Eagles Could Use Restricted Free Agents as Trade Bait

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gaither may have played his last game as an Eagle.



Of the nine guys the Eagles tendered as restricted free agents this offseason, only two of them, Jason Avant and Leonard Weaver, have received long-term deals, while Chris Gocong has already been moved to the Cleveland Browns.

The other six guys will be playing under one-year deals and don't figure to be in the Eagles' long-term plans.

Of those six players, Ellis Hobbs, Akeem Jordan, and Nick Cole figure to see substantial playing time as either backups or starters and are more-or-less untouchable. Cole could be the most likely to get moved given Andy Reid's ability to plug in linemen, or if Reid jumps on Maurkice Pouncey at 24th overall as many seem to believe.

Two others, Omar Gaither and Max Jean-Gilles, appear to be available to the same fate as Gocong -- traded to the first team willing to take them.

For those of you who can do math, you know I didn't mention one guy. Sav Rocca, the guy I didn't mention, isn't in the Eagles' long-term plans, but he's probably their best option for right now and is certainly not going to get them anything via trade.

The market for Gaither and Jean-Gilles doesn't figure to be vast, if one exists at all, so either player would most likely be used in a package so the Eagles can move up in the draft.

Jean-Gilles would be best suited heading to a downhill run-first team, as his run-blocking ability far outweighs his pass-blocking. He's a big body at 6'4, 350 pounds (give or take), so he could help any team looking to run right up the middle.

Gaither is much more intriguing guy. He's very versatile and has started in the middle and on the weakside at linebacker, but could probably even play the strongside in a pinch. Teams will love his versatility, as Reid does, so he could be much more difficult for teams to pry away.

He's not quite physical enough to be a starter on anything more than an average defense, but he's a very good backup for any team still running the 4-3. He could find some use as a 3-4 inside linebacker, but WILL is probably where he belongs.

It's a bit more sketchy with the other players, but I would be very surprised if either Jean-Gilles or Gaither are on this roster when the 2010 offseason camps really get under way.

I believe the Eagles will be looking to move up in almost every round of the draft, and Gaither and Jean-Gilles will be two pieces of ammunition in order to do just that.


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