Monday, March 25, 2013
How hard are Eagles pursuing tackles?
By Dan Graziano
Over the weekend, the news broke that free-agent tackle Sebastian Vollmer had agreed to re-sign with the New England Patriots. Not a huge surprise, but Vollmer's was a name we heard connected with the Philadelphia Eagles early in the free-agent period, and I know some Eagles fans were excited about the possibility of signing Vollmer for right tackle and moving Todd Herremans inside to guard. With Vollmer and Jake Long off the market, the top available tackle is Andre Smith, and the popular belief seems to be that he's headed back to Cincinnati.
Now, the Eagles have the cap room to sign anyone they want to sign, so if they wanted Vollmer or Smith it's likely they'd have them. Or at least that there would have been some drama around their ultimate decisions. It could still happen with Smith, I guess, but the lack of noise in this case likely indicates a lack of serious interest. And as for free-agent guards, the top one available is the Jets' Brandon Moore, and after that our free-agent tracker drops all the way down to Jake Scott, who was most recently an Eagle himself.
So the upshot is that the Eagles don't seem to be pursuing free-agent offensive line help too intensely, possibly in the belief that a full return to health by all of last year's injured starters will be enough or possibly because they plan to draft a new starter with the fourth overall pick in the draft (or the 35th, which isn't a ridiculous idea, either). Most of their free-agent efforts so far have focused on the defensive side of the ball, where their needs were most glaring. But one of last year's many painful lessons in Philadelphia was about the importance of offensive line depth, and so Eagles fans are justified in hoping that there is some sort of plan to fortify that right side. There is time, and there may be a surprise or two still to come. But at this point, things appear to be quiet with the Eagles and the offensive line.