The Philadelphia Eagles made a lot of moves on Wednesday. They rewarded some of their own with big contracts and contract extensions. They made some roster moves, and contended with rumors about one free agent in particular that the team needs to lock in. Here’s a rundown of all of they day’s happenings.
He finally got his deal
The biggest news of the day by far was the 5-year, somewhere near $50 million contract (reported numbers range from $47.5-51 million) of Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson, which includes $15 million in guaranteed money. He was tagged last month was expected to sign his franchise tender this week. Instead, he did one better and signed a new deal.
Let’s see how getting this out of the way early in the offseason translates into on-field performance.
Trent Cole extends his stay
DE Trent Cole received a 4-year extension from the Eagles, extending his stay in Philly through 2017. I don’t have details on the figures but the structure of the deal is said to be very similar to the 3-year deal received by OT Todd Herremans on Tuesday.
Good move by the Birds.
I’m sorry Mr. Jackson
Wednesday marked the end of an era, as Philadelphia released the only player who remained from the 2005 Super Bowl team. That’s sad both because I liked Jackson, as a person and as a player, and because it reminds me how long it’s been since it’s been since the Eagles made it to the big game.
The announcement of his release was hardly surprising, as 2010’s starting center was quickly replaced by rookie Jason Kelce.
Reuben Frank paid tribute to Jackson’s good guy nature via an article on Wednesday afternoon.
Jackson was gracious til the end, thanking the Eagles organizations and fans for their support during his 9-year tenure with the team. Not a bad stay at all for an undrafted player.
As long as we’re saying good-byes…
The Eagles bid adieu to OT Winston Justice, who simply did not fit into offensive line coach Howard Mudd’s scheme. Justice himself told the Inquirer that he and Mudd, “got off on the wrong foot” at training camp.
Justice had a strange career in Philadelphia, and the last 2 years (plagued by inconsistency in 2010 and injury in 2011) were not among his best. Now he rejoins Ryan Grigson in Indianapolis where he will get a chance to compete for a starting position on a rebuilding team.
In the trade, in addition to Justice, the Colts and Eagles traded 6th round picks, with Philadelphia sending the 17th pick in the sixth round to Indianapolis, and the Colts sending Philadelphia the second pick in the sixth round.
Best of Luck to Mr. Justice.
Look at all these rumors
OG Evan Mathis, the one player I’ve said the Eagles MUST lock up in free agency, is testing the waters with a reported visit to the Ravens on Thursday. And per the Inquirer, the Colts (step back, Grigson!) and Redskins have interest in Mathis as well.
Let’s see how this plays out before full-on panic sets in.
And speaking of rumors, there are none to be head with regard to Philadelphia and one of the free agent linebackers we’re hoping the team locks up, other than a rumor about Curtis Lofton yesterday that turned out to be false.
Welcome back, Gibson
In a move PhiladelphiaEagles.com says is unrelated to the interest Mathis is garnering around the league, the team signed OG Mike Gibson (6’3, 298) to a 2-year deal. Gibson was on the Eagles’ practice squad on 2009, then headed to Seattle, where he started 14 regular season games in 2010. He played in 3 games for the Seahawks in 2011, but not as a starter.
Dixon signs tender
On Tuesday, the Eagles tendered a one-year offer to DT Antonio Dixon. Dixon signed the tender yesterday. Teams around the league now have until April 20 to make him an offer if interested, and the Eagles have 7 days to match it. If Philadelphia decides not to do so, they get a 2nd round draft pick as compensation.