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Eagles get WR Donte Stallworth

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The report on the radio yesterday went like this...

"And in the NFL, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb got another weapon that could change the balance in the NFC. Today the Philadelphia Eagles acquired WR Donte' Stallworth from the Saints for backup MLB Mark Simoneau and a conditional 4th round pick."

And the fans rejoiced. I got 25 new Myspace messages on the Bleeding Green myspace page overnight all people excited over the trade.

You may have noticed that I haven't been the only Eagles fan or football pundit to be screaming for the Birds to add a proven, veteran, deep threat at WR this offseason. Seemingly every post on every message board, every blog entry, every national media "report" on the team all talked about the Eagles' lack of experience and talent at WR. Andy Reid took a major step in addressing that need.

First, for those of you who aren't totally familiar with Donte' Stallworth, here's a quick bio. He was drafted by the Saints in 2002 with the 13th overall pick. He hs always had tremendous speed, boasting a 4.26 40 yard dash making him one of the fastest players in the NFL. He broke out in his rookie year grabbing 8 TDs. He battled some injuries the next year or so, but had a career year last with 70 catches, 945 yards, and 7 TDs.

For those keeping score at home... The Eagles most productive WR last year, Reggie Brown, had 43 catches for 571 yards and 4 TDs. That's a little more than half of the numbers Stallworth put up last year...

So what can we can expect from him this year? It's hard to say. A lot of people seem to assume that he'll immediately step in as the starter next to Reggie Brown and all will be peachy. I don't think that will happen. He needs to start learning this offense, which is well documented as a tough one to learn for WRs, and he needs to get into sync with McNabb. That's going to take more than 2 weeks and one preseason game to do. The good news is that early on, the tem can afford to let him work his way into the offense. There's some tough games early, but most of the early season schedule is against some of the worst teams in the NFL(Houston, San Fran, Green Bay, New Orleans). I still expect him to be in the games early on to stretch the field and catch the deep ball, but I'm not expecting him to really get into the flow of the offense until several weeks into the season. The bottom line is that even if he does take time to learn the offense, he' still a significant upgrade over Hank Baskett.

This trade affects the team overall on a few levels. First and most obviously it gives the Eagles to legit downfield threat that they lack. The flat out burner that can beat guys deep and forces defenses to give help coverage over the top. That's going to free up the likes of Reggie Brown, LJ Smith, and Brian Westbrook to have room to do things over the middle. Stallworth clearly represents one more legit weapon for McNabb to use.

Second, the addition of Stallworth makes the WR depth chart like it should have been from day one. Reggie Brown is no longer going to be expected to replace TO's production on his own. Hank Baskett can be free to develop naturally and learn rather than being an undrafted rookie free agent thrown in as a starter. Same for Jason Avant. Plus, it likely means that Todd Pinkston or Greg Lewis won't make the team...

Finally this trade, much like alot of what Andy does, is not just for this year and is not a terribly high risk for the Eagles. The team gave up Mark Simoneau who is backup LB whose prescence has been made much less important with the emergence of Omar Gaither this preseason. Sim was expendable, and honestly a guy that could have been cut this year. So the Eagles sent an expendable backup LB and a 4th round pick for a former 1st pick. If the Eagles reach a long term deal with Stallworth, that 4th rouner could rise to a 3rd. If Stallworth, who is only making less than 2 mil this year, has a good year this year and the Eagles resign him he's more than worth a 3rd round pick. This kid is only 25 and could be one half of a potent WR tandem with Reggie Brown for years to come... and at most he could cost a 3rd round pick and an older backup linebacker? Who wouldn't make that trade?

1 Responses to “Eagles get WR Donte Stallworth”

  1. Anonymous donte 

    hey im ur biggest fan. my name is chris plaxe. im 12 years old. my birthday is 11/11/94. i hope we can meet sometime. im part of the eagles kids club so we probably will meet.

    your biggest fan,
    Chris plaxe (a.k.a. plaxey)

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