Of Course Eric Winston Would Be a Great Addition to the Philadelphia Eagles

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistMarch 7, 2013

September 30, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Winston (74) warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chargers won 37-20. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

You can add Eric Winston to the sizable list of available/soon-to-be-available right tackles after the Kansas City Chiefs decided on Wednesday to part ways with the seven-year veteran. 

Naturally, a lot of teams will be salivating over a guy who gave up just three sacks last season in Kansas City and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the second-best run-blocking right tackle in the league while with Houston in 2011.

In fact, the drooling can begin right away. Winston's advantage over fellow right tackles Andre Smith, Phil Loadholt, Gosder Cherilus and Sebastian Vollmer is that he hits the market before it opens. 

Everyone in the NFC East should take interest in Winston (or any of the four aforementioned offensive tackles), but only one can realistically afford him.


Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that the Eagles were one of the first two teams to reach out to Winston's agent, Drew Rosenhaus. 

What the Eagles might appreciate most about Winston is his durability. He'll turn 30 this upcoming season, but he hasn't missed a game since he became a full-time starter in 2007. This is a team that lost 60 percent of its starting offensive line to season-ending injuries in 2012, so some stability is certainly desired. 

In Todd Herremans, the Eagles actually have the best right tackle in the division, but that shouldn't be a factor because Herremans is also able to play guard. Assuming Jason Peters and Jason Kelce can get/remain healthy, adding a guy like Winston would give them a chance to move Herremans back inside, sending the disappointing Danny Watkins to the bench and shoring up the line as a whole. 

Think of Winston as a replacement for Watkins, not Herremans. 

This is purely speculative, but Winston would likely cost the Eagles at least $4 million per year and $10 million guaranteed. That's not back-breaking for a team that has over $30 million in cap space.

We keep hearing that Michael Vick will be a dead man walking with all the contact coming his way in Chip Kelly's offense. The best way to prevent Vick and others from going down is to cough up the cash and make a move like this.