Free Agency Review-NFC East

From now until the start of the NFL Combine next week, scout.com will take a look at all 32 teams free agents and how they fit in to their current teams plans for the 2005 season and beyond.

Philadelphia Eagles

Offense

Jeff Blake / Quarterback / UFA - The 34-year old signal caller likely won't return to the club as they're looking to develop a younger alternative at the no.3 spot on the depth chart.

Dorsey Levens / Running Back / UFA - The 11-year pro did a nice job this past season especially when you consider he missed the whole off-season and all of training camp. However, the Eagles are looking for a much younger back to handle at least 10 carries a game over the next few seasons so the chances of Levens being re-signed aren't strong.

Correll Buckhalter / Running Back / UFA - He's coming off of his second serious knee injury and it's quite possible the team looks for another back with less of an injury history to compliment Brian Westbrook. Look for the team to show interest in the Jets' LaMont Jordan or to use one of their two second-round picks on a back.

Brian Westbrook / Running Back / RFA - In a sense, the offense revolves on Westbrook's versatility so the Eagles will do everything they can to not only re-sign him but to get him to sign on the dotted line for several seasons.

Jon Ritchie / Full Back / UFA - He's still rehabbing a knee injury and since the Eagles are considered to have more of a passing offense, the use of a fullback isn't a key element to their success which makes Ritchie's presence less important. Still, his replacement, Josh Parry didn't establish himself well enough to be the future at the position so it's not out of the question that when Ritchie's surgically repaired knee is 100% again that they look to bring him back.

Jeff Thomason / Tight End / UFA - He had been retired when the Eagles called during the playoffs for him to be an injury replacement. Look for Thomason to go back to retirement.

Chad Lewis / Tight End / UFA - The 33-year old Lewis suffered a broken foot during the playoffs which will take several months to heal. The team likes Lewis enough to bring him back for at least one more season if he can prove the foot is totally healed. However, even if he comes back, he'll likely see a limited role in back of L.J. Smith.

Jermane Mayberry / Guard / UFA - With the emergence of reserve lineman Artis Hicks in a starting role this past season and former first-round pick Shawn Andrews returning from a season-long injury, Mayberry is likely the odd man out.

Ian Allen / Guard-Tackle/ RFA - He started 11 games during the 2003 season for the Giants so he does have some value as a key backup for the Eagles so expect them to look to re-sign him.

Defense

Derrick Burgess / Defensive End/ UFA - He has missed more than half of his 64 possible games in his four seasons of play. Burgess has a nice upside but he also can't be counted upon either so don't look for the team offer him a big contract to re-sign him. They'll likely let him see what his best offer is out in free agency and see if they want to offer him more.

Hugh Douglas / Defensive End / UFA - Head coach Andy Reid likes Douglas because he keeps the players loose but Douglas would only play a minor backup role if they bring him back due to his age and declining skills.

Corey Simon / Defensive Tackle/ UFA - The Eagles placed the franchise tag on him which means Simon will return for at least the 2005 season.

Keith Adams / Outside Linebacker/ UFA - The versatile Adams showed last season that he could perform well in an increased role. However, he also proved in the Super Bowl that he's too small to be an every down player. Look for the team to re-sign him since he's coming off of his season as a professional and he's an excellent reserve linebacker and special teams player.

Ike Reese / Outside Linebacker / UFA - Like Adams, Reese is a versatile player who can play inside or outside and he's also an excellent special teams player. It's quite possible that even though Reese is a backup, he'll receive interest in the free agent market. That being said, the Eagles really want to re-sign him. He's also viewed as one of the team leaders.

Jeremiah Trotter / Middle Linebacker / UFA - He swallowed his pride and re-signed with the club last season for the veteran minimum salary without a signing bonus. Interestingly, Trotter not only had a good season but he was named to the Pro Bowl. The Eagles will look to re-sign him but won't go overboard with a big contract either since they normally don't like to pay their linebackers big money. Since Trotter proved his surgically repaired knee is healthy, which was originally injured during the 2002 season, he should receive a decent amount of interest in free agency.


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