Originally posted 4/19/08 . You’d think after all the T.O. shenanigans, all the times we had to see Drew Rosenhaus’ weasely little mug sprawled across the TV whining about how his client needs more money, and the entire season it took the Birds to recover from the ongoing train-wreck known as Terrell Owens, that there’d be no way I’d be receptive to a Chad Johnson trade. And yet, here I am, silently praying that Andy & co are secretly working on some Lito Sheppard-esque package to dangle in front of the Bengals between now and the draft.
First, to be clear, it’s not that I want to get rid of Lito. I fully recognize that Lito, Asante and Dawk would make a beast of a secondary. However, aside from Lito’s nagging injury concerns, I think we have a bigger hole to plug. I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to convince myself that, now that McNabb is fully recovered and L.J. Smith is back and Kevin Curtis is doing better and Reggie Brown occasionally doesn’t suck and if Westbrook stays healthy, that maybe those guys can get the job done on offense. Riiiiiight. Just can’t get those images of the 2007 season and the god-awful red zone performance out of my head. I’ve been trying to believe the crap that the Eagles keep feeding us that they’ve already got the guys they need on offense to make it back to the playoffs. But I can’t seem to ignore that pesky little voice in my head wondering whether Ray Charles could have done a better job finding the end zone than McNabb in recent games. Or that Christopher Reeve-sans-wheelchair could have run more impressive routes than Reggie Brown or Greg Lewis. Whether it’s the fault of the QB or the receiving corps or both, the Eagles receivers can’t catch jack inside the 20, and we all know how much that sucked to watch last year.
Maybe I’ve just convinced myself that, despite occasionally running his mouth and taping “Ocho Cinco” onto his jersey, Chad Johnson is still not nearly the breed of pain-in-the-ass that T.O. is. Or maybe I just think it’s worth the risk given the current state of affairs. Regardless, Chad is essentially worthless to the Bengals at this point, and because Cincy’s defense is nothing short of horrendous (with the secondary being an entirely new stratum of monstrosity), I see an ideal trade opportunity for both squads. The future suddenly looks glorious with a solid number one receiver on the roster. Westbrook already demands double-coverage; add a healthy McNabb, Johnson, Curtis, L.J. Smith (and OK even Reggie) to the mix and you’ve got yourself a nearly unstoppable offense.
And oh yeah, as for the actual draft… For the love of god, I pray the Birds don’t try their luck with a 1st round WR that may or may not ever pan out. Yes, I realize that if they don’t pick up a veteran, they absolutely need to draft a WR somewhere along the line. No, I do not want that to be in the first round. Yes, I know that the Eagles need some major help in the return game. No, once again I do not want that to be in the first round. Very obviously, we DO need an offensive tackle, and we need one now. Runyan and Tra/William/Tra Thomas have been invaluable and yet it’s no secret that they’re getting old. And if you watched the first Giants game last season, you’d rather see Todd Pinkston come back to Philly and play tackle than possibly think about throwing Winston Justice in the starting spot anytime in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, I wholeheartedly agree with the Delco Times that the Eagles should consider trading up for a top-10 to 12 spot in the first round to go after a top o-lineman. After all, as good as the offense can be, the Birds can’t allow them to be hamstringed in coming years by failing to shore up an aging and banged-up o-line.
And finally, there are the safety concerns. Dawkins swears he’ll be as tough as ever this season, but his injuries are a major source of unease. And then there’s the strong safety spot, where we’ve learned that Sean Considine will never be more than par. Quintin Mikell and J.R. Reed did a great job of filling in last season but the fact remains that the Eagles NEEEEEED to pick up a safety. So maybe Andy & co couldn’t foresee so many safeties going so quickly in the first round last year, but they absolutely cannot neglect to draft a safety by the end of the first day this year. And I don’t care what happens, if the Eagles trade down in the first round to the benefit of the Cowboys or any other stupid NFC East team again this season, I’m going to gouge my eyes out. Long story short: GET A FRIGGIN SAFETY, AND GET ONE EARLY.
And there you have it… here’s hoping for no more Kevin Kolb caliber surprises in 2008.