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Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Eagles sign running back Ronnie Brown

By Dan Graziano

Been wondering who the Philadelphia Eagles were going to get to back up running back LeSean McCoy? Well, the news release I just got from the Eagles says it's going to be Ronnie Brown. Why? Well, I guess because this is the 2011 offseason, the Eagles are determined to sign everyone and why not grab a backup running back who's started 71 of his 76 career NFL games?

Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald reports via Twitter that Brown was pursued by the Eagles, Chargers, Ravens and Rams, and that Philadelphia's contract offer was the lowest of the four. Assuming Jeff's on the money, that's the latest bit of evidence that the Eagles have become the destination team for players around the league. Nnamdi Asomugha took less money than he was offered elsewhere, and it's become very clear that the chance to play with Michael Vick and for Andy Reid is one at which NFL players want to jump if they can.

Brown might not get the ball much in Philadelphia, with McCoy the starter and weapons such as DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek available to Vick in the passing game. But he's a heck of an option as a third-down back and a capable long-term starter if something should happen to McCoy. The defense had all the fun and got all the reinforcements last week, but Tuesday the Eagles added a new toy for Vick and the already high-powered offense.

The lingering question, of course, is what this means for Jackson, who has been holding out of camp because he is unhappy with his contract and wants a new one. Every time the Eagles sign a player, you have to believe Jackson is sitting there wondering why that money isn't being applied to their plans for him. He has reason to believe they'll take care of him, and once they do, I'm sure he'll be thrilled to be a part of what's going on there. They just haven't yet, and he's got to be wondering.

One final thought: In some ways, I think this might actually help the Eagles' case against Jackson in contract talks. If outside free agents are taking lower offers because they want to be a part of what's happening in Philadelphia, the Eagles can present that to Jackson and say maybe he should, too. Remember, nobody thinks Jackson's going to play for his currently scheduled salary in 2011. The question is how big a deal it will take to make him happy and get him to camp.