By Justin Adkins:
The Eagles are engaging in a little final business before a likely lockout.
Today the team tendered offers to four of their impending free agents (whether they are the retricted or unrestricted variety will depend on if/when a new collective bargaining agreement is finalized) — middle linebacker Stewart Bradley, right guard Max Jean-Gilles, cornerback Dimitri Patterson, and running back Eldra Buckley.
Once the free agent process eventually begins, these players will still be free to sign contracts with other teams; however, if a player signs the tender he will no longer be able to seek a deal with a new team. If a player does indeed sign with someone else, the Eagles will have a week to match the contract signed. If the Eagles choose not to match, the Eagles would receive compensation back based on the level of the tender offered to each player.
For Bradley, that’s a second round pick. Considering they had the option to go higher, requiring a first-rounder back or even a first AND third-rounder, and that Bradley was once considered the future lynchpin of their defense, the lower tender offer is not a great sign for Bradley’s long-term future with the team.
Jean-Gilles was given the original round tender, so if a team signs him away the Eagles would get back a fourth-rounder. If a team signs former undrafted free agents Patterson or Buckley the Eagles get nothing.
Not receiving tenders today are impending free agents Jerome Harrison, Ernie Sims, Ellis Hobbs, Akeem Jordan, Omar Gaither, Sav Rocca, Reggie Wells, Nick Cole, and Antoine Harris.
The Eagles have until 3pm on Thursday to decide on who to tag. It’s very possible they try to have Harrison return in order to back up LeSean McCoy at running back since the former Cleveland Brown looked pretty good in very limited usage, but it’s likely he will seek more playing time elsewhere. It would also be a surprise if they don’t tag Rocca, who is steady if not the spectacular super-leg he was originally sold as.
The rest, including the disappointing Sims and two other former starters at linebacker (hard to believe) Gaither and Jordan are likely goners.
The Eagles linebacker situation is a flat out joke. Good thing they’ve stressed repeatedly that linebacker isn’t a crucial position when deciding how to spend cap dollars. With the cupboard being damn-near bare, Joe Banner and the crew should be assured of another Cap Management Championship if and when a salary cap is re-instituted.
In other news, the Eagles have promoted former University of Delaware quarterback Matt Nagy to offensive quality control coach. You may recall that Nagy was the center of a mini-controversy during training camp in 2009. Kevin Kolb tweaked a knee in August, and Nagy, who had served as a coaching intern in 2008 and was functioning in that same capacity heading into 2009, was signed to play quarterback.
The league almost immediately disapproved the deal, citing problems with a contract Nagy previously had with a team in the defunct AFL. That of course reeked of BS. And in typical Andy Reid fashion, the coach side-stepped addressing the issue.
“[Nagy] just wasn’t approved by the NFL; it wasn’t any more than that,” Reid said at the time. “That’s what that is.”
If the Eagles had been allowed to elevate Nagy from intern to player, an interesting precedent would have been set around the league. Teams theoretically could begin hiring “coaching interns” for every position, in essence circumventing roster limits set by the NFL. It was no surprise the legaue stepped in and said, “uh, no.” Nice try, though.
So don’t expect the 32 year-old assistant to grab a helmet if/when Kevin Kolb is traded and/or Mike Vick gets another rib cracked.
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