Free Agency Game Thread

Free Agency Game Thread

Update: Buck no longer an Eagle after (rumored) agreement with Denver.

At 12:01 a.m., the NFL's annual shake-up of aging veterans and overrated system players will be officially underway, though if you've caught wind of those Hayneswoth to Washington rumors, you might think it already began.

The Eagles prepped for the event by tendering contracts to restricted free agents Hank Baskett and Nick Cole.  Unless there is a team out there willing to give up a second round pick for either player, both will be back next season as expected.  Unfortunately, the Eagles have failed to lock up two veterans thought to be very important heading into next season.

Both Dawkins and Thomas have yet to reach deals with the club mere hours before they can shop their services around the league.  In Dawk's case, it's hard to imagine him playing elsewhere, so it's still more than likely they'll come to terms.  Thomas, on the other hand, seems optimistic about his chances in a free agent market featuring very few (none?) quality left tackles.  It's very possible for some team to come along and offer Tra a deal the Eagles simply can't/won't match.  Also of note, Sean Considine seems to be headed elsewhere.

It's not all sour grapes for the Birds as they figure to be shoppers as well.  On the heels of Donovan's supposed demands, the front office should be taking a long look at T.J. Houshmandzadeh.  He's not a big time playmaker, not even a #1 receiver, but maybe he's exactly the kind of safety net McNabb needs.  Don't be surprised if he's on a plane to Philly tomorrow morning.

Another name that's gained a lot of attention in just the past couple of days is Ravens center Jason Brown.  Brown can also play guard, so he could either take over for the lackluster Jamaal Jackson, or he could play somewhere inside if one of the guards moves out to tackle.  Brown is thought to be one of the most sought after players hitting free agency, so the team will have to move fast if they're interested.

There are several others the Eagles could target.  RB Derrick Ward is popular, but if the Eagles wanted an older runner, they probably would have made an effort with Buckhalter.  Bengals RT Stacy Andrews could be a solution at right tackle, but his health is a concern.  Seahawks FB Leonard Weaver would add another dimension to the offense, though he's not thought of as a prototypical blocking back.  There are some enticing linebackers and safeties, however it's unclear if there are any great upgrades that also meet the team's needs.

In years past, teams like the Eagles would strike deals with free agents at 12:01 on the dot, but since that's kind of (extremely) shady, that practiced has wained somewhat the past few years, so don't expect a huge whirlwind of action tonight or even first thing in the morning, but it's resfreshing to see the offseason move into the next phase and out of fantasy-wishlist-land.

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

As Carson Wentz rolls out of bed, he wins an award. Brushes his teeth, wins an award. Eats breakfast, award.

This time, the Eagles' rookie quarterback has been named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Steelers in a 34-3 Week 3 win.

Against the Steelers, Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and a 125.9 passer rating. He beat out Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, Browns CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun and teammate Wendell Smallwood.

This is the second time in three weeks that Wentz has been named the NFL Rookie of the Week.

Here are the awards Wentz has won so far this season:

- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 1
- NFC Offensive Player of Week 3
- NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month for September
- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 3

Wentz won't have any chances to win more awards this weekend as the Eagles are on their bye. They'll play again on Oct. 9 in Detroit.

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Ryan Howard is batting fifth to begin his final series with the Phillies.

The 36-year-old first baseman, who has donned red pinstripes for 13 seasons, did not play in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Braves, but he is expected to start all three games against the Mets this weekend.

The Phillies have a lot of speed at the top of the lineup, even with Roman Quinn likely done for the season. Cesar Hernandez leads off with Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera right behind him. The trio lead the Phillies in steals with a total of 59 this year. Herrera has 25 while Hernandez and Galvis each have 17.

If you're wondering, Howard has not stolen a base this season, but he was caught stealing once. He hasn't stolen a base since June 26, 2011, before his Achilles injury. He only stole more than one base in a season in 2008, when he swiped eight bases.

Cameron Rupp returns to the lineup at catcher. He'll bat right behind Howard, followed by Jimmy Paredes and Aaron Altherr in the corner outfield.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Jimmy Paredes, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Alec Asher, P

And the Mets lineup:
1. Jose Reyes, 3B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
4. Curtis Granderson, CF
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. T.J. Rivera, 2B
7. Lucas Duda, 1B
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Robert Gsellman, RHP