Wednesday, October 1, 2014
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Moves that affect the Eagles

The Eagles stayed relatively quiet on the first day of free agency, working out deals for a couple of their key veterans in Todd Herremans and Trent Cole.

Moves that affect the Eagles

Pierre Garcon signed a five-year deal with the Redskins on Tuesday. (AP Photo / AJ Mast)
Pierre Garcon signed a five-year deal with the Redskins on Tuesday. (AP Photo / AJ Mast)

The Eagles stayed relatively quiet on the first day of free agency, working out deals for a couple of their key veterans in Todd Herremans and Trent Cole.

But there were plenty of moves made around the league. Here's a look, along with how some affect the Birds.

Let's start with the wide receiver market. In a slightly surprising move, the Saints were able to hold on to Marques Colston, signing him to a five-year deal worth between $35M and $40M, with $18M to $19M guaranteed, according to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The Redskins, meanwhile, signed Pierre Garcon to a deal that was originally reported as five years, $42.5M with $21.5M guaranteed. Jason La Canfora of NFL Network clarified that Garcon received an $11M signing bonus and $2.1M guaranteed in base salary for 2012. His $5.6M salary for 2013 is guaranteed as long as he's on the roster the third day of the league year. And Garcon is scheduled to make $7M-plus in each of the final three seasons.

And finally, Vincent Jackson, the crown jewel of the wide receiver market, got a five-year, $55.55M deal from the Bucs with $26M guaranteed and $36M in the first three years, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

So, what do these deals mean for DeSean Jackson? It's tough to compare him to Colston. They are two completely different receivers. Colston has size, plays a lot in the slot and makes catches in the middle of the field.

Vincent Jackson, meanwhile, is simply a better player than DeSean. They are both dangerous downfield threats, but Vincent Jackson can also make catches in traffic, has size, good hands and can affect the game in the red zone. The only real advantages DeSean has over him is that he's four years younger and can be a dangerous return man (even though he was not that last year).

As for Garcon, DeSean is clearly a better player. They are the same age, and DeSean has been more productive through four NFL seasons. Here's a quick comparison of their past three seasons:

  Catches Yards Yds./Catch TDs
Garcon 184 2,496 13.6 16
Jackson 168 3,184 19.0 19

Garcon has returned some punts and kicks, but has never scored on special teams or as a runner. Jackson has seven non-receiving scores, so that TD total could just as easily be 26. Garcon's appeared in 58 career games; Jackson 60.

In other words, it'd be perfectly reasonable for Drew Rosenhaus to ask the Eagles for a better contract than what Garcon received from the Redskins, although being on the open market provides more leverage for a player than if he's re-signing with the same team. There are still moves to be made. Brandon Lloyd, perhaps the second-best wide receiver who hit the market, will visit the 49ers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. And Rosenhaus will keep an eye on Mike Wallace to see if he gets a long-term deal - either with the Steelers or another team that tries to steal him away. But it seems clear at this point that DeSean would have received a pretty nice payday had he hit the open market.

The other position that we've discussed constantly this offseason is linebacker. There were reports that Curtis Lofton was close to signing with the Bucs, but that interest cooled, according to Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com.

Meanwhile, Anwar Richardson of MLive.com reported that the Lions were working hard Tuesday night to work out a deal with Stephen Tulloch, although as of this writing, nothing had gotten done yet. Detroit has also shown interest in linebacker David Hawthorne, according to Adam Caplan. And the Saints could be a player for Hawthorne too, per Triplett.

Finally, Pro Football Talk reports that Dan Connor will visit the Cowboys.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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