Jeremy Bloom could be placed on injured reserve, since every time that he moves, his injured hamstring seems to give him more problems. Jabar Gaffney was somewhat of a question mark after a slow start in camp, but has played much better the past couple of weeks and has likely saved his job on the roster. That leaves Todd Pinkston as the real question mark, depending on his health. He didn't look very healthy or very involved in the offense against Pittsburgh, leading to speculation that he may not be ready to start the season.
Pinkston's health and the lack of veteran leadership near the top of the depth chart has given rise to speculation that the Eagles will continue to scour the market for wide receivers.
One receiver who the Eagles are interested in is disgruntled New England Patriots receiver Deion Branch. The Pats have given Branch until this coming Friday to find a trade that the Patriots would accept to send him to another club and the Eagles are in the mix. The big drawback is the fact that the Eagles may not want to pay Branch the kind of money that he is looking for in a re-negotiated deal.
The Eagles are sniffing around at just what it would take to get Deion Branch from New England. It's thought that the Patriots will want at least a first round pick, plus, the Eagles would have to throw some pretty big bucks at Branch to get a deal done.
(Photo by Nick Laham / Getty Images)
The Eagles will likely rely heavily on the evalutaion of Branch by Jason Licht, their vice president of player personnel, who was a scout and player personnel evaluator for New England prior to coming to the Eagles. It's thought that Licht has told his colleagues with the Eagles that while Branch would be a nice addition, he may be a bit pricey to sign. The Eagles are also thought to not want to give up a first round pick in a deal to add a receiver.
A long shot option would be New Orleans' wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who has aggravated the Saints with his constant lack of work ethic. The Eagles - and other clubs - believe that Stallworth has a lot of talent, but that he would be a tough fit in the locker room because of his approach to the game. The Saints are shopping Stallworth and are looking for his replacement at the same time and have put themselves in the running to acquire Branch.
Branch has a deal in place for the 2006 season that would pay him $1.045 million as the final season of a five-year rookie deal that he signed in 2002. He has held himself out of camp and is reportedly looking for a deal that would guarantee him over $13 million in bonuses and guarantees and would pay him $40 million over five years; it's the type of deal that Indianapolis receiver Reggie Wayne recently signed. While the Eagles have some cap money to play with, it's thought that they won't want to put that much into Branch.
The Eagles don't appear desperate to add a veteran wide receiver and believe that while Pinkston may not be healthy at the start of the season, he won't have to miss too much time. With the price tag on Branch and the concerns over Stallworth's attitude, it's much more likely that the Eagles will keep an eye on the cuts that will be made between now and the start of the season to add a lower tier receiver, who would fit in a little lower on the depth chart and serve as a complement to Brown and Baskett.