Friday, March 16, 2007

Kevin Curtis to the Eagles

As you've no doubt already read, the Eagles signed free-agent WR Kevin Curtis to a six-year deal yesterday.

Curtis, 28, has been modestly productive in his NFL career (best season: 60 catches.) In fairness, he's been buried behind two All-Pro WRs in St. Louis, so he's never been a starter for a full season. He has blazing speed, and has demonstrated both good hands and crisp route-running when he's played. He'll get $9.5 million in guaranteed money, which is definitely a nice chunk of change...but compared to the $20 million in guarantees thrown at a horrible player like Leonard Davis, the Eagles are getting excellent value for their dollars.

I really like this move. After losing Stallworth to the Patriots (excellent move by the Pats, signing him to essentially a 1-year, $3 million contract), the Eagles needed speed in the WR corps, and Curtis is an excellent choice to provide it. He is not as accomplished a WR as Stallworth, but he's every bit as fast, has better hands, and no injury history. Although it's a moderate gamble, since he is unproven as a starter, it's a smart gamble. Overall, Curtis should be an upgrade over Stallworth, because he'll be on the field more.

The Eagles are next looking to find a back-up RB to Westbrook, someone that can carry the ball ten times a game and handle short-yardage duties. Ron Dayne (ugh) was in for a visit yesterday, and the Eagles seem to be leaning toward either him or re-signing Buckhalter. This role isn't vitally important, and I believe either guy could handle it, but I'd rather see Buckhalter back with the Birds. Ron Dayne never scared me when he was playing for the Giants - in fact, I was relieved when the Giants would bring him in at the goalline to replace Tiki. For as big as he is, he's never run with much authority, and goes down way too easily (insert your favorite blowjob analogy here.) The good news is that his last two years have been his most productive, so perhaps he's getting better. Frankly, I'd love to see Tony Hunt from PSU drafted to fill this role, but the Eagles probably don't want to spend a second-round pick on a RB, when they have bigger needs on defense.

I'd really love to see them add Mike Doss - he could move right into the starting SS spot, with Considine eventually taking the FS role after Dawkins retires. Doss would definitely be an upgrade, but since SS is not a dire need for the Eagles, I expect them to be outbid by a team like Cincinnati. LB is another area of need, but I can't think of any remaining free agent LBs that would make a big impact on this team.

The addition of Curtis, and presumably Dayne, essentially eliminates the possibility of the Eagles drafting a WR or RB on Day 1. Expect their first three picks to be LB, S, CB - not necessarily in that order.


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