Eagles Will Be in No Rush to Sign Leonard Weaver

Written By Bob Cunningham On Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Weaver will remain an Eagle without a new contract.

Because it's "virtually certain" that the 2010 NFL season will be uncapped, according to commissioner Roger Goodell, the Eagles will be in no rush to sign eight of their players who will become restricted free agents absent a CBA rather than unrestricted free agents if a CBA were in place.

Leonard Weaver, as well as Jason Avant, Nick Cole, Omar Gaither, Chris Gocong, Max Jean-Gilles, Ellis Hobbs, and Alex Smith all fall under that category. Because the Eagles will still technically retain their rights with a simple "tender" contract, it is unlikely that Weaver, Avant, Cole Gaither, Gocong, or Hobbs will be going anywhere.

That is, unless of course a team is willing to give up some draft picks and sign them to a contract that the Eagles are unwilling to match. And for those interested, restricted free agency will work the same way it has in years past, except the number of RFA's is about four times greater (from 55 in 2009, to 212 in 2010).

Jean-Gilles and Smith would probably get tendered, but the Eagles would not fight very hard to keep them around.

But how much will a team be willing to give up to actually sign a restricted free agent? A draft full of underclassmen loaded with talent will make giving up draft picks an unattractive option, and the understand that a salary cap will be in place in no less than two years will temper outlandish spending by guys like Al Davis and Danny Snyder.

Not only that, but the top eight rule will essentially make it a 24-team field for any free agents.

The "top eight rule," for those who do not know, says that the top eight teams (teams playing in the divisional round) will not allowed to sign a free agent without first losing a player; Which is actually a silver lining for the Eagles considering the Cowboys, thanks to their victory over the Birds, will be a part of that group.

So unless something miraculous happens between now and March 5th (deadline for a new CBA to avoid an uncapped 2010), don't expect the Eagles to offer contract extensions to any of the eight players mentioned.

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