Would Charles Johnson make sense for the Eagles?

Could Charles Johnson be chasing around Eli Manning as an Eagle?

Juqua Parker’s production, at least from the perspective of sacks, has been decent for a left defensive end over the past five years:

Juqua Parker Sacks FF
2006 6 1
2007 5 2
2008 5 1
2009 8 2
2010 6 1

Some of his time over that span was as a starting LDE, although the majority of it was spent as part of the Eagles LDE rotation that included current players like Brandon Graham, to others that are long since gone, like Jevon Kearse.  By my count, only three players have been with the Eagles longer: K David Akers, S Quintin Mikell, and C Jamaal Jackson – Akers and Mikell are all but goners, and Parker should find himself squarely on the endangered list as he just turned 33 in May and is scheduled to make $3.5 million in 2011.

In free agency this year, there are two very intriguing defensive ends out there that the Eagles could pursue, that also just happen to play LDE – Charles Johnson of the Panthers and Ray Edwards of the Vikings.  I’ll focus on Johnson.  The Panthers franchised C Ryan Kalil instead of Johnson, so if players with 4 years of NFL experience are free to pursue free agency under the new CBA, Johnson can field offers from any interested bidders.

(Cont after the jump)…

Johnson would be a huge get, as he really came into his own as a stud pass rusher last season, somehow collecting 11.5 sacks on a terrible Panthers team that was always playing from behind and facing a heavy dose of the run.  But the great thing about Johnson – he turns 25 in July. Obviously, the Eagles invested a lot in Brandon Graham last season as they traded a healthy bounty to move up to 13 in the 2010 draft, but he’s not likely to be ready for the beginning of the season after tearing his ACL last year.  Even if you’re the Eagles and you believe that Graham is still bound for stardom, you can never have too many good pass rushers – Look no further than the 2007 Giants, who won the Super Bowl on the strength of their absurdly deep and talented DL.

The downside, obviously, is that Johnson will cost a boatload of money.  If the Eagles do indeed try to sign a DE (a position they’ve historically placed a heavy value on), they can offset some of that cost by cutting Parker and his $3.5 million salary in 2011.

12 Comments

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  2. Very helpful post man, thanks for the info.

  3. [...] DE Juqua Parker – If the Eagles don’t cut him this offseason, he’s almost assuredly a goner in 2012.  Covered Juqua’s situation in more depth here. [...]

  4. Tracer Bullet says:

    Would it be worth going after Johnson with an eye toward eventually replacing Cole? Cole isn’t old, he turns 29 in October, but he tends to breakdown over the course of the season and the Eagles may not want to rework a contract for a guy who may be about to start his decline.

    1. Yup, Cole isn’t going to play forever. His contract runs through 2013, at which point he’ll be 31 with 9 years of NFL tread. Likely candidate to be a popular player that the Eagles let walk.

      1. The Legend says:

        A lot of people would be pissed if Cole walked but if Cole wasn’t as productive & we had Johnson & Graham I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it

  5. Immynimmy says:

    I like Johnson and I like Edwards. However, If I remember correctly, there were rumours that the Cards could package Calais Cambell and a draft pick(s) for Kolb. I would not hate that idea either.

    1. Campbell, if he were to be an Eagle in a 4-3 scheme, probably projects more as a DT than a DE. He’s 6’8, 300.

      1. Immynimmy says:

        I was thinking that, but he’s a freak athlete. Maybe he can slim down a bit :/

  6. CVD says:

    Dude I would love to pick up johnson. Not so sure about Edwards. With washburns system you rotate a lot anyways so you need a few dends. Plus Cole is always running out of gas by week 14. So you got Graham, Cole, Johnson, Tapp, and hopefully Teo, and Sapp work out. Although I like him I’m sure they would part ways with Parker. Or you go get Haynesworth and I would be ok with the current Dends.

  7. The Legend says:

    If we go after a DE him & Edwards are the guys I want. Another downside though is Cole wants to re-work his deal so if we give somebody a good deal how happy will Trent be? A Cole, Johnson, & Graham rotation would be sick though.

    1. Agreed. Cole may not like it, but he’s under contract through 2013.

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