Negotiations between the Eagles and Leonard Weaver broke down tongiht, but the fullback's agent is confident a deal can be struck by tomorrow.
"We're very close," Harold Lewis said. "There are some things they need to sleep on and there are some things I need to sleep on. The bottom line is Leonard wants to stay in Philly and the Eagles want him back. The rest is easy."
Weaver, in the meantime, received a second-round draft pick tender, the team announced.
The Eagles also released the rest of their tenders: CB Ellis Hobbs (1st round compensation), FB Leonard Weaver (2nd round), WR Jason Avant (2nd round), G/C Nick Cole (2nd round), LB Akeem Jordan (2nd round), LB Chris Gocong (3rd round), G Max Jean-Gilles (4th round), LB Omar Gaither (5th round), and P Sav Rocca (no compensation).
If another club signs one of these players to an offer sheet, the Eagles have seven days to match the offer. If they chose not to match, the club will receive 2010 draft pick compensation listed in parentheses after each player’s name. NFL teams are permitted to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets from March 5 to April 15.
Tight end Alex Smith was not tendered.
With the midnight deadline fast approaching, the Eagles are locking up most of their restricted free agents with tenders.
Wide receiver Jason Avant, guard Nick Cole and linebacker Akeem Jordan have received second-round tenders, according to various sources. Avant and Cole, with four years of experience, would earn $1.759 million next season if the Eagles were to retain the RFAs. Jordan, with three years, would get $1.684 million in salary.
If another team were to try and sign the players, the Eagles would have seven days to match the offer. If they chose not to, the Eagles would get back a second-round draft pick in compensation. Cornerback Ellis Hobbs has also reportedly received a second-round tender.
The Eagles, meanwhile, are trying to lock up fullback Leonard Weaver to a multi-year deal before the deadline. According to Weaver's agent, Harold Lewis, negotiations were still ongoing as of this morning. Weaver has expressed his desire to stay in Philly and the Eagles are hoping to keep other interested teams away from the Pro Bowler.
The rest of the Eagles' restricted free agents have either received low tenders or are expected to. Linebacker Omar Gaither received the low tender for a restricted free agent with four years of service, his agent Todd France said today. Linebacker Chris Gocong, guard Max Jean-Gilles and Sav Rocca have been tendered at levels equal to or relatively equal to that of Gaither. The Eagles aren't expected to tender a contract to tight end Alex Smith.
Gaither would bring the Eagles a fifth-round draft pick in compensation if another team wished to sign the 25-year-old. The Eagles originially drafted Gaither in the fifth round of the 2006 draft. If an offer was made from another team, the Eagles would have seven days to match. Otherwise if Gaither comes back next year he would be slated to earn $1.176 million.
The low offer gives an indication of how the Eagles value Gaither, who is coming off a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. Gaither started last season at middle linebacker after Stewart Bradley tore his ACL, but saw his season end when he injured his foot against the Raiders in Game 5. Gaither, who can also play weak-side linebacker, offers flexibility so the Eagles could be willing to bring him back for next season.
Jordan started ten games last season, mostly at weak-side linebacker. He was one of the better players on defense during the early portion of the season until he hyperextended his knee. The Eagles then moved him to middle linebacker where he struggled. Jordan was an undrafted free agenct out of Division I-AA James Madison. If he returns next season, he would likely compete with Will Witherspoon for the weak-side linebacker job.
And a clarification: The deadline for the Michael Vick $1.5 million roster bonus isn't until March 9. The date had first been reported as March 5 and then March 10, but it is March 9, the fifth day of the 2010 league year.
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