Friday, March 07, 2008

Eagles Release Spikes

Linebacker Takeo Spikes is history after just one season with the Birds.

He was all over the field with 139 tackles, but had only one sack and didn't cause a single turnover. The third-round draft pick, Stewart Bradley, got onto the field in the last two games and created havoc - making huge goalline tackles and interceptions - and basically forced the Eagles to make room for him on the field. Spikes, an older player scheduled to make $5 million this season, was the natural choice to drop. Gaither will move to WLB and Bradley will start in the middle. A mid- or low-round draft pick at LB will supplement the position and add competition. I'm not concerned at all about losing Spikes.

Now the question becomes: What do the Eagles do with the extra $5 million? I don't see them picking up any more significant free agents, unless D.J. Hackett's price drops to the $4 million/year range (unlikely). That means it's the perfect time to re-sign some of their own players to long-term contracts.

  • Priority #1: Brian Westbrook. Currently signed through 2010, but grossly underpaid. You'll need him here, productive and happy, to ease the eventual transition from McNabb to Kolb. Give him a 5-year/$35 million deal with $15 million up front, with annual tickets to Hawaii.
  • Priority #2: Omar Gaither. You won't have to spend a lot to get this done - he's a productive, but not dominant player who is still very young, at a position that doesn't command a lot of money. Currently signed through 2009.

Meanwhile, Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote an article with the exact same plea I made a week ago. I'm sure that Domo doesn't read my blog, but it's comforting to see professional sportswriters eventually arriving at my conclusions.


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