Eagles Offseason: Secondary

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Brian Dawkins.  With the exception of Donovan McNabb, no player on the Eagles has been a hotter topic.  Just check out that banner.  That tells you everything you need to know about how much we respect and appreciate that man.  He truly is one of the greats.

Even the great ones are criticized though.  He's too old, broken down, a liability in coverage.  Exactly the kind of player this franchise would typically turn their backs on.

I
suspect Dawkins will be back, but it will be no surprise either way. 
If they had any doubts about re-signing him, watching Quintin Demps flounder in the NFC Championship should have erased them.  In fairness to the rookie, he could still eventually take over and be a fine free safety, but he showed the world he isn't yet prepared for that role.  Demps was frequently out of position throughout the game, and he left a lot of tackles on the field, something Dawkins almost never does.

Going with Demps wouldn't necessarily kill them though, unless of course he plays like that every week.  At best, it would be a questionable decision by the front office, but they could probably get by for a year.  The big plays Dawkins makes in the backfield and crushing hits might even be replaced with a few more interceptions.  Then if the Eagles decide Demps can't hang, they simply address in
next
year's draft, or maybe they use a late selection this year and find a
diamond in the rough.  All of this is a huge risk now though, which is why they almost need to keep 20 in the short term.

Two potential free agents who are flying
under the radar at the moment are Sean Considine and Joselio Hanson. 
Considine has been the source of a great deal of ridicule, but it was
surprising to learn he charted the highest of all Eagles special teams
players.  As a safety, he leaves something to be desired, but he is a
capable reserve because he knows the system, and you can't ignore a
significant contribution on the third unit.  Believe it or not, he
might garner some limited attention from clubs desperate to improve in the
kicking game, so we'll soon learn exactly how important Considine is to
this club.

Then there is Hanson, who has come a long way to seize
the nickel cornerback role.  The Eagles historically let these players
walk, in part because they have had success developing their
replacement.  In Hanson's case, the market may not be hot quite yet. 
The issue is size.  For one thing, he is small even for a corner, plus
he only recently emerged as a solid player, so there isn't a huge
sample of his work.  If the Eagles let him go, they will attempt to
replace internally with Jack Ikegwuonu, possibly Demps, or with some other project.

Those
may seem like relatively minor choices to make in comparison to the
monumental task of deciding the fate of a living legend, but this is
where teams are built.  Losing Considine or Hanson may seem like
nothing, that is until their replacement gets burned for six.

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