Why Brandon Albert isn't an Eagle

    Believe it or not, and most of you out there who are convinced that Jeff Lurie and Joe Banner order dinner off the McDonald's 99-cents menu probably won't, the Eagles didn't wake up Saturday morning intending to trade out of the first round.

   When the Chicago Bears threw everybody a curve ball at No. 14 and took Vanderbilt offensive tackle Chris Williams over Virginia's Brandon Albert, the Eagles tried to trade up and get Albert. Here's what happened according to NFL people familiar with the situation:

   The Eagles, who had the 19th pick, knew Albert wouldn't make it past the Kansas City Chiefs, who were at 17. So they hopped on the phone and called the Arizona Cardinals, who had the 16th pick, and tried to trade into their spot. But the Cardinals wanted Tennessee State cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and were worried that he'd be gone if they traded down to 19. So they said thanks but no thanks.

   Here's where it gets interesting. As soon as they hung up with the Eagles, somebody from the Cardinals called the Chiefs and tipped them off to the fact that the Eagles were trying to trade up ahead of them to get Albert. The Chiefs then picked up the phone and called Detroit Lions GM Matt Millen, whose team was on the clock at No. 15. The Eagles also tried to get through to Millen. But the Chiefs kept him on the line until they consummated a deal and made the pick for Albert.

   Unable to move up and get Albert, the Eagles were prepared to stay at 19 and take a player -- probably either Pitt offensive tackle Jeff Otah or Kansas cornerback Aquib Talib. But then the Carolina Panthers called and offered the Eagles a package that included their first-round pick next year and they took it. The rest is history.