value to them, to the Jets for a 5th round draft pick and (potentially) a 2nd round pick in 2010.

Today, the Patriots traded Matt Cassell, a promising young quarterback who they slapped a franchise tag on worth $15 million, for a single 2nd round pick (if the rumor is true).

Now, maybe this is some sort of personal favor from Belichick to his old buddy Scott Pioli.

But if it’s not, I can’t believe the market for Cassel was this shallow.  I mean, there’s good reason to be skeptical of some of the ridiculous praise thrown at him this year, but still — the Eagles got a 2nd round pick for AJ Feeley at one point!


Update:  After thinking about this for a few more minutes, there’s no way the Patriots do a deal this seemingly imbalanced with any other team.  It pays to have good friends, and Scott Pioli is cashing in.

NFC East News: Giants Upgrade at Linebacker

I’ve been talking for a few weeks about the major problems the Giants have at the linebacker positions, and according to this rumor they’ve started addressing them already.

Michael Boley is a former standout for the Falcons who has been slowed the last two years by injuries and a changing scheme that the Falcons coaching staff didn’t consider him suited for.  He’s still young and has the physical tools to be an asset to any defense.  This signing is a big deal for the Giants.

Eagles News: Stacy Andrews, Your New Right Tackle

I gotta say, with an effort to be an easy-going casual Eagles fan, it’s going to be pretty cool to have brothers mashing people next to each other on the offensive line.  I can only imagine how excited young Shawn and big brother are.

But it is also, almost certainly, the end of the road for two Eagles greats.  And I mean that, greats.  Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan have been absolutely irreplacable during this almost full decade of winning seasons for Philadelphia.  I hope they both are able to enjoy life outside of an Eagles uniform.

This signing, obviously, has a major impact on what the Eagles can and will do in the NFL draft now.  You’ve got to be excited about those two first-round picks, knowing they can be used on skill position guys.  Very cool.

Eagles Rumors: Now They’re Free Agents

Dawkins, Thomas, Runyan.  Clearly, things haven’t quite proceeded as we imagined at this point, maybe not how the Eagles’ front office imagined either.  Still no word on visits to other teams for Thomas or Dawkins, but stay on the lookout.

You’ve read the news on Buckhalter.  Whether or not he ultimately signs with Denver, it’s pretty clear this guy is gone.

Some wild rumors out of St. Louis:  The Eagles will trade for Torry Holt — giving up Reggie Brown and a draft pick.  Don would have a hard time being upset about that.

Cardinals young defensive end Antonio Smith has been invited by the Eagles to come to Philadelphia and visit the NovaCare complex.  That’s a bit surprising, considering the perceived logjam at the position (Cole, Abiamiri, Thomas, Howard, Clemons).  What would the Eagles do with that guy?

Eagles Rumors: Jason Brown (Ravens)

By now you’ve read about it somewhere (I saw it on BGN), a rumor initially floated by Howard Eskin — the Eagles are (not should be, they are) interested in Ravens guard/center Jason Brown.

Here’s what we know about Brown and this rumor.

He’s been in the NFL four years.  He can play both guard and center.  He grabbed the starting job five weeks into his sophomore season and has played in every game since then.  He’s durable.

The rumor, as I said, was floated by Howard Eskin at first.  The conventional wisdom on Eskin is that he can be a mouthpiece for Andy Reid and the Eagles organization.  If that’s the case here, it’s an indication that the Tra Thomas negotiations aren’t going well.  Acquiring Brown means Herremans or Andrews are definitely moving to tackle, probably both of them.  If this comes to fruition, the line may look like (from left to right):  Herremans, Brown, Jackson, MJG, Andrews.

And if this is true it means the Eagles might not need a big, NFL-ready OT in the first round in the April draft.

Eagles Rumors: So, Laveranues Coles

Laveranues ColesThe Jets have released him.  He’s had some pretty awesome seasons, but he’s old (31, same age as TJ Houshmandzadeh).

Would the Eagles consider him?  Well, it’s sort of the same situation as Marvin Harrison, although perhaps a little less acute.  Coles’ best days may be behind him, he’s not really a deep threat like he used to be, and if he’s involved in the offense it could hinder the development of someone rather important the Eagles already have — Desean Jackson.

Here is the data for you to ponder:

2008:  70 receptions, 850 yds, 12.1 ypc, 7 TD , 132 DYAR, 2.0% DVOA
2007:  55 receptions, 646 yds, 11.7 ypc, 6 TD, 130 DYAR, 5.7% DVOA
2006:  91 receptions, 1098 yds, 12.1 ypc, 6 TD, 144 DYAR, -.9 DVOA

He’s been pretty durable, but that tends to diminish with age too.  He might not garner the interest that Houshmandzadeh will, but with the dearth of talent available in the free agency pool, Coles could still end up getting more than a little overpaid.  Will the Eagles like him enough to overpay?

NFC East: Housh Coming to the division?

But not as all those eagles rumors sites have claimed he is.  At least, according to the Sporting News, which says Houshmandzadeh is the #1 free agency target of the Giants.

OK, so that article is nothing more than speculation.   Illogical speculation, actually — the Eagles “top targets” apparently are Tra Thomas followed by Albert Haynesworth (!!!).  Right.

Eagles Recent History: A Distraction from the Soap Opera

I always encourage the taking of joy from your rivals’ misery.  So with that in mind:

Eagles-Giants Game Review:  Better Late Than Never [Big Blue Interactive]

Highly Recommended.

Eagles Cheerleaders: Wait, was there an application process for this?

How did I miss this last year?  Did anyone else in the Birds blogosphere comment on it? 

The judges at the 2008 audition show included (from left) ex-Eagle Brian Baldinger, Maryann Wenger of NFL Films, and Barbara Zaun, the Eagles’ director of cheerleading.

How did Baldinger get that gig?  Did he have to beat anyone out for it?  Does he get to do it again this year?  Dammit, can’t we get Michael Smith on this case?

And because it’s very, very important to know what we’re talking about, here’s a photo from last year’s “Pre-Audition Workshop”.   The 2009 version opens this week.

Eagles Cheerleaders Workout

Image courtesy of

Eagles Rumors: Marvin Harrison

Yeah, I suppose we might as well address the elephant in the room.  It looks like the Colts are on the verge of cutting Marvin Harrison, and if they do there’s all sorts of speculation he might want to return home and play for Philadelphia.

If the Colts do release him, here’s what the Eagles might be thinking are the positives:

This guy seems like the type to get motivated when cut.  He’s reuniting with another ‘Cuse alum and would work his tail off to regain his form.  He has always been able to make incredible catches, one of the best ever.  He would sell a TON OF JERSEYS.

And the drawbacks:

He’s little.  Did you watch him last year?  He was terrible and looked like he was moving at half-speed.  There’s that whole “shooting” thing.  It could hamper the development of Jackson.  He’s not exactly a locker room sweetheart.

So what do you think?

Should the Eagles pursue Marvin Harrison if he’s cut?

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