Remember the Eagles' sneak-attack signing of Nnamdi Asomugha last July?
Well, don't expect a repeat blockbuster acquisition from the Eagles when free agency kicks off Tuesday at 4 p.m.
As much as Birds fans may be hoping for their team to drop another bomb - Mario Williams? Vincent Jackson? Peyton Manning?!? - the Eagles are likely to let other teams fend for the top free agents in this year's class.
That doesn't mean they won't address areas of specific need like linebacker, running back, or backup quarterback. And that doesn't mean coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman won't dip a little into owner Jeffrey Lurie's pockets to get a bona fide starting linebacker.
But the Eagles' offseason efforts, for the most part, will be concentrated on retaining their own free agents, working on new deals for DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy, and preparing for April's draft.
Jackson was shackled with the franchise tag two weeks ago - essentially keeping him from becoming a free agent - although he has yet to sign the $9.515 million, one-year tender.
The Eagles also took care of defensive tackle Antonio Dixon when they tendered the restricted free agent at a second-round level on Monday.
If another team attempts to sign Dixon before April 20, the Eagles would have seven days to match the offer or receive a second-round draft pick as compensation. Dixon's salary for next season will be $1.927 million if he stays, which is likely.
Dixon suffered a season-ending triceps tear in October, but he said on Friday that he should be healthy in time for the start of spring workouts next month. Once an undrafted free agent of the Redskins, Dixon was acquired by the Eagles in 2009 and developed into one of their best run-stopping defensive tackles.
The Eagles have decisions to make on several of their 10 unrestricted free agents, most notably guard Evan Mathis and defensive tackle Derek Landri. They should have a few days - or maybe more - as the market for both veterans is set.
Typically, NFL free agency follows the same script: The best players are snatched up right away, the second-tier talent in the next wave, and so on.
If the Eagles are indeed in the hunt for either the Lions' Stephen Tulloch or the Falcons' Curtis Lofton - widely considered the two best available linebackers - they may need to pull out their guns fairly early.
After those two there's an intriguing list of inside 4-3 linebackers headlined by the Seahawks' David Hawthorne. Erin Henderson of the Vikings, Dan Connor (Strath Haven High; Penn State) of the Panthers and the 36-year-old London Fletcher are also set to become free agents.
Fletcher, if he walks, could be a casualty of the Redskins after the NFL penalized the team for front-loading contracts in the uncapped 2010 season. Washington lost a whopping $36 million in salary cap room, while the Cowboys - also punished - lost $10 million.
Both teams claimed innocence and could appeal.
If the rulings stand, the Eagles - and 27 other teams - will have $1.6 million of extra cap space this season.
It probably won't be enough to sign Williams.
The NFL free-agent signing period begins Tuesday at 4 p.m., and the Eagles aren't expected to go crazy this year. But they will likely address several specific needs. Here are some of the options - from the top of the scale to the bottom - that would makes sense for the Birds:
Break the bank
Vincent Jackson, Chargers WR: Only if DeSean Jackson is dealt, which is unlikely.
Curtis Lofton, Falcons LB: 25-year-old has pass cover issues.
Stephen Tulloch, Lions LB: Took dip last year but has played in wide 9.
Mario Williams, Texans DE: Would be Nnamdi Asomugha-like shocker.
Not as pricey
Red Bryant, Seahawks DE: 3-4 DE could benefit from move to DT.
Jason Campbell, Raiders QB: Could land with team looking for starter.
Ted Ginn, 49ers WR: Would help solve Eagles' return woes.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots RB: Strong in short yardage; may want to start.
David Hawthorne, Seahawks LB: Only 26 and can play all three downs.
Jason Jones, Titans DT: Did not fare well when moved to DE last year.
LaRon Landry, Redskins S: Should get decent deal with market thin.
Jake Scott, Titans G: Athletic lineman fits Howard Mudd mold.
Gary Brackett, Colts LB: Glassboro High grad missed most of 2011 with a shoulder injury
Dan Connor, Panthers LB: Strath Haven High grad could flourish with opportunity.
Joel Dreessen, Texans TE: Caught 28 passes for 356 yards and can block.
London Fletcher, Redskins LB: Will be 37 but could be a one-year fix.
David Garrard, Jaguars QB: Sat out 2011 with back injury.
Dwight Lowery, Jaguars S: Has only 29 career starts in four seasons.
Mike Tolbert, Chargers RB: Could be dual role back like Leonard Weaver.
Joseph Addai, Colts RB: Played several seasons behind Mudd-coached line.
Plaxico Burress, N.Y. Jets WR: Only if you can get him for veteran minimum.
William Hayes, Titans DE: An above-average rotation end.
Geoff Schwartz, Panthers OL: If Eagles can't sign Evan Mathis.
David Vobora, Seahawks LB: May just need more snaps.
Eric Weems, Falcons WR: Could help out with deficient return game.
- Jeff McLane