Are the Eagles interested in Ocho Cinco Johnson?

According to ESPN’s Michael Smith, the Eagles could have interest in receiver Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson.

ESPN’s Michael Smith said on NFL Live tonight that he’s hearing the Eagles have interest in Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson.

Rather than paraphrase what Smith is reporting, here’s exactly what he said so you can decide for yourself whether this is just a rumor or something more.

“I am hearing there is interest in Chad Johnson,” Smith said. “Now there’s been some back and forth as to whether or not he is officially on the market. I think everybody in Cincinnati has signed off on moving Chad Johnson except for owner Mike Brown. The Eagles could be in the picture. They have two first-round picks. They need a receiver.”

Note: It was brought to my attention that I could have been clearer with the above quote. Smith was asked a direct question about the Eagles when he said, “I am hearing there is interest in Chad Johnson.” So in my interpretation, he was directly talking about the Birds, not just saying there was general interest around the league in Johnson.

The Eagles have two first round picks and with so many quality receivers available in this month’s draft, I don’t know if Johnson would be worth it. If Ocho went the way of Randy Moss in New England (i.e. shut his mouth and produced), then he’d be worth giving up a draft pick for. But considering he didn’t show up to voluntary (I know, I know – voluntary) workouts in Cincinnati, I highly doubt Johnson is going to change his ways.

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Anquan Boldin to be an Eagle?

SI.com’s Peter King believes that Anquan Boldin won’t be a Cardinal next season and that the Giants and Eagles are possible trade partners with Arizona.

The Eagles and Giants, two receiver-needy teams, are in position to deal for Anquan Boldin, who I continue to say will not be a Cardinal by July. Philly has 21, 28 and 53, the Giants 29, 45 and 60. I find it hard to believe the Eagles won’t trade for Boldin. Very hard. He’s a perfect fit, and they’ve got the cap room to sign him.

Less than a month ago, Philly GM Tom Heckert said that the Eagles were set at receiver with DeSean Jackson and that’s why the team didn’t pursue free agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh. But Housh is also three years older than Boldin and if the Eagles have had their sights on Anquan this entire time, then Heckert’s comments could have been a smokescreen. As King notes, Philadelphia is certainly in position to offer Arizona decent compensation for Boldin, who could team with Jackson to give Donovan McNabb a quality receiving corps.

Eagles sign safety Sean Jones

Sean JonesThe Eagles signed safety Sean Jones (formerly of the Browns) to a one-year, $3 million contract. Jones will compete with Quentin Demps for the starting free safety job, which became available when Brain Dawkins signed with the Broncos last week.

I’m a little surprised that all Jones got on the open market was a one-year deal. I’m also surprised that the Browns didn’t make more of an effort to re-sign Jones, who has Pro Bowl talent but injuries plagued him all last season.

Did the Browns realize Jones was damaged goods and let him walk or was this just another player Eric Mangini didn’t envision being a part of Cleveland’s long-term plans defensively? Either way, this was a low-risk signing by the Eagles and if Jones can have a bounce back season, he’ll have a chance to hit the open market again in 2010 and maybe cash in like he was supposed to do this offseason before injuries killed his ’09 campaign. And even if he struggles again, Philly has a backup plan with Demps and can part with Jones next offseason without taking a cap hit.

Eagles agree to send CB Lito Sheppard to Jets

Lito SheppardThe Eagles have agreed to a trade that would send cornerback Lito Sheppard to the Jets for a 2009 fifth round and a 2010 conditional pick, which could turn into a second rounder depending on Sheppard’s playing time next season.

Some Philly fans will look at the fifth round compensation and scoff, but the Eagles really got a great deal here. Sheppard barely played in 2008, starting just three games and amassing only 21 tackles and one interception. They held onto him last offseason after not attracting many quality offers and still wound up getting a fifth this year and anywhere between a second and fourth next year. It was a solid trade.

The deal isn’t horrible for the Jets, but there is a catch-22. They acquired Sheppard hoping that he would become a starter, which he should opposite Darrelle Revis. But if Sheppard does become a starter and plays most of the snaps in ’09, then there’s a good chance that conditional round pick could turn into a second rounder.

A second and fifth round pick for Sheppard would probably be too much, but again, if he turns into a quality starter than maybe it was worth it for the Jets. And it’s not like they’re getting a bad player. Sheppard is only 27 and before injuries started taking their toll the past two years, he was one of the more productive players in the Eagles’ secondary.

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