Eagles Memories Of Free Agent Tampering Past Could Cloud Future Deals

Byron Maxwell tackles Riley Cooper in Seattle's 24-14 victory. Image courtesy NJ.com

Byron Maxwell tackles Riley Cooper in Seattle’s 24-14 victory.
Image courtesy NJ.com

If rumors were to tell me anything, then the Eagles are making some BIG moves in the tampering period of free agency, but if I can throw a little water onto the fire, don’t believe anything until 4 PM on Tuesday.

Here’s the deal, can I believe reports of Byron Maxwell, Frank Gore, and the like signing with Philadelphia? Sure. I would love to. And even more, with the contract numbers being thrown out, everything seems concrete, except when it is not. The Eagles have been burned by the free agent tampering period before. Anyone remember former Saint LeCharles Bentley?

In 2006, Bentley’s contract with New Orleans ended and the Eagles were looking for a new center. The former Ohio State Buckeye was rated as the best player in free agency and had “agreed” to a deal with the Birds prior to the official start of free agency. While the Eagles thought they had Bentley locked into a contract, he continued to negotiate with other teams, specifically the Cleveland Browns. When free agency opened, Bentley was a Brown and not an Eagle.

So, forgive me if I don’t put the cart before the horse regarding the Eagles free agent “signings.” But, while we’re at it, let’s take a look at the rumored signings for the Birds.

Cornerback Byron Maxwell: The former Seattle Seahawk is the second best cornerback available, behind only Darrelle Revis. It goes without saying that Maxwell was one of the Birds top targets. The team needed to improve it’s secondary, and the potential acquisition of the former Clemson Tiger. The numbers for Maxwell aren’t crazy, because they were expected to be large. In today’s NFL, cornerback is a premium position, and to make a move, a team has to pay a premium price.

Despite the fact that the cornerback said to ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he is coming to Philly, I will wait.

Running Back Frank Gore: Frank “The Tank” Gore comes to Philadelphia after ten years in San Francisco. Gore has been a model of consistency and durability through his career, and as most running backs hit the proverbial wall at 30, Gore runs on, as he has rushed for over 1,000 yards in eight of ten seasons, including 1,106 yards last year.

The former Miami Hurricane is rumored to have inked a three-year deal, which includes a guaranteed $7.5 million in the first two years. Despite turning 32 before the season begins, Gore brings a power north-south running game that coach Chip Kelly is looking for. Furthermore, the veteran could provide a good role model and presence for another injury-prone running back in Chris Polk.

Now, with the free agent signing period a little more than 24 hours away, the Eagles continue to have work to do. First of which, is making sure that Maxwell, Gore, and whomever else the team “signs” before 4 PM on Tuesday, write their names on the dotted line. After that, who knows what Chip Kelly has up his sleeves.

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