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The Falcons story said Atlanta traded an undisclosed draft pick, but the Eagles official Twitter account said it was a seventh-round pick.
Earlier, it was reported that Samuel had agreed to a restructured contract, which seemed to make the trade all but official. Now it is official. From the story on the Falcons' team site:
"We are pleased to be able to add a player of Asante's caliber to our roster," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "Asante has established himself as a very productive player during his career. He is a proven player in this league and we feel that this move upgrades the talent of our roster and improves our football team.
Since 2006, Asante Samuel has a league-leading 38 interceptions. He started all 14 games he appeared in last season, but his sizable contract has had him on the trading block for a long time. As mentioned above, the Eagles now have 10 picks in this year's draft, which begins tomorrow.
The NFL Network's Albert Breer first reported Samuel's restructured deal, which reportedly will pay the cornerback $18.5 million over the next three seasons. Samuel was slated to earn $21.5 million with the Eagles the next two years, so the deal represents a significant pay cut, but it's unlikely he would have seen all of that money anyway.
Though it's currently unclear exactly what the Falcons will provide the Eagles in return for Samuel, Adam Schefter -- the first to report that the trade was close -- reports that Philadelphia will likely receive a late-round NFL Draft pick.
For more updates on Asante Samuel, check back to this SB Nation Philly StoryStream. Meanwhile, for more on the Eagles, be sure to check out our blog Bleeding Green Nationand SB Nation Philly for all the latest news and updates.
With the 2012 NFL Draft quickly approaching, the Philadelphia Eagles are running out of time to trade veteran corner back Asante Samuel for a low-round draft pick. Luckily for the Eagles, the trade rumors are swirling and it seems as they're some teams interested in trading for the former All-Pro, one of them being the Atlanta Falcons, says FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer. Glazer says the Eagles and Falcons have held talks over the past couple days.
Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos, who were reportedly one of the original teams interested in acquiring Samuel, has slowly lost interest and has backed-out of talks, says ESPN.com's Adam Schefter.
If Samuel is traded, it is likely to happen before or during the 2012 draft, which gets underway this Thursday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
For more updates on Asante Samuel, check back to this SB Nation Philly StoryStream. Meanwhile, for more on the Eagles, be sure to check out our blog Bleeding Green Nation and SB Nation Philly for all the latest news and updates.
One of the teams interested in Samuel, the Denver Broncos, are apparently prepared to give the Eagles that pick.
The Denver Post first reported the Broncos' interest in the four-time Pro Bowler. According to the Post, Denver had two offers on the table - one involving a fifth or sixth round pick in next week's draft, the other for an unnamed player.
The Eagles were believed to be seeking a third or fourth round pick for Samuel, but they are willing to take less than that, according to two NFL sources.
One thing that is holding up the deal is Samuel himself. He is still interested in restructuring his contract and not reportedly interested in what Denver wants from him.
However, the Broncos no longer believe they can strike a deal, even though trade talks advanced to the stage where the team presented two proposals - one for a late-round draft pick and the other involving a player.
The 31 year old cornerback has been subject of trade rumors since the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency 2011. He has two years left on his contract and is owed 21.5 million dollars.
Even at his advanced age, Samuel is still a quality cornerback. He allowed only two touchdowns last season, intercepted three passed and deflected six others. Quarterbacks had a cumulative QB rating of 52.4 against him in 2011.
The Philadelphia Eagles are reportedly still looking to deal veteran cornerback Asante Samuel (via ESPN). Samuel has been on the trading block basically since last season. Samuel's demands, specifically for a long-term deal, have reportedly killed two recent trade deals (via Matt Alkire's Twitter).
The Eagles have been talking to several teams about sending Samuel their way recently. Philadelphia appears to want to make a deal before the 2012 NFL Draft, which starts next week. Samuel has previously said that he wants to remain an Eagle. He also showed up at the team's voluntary workouts which began this week.
Samuel is due to make $9.9 million this season. He's made 367 tackles (330 solo), 45 interceptions and scored five touchdowns in a nine-year career that spans playing for the New England Patriots and the Eagles.
Landri agreed this morning to a one-year contract with the terms yet to be disclosed. The 28-year-old will help provide a nice rotation at defensive tackle for the Eagles, along with Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon and Cullen Jenkins.
In 2011, Landri recorded 43 tackles and two sacks in only 12 games including a team-leading eight behind the line of scrimmage. While he doesn't get major notoriety, Landri is a very valuable piece for Andy Reid and his squad to use as very nice depth and the occasional spot-starter.
After spending his first three seasons as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Landri bounced to Carolina before joining the Eagles last season.
A former fifth round pick out of Notre Dame, Landri had the best year of his career by far and might be someone for Philly fans to watch in 2012.
Demetress Bell will have big shoes to fill in Philadelphia as he replaces injured All Pro Jason Peters at LT. However, the situation is pretty familiar to him given that he was the guy tapped to replace Peters when the Bills traded to him Philly.
"It happened in Buffalo," said Bell. "They are some big shoes to fill, and I’m not afraid of competition at all. I do think I can get the job done. That’s what they’re going to bring me in to do and I’m sure that I can handle that."
After taking no less than 5 free agent visits, Bell says he settled on the Eagles because of his comfort with the organization and the chance to work with Howard Mudd.
"Sitting down with the coaching staff and being comfortable with the organization starts off first. To play for an organization, you have to be comfortable with your coaches and your general manager, etc. As soon as I got here, I talked to Mr. Howie Roseman and Mr. Jeffrey Lurie and they welcomed me with open arms. [Offensive line] Coach [Howard] Mudd, I shouldn’t have to say much about Coach Mudd, but I think that’s a great fit for me and my athletic ability. It was a hard decision, but hands down at the end of the day for me and my family, what I can get out of this organization was a hands down decision."
Offensive line coach Howard Mudd took Bell out to dinner his first night in Philly and filled him in on the differences between what he did in Buffalo and what he’ll need to do in Philly. Bell says that he thinks Mudd’s scheme will fit him well.
"First off, I’ll just say pass protection. In Buffalo, the technique was very set and we would just go straight back. With coach Mudd, coach Mudd’s technique is sitting wider and keeping the pocket in a circle shape. In Buffalo, you just set straight back, but with coach Mudd it’s more of a basketball technique in your defensive position and that’s how I look at it. I think that will really benefit me."
Finally, what about the name change? For his entire career he’s been known as “Demetrius Bell,” but now his first name is spelled “Demetress?”
"Chad Ochocinco’s case…you make me feel like Chad Ochocinco [joking]. It wasn’t a big deal. It was spelled [the ending] ‘tress’ on my birth certificate and I had never paid attention and had been spelling it ‘trius’. They wanted to correct that and we did. It’s not a big deal. I just wanted to correct that and get it right though. I fixed it now."
More: On Bell signing
This is a huge move for Philadelphia after Jason Peters went down last week with a potentially season-ending achillies tendon injury. Peters is arguably the best left tackle in the game and while Bell certainly isn't that, he provides stability until Peters can return.
"Demetress was one of the top free agent offensive linemen available this year and we are happy to be able to add him to our squad," said Andy Reid. "We had a chance to meet him over the weekend and study him extensively on tape and we came away quite impressed with what we saw and heard. He's a great athlete."
Bell spent the first three seasons of his career in Buffalo on a much-maligned offensive line. Once Peters comes back, Bell will become great depth and/or competition for Todd Herremans on the right side.
This also frees up the draft for Andy Reid and the Eagles. Many people around the league were speculating whether or not Philly would have to take a tackle early.
Now with that problem solved, the Eagles can take a player who will fit in better long-term.
Bills free-agent OT Demetrius Bell is visting the Eagles late this afternoon.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 31, 2012
This comes one day after Jason Peters – the Eagles left tackle – ruptured his Achillies tendon and is likely to miss at least half of the 2012 season, if not more.
Pro Football Focus graded Peters as, far and away, the best tackle in the NFL last season with a grade of +27.6 on their grading scale. The next highest tackle was Dave Steward at +14.7, to give you an idea of how dominant Peters was.
As for Bell, PFF ranked him as the 17th best offensive tackle, tied with Jared Gaither, with a rating of +6.8
Via CSN Philly:
McCoy was a second round selection of the Eagles in 2009 and finished third in the NFL in rushing last season, with 1309 yards. He also scored a league high 17 rushing touchdowns and added 48 receptions out of the backfield.
However; according to Pro Football Focus, a scouting site that watches – allegedly – every play from every NFL grade and assigns each player on the field an individual grade based on their contribution on a specific play, ranked McCoy as the 10th best running back, overall.
According to PFF, the reason McCoy graded so low was his contributions in the passing game, where he came in as the 42nd ranked running back. From a pure rushing perspective, he was the highest ranked RB. His low ranking in the passing game and as a blocker hindered his overall grade as a running back.
Dunlap was a seventh round pick of the Eagles in 2008 – the 230th overall selection. He appeared in eight games for the Eagles last season, with two starts – one against the Bills in week five, and against the Arizona Cardinals in week 10. He allowed no sacks or hits, and only two quarterback pressures in 147 snaps.
In 2010, Dunlap started five games. He was also an injury sub in a game against the Niners – a game in which Pro Football Focus graded him as a -4.9 on their scale.
The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reports that Bell, who was released by the Miami Dolphins last week, has drawn interest from the Eagles. The Dolphins are also expected to maintain contact with Bell, and could look to bring him back.
Bell, 34, has spent eight seasons in the NFL, all with the Miami Dolphins. The 2009 Pro Bowler, who was originally drafted by the Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Eastern Kentucky, had 107 tackles during the 2011 season to go along with two sacks, one interception and four passes defensed.
For his entire career, Bell has 560 tackles, 11 sacks, six interceptions and 43 passes defensed.
Perhaps the Philadelphia Eagles aren't that close to trading Asante Samuel, as Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean recently put out a succession of tweets that has tempered some of the buzz surrounding a potential trade.
Wyatt denies the CSN Philly report that a deal is near to send Samuel to the Titans, stating that although Tennessee does have lukewarm interest in acquiring him, there's "no way" they'd ship a third round pick in exchange for his services.
Samuel is on the block as the Eagles work to re-allocate salary cap resources. Both he and Nnamdi Asomugha are due to have cap hits around $11 million for the upcoming season, and it's likely necessary he'll have to restructure his deal for a trade to be consummated.
Should Samuel be traded, the Eagles will likely insert Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie into the starting lineup.
A league source told Titan Insider's Terry McCormick that the cornerback-hungry Titans are considering Samuel as one of their options, though they could also choose to build secondary depth through the 2012 NFL Draft.
McCormick reports that the Eagles are looking to net at least a third-round draft choice in any Samuel trade, and the cornerback's contract could also be an obstacle to any deal.
Samuels' agent, Alonzo Shavers, said he is allowing the Eagles to examine the trade market without his input.
"At this point, the Philadelphia Eagles are driving the train. They don't have to do anything," Shavers said. "They have always been very professional about their business and we would expect them to continue to be."
Shavers added that, "At this point, nothing has materialized," regarding any move for Samuel, and that he and his client would likely be informed only if and when the possibility of a trade becomes serious.
LA Times football writer Sam Farmer is reporting that Andy Reid not only had threatened to quit unless he got more control over personnel matters, but was also interested in free agent QB Peyton Manning.
Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Eagles and St. Louis Rams are possible destinations for Barber if he is indeed released by the Bears. It's been assumed all along that Barber, who is set to make almost $2 million next season, will be let go by the Bears at some point, and the team's free agency signing of Michael Bush only seems like another force pushing Barber out the door.
Barber appeared in 11 games last season, mostly as Matt Forte's backup, rushing for 422 yards with six touchdowns on 3.7 yards per carry. The 28-year old has played seven seasons, the first six with the Dallas Cowboys.
The newest Eagle DeMeco Ryans met the Philly media for the first time today and expressed his surprise and excitement after being traded by the Texans after 7 seasons. Ryans said he had no idea a trade was coming and was preparing for another season in Houston, but he was excited to learn that he’d be coming to a team as successful as the Eagles have been in recent years.
Andy Reid told reporters that considers Ryans to be "one of the top 4-3 middle linebackers in the NFL" and that having Ryans is "like having a QB on the defensive side of the ball." The coach says that Ryans’ experience will be important for the Eagles young LB corps.
Ryans said he was looking forward to getting back in a 4-3 defense, where he says he’s a natural fit inside. He’s played MIKE in a 4-3 since high school, but when the Texans shifted a 3-4 last season, he was clearly miscast as a weakside backer in that scheme. He says he’s looking forward to being back in natural position.
As for the Achillies injury that he suffered in 2010, Ryans admitted that it it did slow him at the beginning of last year, but at the end of the season he was feeling like his old self again. He declared that he’s back to 100% now.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman says that the team believes DeMeco played his best football in the playoffs last year. They had also went back and looked at tape of him playing in a 4-3 system when the Texans played the NFC East 2 years ago and were impressed by what they saw.
Ryans is a two-time pro bowler who is not only a leader, but one of the more productive middle linebackers in the NFL since his rookie year of 2006. A perfect 4-3 fit, Ryans will bring the talent and tenacity this unit needs.
However, the Eagles did more than just fill a need. By attaining Ryans, they now open up possibilities with their first round pick.
Before, most felt Philly was handcuffed to taking a linebacker if one was available. However, Andy Reid and co. can now explore other options including the offensive line.
The only risk in this trade is whether or not Ryans returns to his pre-injured form. Ryans tore his Achilles tendon in 2010 and only recorded 64 tackles last season in 16 games. It also must be pointed out that he was playing in a 3-4 for the first time though as well, so the adjustment couldn't have been easy.
Previous to 2010, his lowest tackle total was 112. No matter what, the Eagles took a gamble they simply couldn't turn down.
The Eagles pulled off one of the more surprising moves of the offseason when they traded for two time pro bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans. Head coach Andy Reid says that Ryans will be a great fit in the Eagles 4-3 set up.
“DeMeco is a proven Pro Bowl linebacker in this league and we’re excited to be able to plug him into the middle of our defense,” said Eagles head coach Andy Reid. “He’s been the signal caller and a leader on a very good Texans defense for the last several years. He’s a tough, instinctive football player and he’ll be a great fit for our team.”
GM Howie Roseman said that when they learned Ryans was available, they moved quick.
“We’re thrilled to be able to add a young and productive linebacker in DeMeco Ryans,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “We’d like to thank [Houston general manager] Rick Smith and the Texans. Once we found out that he could be available to us in a trade, we quickly found a way to work together to produce a good outcome for both teams.”
Texans’ GM Rick Smith also released a statement paying tribute to Ryans.
“DeMeco Ryans contributed significantly toward helping us build the foundation we hope will bring a world championship to the city of Houston,” Smith said in a statement distributed by the team. “His professionalism and leadership cannot be over-exaggerated. This move was mutually beneficial for the Texans immediate and long-term goals, DeMeco’s career, and the Philadelphia Eagles. We appreciate all the hard work and effort DeMeco invested in our organization and wish him only the best moving forward. He is a class act.”
Jay Glazer is reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles have acquired LB DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans for a fourth round pick in next month's draft. The two teams have also swapped 3rd rounders this year. Ryans is a two time pro bowler and represents a major upgrade for the Eagles, who have struggled to find a consistent starting middle linebacker since Jeremiah Trotter left nearly 10 years ago.
Ryans was miscast the past two seasons in Houston as the team transitioned from a 4-3 to a 3-4, where Ryans never adapted to playing the weakside. In Philadelphia, he'll be back at MIKE where he was most successful. Perhaps as important as his level of play, Ryans brings a veteran presence and leadership to a very young and inexperienced Eagles LB crew.
He did injure his achillies and missed part of 2010, but was healthy all of last season and hasn't been a guy who has proven to be injury prone in his career. He does bring a monster contract with him that will pay him a base salary of $5.9 million next season, $6.6m in 2013 and $6.8 in 2014 & 2015. However, none of that money is guarnateed.
It's a big get for the Eagles and a dramatic upgrade to their LB corps.
The Eagles agreed to a new five year deal with LG Evan Mathis, who enjoyed a breakout season last year with the club. Mathis, who had been a backup/part time starter for most of his career, thrived under the tutelage of legendary offensive line coach Howard Mudd. Mathis said that Mudd's presence played a large part in his decision to return.
"For this year, it was a huge factor," said Mathis. "Coming into camp, with all of the strides that I made last year, I believe I signed on July 31st and was held out of camp a few days because the CBA wasn't finalized yet. I had a late start, and I still made so much progress over the course of the year and I think I had a pretty decent year. There is still so much room for improvement. I know that I can do that and we as an offensive line can do that under Howard Mudd."
Mathis actually took a free agent visit to Baltimore and was asked by reporters how close he was to signing with the Ravens and leaving Philadelphia.
"It was kind of close. I was kind of the hostage in the castle for a couple of days [joking]. It wasn't like I was picking between any bad organizations. It's two organizations that do things the right way and are winning organizations. [Baltimore general manager] Ozzie Newsome has built incredible teams over the years. When it came down to it, it was kind of close but my heart was just here."
Mathis said that in the end, his familiarity with the team and the system here is what swayed him.
"I knew exactly what I had here. I knew the family atmosphere, the talent on the team, the talent on the coaching staff and the front office, and the direction the organization was headed. I knew exactly what was here. I know the history of the Ravens and that they're a good team, but being on the inside here and being able to resurrect my career here really put it over the top for me."
Tim McManus of 97.5 The Fanatic reports that Garrard has interest in joining the Eagles, but the size of his contract could turn Philadelphia away.
Garrard, 34, sat out the 2011 season to recover from a herniated disk. Prior to that he played nine seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, accumulating 16,003 passing yards, 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions on 61.6 percent passing.
During the 2010 season, Garrard earned career highs in completion percentage (64.5) and touchdown passes (23) despite missing two games. The dual-threat also ran for a career-high five scores in 2010, giving him 17 career rushing touchdowns.
Gibson, a guard-center, was a 2008 sixth-round draft pick of the Eagles before spending parts of the last three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. He appeared in Seattle's final three games during the 2011 season after playing in 14 games, including eight starts, the prior season.
Vallos, a center-guard, was a 2007 draft choice of the Seahawks and spent the entire 2007 season on the team's practice squad. He spent the last four seasons with the Seahawks (2008-09) and the Cleveland Browns (2010-11), appearing in 40 contests, including eight starts.
The Eagles solidified their offensive line on Saturday, when the team agreed to a five-year, $27 million deal with guard Evan Mathis.
Eagles and free-agent G @evanmathis69 reached agreement on a 5-year deal, $25 million deal, including $7 mil gtd. Mathis back in Philly.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2012
Evan Mathis tweeted shortly after Schefter, claiming he wants the food and other incentives Eagles fans offered him.
To all the Eagles fans who offered me various food and incentives to return... I've come to collect. #FLY— Evan Mathis (@EvanMathis69) March 17, 2012
Mathis was one of the best offensive guards in the NFL last season, and became well-known from his complete body transformation during the NFL Lockout. According to Pro Football Focus, Mathis was the best guard in the NFL in 2011, receiving a grade of +34.6.
The final piece of the Eagles “taking care of their own” plan this offseason would seem to be LG Evan Mathis. They picked him up on a 1 year veteran’s minimum deal last offseason and he went on to have a fantastic year, forming one of the most effective left sides in football with all pro Jason Peters. Due to a new rule in the CBA, the Eagles could not sign Mathis to an extension prior to the start of free agency, so he’s hit the open market.
He drew reported interest from the Colts and Buccaneers, but it was the Ravens who appear to have scored his only visit. Baltimore offered him what he described as “a nice deal” but he left town without signing. He told reporters that he would be flying home to Arizona to make his decision. Presumably, that’s between the Eagles and Ravens right now.
CSNPhilly’s Ruben Frank cited a league source which says that Eagles offered to beat the offer made by the Ravens. He also says that Mathis could make his decision as early as tonight.
DeSean Jackson met the media today just hours after putting pen to paper on a new 5 year, $51 million deal that will keep him in Eagles green until 2017. Jackson said that he was confident a deal would get done despite all the doubts in the media.
“I want to take my hat off Howie Roseman and coach Andy Reid for believing in me regardless of what anybody said. When everybody was saying it wasn’t possible for me to get a long term deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, or he’s going to get a one-year deal until he can prove himself, Andy Reid and Howie Roseman stepped up to the plate. Basically, with myself, I’m accountable for it and I gave them my word that I’m going to come here and do what I can do to put everything on the line. They gave me their word, and everything else was set. I’m happy to be here and I wouldn’t want to see myself anywhere else.”
Jackson says he sees a bright future for himself and the Eagles, even going so far as to guarantee a Super Bowl at some point over the life of his new deal.
I just feel that my destiny with the Eagles is very bright and I’m still happy that I have five bright years to look for. In one of those years, I’m going to guarantee a Super Bowl because we’ve been close the past four years that I’ve been here. Last year, with it being a tough year, just the way we caught on fire towards the end of the year, I see this team as the sky being the limit."
Going forward, DeSean says not to expect to hear him looking for a new deal just because someone else signed for big money.
"As players, you always try and compare deals and see what other players make and this and that. Throughout my contract situation, I felt good with what was on the table. I didn’t want to pass that up. With the relationship that I have with the Eagles, I would rather take the opportunity than go anywhere else. Regardless of what money I could have got or how much more, whatever the case may be, I’m comfortable and I’m not greedy. I still have ways in my contract of making whatever I’m worth. As long as I go out there and play at the level I know I’m capable of playing at, with the money, the sky is the limit. That’s not the problem. I’m just here to play football, have fun and give this city a Super Bowl. When that comes, everything else goes."
The Eagles and DeSean Jackson finally agreed on a long term deal. The contract gives each side something it wanted. Now the focus becomes how Jackson handles his new wealth. The Eagles are hoping that it will affect him in a positive way and get him on the right track.
The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Eagles free agent LG Evan Mathis is set to visit the Baltimore Ravens today. With the team likely to lose G Ben Grubbs, they could look to Mathis to fill that void.
The 31 year old Mathis is coming off a fantastic year in which he and Jason Peters formed arguably the best left side in the NFL. It was only Mathis’ first year as a starter after spending several years with the Bengals as a backup/fill in guy.
The Philadelphia Eagles placed the franchise tag (worth over $9.5 million) on wide receiver DeSean Jackson earlier this offseason. Today, they have reportedly signed him to a long-term deal worth $51 million over 5 seasons.
Filed to ESPN: Eagles gave Jackson an five-year, $51-million deal.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2012
Eagles head coach Andy Reid said in a statement on Wednesday
"We are thrilled to be able to keep one of the NFL's top playmakers in Philadelphia," Eagles coach Andy Reid said in a statement Wednesday. "DeSean is a game breaker, he has the speed and ability to score from anywhere on the field, and he has proven himself to be a big threat for our offense. Signing our own players was a big priority for us this offseason and DeSean was certainly high on our list. We are very excited about his future as an Eagle." (via ESPN)
Jackson is coming off of a bit of a subpar year (58 catches, 961 yards, 4 touchdowns and 17 punt returns for 114 yards) by his standards in which he was also a source of drama for the Eagles.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Eagles free agent LG Evan Mathis is drawing interesting from the Colts and Redskins. There are no reports of a schedule visit or even a contract offer, but it would appear that the market for Mathis is starting to heat up.
The 31 year old Mathis is coming off a fantastic year in which he and Jason Peters formed arguably the best left side in the NFL. It was only Mathis’ first year as a starter after spending several years with the Bengals as a backup/fill in guy.
The Colts will obviously be looking for as much protection for Andrew Luck as they can find and the Redskins can use help anywhere on their offensive line they can find it. Like the Colts, they’ll be looking to protect their prized rookie QB, presumed to be Robert Griffin III.
The Eagles are also still reportedly interested in bringing Mathis back.
The Philadelphia Eagles are a busy team this Wednesday morning.
After signing Trent Cole to a four-year extension earlier, the Eagles have now dealt Winston Justice and a sixth round pick in 2012 to the Indianapolis Colts for their sixth round pick in April's NFL Draft, according to Eagles Insider.
This move was mainly executed for financial reasons. Philadelphia saves more than four million dollars in each of the next two seasons by getting Justice out of town. The Eagles also move up from 15th to second in the sixth round with the deal.
Justice isn't a big loss for Philly. After being a starter in 2009 and 2010, Justice only appeared in six games last season and started just one.
The 27-year-old right tackle perhaps will be best remembered when the Giants dismantled him and in turn Donovan McNabb on Sunday Night Football back in 2007. New York piled up 12 sacks, many of which were at Justice's expense.
Head coach Andy Reid understands just how valuable Cole is to this franchise.
"Trent plays the game with a level of tenacity that's hard to replicate," said Andy Reid. "He's one of the premier DEs in the league. We have always said that when you watch the tape, it's hard to tell the difference between his first play and his last play. And as good as he is rushing the passer, he is equally as good against the run. His energy is contagious on the field."
This is a big move for the Eagles, who are looking to bounce back from a disastrous 2011 season that saw the "Dream Team" go 8-8.
While Cole wasn't a free agent this year, the contract was a proactive move to make sure he doesn't slip through the cracks going forward.
Cole is without question a piece to the championship puzzle, so now Philly has one less problem to worry about in the future.
The move would certainly be in line with the Eagles apparent philosophy of taking care of their own this offseason. Todd Herremans was the first to re-up and at his press conference today, he said that this is a priority for Eagles GM Howie Roseman.
"The Eagles have been known for a while as a team that doesn’t take care of their draft picks and pays everyone else’s as picks and players," said Herremans. "I think they’re trying to change that stigma that they have. Howie’s very concentrated on taking care of their own and wanting players to be Eagles their entire career."
DeSean Jackson & LeSean McCoy are both obvious candidates to get new deals from the Eagles this offseason as well. Among the free agents, the team will reportedly look to bring back LG Evan Mathis and DT Derek Landri.
ESPN is reporting this as well.
Sal Pal reports Eagles finalizing contract extension with Trent Cole. Numbers are set, just working on language. Expected to be done soon.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2012
Prior to free agency, all the reports were that the Eagles would not be players for the very top of the free agent market. However, Jason La Canfora is reporting that they are pushing to get a visit from Saints LG Carl Nicks, one of the top 3-5 free agents available.
It is worth nothing that his report is being refuted by virtually every local Eagles reporter. So take this one with a big old grain of salt.
Nicks is widely seen as the best OG in the NFL and has been named an All Pro in each of the last two seasons. If the Eagles locked up a deal with him, they'd easily have the best left side in the NFL, if not the best offensive line period.
It would be a major move for major money. He has already said that he plans on being the highest paid Guard in the NFL. It would also likely mean the end of Evan Mathis in Philly... Then again, if they signed Carl Nicks, so what?
They've got some major competition however, as it is also being reported that Tampa Bay, who has over $40 million in caps space, is also after Nicks.
A few hours before the NFL's Free Agent period officially began Tuesday, the Philadelphia Eagles signed offensive linemen Todd Herremans to a contract extension that will keep him in Philly until 2016, says reports. Herremans, who was drafted and has played for the Eagles since 2005, reportedly signed a three-year extension for $21 million with $11 million being guaranteed.
Last year, after playing most of his career at guard, Herremans was moved to right tackle when the Eagles lost starter Winston Justice and signed Ryan Harris. During his tenure as an Eagle, Herremans has started in 89 of his 91 games.
With NFL free agency set to begin in 8 hours, the rumor mill is quickly heating up and it appears that the Eagles may be close to shoring up one of their big needs at LB. Pete Prisco of CBS says he "keeps hearing Dan Connor to Eagles will be done."
Connor is a four year NFL vet who has spent his whole career with the Panthers. He hasn't played a ton thanks in large part to injuries, but did take over the starting job last season when Jon Beason went down. He proved to be a capable run defender, but actually played less than half of Carolina's defensive snaps. That certainly means that they didn't see him as an every down LB. As Sheil Kapadia points out, 68% of his snaps came against the run.
Connor would not likely come at a big price, so it could be that the Eagles are looking at the Penn State product as more of a situational type player. It may not be the home run type move some may have liked to see, but there can be no doubt that the team will be stronger against the run with Connor in the middle than pretty much anyone they have now. Plus, this type of move would not rule out the chance of them taking a LB early in the draft.
DeSean Jackson is expected to sign the Philadelphia Eagles' franchise tag Tuesday. The receiver was welcoming when news first broke that he would be given the designation. The move allows the Eagles time to work out a long term deal over the course of the season, as well as give Jackson a much-needed pay raise this season.
Perhaps more importantly, Jackson will undergo a full offseason of training. He had one of his worst seasons in his four-year career last year, though was still productive with 58 catches for 961 yards and four touchdowns. He was a source of drama as well, though with more money in a contract year could come a return to Jackson's 2009 form.
The Eagles won't know how much Jackson's franchise tender is worth until after the likes of Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston and Laurent Robinson have signed on with teams. Once Jackson signs the tag, the designation cannot be removed.
The Eagles top need heading into free agency and the draft is linebacker. This is really not even something up for debate. In fact, you could argue that they'd benefit from an upgrade to all three LB spots, but in the middle is where most of the speculation has centered. One of the names that's been floated out is Panthers LB Dan Connor. Geoff Mosher is reporting that the former Penn State Nittany Lion will be one of the Eagles targets when free agency opens tomorrow.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the report is the revelation that the Eagles attempted to trade for him last season.
All sources interviewed confirmed that the Eagles were interested enough in Connor last August to approach the Panthers about a trade, but Carolina’s uncertainty regarding the health of Pro Bowl middle linebacker Jon Beason made the Panthers reluctant to pull the trigger.
Mosher cites a couple sources in the story, one of which says that Connor is a target, but is not the Eagles top choice to fill their LB hole.
Connor is only 26 with four years of NFL experience, but hasn't really played a ton nor has he ever been all that productive. Injuries have been a big issue for Connor, he tore his ACL and missed most of his rookie year and missed half of 2010 as well... He even missed the combine due to injuries. That said, when Jon Beason went down last year, Connor did step in and play 15 games for the Panthers. He has one career sack, one career forced fumble and has never intercepted a pass.
He probably does represent an upgrade over what the Eagles currently have and likely he won't even be terribly expensive. That said, this wouldn't be a game changing move if it happened. It's solid, with upside as far as him realizing his potential... but also with some downside risk as far as his injury history.
LaRon Landry & Dan Connor are a few of the names the Eagles have rumored to be interested in.
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