Eagles Notes: Three Eagles free agents who didn't work out
They were both former Pro Bowl players, but for whatever the reason Vince Young, Ronnie Brown, and Steve Smith settled for one-year contracts this season.
They were each former Pro Bowl players, but for whatever the reason Vince Young, Ronnie Brown, and Steve Smith settled for one-year contracts this season.
They came as part of the "Dream Team" (Young's phrase) collection of free agents the Eagles stockpiled during training camp, but in the end they did very little to help the team. All three will likely be remembered for their mistakes more than anything else.
Young, discarded by the Titans after five seasons, came to the Eagles in the hopes of being Andy Reid's latest quarterback reclamation project. He did engineer a magnificent 18-play game-winning drive against the New York Giants, but the rest of his play substituting for Michael Vick was marred by turnovers.
Young was asked this week if he felt that he proved to other teams that he could play quarterback in a pass-oriented offense.
"It's kind of hard to judge," Young said. "It was only three games."
In three starts and one brief series in another game, Young completed 57.9 percent of his passes, threw for 866 yards, and tossed four touchdowns. But he also had nine interceptions.
He still may have opportunities elsewhere next season.
"I don't have the slightest idea," Young said. "I hope so. I'll put that in my agent's hands."
Brown went from being Miami's top tailback for six seasons to LeSean McCoy's little-used backup. It was an adjustment for the 30-year-old, whose ill-advised pass/fumble at the goal line against the 49ers will go down as one of the season's low moments.
"As far as my experience, it was a little different from what I expected," Brown said. "I wish I could have gotten more opportunities, but at the same time it was a learning experience."
Smith, coming off microfracture knee surgery, was always a risk, but he did little to justify his $2.2 million price tag. The receiver's few good plays were offset by his dropped pass that was intercepted against the Giants - his former team - and when he inexplicably fell to the ground short of a first down against the Cardinals.
While the aforementioned three likely won't return next season, a few of the Eagles players with expiring contracts could be back.
The following are eligible to become unrestricted free agents this offseason: defensive end Victor Abiamiri, tackle King Dunlap, receiver DeSean Jackson, defensive tackles Derek Landri and Trevor Laws, guard Evan Mathis and fullback Owen Schmitt. Defensive tackle Antonio Dixon will be a restricted free agent.
McCoy practiced after missing Wednesday with a slight ankle sprain.
McCoy, who was limited on Thursday, said that he expected to play in Sunday's season finale against the Redskins and go after the NFL rushing title. The running back, who was selected to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday, trails the Jaguars' Maurice Jones-Drew by 128 yards.
"I still think I can get it," McCoy said. "It depends on what [Jones-Drew] does."
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg acknowledged that the Eagles would attempt to get McCoy the title but only within the framework of the offense.
Cornerback Asante Samuel, meanwhile, missed practice again with a hamstring strain and is unlikely to play.
Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said that safety Nate Allen was "going to be a Pro Bowler one day." . . . Special-teams coach Bobby April said that Chad Hall will continue to return kicks.