Mathis Mania & Some LB Talk

Posted: March 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 63 Comments »

Evan Mathis got an offer from the Ravens.  It was described as a “nice offer” by Mathis.  He took off for Arizona, where he wants to discuss things with his family.  More than likely Mathis knows what he wants to do and is hoping that the Eagles and Ravens up their offers while he is “contemplating” things.

Multiple sources say the Eagles have made Mathis an offer.  There is no question that the team wants to keep him.  It comes down to value.  The Eagles aren’t trying to be cheap.  Mathis just isn’t the kind of player you can over-spend on.  You’ve got to be choosy about when to do that.

I don’t know which way this will go.  I’m not overly worried, so maybe that is a sign I think he’ll return.  I certainly hope he does.

A lot of people want to know what happens if Mathis leaves.  The Eagles have plenty of options.  There are lots of free agents available.  The Eagles could go for any number of veterans.  Guys like Jacob Bell, Robert Gallery, Eric Steinbach, and old Mudd student Jake Scott are all out there.

None of them played as well as Mathis last year, but let’s also not deny that Mudd played a part in that.  Jason Peters had his best year.  Jason Kelce was a 6th round pick that started all year.  Todd Herremans moved to RT with little notice and played well.  Mudd is a terrific coach and athletic blockers can thrive in his system.

I do not think the Eagles would turn to the draft.  That would make us awfully young on the inside.  The goal is to keep Mathis.  If that doesn’t work out, the team has other ways to go.

* * * * *

After DeSean’s PC yesterday, GM Howie Roseman made mention that something might happen at LB in the next few days.

What?

For a long time, I felt very strongly that a veteran MLB was going to be the target.  Here we are a few days into FA and the Eagles haven’t been linked with anyone of note.

Then we find out they did make a minimal offer to Dan Connor.  So how did that fit into the plans?  Makes me wonder if he was going to be an insurance policy and Luke Kuechly the primary draft target.

If that is/was the case, then the Eagles have to be looking at an OLB in FA.  I still don’t know who.  I know some fans want Erin Henderson from the Vikings.  I don’t see him as a likely target.  Jo-Lonn Dunbar is a guy that I’m curious about.  I posted some notes on him and some FA thoughts over at ScoutsNotebook.

Remember that I’m just guessing with all of this.  We have no track record of Juan Castillo moves to study for patterns.  Might find out he does want a big guy at SAM.  I’m guessing that isn’t the case, but we’ll find out soon enough.

I know many fans would love to add a big guy to stuff the run.  That would be fine if we played in the AFC North.  We play in the NFC East.  Romo, Eli, and RG3 are our biggest concerns.  The Ravens had a guy like Jarrett Johnson to help them stuff Cedric Benson, Peyton Hillis, and Rashard Mendenhall.  You must build your team to deal with the competition you face.  We’re in a passing division.  Makes more sense to get a SAM who can cover and play the run.

* * * * *

For SB Nation Philly, I wrote about DeSean’s extension.

* * * * *

The Niners are now in the running for Peyton Manning.  This isn’t good. We need him to go stay in the AFC.  SF is dangerous enough with a mediocre offense.  I don’t want Peyton out there.

* * * * *

The Eagles haven’t lost any significant FA targets so far.  All the top LBs are available.  There are still plenty of good RBs.  Adam Schefter is starting up with the Plax to Philly talk.  We’ll see if anything comes of that.

Some people have asked about RS, specifically why the team didn’t go for Eddie Royal.  As a slot receiver, I’m not sure he would have been an upgrade on Jason Avant.  As a RS, Eddie is odd.  He only has 8 KORs in the last 2 years combined.  He has primarily been a PR.  Eddie did have some success as a KOR in the past.  His best year was 2008 when he was a rookie and averaged 26.1 yards per KOR.

He is a good PR, but it sounds like DeSean still will get mixed in there.  The Eagles need someone that can be the primary KOR and help out at PR.  With no Avant or no DeSean, Royal might have been a target.  I tend to think we’ll look to the draft for the RS.


  • GeorgeFleep

    So WIL Brian Rolle MLB Luke Kuechly SAM Jo-Lonn Dunbar?

    What do you think of Kamerion Wimbley. Apparently he has been released by the Raiders.

    • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

      I was wondering too about Wimbley either at DE or even SAM.

    • TommyLawlor

      Wimbley’s key value is as a pass rusher. He was a SAM on run downs, DE on pass downs. Goes 6’3, 260 or so. Just don’t see him as a target for us. Had 16 sacks in 2 years in Oakland. 4-3 teams will want him as a DE.

  • metaReign

    We’re on edge here, waiting on Mathis decision. On the contrary, with all re-signings of the Eagles players, do u actually feel that the FO aren’t going to pick up, even one FA from outside worth a contract?

    • TommyLawlor

      Eagles will add a few FAs. Teams, agents have focused on star players in this opening week. Remember, we’re just 96 hours into a month long process.

  • Mark823

    The Eagles were kind of linked to Lofton, if you count Gerald McCoy’s twitter :) But if the plan is to go for Kuechly I would be all for it.

  • IowaEagle

    Didn’t I hear somewhere that Lofton is from the Philly area? I figured that would have played to our advantage.

    • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

      Lofton was born, bred, and went to college in Oklahoma.

    • TommyLawlor

      Curtis Lofton was born in Oklahoma and that’s where he went to college.

      Jameel McClain is from Philly. Didn’t impress me on game tape as our type of MLB.

  • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

    Couple Temple players had good pro days:

    RB Bernard Pierce ran a 4.34 40, after turning in a 4.49 at Combine. Nice size, 6′ 218 lbs. One analysis says he isn’t much of a pass blocker but excels in a zone blocking run scheme.

    WR Rod Streater listed as 6’4″ 196 lbs ran a 4.37 40, 11′ 1″ broad, 37″ vertical. Wasn’t a Combine participant. 2011 had 19 receptions for 401 yards and 3 TDs. 21.1 ypc average and a long of 61 yards for a TD against Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl.

    • Kammich

      Thats a great 40 for Pierce. May make some teams re-evaluate him as a one-dimensional workhorse back. I still think he’d be an ideal fit for Pittsburgh around Round 3.

  • TommyLawlor

    Question.

    Someone on Twitter said he had problems with commenting on Iggles Blitz using an I-Phone. Any other people have I-Phone issues? How about I-Pad issues? Any tips for the reader?

    Thanks.

    • iskar36

      This post is coming from my iPhone, so assuming it posts, I haven’t had any issues.

      Edit: I have been using disqus by the way, if that makes any difference.

      • EWeaver34

        It’s me and disqus is the only option. Just seems odd that I only have that but on a pc I have all the twitter, yahoo, etc. options.

        I’ll just have to get a disqus account.

        • Jason_E

          It’s the same way with my iPhone. You just have to get a disqus account.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      Perhaps they should try using a twitter or yahoo log in to make posts?

      I have no experience with iphones though…still using a pos Samsung and I am happy to say I can still read your page on it though!

    • metaReign

      Those who have androids, as long as u have an account with disqus, u don’t need to worry about signing in when posting, but do need to refresh the page for updated comments.

      Just in from my sms message, re: fb/Overtime NFL
      Denver claims out of the race for Manning, will be signing Kolb on Saturday with $7 million.
      I’m assuming, the Manning workout and physical at 49ers.

      • iskar36

        Wait, what? Denver out? Arizona gives up Kolb?

      • TommyLawlor

        Denver is not out of the Manning race. Maybe the favorite. Kolb is staying in ARZ. Will get his bonus.

    • BreakinAnklez

      No problems here…

    • JRO91

      Posting is fine. But editing my phone doesn’t like it.

    • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

      I initially had problems commenting/logging in with the whole DISQUS system when you first switched to it. Seems like DISQUS and twitter get along a whole lot better in the last month or so.

      I don’t use any Apple products, though.

    • wee2424

      Been using an IPhone. No problems

    • hallcr3

      iPhone is the primary way I access the blog, so I’d say it’s working fine.

  • iskar36

    When it comes to Eagles rumors, how reliable is Schefter? He has a great read on several teams, but with the Eagles, it always seems to me that he is just guessing.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      It does seem that when Schefter talks Eagles it’s basically to boost his ratings more than to report actual news.

    • TommyLawlor

      Schefter gets info from agents. Has no Eagles sources. Not the greatest source of Philly info.

  • GeorgeFleep

    Mary Paoletti ‏ @Mary_Paoletti
    Source: Patriots are 1st visit for LaRon Landry. Jets, Lions, 1 other on the list. Health is “good” & he’s “on course to be ready for OTAs.”
    —-1 other could be eagles? personally i hope not. It seems as if eagles will get some sort of LB.
    David Hawthorne apparently not ever an option for eagles. Come on Curtis Lofton you left the saints visit so come to eagles

    • iskar36

      I commented about this in the previous post, but Pats, Jets, and Lions were 3 of the 4 teams listed in the original rumor about teams that were interested in Landry. Eagles were the 4th. Seems there was at least some truth to the original rumor and the Eagles might end up being the unnamed team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Coe/749860957 James Coe

    I thought the 49ers were the most logical spot for Manning when he first got cut by the Colts. Was surprised to hear them declare themselves out of the running. Seems like they’ve realised their error…

  • EWeaver34

    Test

    • TommyLawlor

      You passed.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    I hope they don’t sign Dunbar. He’s not a very good player, from what I’ve seen. Greg Cosell said about as much when he called him a backup type player on the recent film segment on Philadelphia Eagles.com. Dunbar is a very poor tackler, and undersized. I see him as a player very similar to Jamar Chaney. Aren’t we supposed to be getting better players, rather than older versions of the bad ones we’re trying to replace?

    I would have preferred Dan Connor if this was the plan! I know you said he had a good game against the Giants, but you could put on Jamar Chaney’s game against the Giants and think you’ve got a player on your hands.

    It’s time to open up the vault for a linebacker. PLEASE GUYS, NO MORE TIER 3 OR 4 FREE AGENTS!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Coe/749860957 James Coe

      “I would have preferred Dan Connor if this was the plan! I know you said he had a good game against the Giants, but you could put on Jamar Chaney’s game against the Giants and think you’ve got a player on your hands.”

      So basically, what you’re saying is that the Giants suck? Now that’s a message I can get on board with :-)

  • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

    If there were any Vontaze Burfict fans left, he blew up his own pro day.

    According to reports, he looked so poor in drills that one scout said he felt bad for him. He did not run and managed only 16 bench presses of 225 lbs. By comparison, a relatively unknown 6′ 190 lb WR from Temple (Rod Streater) did 18 at their pro day.

    The attitude Burfict demonstrated at the Combine makes me legitimately fearful of the health of other players on a practice field with him. I can’t even see him as an UDFA camp body, let alone being drafted.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47904149 Liam Garrett

      That guy has crashed and burned.

  • metaReign

    Staley Elected To South Carolina HOF March 16, 2012 04:23 PM | PhiladelphiaEagles.com The Philadelphia Eagles are proud to announce that former running back and current special teams quality control coach Duce Staley (DUUUUCE!)has been elected to the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.

    Staley finished his two-year collegiate career at South Carolina with 1,852 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 345 carries and caught 59 passes for 489 yards and two scores. As a senior, he ranked 13th in the nation with 1,116 rushing yards en route to earning first team All-SEC honors.

    One of the most popular and toughest players ever to suit up for the Eagles, Staley’s 4,807 rushing yards rank 4th in team history. He was also voted by his teammates as the Eagles offensive MVP three times during his career.

    He will be inducted in a ceremony at the Columbia, S.C., Metropolitan Convention Center on May 14.

    • Kammich

      One of my favorite Veterans Stadium moments, to this day, was Duce scoring on the opening offensive drive in the 2002 NFC Championship game. BMitch had a big kickoff return, and we drove right down the field and Duce punched it in for 6. Place went fn nuts.

      Too bad the game went downhill in a hurry after that. Anyone else remember the halftime show? It was a frisbee catching dog. He caught like 14 in a row and then dropped one, and got booed unmercifully. Ja Rule didn’t fair much better when he came out to perform the big halftime concert. What an angry, disappointing day that ended up being.

      • TommyLawlor

        That was a really awful day. I just knew we were going to the SB.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AWJT33NIMG6ZLNPC64UNHOCRYI Nick

    Jimmy K, God bless his midnight green soul, links to Reuben Frank’s tweet that the Eagles have offered to beat the Ravens’ offer to Mathis:

    http://bloggingthebeast.com/2012/03/16/redskins-sign-cedric-griffin-cowboys-sign-nate-livings-evan-mathis-upcoming-decision-and-kyle-ortons-contract-numbers/#more-3712

  • nopain23

    Connor signed 2yrs 6.7mil….the LB market is kinda low I guess.to think the iggles didn’t think enough of him to beat that offer.I guess the FO is betting on Luke and not gonna overpay for average LBs.I kinda like that approach.

  • iskar36

    Oh, that’s just wrong:

    https://twitter.com/#!/EvanMathis69/status/180847967471808512/photo/1

    In all seriousness, you have to love Evan Mathis on twitter.

    • hallcr3

      LOL!

      Would any of us care about re-signing Mathis so much if he wasn’t such a cool guy?

      • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

        I’ll admit that’s a factor for me. As long as the Eagles’ counter-offer wasn’t insulting, I think he has to be back.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AWJT33NIMG6ZLNPC64UNHOCRYI Nick

      Mathis just became my favorite Eagle. Tommy, when he signs, I hope that this pic will be part of your post.

  • metaReign

    Aside from both contacts by the Eagles and Ravens, Mathis is back home with his family, to discuss his options. I’m going to guess, that the choice would be up to him, one is go to a new team which he does know much about and add another team to his name or two, re-sign with the Eagles where he’s settled in and continue to learn with Mudd system, to hopefully someday be counted as a probowler, for his achievements. Sounds about right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548999324 Matt Hoover

    Tommy: Do you think the Eagles could be interested in Ted Ginn Jr.? Would be a massive upgrade at KR/PR and would be able to lineup Ginn and Djax side by side and allow them to spread that side of the field.

    Also is there any chance we don’t sign a impact LB(like a fletcher lofton ect) and don’t draft a impact lb(kendricks kuechly ect)?

    Do you see the team interested in Jake Scott if we fail to sign Mathis?

    Is it clear were trading Samuel? Or are the odds more 50/50 hes back.

    Is Owen Schmidt still under team control?

    Could we sign Tolbert and move him to FB, and use him like we did Weaver?

    • TommyLawlor

      Ginn? Maybe. More likely we go w/ draft pick.
      LB will be upgraded with FA and a high draft pick.
      Asante is gone.
      Schmitt is UFA.
      Tolbert could play some FB. Not sure he’d want to do that. Supposedly talking to CAR, PIT.

      • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

        I like Ginn better than the Plax option because of his KR/PR ability. Signing him would instantly take care of that question. With Plax, all you get is a big body and MAYBE better RZ production (can Vick even throw a fade?).

      • nopain23

        Tommy
        why do you think it’s taking so long to move AS?…

  • eagleizeit

    Tommy – It doesn’t sound right for me to call Asante Samuel a shut down corner, but if he’s 2nd only to Revis in causing the lowest QB rateings when thrown to him & 8th in causing the lowest %age of pass completions when thrown his way than what is he?

    When Targeted Revis Samuel Last
    QB Rateing 45.6(1st) 52.4(2nd) 129.9(Quentin Jammer)
    QB Comletion %age. 41.2%(1st) 47.5%(8th) 73.8%(Captain Munnerlyn)
    http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/01/12/cornerbacks-a-glance-at-the-2011-numbers/

    If I were a GM and needed a great CB this surprising info, from a reputable 3rd party, would make me a lot more inclined in aquireing Asante. Just like the Eagles spend around $10m per yr on a 30 yr old CB, in N.A., how could you not justify that Asante’s worth the money. He’s just shown this past yr that he can do the same things that Nnambi and Revis can do, which is destroy QB’s by not allowing compleions (getting in their heads so they can’t decide where to throw it) and then the cherry on top is he’s also amongst the best(if not #1)when it comes to interceptions. He’s a game changer in two ways part Revis and part Deon. Not as dominant as ither one in there 1 expertise, but the ability to flip from one to the other at anytime(the unknown) will start to confuse QB’s more than knowing what the CB does.

  • eagleizeit

    Sorry my bluetooth keyboard was stuck.

    Tommy – is there anyway you know of sending that info about Asante from profootballfocus to the other 31 teams for them to look over and think about. I’m sure if we had a bad CB situation Asante would seem like a steel for a 2nd rd pick. Some teams would see him as a lot more valuable than N.A. being a duel threat changing games around with his ints, not allowing completions and upsetting qbs by messing with their qb rateings. Maybe you could let the Eagles know about that article. You never know where it may lead. That would be a trip if instead of a 4th we got a 1st, but teams will be getting desperate for a great CB. B’more would increase its chance of winning the SB a lot and they want it ASAP for Ray. They’d probably give us Tyrod Taylor and a 2nd since they have no plans with him in the future it’s Flacco for the present and the future. As long as we give them one of our backup QB’s. Here’s the article which basically makes him look a little like a shut down CB:

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ve talked about this before. Those numbers are deceiving. QBs don’t throw Asante’s way because he is unpredictable. That would be great if football wasn’t a team sport. It is. And his teammates can’t trust him either. Asante freelances. That leaves guys open. Other players and Castillo take the blame, but Asante is the culprit.

  • austinfan

    Just say no to Jo-Lonn Dunbar.
    PFF had him with a -25.7 rating in 750 snaps.

    NO was horrific in second level yards allowed per run at 1.42, second worst in the league (Eagles LBs allowed 1.35), the worst was Carolina, 1.47, maybe it’s good that Conner went to Dallas for too much money.

    These numbers don’t “prove” anything, but if you’re a member of a bad group of LBs, and casual film study of your entire season finds you were consistently making bad plays, you’re unlikely to be a good LB.

    • TommyLawlor

      PFF and I rarely agree. I didn’t study all 14 of his starts, but he did look good in the NYG game.

      • austinfan

        Chaney looked good for a couple games in 2010, small samples can deceive.

        I look at PFF numbers as an input, I think they have some flaws, since they grade on what they see, they’ll put a larger weight on a missed tackle for example, than one the LB never got to (b/c you can’t usually tell looking at the game why the LB didn’t get there, bad read, scheme, good block?). But since they use the same system to grade everyone, it provides a useful but far from definitive comparable.

        I will say that a really good or bad score is something to consider. I mean you have to making a lot of bad plays for PFF to grade you at -25.7.

        • Skeptic_Eagle

          I agree. I think PFF is very good at what they do. They have a number of successful prognostications concerning guys who produced with few snaps, and then went on to play big in a starting role. They also had Ernie Sims as one of the worst LB’s in the league when the Eagles traded for him, and we know how that turned out. One of the few grades I strongly disagreed with was them grading Quintin Mikell as the best safety in the league. I liked Mikell, but he just did not carry that kind of impact during the games.

          Like I said in my comment above, Greg Cosell, while not as damning as PFF, had Dunbar as a career backup or package player. Seemed to think a little more highly of his coverage ability, but that’s about it.

          I’m really not happy with this possibility. I feel like the Eagles should be buying Georgio Armani and instead they’re getting Sergio Giorgini.

  • eagleizeit

    Asante the Shutdown Corner, added to resume. #’s can’t lie ~~~
    Typhttp://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/01/12/cornerbacks-a-glance-at-the-2011-numbers/e your comment here.

    We need Derek Landri back in Philly(Graded 4th best DT last yr.) needs to be in Eagles system 4 success — lets start a petition!!!
    http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/03/11/free-agency-2012-bargain-hunting/

    The 2nd highest graded rush DE last yr(1st was Trent Cole) John Abraham won’t cost much and is dominant in 2 line rotations. Can play LDE, RDE and is good at dropping back into coverage. Should play at dominate level for 2-4 yrs ’til we find 2 or 3 young guys that are good. Hopefully we can give someone Tapp to move up in the 6th rd again and put that money on Landri and Abraham.

    • TommyLawlor

      John Abraham re-signed with ATL.

  • eagleizeit

    Accidently pushed Post. Here’s some info on Abraham:
    http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/02/14/free-agency-shopping-for-experience/

    If we had Babin, Cole and Abraham we could see if Graham could hopefully somehow play to the level he did b4 injury, see Hunt develop and hopefully draft Curry and let him develop.

    Tommy – I wanted those 1st 4 guys you had is your draft anyway to vote you in to make the decisions on the players of the Eagles

  • eagleizeit

    Dang it I pushed that Post again. This is my last attempt. Sorry. In GB don’t the people own the team. If we vote 4 U to make all the player personnel decisions would U consider moveing up here?
    I had us getting Derek Wolfe with our 1st 4th rd pick though. For WR I had us getting one that’s going to surpriisle everyone in a yr or two. I think you’d like his build he’s the size of Anquan Boldin, went to the best university which shows he makes the best decision. I don’t know which rd to draft him I was hopeing to steal him in the 6th or 7th, but he went to the combine now they know about him. I can’t recall the last time we had a WR that’s normally 230 but got down to 225 for the combine and is 6’1″. He’s going to be a lot better than Arrington, Manningham and even Avant. He’d help out Vick he’s used to bailing out his QB who scrambles a lot, he ran a 4.48 which isn’t bad for someone as heavy or strong as him. He’s the most likely to succeed in the NFL. He always finds a way to get open and catches the ball or won’t let the CB catch it. If we get Junior Hemingway that’s an automatic success story. I think we’ll have to get him in the 4th, but it would be the best pick if we got him. GO BLUE!!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      Here’s the scenario I want…

      Manning to Ten.

      AS22 to Indy (kryptonite factor)

      Freeney to Philly.

      Done.

  • metaReign

    So much for the quietness, Mathis is back home on the range with a 5 year deal, posted in philadelphiaeagles.com. We may now see about McCoy’s extending contract. FO is keeping the ball rolling on the home front, continues to put on leverage on the cap space. Is Landri’s contract still good for another year or 2, or should we extend his contract?