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Free Agency. Who stays? Who goes?
by Jules Pilla Feb 13th

Now that the season is over, we quickly turn our eyes what the team needs to do next year to improve. Regardless of what you hear from some of the media, this is a solid team built for the long haul and not on the verge of collapse. Let's not forget the Eagles had a record of 13-3 and are sending 10 players to the Pro bowl this year. But every year presents important decisions that have to be made by the team regarding free agents and the draft. This article will deal with free agency and leave the draft for a later date. (Don't forget to check out our Mock Draft ).

Here is my early guess at what happens. It 's difficult to project until the draft occurs and they tender offers to other free agents. Look for the Birds to sign superstar RB Shaun Alexander early March when free agency opens. And look for the Eagles to go after WR TJ Houshmandzadeh of the Bengals at that time too.

Years in NFL
Jermane Mayberry
Unless he decides to take a 2 yr deal for backup money, he'll be playing some where else next yr.
Chad Lewis
He'll be back
He won't have leverage coming off an injury and at age 33, he'll settle for a lesser contract.
Jon Ritchie
He'll be back
He won't have leverage coming off an injury and at age 30, he'll settle for a lesser contract.
Correll Buckhalter
He'll be back
With 2 knee surgeries in 3 years, he won't have any leverage. The Eagles will resign him, but he may not make the team next fall if they draft a running back.
Jeff Blake
Not Sure
He wants to come back and it will all depend on if the Eagles draft a QB in the later rounds.
Dorsey Levens
After Emmitt retired, he has the dubious distinction of being the oldest RB in the league.
Hugh Douglas
Not Sure
I think he will sign for a one year veteran minimum and come back. It will also depend on what happens with Derrick Burgess.
Derrick Burgess
The Eagles won't give him a long term contract with a big signing bonus. But I think some other team will
Jeremaih Trotter
He'll be back
The Eagles know the improvement to the run defense was dramatic. And Trotter knows that Jimmy Johnson' s defense is made for him and the reason he is going to the Pro bowl. Both sides find a way to get it done.
Ike Reese
He'll be back
Ike wants to play here and the Eagles want him back. Look for them to work a short term deal that both sides can live with.
Keith Adams
Not Sure
He played well at the end of the season. The Eagles won't give him a big contract. I think he may find work elsewhere.

There you have it, an early look at what might happen with the existing Eagle players in free agency. Email me you opinion on who you think will stay or and why. I'll be glad to put fan rebuttals up or opinions. In the coming weeks we'll look at more free agents that are out there who the Eagles might like. Email me who you think they should go after.



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First Round Mock Draft is up. Expanded Player Analysis and what to expect from them. Stop back weekly to see how the draft changes.

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"Cooking Up
Italian Memories"
by Jules Pilla

Say it Ain't So! New England steals Eagles dream 24-21, take Superbowl XXXIX rings
Jules Pilla Feb 7th, 2005

For the past two weeks , the city of Philadelphia was like I never have seen it. Saying hi to strangers at the Supermarket. Chit Chatting about the GAME with anybody who had an Eagles sweatshirt on. Watching the local news devoid of any fires, tradegies or murders. Funny how there weren't any crimes doing these two weeks. Hearing Fly Eagles Fly until you couldn't get it out of your head. Smiling for no real reason except for the fact that the Eagles, our beloved Eagles. were going to the Superbowl for the first time in 24 years.

Yes, going to the Superbowl after all this time. It's funny but I still feel angry about the 1981 Superbowl. That Jaworski led team were not even in the game. Jaws tossed an opening game pick that we never recovered from. I have that game on video tape. Twenty four years have passed and I still have never brought myself to watch it again. It still hurts too much.

But this year, I felt different. It was our turn. I was going to a parade down Broad Street. This Eagles team would erase years of empty feeling. The great feeling of the last two weeks would go on until next season. But Nooooooooo.

Snap back to reality.

The expectations of the fans this year, this week, were simple. One, just get us to the Superbowl and two, play a competitve game. And with the final score being 24-21, you could say that everybody should be feeling ok today. I'm sure that's not the case. That's how we will feel after we get over this deep funk we now feel. Even Prozac won't help make this pain go away.
Many fans complain to me and say, I'm too optimistic and color everything rosey. Not this time. The pit of my stomach hurts too much and the tears running down my face make it hard to type.

The game itself.. where to begin?

It is hard to criticize Donovan McNabb for this game. I love this guy. He played well enough to give us a chance to win but after his best season ever, the critics will still be asking can he win the big game. He finished the game with 30-51 for 357 yards and 3 TD's and 3 INT's. He also fumbled a ball and threwn another INT that were both reversed. He had a very Bret Favre type of game.

If there is area of the team that can be pointed to for coming up short, I would point to the play of the offensive and defensive lines. On the offensive side of the ball, Donovan barely had time to set up to throw. The Pats pressured him all day long. He was sacked 4 times and knocked down countless times and hurried too many times. On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles just managed to get one sack on Brady. Even with all the blitzing they did, he still was able to stand in there with more time that Donovan had. Javon Kearse was a non factor. And the starting interior line didn't get the push up the middle that we needed.

Terrell Owens...what can you say?

He is simply outstanding. He is a medical marvel. To be able to get on the field was remarkable . But to have a really good game is another. He finished the game with 9 catches and 122 yards. Not to shabby.
Oh and while I'm here , let me say two words to Freddie Mitchell, SHUT UP. At first I found him amusing now I just find him just irritating. Let me check the game stats for Fred Ex. Oh here they are catch for 11 yards. And Fred , you don't celebrate after a 11 yd catch and take time off the clock in a hurry up offense.

Other highlights and lowlights...

Derrick Burgess had another sack. He has really come on strong and could emerge as a star next year.

Brian Westbrook had a nice game with 7 catches for 60 yards and a TD. And the TD was a thing of beauty. A laser beam thrown by Donovan Mcnabb between two defenders.

Greg Lewis had an outstanding game coming in later after Pinkston had to leave the game with cramps. He had 4 catches for 53 yards and a TD. We'll see more of him next year.

Pinkston had a 40 yard catch from Donovan that was as pretty a catch as you will ever see.

This team really has to work on a hurry up offense. Down 10 points in the fourth quarter, their entire 79 yd drive showed no urgency. Having a huddle on every play made for a painful 79 yd drive. I'm sure every fan in Philadelphia was screaming at the TV . Andy needs to improve on that ascept of his game as this is not the first time we have seen this slowing moving Hurry -up offense.

Snap Back to reality

I guess that we are left with the words we have gotten used to saying in Philadelphia. "NEXT YEAR". I hate those words.
I'm not getting any younger and we had to wait 24 years for this chance. You know, I think the weather is suppsed to sunny today. Not for me and millions of fans. It 's cloudy again. The 24 yr old cloud was lifted for two weeks. Two beautiful, fantastic weeks. Now it's back. That's ok , we're used to it.

Thanks Eagles for a terrific year. It was a great season. Millions of fans felt great all season long. And the past two weeks will never be forgotten. For all the heartache we feel right now, we love you. And we always will.

Don't worry, we'll get them " Next Year"


Eagles vs New England
by Steve Olenski ,
Feb 1st






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