The season’s not over, but for the Eagles things are wrapped. Finding themselves in a very different position than they were five weeks ago, it seems the sports press has unanimously decided McNabb’s and Reid’s jobs are secured.
Those notwithstanding, here are the Eagles who are eligible for free agency this off season:
Unrestricted: Correlll Buckhalter, Sean Considine, Brian Dawkins, Joselio Hansen, Jon Runyun, Tra Thomas, LJ Smith
Restricted: Hank Baskett, Nick Cole
Exclusive Rights: Tank Daniels
Some of those names are scary to look at (Brian Dawkins!) some less memorable, but the Eagles have always been a loyal organization, even to those the fans are not sure deserve a second (or third or fourth) chance.
Not long ago the talk of the town — and of sports nation — was how the next season was going to have to be a time of rebuilding in Philadelphia, perhaps finally breaking ties with the Reid/McNabb era and starting from scratch, maybe with Kevin Kolb.
Now we find an Eagles team that fought its way into the NFC championshop game. And lost. Again.
I have no qualms with how the Eagles played down the stretch. McNabb did his job, though not perfectly, once again proving just barely he’s still a franchise quarterback. But is that what a franchise quarterback is? Someone who’s always one step shy of the top?
There is an extensive list of talented quarterbacks never to win a Super Bowl. Among them, only one is arguably still unmatched in his athletic ability and statistics save for that one elusive one. That person being, obviously, Dan Marino. Even then, is that what we want in Philadelphia? How many more times does McNabb need to get on the doorstep before he can walk through the door? Arguments about supporting cast are moot; He’s been there with a varying array of talent and he still has no ring.
I’m not calling for him to be tossed. He’s talented for sure. We’ll have to see where the pieces fall.