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Philadelphia Eagles dismantling their defense after trading Sheldon Brown to Browns

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Rather than making the expected trade involving quarterback Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles have shocked the Philadelphia region by trading Sheldon Brown sheldon browntoday.

The Eagles shipped Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong to Cleveland for 4th and 5th round picks along with linebacker Alex Hall.  Former Eagles GM Tom Heckert looks like he got the better of Howie Roseman by a mile here.  Sheldon Brown gives the Browns a hard-hitting, cover corner who provides the Browns with veteran leadership. And, at some point he can play safety like Charles Woodson in Green Bay.  Does this sound like something the Eagles could use? It's quite puzzling why they made this move.

One day after giving Joe Banner a 3-year contract extension (let's celebrate that) the Eagles have shocked the fan base by moving Sheldon Brown, who is arguably the Eagles' leader on defense. 

Sheldon will be known for many things in Philly, but will always be remembered most for "the hit" on Reggie Bush in the 2007 playoffs.  Unfortunately, he won't be doing any of this in Eagles green any longer.

Aside from the move making very little football sense, it's really stunning.  The Eagles have a glaring need at the safety position vacated by Brian Dawkins' departure last offseason and they could have solved this issue by moving Brown to free safety.  They can fool everybody into believing Marlin Jackson is the answer, but he's had an injury-plagued career and the odds are that trend will continue.

Perhaps Howie Roseman has something up his sleeve by acquiring these additional picks, but you won't get far up in the first round by throwing in 4th and 5th round picks.  If the Eagles want a player in the top 10 they'll minimally have to give up next year's first round pick plus this one. Or, they'll have to give up their 1st, 2nd, and at least a 4th.  There is an NFL Points Value Chart when it comes to the value of NFL draft picks and the Eagles are going to have to give up the farm to move far up in the first round since they have the 24th pick this year.

The Eagles have done very little this offseason to improve their team. In fact they have succeeded in dismantling their once great defense in the span of a year. The addition of Marlin Jackson means literally nothing.  They didn't sign him to a long-term deal for a lot of money so if he contributes then great, if not they can cut him and not take a big hit.

They moved one of their starting linebackers in Gocong who is nothing special, but can provide a pass rush which this team lacks. Darryl Tapp, who they acquired from Seattle has a grand total of 18 sacks in 4 seasons.  He's probably better than Victor Abiamiri and Juqua Parker, but then again 70% of the defensive ends in the league are better than either of them.

Their linebackers are pedestrian at best.  Their best linebacker Stewart Bradley is coming off an ACL injury. 

On defense you're looking at this starting lineup:

Left End: Darryl Tapp, Juqua Parker, Victor Abiamiri
Left Tackle: Mike Patterson, Trevor Laws
Right Tackle: Brodrick Bunkley, Antonio Dixon
Right End: Trent Cole
Left Linebacker: Moise Fokou, Alex Hall
Middle Linebacker: Stewart Bradley, Joe Mays, Omar Gaither,
Right Linebacker: Akeem Jordan
Left Cornerback: Asante Samuel, Joselio Hanson, Geoffrey Pope
Right Cornerback: Ellis Hobbs, Dimitri Patterson
Strong Safety: Quintin Mikell, Quintin Demps
Free Safety: Macho Harris, Marlin Jackson

You won't get to the Super Bowl with a defense like that.  They'll be lucky to finish up in second place behind the Cowboys at this point. 

It seems like eons ago when Jim Johnson roamed the sidelines and the Eagles had a top-5 NFL defense.  It might be a while before we see that again.