The Eagles and fullback Leonard Weaver finally agreed to contract terms, ending the former Seahawks first foray in free agency. Plenty of teams were interested in the multi-dimensional player but it appears, as is generally the case with fullbacks around the league, no teams were willing to sacrifice much salary cap space on the position. ESPN is reporting the deal is for one year and $1.75-million with the opportunity to earn additional $750,000 in incentives.
Weaver’s skills are perfectly suited as a fullback in the West Coast offense but it remains to be seen whether Eagles head coach Andy Reid will utilize Weaver in a meaningful way. With the Seahawks, Weaver was employed as a receiver out of the backfield and as a runner and blocker in short yardage.
The Eagles struggled mightily in short yardage last season and Weaver figures to help out in that area. However, Reid’s preference is to run three wide receiver sets so Weaver’s role in the base offense will likely be to spell Brian Westbrook and contribute in short yardage as a blocker for Westbrook and running behind incumbent fullbacks Dan Klecko and Kyle Eckel, provided they are on the team’s roster come opening day. Although Weaver isn’t a dominant blocker, he’s certainly serviceable and provides a better combination of agility and power than any player the team employed in that role in 2008.
Weaver’s presence on the roster also provides the team additional flexibility on draft day given the many roles he can play. The team doesn’t necessarily have to use picks on both the running back and tight end positions, given Weaver’s running skills and usefulness as a check down option in the passing game.
Fantasy Football Impact
With the team returning Westbrook and its top five wide receivers in DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Hank Baskett, Jason Avant and Reggie Brown and tight end Brent Celek a solid option as a receiving tight end, it is almost impossible to imagine Weaver getting more than a handful of touches per game. If Westbrook continues to struggle in short yardage, Weaver could vulture some rushing touchdowns but even that is difficult to imagine.
Nonetheless, Westbrook will be 30 by the time the season starts and he does have an injury history. With the only other backup option being the underwhelming Lorenzo Booker, Weaver figures to be in the mix as Westbrook’s handcuff in 2009 provided the team doesn’t expend a first day draft pick on the position in the draft.