Extra Points: Roseman, Mack, Ponder

After the infamous failures of the Eagles’ “Dream Team” several seasons ago, GM Howie Roseman is trying to lead his team away from its big-spending traditions, writes Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com. Even before the “Dream Team” was assembled, the Eagles handed sizable contracts to Terrell Owens, Stacy Andrews, Asante Samuel, and many others besides. This year, though, Roseman does not plan to attack the team’s weaknesses by throwing money at the current crop of top free agents.

For instance, safeties T.J. Ward and Jairus Byrd would certainly go a long way towards addressing Philadelphia’s deficiencies in the middle of its defense. However, those players will command hefty contracts, and Roseman believes it is becoming more and more difficult to justify those types of deals.

Roseman indicated he would be “open” to a lucrative, long-term deal for a free agent who was young enough, who filled a need, and who played at a very high level. However, he says:

You see there are fewer and fewer of those players available in free agency, so what happens is good players get great player money, pretty good players get really good player money, and then it throws around the whole structure of your roster.”

As a result, Roseman is attempting to build through the draft and sign those free agents who fit the city’s blue-collar identity rather than assembling a fantasy collection of big names.

Other news from around the league:

  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida-TImes Union thinks the Jaguars should target free agent C Alex Mack given the lack of experience that their in-house options have. Although it has been well-established that Mack stands to become the highest-paid center in the league, ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco says the Jags have enough room to make such a move. O’Halloran adds that, if Jacksonville were to land Mack, it could move one of those inexperienced internal candidates to left guard.
  • DiRocco says Jacksonville could also settle for a cheaper option at center like Ryan Wendell, and interior offensive linemen the team could target in the draft include Marcus Martin, Russell Bodine, and Trai Turner.
  • Although there has been plenty of speculation as to how the Vikings will address their quarterback situation this offseason–thereby implying that Christian Ponder is not seen as the long-term answer–new OC Norv Turner will give Ponder a real chance to win the starting job, says ESPN.com’s Tom Carpenter.
  • Meanwhile, ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper thinks the Vikings will take QB Blake Bortles with their first selection in the draft, adding a young and legitimate competitor for Ponder and possibly Matt Cassel.
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