Back in early January, Inquirer writer Jeff McLane wrote a piece about who should - and should not - be retained from the 2009 Eagles roster. It seemed a little precipitous to me at the time, seeing as the season wasn't over yet (OK, our season was over, but the season was not over). But I hung onto the link, because I wanted to weigh in with my thoughts about some players:
QB - McLane thinks we should keep Kevin Kolb and get rid of both Mike Vick and D-Mac. I think McLane's on crack. McNabb's not done, and Kolb's not ready to be the starter. But we should trade Vick - I think we can get some good draft picks for him, he clearly wants to start, and there are plenty of teams that need help at QB.
RB - McLane thinks we should keep Weaver and McCoy and get rid of Buckley and Westy. As much as it pains me to type it, I agree. I love me some Westbrook, but after that second concussion, I think he's stick-a-fork-in-him done. Brian, while you still have control of your mental faculties, it's time for whatever you've planned for your post-football life. Thanks for all the great "Westbrook breaks free!" memories.
OLine - Not going to do the full run-down, but I agree that the Andrews brothers need to go. Such wasted potential with The Big Kid, but then again, these things don't always work out. I would get rid of Jason Peters - he didn't live up to expectations - and I don't think Mike McGlynn is our solution at center until we get Jamaal Jackson back.
WR - 100% agreement with McLane. Keep Peanut (OF COURSE), Maclin and Avant, dump Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis.
TE - Of course we keep Celek. If I thought it were possible to replace all 3 of the others (Alex Smith, Cornelius Ingram and Martin Rucker), I'd say dump all 3. If we have to keep 1, I'd probably pick Alex Smith. McLane pooh-poohs him as a good blocker with bad hands, but I think that's enough for the #2.
DLine - McLane says keep everyone but Darren Howard, Chris Clemons, and Jason Babin. Well, we need SOMEBODY other than Trent Cole who can reliably rush the QB. If Darren Howard can get back in shape, keep him. I think I'd probably dump Victor Abiamiri rather than Howard - or maybe both - and try to get someone to help out #58. I'm not sure I'd keep Trevor Laws, either, much as I love his 'do.
LB - OH MY GOD do we need help here. Getting Stewart Bradley back should be a good start. Fokou and Gaither could both be keepers IF they can bulk up a little. If not, cut 'em both. LOVED the way Tracy White came on towards the end of the season. He deserves more playing time next year. Trot should definitely take over Hugh Douglas's old Bad Assador role in the locker room, but he needs to retire from the field of play. I'm iffy on both Chris Gocong and Will Witherspoon, but we should only dump them if we're relatively certain we can upgrade. Better the devil you know....
DBacks - McLane says to keep Sheldon Brown, and I agree IF he's willing to work with the FO on his salary demands. He seems to want serious money, though, and while I appreciate the fact that he was playing injured, he got beat a LOT at the end of the season. Asante Samuel is another perpetual heart-breaker. We knew he was high risk/high reward when we picked him up, but (and I know a lot of people won't agree) I think the risk is outweighing the reward at this point. I'd get rid of him. I definitely agree with keeping Macho Harris - I think he has potential and with more playing time, could have a breakout year next year. I also agree that Joselio Hanson wasn't the same after his suspension, but I'm not sure if that's because of the time off or because of the supplements for which he was suspended. I'd like to see how he looks in the spring mini-camps before making a decision. We need a replacement for Wolverine. The Quintins (Demps and Mikell) are not the answer. I'm not sure who is.
ST - I agree with McLane that the Sav Rocca experiment needs to end. He's just too inconsistent - I don't think he'll ever fully adapt to the American rules game. The only thing that worries me is that we've seen that it takes Akers a while to adjust to a new holder, and he and Sav were finally clicking this past year. I worry about what another switch in holders will do to his accuracy.
OK, Eagles fans, what do you think? Who stays? Who goes? What are our biggest needs in 2010?