Two weeks ago the Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to use their 11 draft picks to catapult themselves back to the top of the NFC. After weeks of speculation Andy Reid and Co. had the chips available to land a true #1 receiver in the form of Chad Johnson, Roy Williams or Anquan Boldin didn’t they?
But to the disappointment of many, the Birds traded away their first round choice for essentially the Carolina Panthers’ first-round choice next season. The silver lining in this deal was the acquisition of projected first rounder wide receiver/return specialist DeSean Jackson, with their second choice in the 2nd round, thus filling a need on special teams.
Oh! And in case you haven’t heard, Lito Sheppard is still an Eagle.
Andy Reid is thinking ahead…too far ahead for my comfort.
I’m trying to figure out what Andy Reid was thinking when the Carolina Panthers dangled next season’s first round pick in front of him for thier 19th selection overall. Did he really believe that no one was available at #19 that could help the Eagles right now? Was this move part of a bigger deal down the road to gain an impact player? If so, I can live with that. Or is it about money, and their lack of committment to pay out first round contracts. Could it even mean with this presumably being Donovan McNabb’s last season in Philly, Reid is beginning to put the pieces in place to build around his backup Kevin Kolb. With eleven draft picks and a Pro Bowl cornerback on the trading block, the Eagles could have and should have controlled this draft, but instead they walk away with one maybe two players that will see significant time this season.
Has Andy Reid once again left Donovan McNabb out in the cold???
Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook have made it known that the Eagles were not that far from the Super Bowl and that adding some playmakers would push them closer to that goal. While free agent cornerback acquisition Asante Samuel and Jackson will solidify the secondary and return game, I don’t think that’s what they had in mind.
For weeks there was speculation that the Eagles were hot on the trails of a #1 receiver the rumored deals went from New England Patriot Randy Moss to Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald to Cincinnatti’s disgruntled Chad Johnson and anyone else in between. Once the draft was over and all we walked away with was DeSean Jackson, I wasn’t too encouraged. The Eagles also picked up running back Lorenzo Booker in a deal with the Miami Dolphins, Booker will more than likely be given the chance to beat out Correll Buckhalter for the backup spot to Westbrook. However the fact remains that there have been no significant changes to an offense that has a quarterback that is still one of the best in the League when he’s healthy and the games best player from scrimmage in terms of yardage. So why not look to add a gamebreaking receiver to the mix? We can go back and forth about Terrell Owens and how he left the team in “shambles”, but before things went south hard to stop and fun to watch. What doesn’t Andy Reid understand?
Either get this man some help or expect a shortened career.
So far free agency and the draft have been used to address the defense and special teams, which was definitely needed and they’ve taken a flyer on some offensive linemen but we may not hear about theses guys til ’09. Has the franchise given up on the possibility of obtaining a true #1 receiver we’ll know in July when training camp begins?
Finally, we come to Lito Sheppard who has been in lame duck status since Asante Samuel inked a 6-year $57 million dollar deal in February. Sheppard was all but gone on draft day, there were rumors that had him going to the N.O. Saints for wideout Devery Henderson or offensive tackle Jammal Brown, neither materialized and according to Reid there were offers throughout the day but nothing he felt that was worth giving up Sheppard.
(The Honolulu Advertiser)
Sheppard was at the team’s mandatory mini-camp and was for the most part incognito, there has been the discussion of restructuring the deals of fellow corner Sheldon Brown, Westbrook and Sheppard who has 4 years left on his deal. The one person who seems happiest in all of this is defensive coordinator Jimmy Johnson who relishes in the possibility of having three Pro-Bowl caliber cornerbacks. Johnson has several packages divised to have all three on the field at once, not only in three-wide situations but also run downs. Samuel and Sheppard would play outside and Brown would go inside, sort of like a quasi-safety, lightening the load on safety Brian Dawkins allowing him to play centerfield in the passing game.
For what it’s worth this is Donovan McNabb’s swan song in Philadelphia (provided Kolb grasps the offense) and the farewell tour has gotten off to a rough start. Maybe Andy Reid is hoping that Cincy will just give up on Ocho Cinco and cave in, or that the Lions will take the first round pick next season for Roy Williams. Whatever the case may be, he needs to give McNabb enough tools to work with and to this point he has not. Sure McNabb will say that, “I asked for playmakers, not receivers.” It’s the right thing to say, why screw yourself with a potential employer next season by being a malcontent this year.
Regardless of what happens, all DM5 can do is stay healthy and presumably happy…stay tuned