View Full Version : Eagles put franchise tag on tight end Smith

02-07-2008, 08:57 PM
good move i guess on the eagles part..

link: http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d80692926&template=without-video&confirm=true

Posted: 9 minutes ago
Eagles put franchise tag on tight end Smith
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Tight end L.J. Smith, who was scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the month, was given the franchise tag by the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.

Thursday marked the first day of the offseason that teams could use the tag. Although Smith can receive offers from other teams, the tag gives the Eagles seven days to match. A team signing him would have to give up two first-round picks as compensation.

L.J. Smith, TE
Philadelphia Eagles
2007 Statistics
Rec: 22
Yds: 236
Avg: 10.7
TD: 1"Any player wants a long-term deal -- that's what you want, to feel secure in your job and also your family's position, but I'm OK with it right now," Smith said. "I definitely would have preferred a long-term deal but, hey, my agent, he's going to want to talk with the team, and who knows? I didn't even think I was going to get this. Maybe they can get something worked out later on."

If he signs with the Eagles, Smith will receive a one-year deal worth the average of the top five highest salaries earned by tight ends.

"L.J. Smith has been a very productive tight end in our offense," coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "He is healthy and working his tail off so he can have a very successful 2008 season."

Injuries hampered the 27-year-old, five-year veteran throughout last season. He underwent surgery for a sports hernia in May, injured his groin in training camp in August and missed the final three games of the regular season with a sprained knee.

Smith finished with 22 catches for 236 yards and only one touchdown in 10 games after a combined 111 receptions for 1,293 yards and eight touchdowns in the previous two seasons.

"Going into the season, I guess they wanted to see me another full season healthy and they'll make their decision, and I wasn't healthy," Smith said. "I wasn't able to perform at a high level for a majority of the season and I didn't even finish the season healthy."

That isn't the case now, Smith said.

"I feel great right now," he said. "I'm healthy."

Had they let Smith go, the Eagles would have had to acquire another tight end. The only other tight ends on the roster are Brent Celek, who had a promising rookie season, and veteran backup Matt Schobel.

Although Smith still has to sign the contract, he is unlikely to end up elsewhere because teams aren't likely to part with two first-round picks to sign him.

"After the season, I said goodbye to my teammates, and I really thought I wasn't going to be back," Smith said. "So today, I feel weird -- just them giving me the franchise tag. But I mean, hey, I've always wanted to be here. I just think it's another opportunity for me to showcase my stuff."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

02-07-2008, 09:06 PM
Personally I don't understand this move by the Birds. The only thing I could think is that they are hoping someone will offer him a tad more $$$. Then they won't match it and then the Birds get a couple of draft picks.

LJ Smith is nothing to write home about.

Steeler in Carolina
02-07-2008, 09:08 PM
He's was hurt for a few games last season, and it seems a lot of TE's are coming into the league. I would not have put the tag on him.

02-07-2008, 09:15 PM
LJ Smith isn't even worth the money anymore. They almost never throw to the tight end now a days.

02-07-2008, 10:57 PM
Personally I don't understand this move by the Birds. The only thing I could think is that they are hoping someone will offer him a tad more $$$. Then they won't match it and then the Birds get a couple of draft picks.

LJ Smith is nothing to write home about.

That's exactly what I was thinking. Two 1st rounds picks sounds mighty nice.

Galax Steeler
02-09-2008, 06:13 AM
What team in there right mind would give up two first rounders for him.

02-09-2008, 08:10 AM
The Birds would get two compensatory picks at the end of the first round and before the second round started.

02-09-2008, 11:45 AM
i truly consider that a silly move on the birdies part. The eagles are a team that does not rely on their TE spot as much as others.
L.J. smith don't get me wrong is a pretty good TE, but his average catches per game show why a tag on this player was a huge waste of $$$$

Rhee Rhee
02-09-2008, 11:48 AM
noo bad move... he gets 5 MILLION a year... it's crazy... he's guaranteed not top 5 and i dont even think top 10... and he gets that much cash... the eagles just have too many holes to fill in this years draft and couldn't waste a pick on TE...

02-09-2008, 10:30 PM
Bad move. The guy is good, but not franchise tag good. Only thing I can think of is that they did this so they could work out a long-term deal with him almost exclusivly which would negate the frachise tag.

I don't see any teams giving up two first rounders for him.

02-10-2008, 09:34 AM
i would have to agree that there off doesn't really rely of the TE.. oh well, if they want to waste there money well be it then i guess..