McNABB TRADED TO REDSKINS |
Donovan Is Changing Uniforms & Staying In The NFC East
The Philadelphia Eagles traded McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a pair of draft picks on
Easter Sunday night. The Eagles will receive a second-round pick (37th overall)
in this month's
NFL draft and either a third- or fourth-round pick next year. "I'm really excited about my future
with the Washington Redskins," McNabb said in a statement Sunday night. "I'm eager to work with
Coach [Mike] Shanahan. He's been a very successful coach with a couple of Super Bowl victories on
his resume. While it has been my goal to win a Super Bowl in Philadelphia, we came up short. I
enjoyed my 11 years,
and know we shared a lot more good times than bad."
Shortly after news of the trade broke, former Redskins running back Brian Mitchell spoke with
McNabb on the phone, according to Comcast SportsNet. Mitchell, who played several years in
Philadelphia, told Comcast SportsNet his former teammate seemed energetic about his new destination.
League sources told Schefter that McNabb wanted to play
for the Redskins and not the Raiders or
the Bills, which is why the trade happened.
"Donovan McNabb was more than a franchise quarterback for this team," Eagles chairman Jeffrey
Lurie said. "He truly embodied all of the attributes of a great quarterback and of a great person.
He has been an excellent representative of this organization and the entire National Football
League both on and off the field. I look forward to honoring him as one of the greatest Eagles
of all time and hopefully see him enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton one day."
EAGLES RELEASE BRIAN WESTBROOK; WILL WITHERSPOON
The Eagles on Tuesday announced that they will release Westbrook, who is scheduled to make
$7.25 million next season, which would be his ninth in the NFL. The Eagles, not surprisingly,
decided that’s too much to commit to a 30-year-old running back who was limited to only eight
games last season by concussions, knee and ankle injuries. He officially won't be cut until
March 5, the start of the league’s new fiscal year. “We all know Brian is one of the all-time
great Philadelphia Eagles. For what we’ve done here over the years, Brian has been just a huge
part of building this program to the level where we’re at now. My heart will always be a Brian
Westbrook fan as we go forward,” said Andy Reid.
Less than five months after acquiring him in a trade, the Philadelphia Eagles are set to release
linebacker Will Witherspoon. The Eagles sent receiver Brandon Gibson and a fifth-round draft pick
to the Rams to acquire Witherspoon in October. What they got for that was a big first game in an
Eagles uniform (an interception and a sack against the Redskins), but only so-so play after that.
Witherspoon accomplished the rare feat of playing 17 regular-season games in 2009, as he was traded
after the Eagles' bye week but before the Rams' bye week. The Eagles' decision to release
Witherspoon is no surprise, as he would have made a $5 million in 2010.
BIRDS TRADE BROWN FOR CONDITIONAL DRAFT PICK |
In a move that's been expected for a couple years, the Eagles have moved wide receiver Reggie
Brown. He will join the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay for a 2011 conditional sixth round draft pick.
It's what they expected for the Birds to get for Brown, but a pick in this year's draft would
have been a whole lot more helpful. Whether they drafted someone in the sixth or used it to
move up, it's a whole lot more useful to them to have it this season. However, Andy Reid and
company must expect Brown to reach the milestones that will turn the pick into a fourth or
fifth rather than a sixth.
LEONARD WEAVER AGREES TO NEW 3-YEAR DEAL |
The Eagles officially announced that they have agreed to terms on a three-year deal with
fullback Leonard Weaver. "Eagles agree to 3 year, $10-plus mil deal with FB Leonard Weaver,
highest ever for a FB. More than half deal is guaranteed," tweeted NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.
An unrestricted free agent last year, Weaver signed a one-year deal with the Eagles and had a
career-high 323 rushing yards to go along with 140 receiving yards and four total touchdowns,
which also was a career high. A rookie free agent tight end out of Carson-Newman, Weaver
converted to fullback and spent the first four years of his NFL career in Seattle.
EAGLES JASON AVANT SIGNS 5-YEAR DEAL
The Eagles and restricted free agent wide receiver Jason Avant agreed to terms on a five-year
contract, the team announced today. The signing comes just days after the Eagles inked another
of their restricted free agents, fullback Leonard Weaver, to a multi-year contract. Getting Avant
locked into an extension was expected. While other NFL teams have made splashes in free agency by
swiping players from other teams, the Eagles have gone about securing some of their own guys.
The 26-year-old Avant is coming off a productive season as the Eagles' slot receiver. He caught
41 passes for 587 yards and three touchdowns. He's considered one of the hardest workers on the
team and he's another of the Eagles' high-character guys in the locker room. In each of his first
four seasons in the NFL, Avant has increased his offensive numbers.
EAGLES SIGN FORMER COLTS DB MARLIN JACKSON |
Marlin Jackson's surgically repaired knees didn't scare off the Philadelphia Eagles. Still
looking to replace Brian Dawkins, the Eagles are taking a chance on Jackson. They signed the
free-agent defensive back to a two-year contract on Wednesday. A 2005 first-round draft pick
by the Indianapolis Colts, Jackson is coming off a pair of season-ending knee injuries. He
missed the second half of 2008 with a torn ACL in his right knee and returned in 2009 before
tearing the ACL in his left knee in a November practice. Jackson has played cornerback most of
his career, but will get a chance to win the starting spot at free safety in Philadelphia.
The 6-foot, 196-pound Jackson has 306 tackles and four interceptions in 56 career
games with the Colts. "The most appealing thing is this is a winning franchise," Jackson said.
"That's important to me. I came from a winning franchise. The opportunity to play free safety
is very appealing. This defense is very aggressive."
BIRDS TRADE CLEMONS FOR SEAHAWKS' DARRYL TAPP
The Eagles announced they have acquired DE Darryl Tapp from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange
for DE Chris Clemons and a 2010 fourth-round draft choice. Originally a second round draft pick
of the Seahawks in 2006, Tapp (6-1, 270) has appeared in 64 games (32 starts) in his four-year
career, posting 177 tackles, 18 sacks, eight forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and two
interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He totaled 49 tackles and 2.5 sacks
in 16 games (five starts) in 2009. Tapp's best season came in 2007 when he started in all 16
games and recorded a career-high seven sacks. That year, he tied a Seahawks club record for
sacks in a game with four vs. St. Louis on October 21.
A four-year letterman at Virginia Tech, Tapp earned first-team All-America honors and was given
the Dudley Award as the top Division I player in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He finished his
college career with 187 tackles and 23.5 sacks. The 25-year-old Tapp is a native of Chesapeake,
VA, and attended Deep Creek High School, where he helped lead the football team to a 34-4 record
in his three varsity seasons. The three-sport star also earned letters in basketball and track.
SHAWN ANDREWS RELEASED; WANTS TO PLAY AGAIN
The Eagles released the former All-Pro right guard in a move that was expected. Andrews,
who missed the 2008 training camp because of depression, has played in just two games the
past two years because of back injuries. Andrews wrote "Bye, Bye Birds" on his Twitter page.
He also said he plans to continue playing. Andrews' passion for football had been questioned
during his time in Philadelphia. Critics said he was more interested in his music career.
The eccentric Andrews posted some videos on YouTube last summer while he was sitting out practices.
Selected with the 16th overall selection in the 2004 NFL draft, Andrews missed his rookie season
after breaking a leg in the opener. He overcame weight issues and rebounded from his injury to
emerge into one of the top players at his position. Andrews made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and '07
and had a contract that ran through 2015.
PHILADELPHIA RELEASES BOTH WR KEVIN CURTIS AND DE DARREN HOWARD
The Philadelphia Eagles personnel office remained busy, announcing roster cuts that included
veteran wide receiver Kevin Curtis and defensive end Darren Howard. Howard had been with the
team since 2006, when he was signed as an unrestricted free agent. Since joining the Eagles,
he recorded 21 1/2 sacks, including 5 1/2 last year, his best season in 2008 recording 10 sacks.
He was rotated in at left end, using the scheme set up by the late defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid was complementary of Howard following the news of the defensive end's
release. "Darren Howard has been one of our most productive and versatile members of our defense
in the last couple of years," said Reid. "He is nothing but a solid player, leader and person on
and off the field."
Kevin Curtis' injury filled campaign with the Eagles is also over. Curtis joined the team in 2007
from the St. Louis Rams. His first year with the Eagles was exceptional, as he collected 77
receptions for 1,110 yards, including a 200+ yard game against the Lions where he scored
three touchdowns. Unfortunately, he only caught 39 passes the last two seasons. He battled
injuries for the past couple seasons, while recovering from knee injuries and a sports hernia:
an injury that has also plagued QB Donovan McNabb.
SAINTS RB MIKE BELL OFFICIALLY BECOMES AN EAGLE |
The New Orleans Saints had seven days to match the offer given to running back Mike Bell from
the Philadelphia Eagles and, as expected, they decided not to do so. On Tuesday, Bell officially
became an Eagle. The team will pay him $1.7 million, assuming he makes the team, for one season;
$500,000 is guaranteed. "We are excited to add Mike Bell to our football team," Eagles general
manager Howie Roseman said. "He is a hard-nosed runner who fits our offense and contributed to
a championship." Bell will complement LeSean McCoy and is expected to see most of his work
as a short-yardage runner.
ELLIS HOBBS AND OMAR GAITHER BOTH AGREE TO A 1-YEAR CONTRACT
Cornerback Ellis Hobbs and linebacker Chris Gocong were each signed to a one-year contract
on Tuesday. Both players were restricted free agents this off-season and were tendered the
one-year deals by the Eagles. Neither player can now sign with another team.
Hobbs was acquired by the Eagles last year in a draft-day trade with the New England Patriots.
obbs was the lead kickoff return specialist as well as a reserve outside cornerback for the
Eagles before suffering a season-ending neck injury against the Dallas Cowboys last November.
Hobbs averaged 24.1 yards per kickoff return and had 14 total tackles on defense in 2009.
Hobbs started games in each of his first four years in the NFL with the Patriots. In all,
Hobbs has started in 49 games (played in 71) and has accumulated 211 tackles, 2.5 sacks
and nine interceptions. He has also returned three kickoffs for a touchdown. In 2007, Hobbs
set an NFL record with a kickoff return of 108 yards for a touchdown.
A fifth-round draft choice of the Eagles in 2006, the versatile Gaither has amassed 329 tackles,
five sacks and two interceptions during his four-year career as an inside and outside linebacker
with the Eagles, including 34 starts. He has also contributed on special teams. Gaither started
the final five games of his rookie season at the WILL linebacker spot before moving to the middle
in 2007, when he started all 16 contests and posted a career-high 170 tackles. In 2008, he moved
back to the outside, starting 10 games at WILL before opening the '09 campaign in the middle.
In 2009, Gaither registered 38 tackles and 1.5 sacks in five games before being sidelined for the
remainder of the season with a Lisfranc sprain in his foot.
SHELDON BROWN TRADED TO CLEVELAND
The Browns acquired cornerback Sheldon Brown and linebacker Chris Gocong in a trade with
the Philadelphia Eagles for linebacker Alex Hall and two draft picks on Friday. The
fourth- and fifth-round selections are the Nos. 105 and 137 overall in this month's
three-day draft. Brown and Cleveland promptly restructured his contract. The Browns did
not give Brown a boost in pay. But they converted a chunk of the money he had left on the
last three years of his contract into guaranteed money paid in a signing bonus and added incentives.
The trade was announced as Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers -- a three-time Pro Bowler -- was
being held after his arrest for trying to carry a loaded handgun onto a plane; he was charged
later Friday with a fourth-degree felony and released later in the day on $1,000 bond. Cleveland
general manager Tom Heckert, who spent the previous four seasons as Philadelphia's GM, returned
to his roots to continue an overhaul of the Browns' defense, which ranked last in the AFC last
season and gave up less yardage than only the Detroit Lions. Brown, a former Pro Bowler who
hasn't missed a game since becoming a full-time starter in 2004, likely will move into Cleveland's
starting lineup on the opposite side of Eric Wright, who made 16 starts last season at left
cornerback. Brown wanted a new contract from Philadelphia last season, and despite his unhappiness
over the contract, Brown played through a hamstring injury last year and recorded a career-best
Gocong started 35 games in four seasons with Philadelphia. He had just signed a one-year deal.
Chris did a good job converting from defensive end to linebacker and helped us win a lot of
football games. We wish both of them all of the best." It's unclear where Gocong will play in
Cleveland's 3-4 defense, but he's not great in coverage so providing depth at inside linebacker
makes sense. He wasn't a long-term solution as a starter in Philadelphia.
ERNIE SIMS TRADED TO PHILLY IN THREE-WAY DEAL |
The Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions have pulled off a three-way trade,
with the Lions obtaining former Broncos tight end Tony Scheffler and the Eagles receiving
ex-Lions linebacker Ernie Sims. The Eagles sent a fifth-round pick in this week's draft to
the Broncos, while Denver sent its seventh-round pick to the Lions to complete the trade on Monday.
In 59 career games, all with the Lions, Sims has been credited with 420 tackles including 2.5 sacks,
four forced fumbles and one interception. He was credited with 49 tackles last season.
"Ernie Sims is an impact player at the linebacker position," Eagles coach Andy Reid said.
"He brings a lot of energy to our already energized defense. We are looking forward to adding
him to our team." Last season, the Eagles tried numerous combinations at linebacker. Seven
different players started at least one game at one of the tree linebacker spots. Sims, the ninth
overall pick in the 2006 draft, is a versatile player who can play three downs. He played
weakside linebacker for the Lions, and likely will compete with Akeem Jordan for the starting
job in Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES RESIGN PUNTER SAV ROCCA
The Philadelphia Eagles announced that they have signed Punter Sav Rocca to a one-year deal.
Rocca had been a restricted free agent. Now entering his fourth NFL season, Rocca (6'5", 265)
originally signed with the Eagles in 2007 after a stellar 15-year career in the Australian
Football League. The 36-year-old Rocca notched a franchise-best 38.3 net punting average in
2009, breaking his old single-season record of 37.9 which he set in 2008. He has averaged
42.6 gross yards per punt in his three seasons in Philadelphia while also dropping 74 punts
inside the 20-yard line.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE BIRDS NEW ROOKIE DRAFTEES |
The Eagles traded the 24th overall pick and a pair of third-round picks (70th and 87th overall)
to Denver to move up 11 spots to get Graham. The 6-2, 268-pound Graham was a two-time school MVP
at Michigan as he finished second in school history with 29.5 sacks. Head coach Andy Reid compared
Graham to former Eagle Hugh Douglas and current two-time Pro Bowler Trent Cole. Graham's stock
skyrocketed after his outstanding performance at the Senior Bowl. It was in Mobile, Ala., where
he proved to the personnel execs that he could play defensive end in the NFL. Graham has displayed
a terrific combination of quickness, explosion, and speed as well as hustle the past three seasons.
He causes a lot of problems for opponents with the ability to quickly get up the field and disrupt
the action. Graham is a high motor defender who goes hard and gives effort. Offering possibilities
as a one-gap defensive end or outside linebacker in a 3-4, he shows a lot of Dwight Freeney in
With the fifth pick in the second round of this year's draft, the Eagles addressed a position that
was in constant flux in 2009. South Florida safety Nate Allen joins an Eagles team that is looking
for an answer at safety opposite Quintin Mikell, and he was acquired with the pick the Eagles
acquired in the Donovan McNabb trade. Allen is an athletic safety with nice size and skill. He
displays a good head on his shoulders, effective in zone coverage and does a solid job recognizing,
then anticipating, the action. Displays good movement skills to sideline, works well with cornerbacks,
and shows a terrific burst of speed. Physical, aggressive, and explosive at the point.
He is also a solid open-field tackler and has better-than-average instincts and displays a nice
feel for coverage. Allen rebounded as a senior and really took his game to another level. He
possesses the size/speed numbers as well as range NFL teams want in a centerfielder and is a
prospect who should just get better over the course of time.
After a slew of trades, the Eagles used the 86th overall selection which was acquired from
Green Bay and selected another defensive end. This time, the pick was Washington defensive
end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. Te'o-Nesheim is an undersized college pass rusher who lacks the
pure speed to play outside linebacker in the NFL. He's a competitive defender who plays
with a non-stop motor and goes beyond his physical skills to produce on the field. He will
offer possibilities at the next level as a pass rush specialist and special teams player.
The Eagles selected Kentucky cornerback Trevard Lindley with its first pick in the fourth
round, the 105th overall selection. The pick was acquired in the Sheldon Brown/Chris Gocong trade.
Early in his college career, Lindley looked like a big-time NFL prospect, but his game has
leveled out the past two seasons. Likely best in a zone system, he's a mid-to-late round choice
who could surprise at the next level if he gets his game back on track.
The Eagles selected Oklahoma outside linebacker Keenan Clayton with its own pick in the fourth
round, the 121st overall selection. Clayton is an athletic prospect who makes plays sideline
to sideline and shows a lot of skill in space. His size will limit him to certain schemes, yet
he can be very effective as a starting weak-side linebacker.
The Eagles selected quarterback Mike Kafka out of Northwestern with a pick acquired from
Green Bay in the fourth round, the 122nd overall selection. Kafka is coming into Philadelphia
to be a backup, which is something he's done before. He only started his final season at
Northwestern after sitting behind C.J. Bacher for his first three seasons, but in that one
season Kafka led the Big Ten in passing yards (263.8 yards per game) and was named to the
All-Big-Ten second team. Kafka, 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, is also a threat on the ground, as
he ran for 891 yards in his Northwestern career - including a 2008 game against Minnesota
when he ran for 217 yards.