The 2011 offseason is going to involve its share of changes for the Eagles, also. Assuming a new CBA is worked out and an NFL lockout is avoided, it will be Howie Roseman’s first time as general manager with a salary cap.
Currently, the Eagles have seventeen players scheduled to be free agents after the 2010 season. Six enter this season as starters, four are primary backups and two more essential to special teams.
Some of the potential free agents you know won’t be in an Eagle uniform next year. Others you might deem it mandatory that they are resigned.
Let’s look at each player and rate the likelihood (10 the highest; 1 the lowest) of him returning to South Philly in 2011.
- Michael Vick-QB: At the beginning of the season I thought there was no chance Vick would be resigned. After a remarkable Pro Bowl season, there should be no chance of him departing anytime soon. Chance of being re-signed: 9.5 (I thought there was zero chance Brian Dawkins would leave. Vick likely will receive a franchise tag 10 minutes after a new CBA is in place)
- Quintin Mikell-SS: Mikell made his first Pro Bowl in 2009 and was voted 2nd team All Pro in 2008. Despite his recent accolades he’s a solid player, but not a game changer. Mikell is also on the wrong side of 30. I’ve said the last few years that it wouldn’t hurt if the Eagles looked to improve at strong safety. Chance of being re-signed: 4 (I see the Eagles finding their SS of the future in next year’s draft)
- Stewart Bradley-LB: Bradley’s ACL tear last summer was a brutal loss for the defense. An early season concussion and a late season elbow dislocation were unfortunate situations. Chance of being re-signed: 7 (I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Bradley yet, but he health concerns dropped his value a lot)
- James Harrison-RB: Harrison was acquired for Mike Bell trade during the season with Cleveland. Harrison is talented but was severely underused. Chance of being re-signed: 2 (Only because you just never know)
- Eldra Buckley-RB: Buckley’s a traditional, north/south runner but it’s his special team play that has kept him on the roster. I don’t know if that’ll be enough to get him another contract. Chance of being re-signed: 5.5 (It depends on the market when the next free agency period begins)
- Reggie Wells-OG: Wells is a veteran in his 8th season who should’ve became the staring right guard. He barely was activated on game day. Chance of being re-signed: 0 (The Eagles would’ve been better off keeping that 2011 6th round pick)
- Max Jean-Gilles-OG: Jean-Gilles is better at run blocking than pass protection although he plays in a pass oriented offense. He was cut over the weekend in order for the Eagles to follow league rules while the Stacy Andrews trade was finalized. The next time his contract ends, I think we’ll see the last of him as an Eagle. Chance of being re-signed: 4 (The improvement and versatility of Mike McGlynn makes him expendable)
- Nick Cole-G/C: Cole is a dependable backup. When he’s starting it’s mainly due to an injury or someone underperforming (Good thing the Andrews brothers are gone). Chance of being re-signed: 6 (Can’t deny the fact that Cole provides quality depth on the roster, but he’s expendable)
- Victor Abiamiri-DE: Even when healthy, which is rare, Abiamiri doesn’t make enough plays. I think is safe to fully label him as a bust and part ways ASAP. Abiamiri’s currently on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, but do you really think he’s going to contribute this season?? Chance of being re-signed: 0 (On top of underachieving, microfracture surgery comebacks are extremely difficult. I think Abiamiri’s NFL career has come to an end)
- Ernie Sims-LB: I thought Sims’ fast, hard-hitting style would fit this defense well. Unfortunately, Sims has a horrible tendency to over-pursue during plays. Chance of being re-signed: 0 (The sad part is Sims could possibly land somewhere else and make the Pro Bowl).
- Akeem Jordan-LB: Like Nick Cole, when Jordan’s starting someone else isn’t doing their job well enough (Omar Gaither, Moise Fokou). Jordan’s better off as a reserve/special team player. Still, he’s a valuable member. Chance of being re-signed: 8 (The coaching staff likes Jordan too much to let him walk)
- Omar Gaither-LB: Gaither has had multiple chances to be a starter on this team. I’m pretty sure he views himself as one and will look to join a team that feels the same. Chance of being re-signed: 2 (If no other team gives him a decent contract and the chance to start, he may return to Philly)
- Ellis Hobbs-CB: Hobbs replaced Sheldon Brown this season as the starting right cornerback. His neck injury against the Giants could possibly end his NFL career. Chance of being re-signed: 0
- David Akers-K: How much longer can Mr. Automatic be automatic? Regardless of his horrible performance against Green Bay, kickers of his caliber are difficult to find I think he has about 3 years left in him. Chance of being re-signed: 10 (There’s no way the Eagles let him go just yet.
- Sav Rocca-P: Rocca always looks wonderful during training camp. He finally looked competent down the stretch this year. He’s still too inconsistent for my liking. Chance of being re-signed: 3 (At 36, Rocca’s not improving. He’s mediocre at best)
- Bobby McCray-DE: McCray was signed to fill a roster spot when Derrick Burgess was released?? Chance at being resigned: 1 (Something tells me that even at 30, McCray will be at training camp if there is one)
- Dimitri Patterson –CB: I don’t think Patterson is as horrible as many fans make him out to me. He’s just not a starter. Chance at being resigned: 7 (Overall, Patterson is a valuable reserve who should be retained)
- Antoine Harris: Harris signed with the Eagles the first week of training camp and was out for the year two weeks later. In fact, he’s been placed on injured reserved each of the last three seasons. Chance of being resigned: 0 (One day, the Eagles just might stay away from players with an extensive injury history)
Other players whose contracts might be ended after the season
- Broderick Bunkley/Mike Patterson-DT: With Antonio Dixon securing a starting spot and Trevor Laws finally showing his worth, one of these first round disappointments is likely on their way out.
- Joselio Hanson-CB: I didn’t think Hanson should’ve had his contract extended last year. I don’t think he should’ve made the final cut this season. Hanson is a mediocre nickel back who can’t be counted on to move outside if needed, which is why Dimitri Patterson had to start in place of Hobbs.