I'll go over the general offseason headliners and acquisitions that the Eagles went through.
Pre Free Agency:
Eagles Sign Joselio Hansen and Hank Baskett to new deals.
This is just keeping a core group of special team contributors and important players with the Eagles.
Joselio Hanson is the featured nickel cornerback in the Jim Johnson's (or Sean McDermott's now) nickel schemes. He is a solid cornerback who also adds valuable depth to the incredibly talented secondary the eagles have.
Hank Baskett has been struggling to find his way in the eagles wide receiving corps since he came to the team in 2006. He has the potential be a valuable red zone target at "6'5 and a deep threat as well as he has caught 3 passes for 85 yards or more, only the sixth player in NFL history to do so. As of right now Baskett remains a solid contributor on special teams, and a great blocker at whatever position he's playing at.
The loss of Brian Dawkins is something that the city is still crying about almost 3 months later. Dawkins contributed 13 seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles as he was drafted by them. He was the voice of the defense, possibly the entire team, and was a proud member of the Philadelphia Community. Dawkins was acquired by the Denver Bronco's and was at the time made an offer that would make him the highest paid safety in the NFL. The Eagles offered him a conservative 3 year deal that could not hope to match the likes of the denver deal, which guaranteed 5 years. Dawkin's presence on the field, as he was consistently a thread in coverage or in blitz packages. While i do resent the fact that we could not retain him, I think that we are covered at the safety postion (more on that later).
Buck was lost to the Denver Bronco's as well. While Buckhalter was a solid, physical, vertical runner who averaged 5.1 yards/carry, he deserved to be a starter. The Eagles stuck with him through two knee surgeries which sidelined him for almost 3 seasons. He was still fresh at the age of 28 because of these surgeries, and the Bronco's had supposedly taken him to become a starter (although I don't know now that Knowshon Moreno is in town)
William (Tra) Thomas & Jon Runyan:
Tra was lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jon has not signed with another team (yet). Tra and Runyan had served as McNabb's guardians for some ridiculous number of consecutive games, and should be honored for their actions in their prime. Unfortunately Tra and Jun had lost a step when it came to run blocking and Runyan has, while courageously, been playing through injury's that have caused him great pain for the last two seasons.
Lito was traded to the New York Jet's for a 5th Round Pick in the 2009 draft. Lito still remains a shutdown cornerback in this league and deserved a starting spot somewhere, and he will get one in New York. He had been demanding a trade since the duo of Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown essentially benched him for the season.
Additions: (In free agency)
Offensive Lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals. A beast at "6'7 and 342 pounds, this offensive lineman is projected to slide into the guard position as Shawn Andrews, his brother, will start at right tackle. Not only will this possibly be an upgrade from Runyan, but it will also add stability to Shawn Andrew's mental health. Last year Shawn stated publicly that he was suffering from depression, and he skipped a significant portion of the offseason workouts in the 2008 offseason because it. The Eagles brought Stacy here in the hopes that he will stabilize a new and improved offensive line and Shawn's psyche.
Weaver is a fullback who used to play for the Seattle Seahawks. Weaver is the first "true" fullback that the Eagles have had since the mid 1990's and will be a vast improvement over the hybrid defensive end project that was Dan Klecko. He has been quoted as saying that "blocking is my top priority." He can block for Westbrook and McCoy plow through the holes that the offensive line opens himself. While in Seattle Weaver did not get many opportunities, he did have an impressive 4.5 yards/carry average in situations where he was mostly being handed the ball to convert short distances. He is also a passing target for McNabb as he averages 9.1 yards/reception. In the end Weaver will be blocking for Westbrook and McCoy, running the ball, and on the opposing defensive coordinators mind.
Jones was a safety with the Cleveland Browns last year. He led the team in interceptions with 14 interceptions in the 2008 season. He intercepted DeSean Jackson in the endzone last year on his lone NFL pass. He is a more physical safety that can be brought in against the run, but clearly has tremendous coverage abilities, displayed in his 14 interceptions. He was brought in to compete with Quintin Demps for the starting job left by Brian Dawkins and has a very legitimate chance to beat out Demps. He can play both safety positions so he adds great depth to the secondary
Rashad Baker was a safety with the Oakland Raiders. He intercepted three balls last year, and inadvertently salvaged the Eagles’ season. In order for the Eagles to make the playoffs Oakland had to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Late in the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers were trying to regain the lead, and Baker intercepted a Garcia ball. The Raiders went on to beat the Buccaneers and the Eagles went on to stomp all over Dallas. At this point Baker looks like he is going to back up the safety position, providing more depth with the departure of Brian Dawkins and Sean Considine.
1st Round, Jeremy Maclin:
The Eagles traded up two spots with the Cleveland Browns to grab Jeremy Maclin. While his pro career has not yet been documented, his collegiate career is full of headlines. He scored 33 TD’s in 28 games (28 receiving, six rushing, 3 punt returns, 2 kickoff returns). He had 5,609 all purpose yards in two years being one of only two players in NCAA history to get 2,000 yards in both receiving and kickoff returns. As of right now Maclin looks to slowly work his way into three receiver sets. He will not come along as quickly as Jackson did, as his route running is not as crisp as Jackson’s (although certainly improving) and the situation is not nearly as pressing (Jackson started his first game when Curtis and Brown were both injured). With Jackson, Maclin, and Curtis working out of three receiver sets, the speed on the field may not be containable.
2nd Round, Lesean McCoy:
In the second round the Eagles were patient and lucky enough to grab Lesean (Shady) McCoy. He started 22 of 25 games in college, gained 2,816 rushing yards on 584 carries (4.8 yards/carry) scoring 35 TD’s rushing. At “5’10, 198 lbs McCoy is going to back up Westbrook (assuming that he is healthy at the start of the season). He is currently “battling” for the second string RB job with Lorenzo Booker, but the 2nd round commitment the Eagles made all but ensures that he will be backing up Westbrook in the 2009 Season.
5th Round: Cornelius Ingram
This has been speculated by many to be the steal of the draft. At “6’4, 245 lbs Ingram is a monster of a man. During the offseason between his junior and senior year Ingram tore his ACL and was forced to sit out his senior year, and watch his Florida Gator’s win the national championship. He looks very impressive so far in the OTA’s with the Eagle’s and looks to backup Brent Celek and work in many two tight-end sets. With his size he should serve as a red zone target for Donovan McNabb. His main weakness is his blocking, something that the Eagles coaches are determined to fix.
1st, 4th and 2010 4th Round Pick: Jason Peters
The blockbuster trade that Eagle’s fans were waiting for to shore up the offensive line. Jason Peter’s has been called “the best left tackle in football” by Head Coach Andy Reid. Peters, at “6’4 and 340 lbs, is going to add to the size of the already huge Eagle’s offensive line. He replaces Tra Thomas and is projected to be a starter at left tackle and a force in pass protection and run blocking.
If there is anything I forgot let me know and I can add my 2 cents + stats in the comments section.