Eagles Notes: Eagles say little about visit with Geno Smith

An Eagles contingent that included owner Jeffrey Lurie traveled to Morgantown on Monday to work out West Virginia's Geno Smith. (Phil Coale/AP file photo)
An Eagles contingent that included owner Jeffrey Lurie traveled to Morgantown on Monday to work out West Virginia's Geno Smith. (Phil Coale/AP file photo)
Posted: March 15, 2013

Although they made a 600-mile trek to and from Morgantown, and brought owner Jeffrey Lurie along for the ride, Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman did not have much to say about their private workout of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.

"Obviously, he's an impressive guy," Roseman said Wednesday, two days after the Eagles brass checked out the top-rated draft prospect.

Impressive enough to be a top-10 pick?

"You're going through the process, you're trying to get as much information as possible," Roseman said. "I can't comment on anybody else's draft board, and at this point I can't comment on ours."

The Eagles own the No. 4 overall draft pick. They have five quarterbacks on their roster - Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon, Trent Edwards, and G.J. Kinne - but none is considered Kelly's likely quarterback of the future.

Naturally, there has been speculation that the Eagles will select a quarterback at some point in the draft, whether it's Smith in the first round or someone such as Matt Scott of Arizona, who worked out for the Eagles in Philadelphia this week, in one of the later rounds.

"We're going to look at anybody and everybody to see if we can win games," Kelly said. "Does that mean we're going to draft a quarterback in the draft? I don't know."

Smith is likely to be the first quarterback drafted, but there is some dispute among analysts over where he will be taken. Some believe he's a top-10 talent. Others think the 6-foot-2, 218-pounder will be a later pick, although a quarterback-desperate team could take him much earlier.

The Eagles were probably doing their due diligence in traveling to Morgantown, but Lurie's unusual presence suggested that the team is either very interested in Smith or was sending out a smokescreen.

"I don't know that we want to get into specifics about who's coming to the trips with us," Roseman said when asked about Lurie's presence. "We're going to see a lot of people here in the next few weeks. We're going to make sure that we get as much information as possible to make the No. 4 pick in the draft the right one for the Philadelphia Eagles."

Who's at safety?

The Eagles gave safety Patrick Chung a contract that suggests they will give him every opportunity to start this season.

Chung signed a three-year contract worth $10 million, with $4 million guaranteed. The roster bonus ($2.285 million), the 2013 base salary ($715,000) and $1 million of his $3.25 million base salary for 2014 are guaranteed.

Chung made 30 career starts in four seasons for the New England Patriots.

"Nobody is guaranteed a spot," Roseman said of the starting job. "There's going to be competition all over the roster."

The Eagles have not gotten consistent play out of their safeties for the last four seasons. Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, last year's starters, struggled for much of the season. Both remain on the roster, along with Colt Anderson, who signed a one-year contract on Monday, and David Sims.

Allen, selected in the second round of the 2010 draft, could be nearing his expiration date with the Eagles. Roseman was asked if he could still start.

"Sure, he's obviously a guy that we drafted high," he said. "There's nobody that works harder than Nate, and Nate has had some games where he's played extremely well, and we're excited to see him back here."

Fletcher lives

Nnamdi Asomugha has been released and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is unlikely to return. Asked about the lack of a starting cornerback on his roster, Roseman shot back that recent addition Bradley Fletcher is a starting-caliber corner.

The Eagles signed the former St. Louis Ram to a two-year, $5.25 million contract on Tuesday. Fletcher, 26, started in 15 games in 2010, but he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in 2011 and played in only four games. Last season, as he returned from the injury, he fell out of favor and played sparingly down the stretch.

He's a "big, long, tough press corner," a senior pro scout said. "Like most tall corners, he doesn't transition well in coverage. But he's a much tougher and aggressive tackler than [Asomugha] and [Rodgers-Cromartie]."

Aside from Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, and Brandon Hughes are the other cornerbacks on the Eagles roster.

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