It will be another unusual off-season for Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, but he said Thursday that he will approach the next several months the same way he would any year.
Roseman said the Eagles' off-season evaluation process - assessing the team's existing talent, scouting college players, targeting free agents - will proceed as normal. The off-season, though, may be anything but regular as the league and players union try to draw up a new collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) that could impact free agency, the pay scale for rookies, and the salary cap.
While NFL teams can re-sign their own players as of now, many are reluctant to do so, since they won't know the cap implications until a new CBA is signed. Players can't be traded and free agents from other teams can't be signed until the new league calendar begins March 4. That's the day, though, that a lockout is likely to begin, if the league and NFL Players Association can't reach a deal. Such a move would essentially halt player movement.
That leaves the draft as the only sure period for teams to add new talent. While draft picks could be exchanged for other picks, players (Kevin Kolb, for example) can't be dealt if there is a lockout in place. Unlike most seasons, it's quite possible that the draft will come before the team is able to fill needs through free agency.
Four days removed from the end of the season, Roseman declined to discuss specific needs or look back in detail on his moves from the past season.
He said the team will first evaluate its own players. He, coach Andy Reid, and the personnel staff review player performance throughout the year, Roseman said, but now they will meet with position coaches who, removed from the weekly preparations of the season, can give their full-season assessments. The team has long been scouting college players for the draft and will draw up a list of free-agent targets.
"You try to narrow it down to a manageable list of guys that you could be interested in," Roseman said. Here, again, he declined to discuss specifics.
Two signings. The Eagles signed guard Fenuki Tupou and safety Jamar Wall on Thursday. Each spent the majority of the 2010 season on the practice squad.