What Is Early Word? The Philadelphia Inquirer's experimental online "morning show", which began in Sept. 2005, went on hiatus in the summer of 2006, after a gradual shift to putting more of its content directly on Philly.com.
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Monday, March 06, 2006
Philadelphia Eagles Rumors Roundup
Let me be frank. While NFL labor talks have been on a rollercoaster, with word of a new proposal to be presented tomorrow, the local rumor mill has been in a bit of a lull. Except for a couple of updates (Eagles o-line realignment, LaVar Arrington buys his freedom), not much has surfaced since Saturday, when Saints center LeCharles Bentley denied reports that he was all but certain to sign with Philly. Monday's Inquirer sticks by its story, though. CBS Sportsline ranks "Le Big Mac" as the No. 2 free agent, just ahead of soon-to-be-free T.O. (See Early Word item below.) Landing LeCharles could signal a realignment of the offensive line, with backup center Jamaal Jackson moving to guard, guard Shawn Andrews to tackle (replacing Jon Runyan), and starting center Hank Fraley to limbo. K.C. linebacker Shawn Barber, once with the Birds, and QB Jeff Garcia are also in the team's sights, Comcast Sportnet said Friday tonight, adding the Birds may cut both of Donovan McNabb's backups, Koy Detmer and Mike McMahon. A Barber signing probably undercuts the chances of seeing Carolina linebacker Will Witherspoon here, or newly free Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, who's too probably too headstrong and pricey for a team that devalues linebackers. So who'd be the third QB? Maybe the versatile Super Bowl-TD-tossing Antwaan Randle El, who has the same agent as McNabb, though bidding might drive the price sky-high. On the defensive line, also tempting but costly would be Seahawks tackle Rocky Bernard, but "underrated" Packers end Aaron Kampman could be a surprise signing, says NBC10. Other d-tackles talked about: Giants' Kendrick Clancy, a restricted free agent, and Pro Bowler La'Roi Glover, cut Friday by the Cowboys. The NFL owners and players fail to agree on a higher salary cap, teams would have to get under the $94.5 million cap on Wednesday. An intriguing player who could be set free is Buffalo receiver Eric Moulds, who seems to appeal more to fans than the Eagles. Also bandied about but with reasons to doubt: Seahawks receiver Joe Jurevicius (Eagles see bigger needs), Seahawks guard Steve Huchinson (expensive transition player, ranked No. 1 by CBS), ; any starting-quality running back (not a priority position here, big investment in Brian Westbrook), and the Eagles' own Jon Runyan (age), who might land in Houston, San Diego or Arizona, writes the Trenton Times' Mark Eckel. Or cap-space-rich Minnesota, coached by ex-Birds offensive coordinator Brad Childress, says WIP's Glen Macnow. More buzz: The Eagles might draft tight end Vernon Davis, might trade d-tackle Hollis Thomas (see note at end) and are worried about health of returner-safety J.R. Reed.