"I got signed to play right tackle," he said.
At Andrews' 2009 introductory news conference following his signing as a free agent, when coach Andy Reid referred to Andrews having played at a Pro Bowl level, "he was talking about right tackle," Andrews said. This point also was made yesterday by agent Rich Moran. Andrews was a left guard for the Bengals before moving to tackle in 2006. He played well enough in 2007 to be franchised in 2008.
In the short run, Wells' acquisition could just mean the coaching staff has seen enough of Max Jean-Gilles, Nick Cole or Fenuki Tupou. But it also could be the first step toward moving Andrews to another team. Moran questioned this week whether there are any other 6-7 guards in the NFL; clearly, he thinks his client is being misused.
Wells, meanwhile, is a 29-year-old veteran who has started every game for the Cardinals since 2006. He came to Arizona as a sixth-round pick from Clarion in 2003, and has started every game he has been healthy enough to play since 2004. He can play guard or tackle, but has mostly played left guard, something the Eagles really don't need, assuming Todd Herremans' foot holds up. Wells lost his starting job in this camp, after having been moved to right guard to accommodate free agent Alan Faneca on the left side. Wells could not beat out Deuce Lutui at right guard, so the Eagles got him for a sixth-round pick.
"We're adding a player that has started several seasons in the National Football League and has played at a very high level during the course of his career," Reid said. "He has experience at several different positions along the offensive line, and he will be a welcome addition to that group. You can never have enough depth at that position as you go through an NFL season."
Practice resumes tomorrow. Andrews said he plans to "just go in Sunday with the mindset that I'm the guy, prepare as if I'm the guy" at right guard. "I know I can be a dominant right guard" he said, though he said he agreed to play there last year only because Reid wanted to play Stacy's brother, Shawn, at right tackle. Shawn Andrews ended up missing a second successive year, in essence, to back surgery, then was released this offseason. He now plays for the Giants. Winston Justice is the Eagles' right tackle now.
Stacy Andrews said when the Eagles wanted him to rework his contract last offseason, including a pay cut, his preference was to go back into free agency. Andrews retained his $4.1 million roster bonus, paid last spring, plus $900,000 in guaranteed salary for this season.
"Howie [Roseman, the general manager] reassured me I would be the guy at right guard," he said. "I wouldn't have signed [the reworked deal] to be the third guy."
Roseman did not respond to a request for comment.
The Eagles also cut 10 players, as they whittled the roster from 75 toward the 53-man regular-season limit, which they must achieve by 6 p.m. today. Released yesterday were cornerback Geoffrey Pope, defensive end Pannel Egboh, defensive tackle Boo Robinson, cornerback David Pender, wide receiver Dobson Collins, offensive lineman Jerrail McCuller, tight end Nate Lawrie, safety Anthony Scirrotto, and running backs Martell Mallett and J.J. Arrington.
The Birds traded for Arrington from Denver as camp opened, giving the Broncos linebacker Joe Mays. But they get a sixth-round pick in 2012 from Denver now that they've cut Arrington.
As expected, the Eagles announced that defensive end Victor Abiamiri will open the season on the physically unable to perform list. He is sidelined at least 6 weeks, but won't count against the roster during that time. The Eagles began today with 65 players. *
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