Newly Cut Players Could Interest Eagles

The Eagles have some potential job openings on the offensive side of the ball. With a bunch of new players out of jobs, are there any that could interest the Eagles?

If free agency ever does get going in the NFL, there are going to be plenty of players looking for wlrk. Here are some veteran offensive players from around the National Football League released in recent days, some of which could interest the Eagles:

Quarterback: It looks like the Eagles may be thinking that Mike McMahon isn't the man when it comes to backing up Donovan McNabb. Neither is Koy Detmer. Both could wind up being released and there are some potential replacements out there.

Kerry Collins (Oakland): The salary-cap strapped Raiders did not have many options in getting below the league-mandated $94.5 million dollar cap. Collins due to his large cap number (approximately 13-million dollars) was an easy target. Still possessing a big-arm, Collins is a vertical game type quarterback and has shown the tendency to be prone to turnovers. While his decision making process has improved, he still locks on receivers far too often. Will receive some serious interest in free agency, as he remains a viable starting quarterback option, which puts him out of the Eagles price range for a backup.

Tony Banks (Houston): Banks has been a backup to David Carr in Houston and should only expect to serve in a reserve capacity at this point in his career. Still athletic, Banks still has a strong arm, but inconsistency and a knack for turning the ball have hampered him throughout his career. Likely not much better of an option than what the Eagles have right now.

Jay Fiedler (Jets): Brought in to serve as insurance in the event starter Chad Pennington was injured, Fielder went down with a shoulder injury minutes into his first opportunity in New York. Has had some success as a starter, but is now in the twilight of his career and should be looked upon as a backup or emergency type starter, but may not be a guy that the Eagles would want to hand their offense over to if McNabb were to go down with another injury.

Tommy Maddox (Pittsburgh): Appears to have lost all confidence in his ability. Often throws into coverage and has proven to be very erratic. Unlikely he will suit up in 2006, unless a team comes calling for a veteran type to step in. It's a shame really, because he could have been a decent option, but his lack of confidence is a killer.

Running back
Mike Anderson (Denver): Looking to clear cap space and provide Ron Dayne a greater opportunity (as a backup), Anderson was a somewhat surprising cut for the Broncos. Not the fleetest afoot, Anderson has proven to be a powerful inside, downhill type rusher. On the downside of his career, Anderson has the ability to play, but shouldn't be counted on as a feature back at this point. He could be counted on as a pretty good backup to Brian Westbrook, if the Eagles are interested.

Stephen Davis (Carolina): At one time Davis was as good as any back in the league. Knee injuries have robbed Davis of his surprising quickness and upper-body shiftiness. Still retains power, but is too great an injury risk to count on. Thanks, but no thanks, the Eagles have their own injury-prone running back.

Rod Smart (Carolina): Simply a reserve at the running back position, Smart has had some success in the return game and should catch on with a team seeking a better than average kick return specialist. May be worth a look if the price is right.

Tony Hollings (Houston): Never reached the potential many scouts believed he possessed when coming out of Georgia Tech. Knee injury in college robbed him of playing time and quite possibly took some of his game from him. Hollings is a reserve at best at the professional level.

Cal Murray (San Diego): Special teams type player.

Fullback
Jerald Sowell (Jets) Has one role, of a blocking back. Good blocker that understands his role of sacrificing himself. Teams which utilize the two-back or H-back sets with a need should express an interest.

Tight end
Jeb Putzier (Denver): Has turned into a solid tight-end in the Broncos offensive system. Putzier release was in an effort to reduce the Denver salary-cap issues and no other reason. His blocking has improved, but should be deemed average, while excelling as a receiver. The interest in Putzier will start immediate when the free agent player signing period commences. Not a position that the Eagles are going to focus on and will wind up being too pricey for the birds.

Mark Campbell (Buffalo): As the Bills sought to gain salary-cap relief, Campbell was an easy target for the team. Has battled injuries throughout his career, when healthy has shown the ability to get open, and is a sufficient run blocker. Campbell should be looked at as a depth player for a team looking to fill out the roster with a veteran presence type player willing to play special teams.

Wide receiver
Cedric James (New England): Non-descript, special teams type player at best. No thank you.

Johnnie Morton (San Francisco): Nearing the end of his career. Still runs routes well, but has slowed and does not catch the ball nearly as well as in his days in Detroit. Can be a help as a reserve, but shouldn't be counted on to be a major contributor. No thank you.

Harry Williams (Jets) Special teams type player. No thank you. Noticing a trend here?

Offensive tackle
Damion McIntosh (Miami): Age, size, and physical limitations make McIntosh a risky proposition at the tackle position. Due to the lack of top-flight talent at the tackle position in the game, McIntosh should remain in the game as a reserve.

Brad Hopkins (Tennessee): He may be getting up in age (35), but Hopkins still possesses the ability and consistency sought at the left tackle position. At one time, He was close to being a dominant tackle, utilizing quickness and excellent handwork, now he depends on experience and desire to play the position at a high level. Due to age, Hopkins shouldn't be counted on to be much more than a two-year stop-gap player.

Matt Morgan (St. Louis): Reserve, special teams type player.

Matt Hill (Carolina): Reserve, special teams type player.

Jason Fabini (Jets): Fabini was a solid, workmanlike tackle for the New York Jets prior to a pectoral muscle tear midway through the 2005 season. Capable of manning either the left or right tackle position, Fabini has been a consistent lineman without significant injury concerns. Fabini remains strong at the point of attack due to a wide base and leg strength. Released as a salary-cap relief measure, Fabini will garner serious looks from teams seeking an above average, experience lineman. This is a guy that the Eagles may turn to if things go a certain way. His price would have to stay low, but the Eagles may have a mild interest.

Mike Williams (Buffalo): A classic underachiever inside a mammoth frame. Williams was a highly touted lineman coming out of Texas, but has never achieved at the level expected of a high first-round draft selection. Overall play is inconsistent and sloppy, does not move well, and cannot reach the second level of defense. Williams can start on a team which can hide his deficiencies and will receive some looks based off his size and experience.

Guard
Ron Stone (Oakland): This cagey veteran will not wind down his career in Oakland. A marginal, fringe type player now, Stone still has the ability to run block well, but struggles against quicker defensive linemen. Inconsistent is getting to the second-level of the defense and can be beat without help over the duration of a game. May get some looks from teams wanting to add depth, especially in training camp.

Will Shields (Kansas City): Just like a fine wine, Shields appears to get better with age. Still can control his man at the point of attack and run block with the best in the business. Shields plays with a find you and grind you attitude. Even at 35-years of age, Shields has the quickness and strength to pass block well. If Kansas City does not resign the veteran lineman, Shields will command immediate attention on the open market. You would think the age would scare off the Eagles, who don't appear interested in bringing back Jon Runyan. Then again, they're looking at Kevin Mawae, so who knows?

David Loverne (Detroit): Serviceable at the point of attack, Loverne does not possess the strength and overall skill to make an impact at the guard position. Plays smaller than his size, can be overpowered by larger defensive linemen. Could be a starter on some teams and should receive some attention once free agency commences.

Center:
Kevin Mawae (Jets): Was playing at a high level prior to a left triceps injury which cost him the majority of the 2005 season. Tough and highly respected, Mawae remains a solid center who can generate better than average results in the run and passing game, but should not be counted on to be an elite player at this stage of his career (35 years old; 12-year veteran). The Eagles are definitely interested, but LeCharles Bentley will be their first target. Could they get both Bentley and Mawae? Not out of the question, with Bentley moving to guard or tackle.

Joe Iorio (Giants): Deep backup, special teams type player.


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