Here's the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.
Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post breaks down the market for cornerback Asante Samuel. He lists the Bucs, Lions, Chargers, Panthers, Titans and Browns as teams that could potentially be interested. Here's what Fortenbaugh says about Tampa:
Ronde Barber is coming back for a 16th season, but will turn 37-years-old in April and could function better as the Buccaneers’ No. 3 cornerback. With Samuel lining up opposite of free agent acquisition Eric Wright, the Bucs would be well on their way to improving a defense that ranked 21st against the pass last season and dead last in points allowed (30.9 pts/gm). Tampa may be trying to get younger, but in a division that features Drew Brees, Cam Newton and the Roddy White-Julio Jones receiving duo, you can never have too many solid corners. Should the Bucs show an interest but come up short, that may tip us off that the team is gunning for LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the fifth overall pick instead of Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
SI.com's Peter King likes the Eagles' move to acquire linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Texans:
I think, judging by the well-worn NFL draft choice value chart, I like what Philadelphia got more than Houston in the deal for linebacker DeMeco Ryans, the former centerpiece of the Texans defense. Houston got a fourth-round pick and moved up 12 spots in the third round. That, according to the trade chart, is the equivalent of getting the 86th pick in the draft for Ryans. If Ryans can be a three-year starter in the middle of the defense for Philadelphia, it's a steal for Philly. Of course, the Texans are gambling Ryans, who wasn't a great fit in Houston's 3-4 defense, doesn't have that much good football left.
Personnel people think the Birds got the better of the Ryans trade, according to Len Pasquarelli of The Sports Xchange/Yahoo Sports:
Early returns on the trade that sent inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans to Philadelphia: Personnel people think the deal was a big win for the Eagles, and, while there is a ton of respect for Houston coordinator Wade Phillips, people wonder how well the Texans will play without both Mario Williams and Ryans. That said, there is a consensus that both players will be better returning to 4-3 fronts.
Rivers McCown of Football Outsiders/Battle Red Blog thinks the Ryans trade was a good one for the Texans:
Once I got over the usual disgust I have over these scenarios (long-time stalwart gets deserved contract, gets hurt, is no longer worth said contract, has to go), I have to say I think this is a pretty solid trade for the Texans. As the NFL continues to tilt towards passing, a two-down linebacker getting paid the salary that Ryans was making is a complete luxury. Is there a chance that Ryans could recover more of his range next year, after he's further past his Achilles' injury? Sure. But if there was any doubt in Rick Smith's mind about that, this was absolutely a move that he had to make.
ESPN.com has the Eagles 12th in its offseason power rankings:
The Eagles finally have a quality middle linebacker in DeMeco Ryans, whom they stole from Houston. And they have a happy DeSean Jackson.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com gives some credit to Andy Reid:
Reid shouldn't hesitate to take credit for this offseason in Philadelphia. The Eagles have made all the right moves. One year after loading up on outsiders, they smartly retained underrated guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans. They also re-signed two of their best players, Trent Cole and DeSean Jackson, removing a potential distraction with Jackson's surprising deal. The team's trade for DeMeco Ryans was a steal and filled a huge need. This feels like a win-or-else season for Reid. If he's going out, he's going out his way. It's more likely that the personnel continuity serves Philadelphia well, and the talented roster fulfills those lofty expectations that we had for the Eagles last season.
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