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.