Word is that Juqua Thomas will sign a new deal with the Eagles Friday, but they're not going to have to wait until then to ink Quintin Mikell. The two sides agreed to a four-year deal Tuesday, keeping Mikell in town through the 2010 season.
Mikell has been a stalwart on special teams and got his chance to show what he could do on defense this past season. He made the most of the opportunity, leading the Eagles to believe that he could do a lot more for them than he has since they signed him back in 2003. "I think I fit in well here. I like the coaches, the coaches like me, all the players get along. We have a good family-type atmosphere here. It just felt right. That's why I definitely wanted to be here," said Mikell about staying with the Eagles.
If there was a defining moment for Mikell, it came on Christmas Day when Mikell hit Marion Barber in the backfield to end a fourth-and-goal attempt by the Cowboys. He also saw substantial playing time in the season finale against Atlanta, playing at the safety spot and coming up with a career-high eight tackles in the game.
The Eagles are focusing on making sure that their defense is strong going into 2007. With Mikell signed and Thomas planning a Friday signing, the Eagles have kept two young defensive players on the roster. Over the weekend, the Eagles also made a move to shore up their offense, giving backup quarterback A.J. Feeley a three-year extension when he wasn't even eligible for free agency. The move signaled that the Eagles wouldn't attempt to re-sign Jeff Garcia and they've said publicly that they don't plan on offering a deal to wide receiver Donte Stallworth. It's not out of the question that Stallworth could re-sign with the Eagles, but he will be allowed to test the waters in the free agent market.
Free agency begins on Friday and the Eagles will announce the signing of Thomas. The two sides can't officially sign or announce a deal until Friday because Thomas played for the league minimum and league rules state that he can't sign with the Eagles prior to free agency.