In most years, we would be counting down the days until training camp and cherishing every glimpse we got of players during OTA’S. But this is not your normal offseason. Right now we are just hoping that we will get to see football at some point and we are trying to figure out if and when the free agency period will begin. The lockout has posed a difficult challenge to front office personal around the league, instead of filling the holes they couldn't fill during free agency, they were forced address some needs during the draft and hope they can fill the gaps when FA begins.
With the recent court decisions, it seems as though FA could open sooner rather than later. If it does open, the Eagles will have two major decisions to make. The first one is the question of trading now back up and former future franchise quarterback Kevin Kolb. The 2nd important decision that I see is whether or not they think they need another corner to go along with Asante Samuel. Most Eagles fans had hoped that the lockout would be lifted prior to the draft to allow them to trade Kolb for a 2011 draft pick. The draft has now come and Kolb is still an Eagle. But that doesn’t mean that he can’t be traded when the lockout is over.
“I’m going to keep my ears open,” said Andy Reid, “but that doesn’t mean anything is going to happen.”
Andy Reid has made it pretty clear in the last few days that Kolb will be available for the right price. The lockout could actually work in the advantage of the Eagles. Seattle and Arizona elected not to draft a QB in last week’s daft, this could point to both teams planning on acquiring Kolb at some point in the offseason. It could leave multiple teams being desperate to acquire the services of Kolb and increase the value the Eagles would get. Arizona has already been linked to having interest in Kolb by several different sources in the last few days. They went from being a playoffs team with a high powered offense to a last place team in the worst division in the NFL, all of this decline mainly because of the retirement of Kurt Warner.
"Right now, all signs point to Kevin Kolb somehow finding his way to Arizona, which would make Larry Fitzgerald very happy, which would make the Cardinals an instant contender in the NFC West, and it would make them the team that they were a couple of years ago when Kurt Warner was playing quarterback, rather than last year when they had the quarterback carousel," ESPN NFL reporter and insider Adam Schefter
Right now it looks like the Eagles are willing to trade Kolb and that at least one team is very interested in trading for him. The only thing that would stand in the team’s ways of getting a deal done once they are legally allowed to, is the price. It can be hard to figure out the value that one player would have in a trade, since value is only what others are willing to pay for it. But right now it looks that it would at least take a 2012 1st round pick to get Kolb and the value should only increase as team’s become more desperate. I would guess that the final deal will be something around a 2012 1st round pick and another mid round pick.
The other decision that the Eagles must make is regarding the other cornerback position. They didn’t address the position until the 3rd round the draft, that could mean one of two things, they are happy with the position or they are going to go after a corner when free agency starts. Anyone who watched the Eagles defense’s performance last year would admit that an upgrade is needed but with Andy Reid you never know. Last year we all clamored for a solid CB after the team traded Sheldon Brown, but we were told Ellis Hobbs would be the starter. It wouldn’t shock me if they tried to go with Trevor Lindley as the starter opposite Samuel. Don’t get me wrong, I liked what I saw from Lindley during his rookie season, but he is not ready to start in the NFL.
The other option that the team would have is to go after a corner in FA and there is a decent corner who the team has been rumored to be interested in. That player is current Oakland Raider and future free agent Nnamdi Asomugha (NAHM-dee AH-səm-WAH). Asomugha has quietly turned into the premier shutdown corner in the NFL, in my opinion he has been overlooked in the last year and is still a better player than Revis. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Asomugha would be an immediate upgrade and a huge boast for the Birds D. But a player of his caliber doesn’t hit free agency very often and that means the price tag will be very high. The Redskins and Cowboys have already been linked to him as well and there will no doubt be a bidding war for his services.
I think that the Eagles need to get him in for a visit and not let him leave until he signs a contract. They did this with Samuel and in order to sign him, I think it is what they would have to do with Asomugha. The Eagles are not a team who gets into bidding wars and I would doubt they would even do it for a talent like Asomugha. If they are not able to sign Asomugha, there are some other less talented players the team could sign. Jets corner Antonio Cromartie and Redskin Carlos Rogers both should hit FA when it opens, while they are solid players, they are not near the corner that Nnamdi is.
Thanks to the lockout, there are still a lot potential moves that the Eagles could make between now and the beginning of the season. Normally the roster would be pretty much set but right now most of the fun has yet to happen. Their offense is pretty much set and would be among the best in the game if the season started tomorrow. The defense is a different story, as they could use some help at corner, perhaps another linebacker and another pass rusher world be nice. I think that most fans would be very happy if the team can trade Kolb for a 1st round pick and are able to sign Nnamdi Asomugha.