[Note by Kyle - This is the first post from Iggles Nest's newest writer, 'BG'. You'll see that he is obsessed with the Eagles much like all of us here at the site are. You can follow him on twitter @PhillyFollower. Hopefully you enjoy his first piece.]
I was inspired to write this post for two reasons.
Reason 1: There’s been some common fear that I’ve seen my fellow Eagles fans have. This fear I speak of is the fact that our current 90-man roster is loaded with talent, and that we will be forced to cut (or trade) some good players. Let me start off by saying: THIS IS A GREAT PROBLEM TO HAVE! I have faith that our GM Howie Roseman, and coaching staff will be sure to evaluate our roster and make sure to keep the players they think can really help this team succeed. At the same time, I expect them to cut or trade any expendable players.
Reason 2: I’m also sure that Howie will be making moves before the start of the regular season, especially around August 30th, where 90-man rosters have to be trimmed down to 80 players by August 30. Let’s state the obvious to start: Howie Roseman deserves credit for the aggressiveness they showed in the off-season. The Eagles signed some big-time players in Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, etc. They traded for another promising player in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. I’m not going to be talking about that, though. Instead, I’m going to be talking about an aspect of Howie’s job that isn’t as exciting as signing big name free agents, or making blockbuster trades. I’m going to attempt to highlight “low-key” moves that show Howie’s ability to make an effort to help improve this team. I was impressed by Howie’s ability to trade players who seemed to not be able to help the team and turn them into something with potential (such as the Charles Scott for Jorrick Calvin trade, which I will detail later). In essence, I feel Howie is able to turn our “trash” into something that may be able to help the team. Howie’s ability to do this should appease us as fans because he’s making the most out of our roster, which is exactly what an excellent GM should be doing. In order to show you exactly what I mean, I’ll detail some examples:
Reminder: Howie Roseman was promoted to GM on 01/29/2010, so last season is our starting point.
Our first “turning-nothing-into-something” move came on 3/8/2010 where we traded WR Reggie Brown to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2011 6th round draft pick. Reggie could have easily been cut that year but instead the Eagles actually got something for him. “But it’s just a measly 6th round pick!” you may say. And to you, I would say that I’d rather have that 6thround pick than nothing.
The second move came on 03/16/2010 when Chris Clemons and a 4th round pick were traded for DE Darryl Tapp. Clemons seemed to be a player that never lived up to the contract we signed him to in free agency, and he wasn’t going to help us by staying here much longer. Instead of just cutting him, however, the Eagles got a player who looks like he can be a force in the new defensive line system the Eagles plan to run. Yet another case of turning nothing into something.
The third move came on 07/30/2010 when the Eagles acquired RB JJ Arrington in a trade from the Denver Broncos for LB Joe Mays. This trade had a condition where the Eagles could receive a conditional draft pick in 2012 if Arrington wasn’t able to make the team. At this point in history, LeSean McCoy was entering his 2nd year in the league and the Eagles didn’t have much veteran depth behind young McCoy. Adding Arrington provided the Eagles with that kind of depth, but he ended up getting cut anyway, so the Eagles were awarded the conditional pick. Joe Mays was unlikely to make the roster after having a disappointing camp anyway.
The fourth move came on 08/30/2010 when the Eagles traded RB/FB Charles Scott to Arizona for CB Jorrick Calvin. Charles Scott failed to impress anyone in his pre-season games and/or in training camp, so it was obvious he was not going to be able to make the team. Instead of just waiting to cut Sir Charles, Howie managed to add some CB depth and fill the need for a KR. Fast-forwarding to the present, Jorrick isn’t necessarily a great KR, or CB for that matter, and probably isn’t going to make the team this year. I still think it’s a great deal to turn a player-that-is-going-to-be-cut into a player who has a chance to help your team.
The fifth move came on 09/03/2010 when the Eagles got G Reggie Wells from the Cardinals for an undisclosed draft pick in 2011. Last year the Eagles didn’t have great depth at G, with Max-Jean Gilles and Nick Cole competing for the RG spot. Adding a veteran player who was able to start with the Cardinals for a while at the cost of a late round draft pick is good value. Fast-forwarding to the present once again, Reggie wasn’t able to contribute to the team like we may have hoped, but I’m glad that Howie saw a hole in the team and attempted to address it. Reggie is now back with the team, and could be a key backup at the guard position. He also has been getting some RT reps.
The sixth move came on 09/04/2010 when OL Stacy Andrews (oh dear) was traded to Seattle for an undisclosed 2011 draft pick. Horrible contract, even worse player. The fact that we got a pick for a player like this is just another example of Howie’s efficiency.
The seventh move also came on 09/04/2010 when the Eagles acquired DE Antwan Barnes from the Baltimore Ravens for an undisclosed draft pick in 2011. Antwan provided the Eagles with a pass-rushing specialist. Despite the fact he made the original 53-man roster, he was shortly waived afterwards.
The eighth move came on 09/04/2010 when the Eagles traded LB Tracy White New England for a conditional 2012 draft pick. White, mostly a reliable ST player, was bound to be cut anyway.
The ninth and final move came on 10/13/2010 when the Eagles received RB Jerome Harrison in a trade with Cleveland Browns in exchange for RB Mike Bell. Bell had been mightily unimpressive in his short time in Philadelphia. Harrison didn’t receive a lot of playing time, but proved to be a decent backup RB. It’s fair to say that he was an upgrade from Mike Bell, although that isn’t saying a whole lot.
After reading all this, you still may be thinking: “None of these moves had a huge impact on our team. What’s the point?” That’s a fair point. However, upon closer analysis of these moves, they clearly show Howie’s aggressiveness to improve the Eagles roster, even if its only with a minimal upgrade.
Howie has turned Chris Clemons, a 4th round pick, Reggie Brown, Joe Mays, Charles Scott, a 6th round pick, a 7th round pick, Tracy White and Mike Bell into Darryl Tapp, Jamar Chaney, a 2012 6th round pick, Jorrick Calvin, Antwan Barnes, Reggie Wells, another 2012 6th round draft pick and Jerome Harrison. Simply getting Jamar Chaney for all of those guys looks like a net win at this point so getting OL depth, a starting KR and 2 draft picks in addition to that is just gravy.
Once the start of the regular season draws closer, based on this evidence, it is fair to say we will see Howie Roseman pull off some trades that he thinks will better this team, stay tuned.