Kirk Morrison, a solid starting caliber middle linebacker, remains unsigned as of yet. By not re-signing Stewart Bradley, the Eagles are left with an extremely young group of linebackers with fourth round rookie Casey Mathews slated to be starting in the middle.
Could Morrison be waiting to see if the Eagles come calling before he seriously markets himself to other teams?
Are the Eagles waiting to see how Mathews develops in training camp and in the first couple preseason games before they decide whether or not they’re comfortable with him?
The scenario makes sense. Morrison won’t command a big contract and could be looking at the Eagles as an ideal situation for him. The Eagles want Mathews to be their future middle linebacker but also know that they are geared up for a Super Bowl run this season.
If the Eagles ultimately decide that Mathews is not ready to start this season, they very well could be looking at Morrison to come in for a year.
The problem is whether or not Morrison would be willing to accept a one year deal for a chance at a championship (I don’t foresee the Eagles signing any linebacker to a multi-year deal).
Andy Reid and the Eagles are known for not exactly placing a high value on the linebacker position. They have a history of acquiring “stop-gap” players to fill in for a year; Levon Kirkland, Shawn Barber, Jeremiah Trotter (2nd/3rd stint), and Ernie Sims to name a few.
For as much talent as the Eagles have stacked themselves with this year, they have seemingly left a potential gaping hole in their defense.
Is this “green” linebacker corps Super Bowl caliber? Are the defensive line and secondary good enough to essentially mask any weakness in this group?
Back around the end of June, a small rumor came out linking Morrison and the Philadelphia Eagles. Adam Caplan, who is thought to have good inside views of the Eagles’ thinking, speculated that the Eagles could be a landing spot for Morrison.
I believe the Eagles will be examining Mathews very closely over the first two preseason games. If he performs “good enough”, the Eagles will probably just roll with him.
If he struggles, I’d expect them to start seriously thinking about adding a veteran linebacker and Morrison fits the Eagles’ profile.
It would be downright silly to go all out this year only to let this obvious weakness come back to haunt them. But who knows, maybe the young guys will play well.