As you have undoubtedly heard, the National Football League will likely be ending their lockout within a week, and maybe even a few days.
One of the projections of the new collective bargaining agreement is that teams will have a three-day window to sign players who may be unrestricted free agents. This applies to players who have been in the league for four years and will have expired contracts.
This includes the following six players on the Philadelphia Eagles, all of whom were key contributors to the 2010 team.
Running back Jerome Harrison, middle linebacker Stewart Bradley, outside linebacker Ernie Sims, right cornerback Dimitri Patterson, strong safety Quintin Mikell, and punter Sav Rocca.
I would love it if Jerome Harrison returned but I have heard that he wants to start somewhere next year. Even if he doesn’t, he isn’t receiving the workload that he should with the Eagles. New fifth round draft pick Dion Lewis will definitely make the team, but I am hearing that the Eagles will probably bring in a veteran to back up McCoy.
Personally I think that Bradley and Mikell are essentials to be resigned. I think Bradley will be back, although I predict he’ll start at outside linebacker instead of middle linebacker. But I don’t think Mikell will be back, because he is going to be 31 when the season starts and he has already stated that he doesn’t think he will return to the team next year.
Sims was a disappointment last year. I have no interest in the Eagles bringing him back for 2011. I don’t think they will either.
Patterson was brutal in 2010. He was recently ranked as the 24th worst player in the NFL last year, and I would be surprised if he returned next year, especially with the addition of Curtis Marsh Jr in the draft, and whoever the Eagles bring in to start at right cornerback in 2011.
Rocca is one player who I don’t care about whether or not he returns. He had his best year in 2010 but he is 37 and doesn’t have much left in his career. I think the Eagles should sign him to a one-year deal and then bring in another punter for 2012.
So to recap, I think that Harrison, Sims, Patterson, and Mikell will leave, and Bradley and Rocca will return.