1. Rescind David Akers‘ transition tag.
This comes first because the Eagles need to do it the moment the lockout is lifted. Otherwise, Akers could try to quickly sign the one-year offer the Eagles made before the lockout and the team could be stuck paying him. The Eagles drafted Akers’ likely replacement Alex Henery in the fourth round in April.
2. Find the right deal for Kevin Kolb.
You’ll read a lot of conflicting articles about Kolb’s value, but the Eagles are working in a seller’s market. There is no need to deal Kolb for anything less than a first round pick.
If the right offer doesn’t arrive, the Eagles could still keep Kolb as Michael Vick injury insurance. In that scenario, they could use the franchise tag on him in 2012 and still trade him before the draft ala Matt Cassel. In the end, we expect the Eagles to get their first round pick for Kolb in 2011.
3. Sign a starting cornerback.
Veteran Joselio Hanson works as a nickel back. Rookie Curtis Marsh will be in the mix. That leaves the No. 2 cornerback slot across from Asante Samuel wide open. Philly is as likely as any team to sign Nnamdi Asomugha. If that doesn’t happen, names like Carlos Rogers, Ike Taylor, and Antonio Cromartie could make sense.
4. Bring back Stewart Bradley.
Whether he plays in the middle or on the strong side in deference to Jamar Chaney, Bradley is more valuable to the Eagles than any other team. This is especially true with a shortened offseason. If the league goes back to 2010 rules, Bradley will be easy to keep via restricted free agency. After signing Bradley, we’d argue the Eagles still need more depth added here.
5. Sign a tailback.
Jerome Harrison, who was effective last year, can likely be brought back cheaply. But with rookie scatback Dion Lewis in the fold, Philadelphia may want a runner with more size to help backup LeSean McCoy.
6. Get veteran insurance at safety.
The team sounds ready to give a starting job to rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett, but that could be tricky with limited practice. Kurt Coleman looks like the team’s third safety, but this group could use a veteran in case the young kids falter.
7. Make sure that new defense is real simple.
New coordinator Juan Castillo wants to simplify the defense. That’s good, because he hasn’t coached defense since high school and he may only have a few weeks to implement his system. (Or tweak Sean McDermott’s system from a year ago.) New defensive line coach Jim Washburn also won’t have a lot of time to work his magic.