Jean-Gills Signs Offer-Sheet, Paolantonio On Eagles Draft
By Lance Epstein
On Thursday, restricted free agent offensive lineman Max Jean-Gilles signed a one-year contract with the Eagles, agreeing to his tender offer.
The former 2006 fourth-round pick was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, but with no collective bargaining agreement in place for 2011, he became a restricted free agent. Jean-Gilles was tendered by the Eagles at the original-round level.
In 2008, Jean-Gilles started 10 games, which was a career high for him. This past season for the Eagles, he played in 14 games (including playoffs) and started in six of those games.
Jean-Gilles (6-3, 358) adds much needed depth to the interior line of the Eagles. He is expected to compete with Nick Cole and Stacy Andrews for the starting right guard position.
However, it would surprise nobody if the Eagles look to find an upgrade at guard in the draft. One name being linked to the Eagles is Idaho guard Mike Iupati. One reason is because Cole is a candidate to be move over to center due to current starting center is recovering from a torn ACL and possibly not be ready for the start of the 2010 season. Another is that Andrews might never be the player the Eagles envisioned.
Today is the official deadline for teams to make contract offers to their restricted free agents. The only Eagle player that remains unsigned is punter Sav Rocca, but his agent said he would sign the tender as soon as he returns to Philadelphia from his home in Australia.
Sal Paolantonio on Eagles Draft:
As the draft gets closer and closer, Sal Paolantonio seems to be making his usual rounds with the Philly media about his thoughts on the Eagles upcoming draft. A couple of days ago, Paolantonio was on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia to discuss the upcoming draft.
Paolantonio expects the primary focus of the Eagles and GM Howie Roseman is to rebuild a defense that was awful down the stretch of the season. Two of the positions he talked about were right corner and free safety.
"This team has got to go defense," he said. "They've got a big hole at the right corner position as far as I'm concerned. Even though they signed Marlin Jackson, he's coming back from two knee surgeries, as far as I'm concerned they have a big fat hole at the free safety position. And here's some of the stuff that I've come up with. The defense clearly was a major problem last year because this team, they scored an average of 26.8 points per game last year. Highest average since 1953, that's 56 years ago."
Paolantonio mentioned one prospect that has been linked to the Eagles with their first-round pick over the last couple days in Kareem Jackson. Jackson (5-11, 194) has been gaining a ton of momentum heading into the draft, but Paolantonio does see him as a first round talent.
"I know they are very interested in Kareem Jackson out of Alabama," Paolantonio said, "but I think he's a second-round pick and I don't think that they have to waste a first-rounder on him. They may be able to get him in the second round. If they feel that they can get Kareem Jackson in the second round, then they may go defensive end in the first round."
Still, Paolantonio sees the Eagles as having a ton of picks to trade up to get whatever player they desire and are the only team in the league that has that luxury.
"They have two seconds, two thirds, two fourths," he said. "No other team has that luxury. Howie Roseman is sitting on a mother lode. He can do what he wants in this draft. More than any other team in the league, the Philadelphia Eagles control the 75th anniversary NFL Draft."
Almost every mock draft fans read right now has the Eagles taking the Jackson. From ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. to SI's Don Banks, Jackson has become the popular pick amongst analyst.
While, I am very high on Jackson, he is not the second best corner in this draft and might not be the third. If at all possible, the Eagles would like to get Kyle Wilson from Boise State, who might wind up being the best corner to come out of this draft when all is said and done.