Monday Night Update

Posted: March 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 75 Comments »

Free agency starts on Tuesday, but there is plenty of activity and news to cover.

DE Michael Bennett signed a 4-year extension with Seattle today. I didn’t have him down as an Eagles target since I saw him more as a DE than OLB. It was reported that the Bears were going to go hard after him. You wonder who they will shift their attention to.

An idea occurred to me the other day. The Bears have a young player named Shea McClellin that played DE for them. They’ve been disappointed with him as a DE and plan to move him to OLB this year. You wonder if the Eagles could ship Brandon Graham to Chicago for him. That would give the Bears a boost at DE and it would add an athletic guy to the Eagles mix at OLB. I don’t normally speculate about trades like this, but the Eagles quietly had a lot of interest in McClellin in the 2012 draft. I don’t know if that was based more on what Howie Roseman and the scouts thought or if it was Jim Washburn who coveted him for the Wide-9. If Roseman was a big fan, that could mean the Eagles still have some interest.

To be clear…this isn’t an active rumor. This is just me speculating.

A sidenote to this is that the Bears are reportedly shopping Julius Peppers. He is 34 and expensive. I don’t know if there will be any takers. I also don’t know if the Eagles would have interest in trying to convert him to OLB.

Peppers former teammate in Carolina, WR Steve Smith, is reportedly being shopped. This has been rumored for a few weeks. The Panthers site has removed his jerseys from the team store. This doesn’t really tie in to the Eagles, but it is an interesting note. Can you believe he’ll turn 35 this summer? Smith is a declining player, but it will be interesting to see where he goes.

* * * * *

There are some reports that Jairus Byrd’s desire for $9M per year is scaring some teams off. That could be good news for the Eagles. If Byrd lowers his number a bit, the Eagles might make a run at him. They do have interest, but aren’t going to hand him a blank check.

* * * * *

Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com reports the Eagles are interested in CB Nolan Carroll of the Dolphins. I haven’t heard anything specific on Carroll, but I think that would be an odd move. Is he clearly better than Cary Williams or Bradley Fletcher?

Carroll is coming off his best season and has the size the Eagles like (6-1, 205) so there is logic to adding him. I just don’t know if he’s an upgrade and therefore someone worth spending money on. This feels more like an agent trying to drum up interest in his client, but the report has enough logic to it that it’s certainly worth passing on. CB is a bit of a mystery position for the Eagles. They’re okay there, but not nearly as good as they want to be. I’m still thinking they address that spot in the draft.

* * * * *

Interesting. Honestly, I haven’t thought much about Bethea. He’s getting ready to turn 30. He isn’t special in terms of size, production or athletic ability. But he is one solid, reliable veteran DB. There is something to be said for adding a guy like that. I’ll try to watch some tape and see how he looks.

* * * * *

Another one that I’m not sure what to think of. Lists at 6-3, 300. That’s a DE in the 3-4. Where are you playing him? Are you moving Ced Thornton to NT? Good pass rusher for his size, but I don’t know what the plan for him would be.

* * * * *

Could the Eagles have interest in…

* Darren Sproles – I doubt it.

* Dexter McCluster – I doubt it.

* Devin Hester – Possible. Not what he was, but still a talented PR/KOR.

Jason Babin hit the market today. I’m sure the Eagles are calling him over and over.


  • SleepingDuck

    Adam Caplan just named dropped Mike Mitchell and James Ihedigbo (Balt) on the Fanatic as 2 safeties for us to keep on eye on. He also mentioned that the Eagles tried to trade for Byrd last off season, but failed to do so because of complications due to his franchise tag.

  • dukebowden

    Vontae Davis? Probably too rich for Howie’s blood. But otherwise fits the kind of free agent the Birds WOULD spend for. Will be turning 26 just before the season, specializes in press man and is a sure, willing tackler. Not the greatest ball skills but all in all, probably a decent upgrade on Cary and Fletcher. I also remember a lot of Eagles associated buzz with Vontae the year he came out in the draft. Not sure if Howie had enough of a role at that point to have been involved, but remember reading the Birds really liked him.

    • D3FB

      I’m not sure Davis is much of a Chip guy. Has alot of character red flags.

  • Randy

    It’s funny you suggested Shea for Graham. I was in a public mock draft last Feb and that very offer was offered to me as co-Eagles GM. We ended up turning it down.

    • Michael Winter Cho

      Fantasy football actually has multiple person FOs now? I… guess I didn’t know that.

  • planetx1971

    Tommy I’m curious, do you doubt Sproles based on $ or tharmt they couldn’t use him? Something else? I personally would love to see that little dynamic in an Eagles uniform. He has always impressed the heck outta me personally. The guy is as versatile as they come. Return game, receiving, spelling Shady. Unless his skulls have dripped way off without me noticing (very possible) I see him upgrading us significantly un several crucial areas. Thoughts?

    • Randy

      He is 31.

      • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

        aand cheap… and excells in pass protection.

        • planetx1971

          EXACTLY Mr. Kelly. If you feel like reading my other reasons in response to the “He’s 31″ response. It’s right up ^ :)

          • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

            id like to see him belind our OL and in chips offense that will give darren more SPACE then he has ever saw!!

      • planetx1971

        I’m aware that he’s hit the dreaded 30 year old back zone. But he still “managed” 71 receptions & 1236 all purpose yds. He still carries a 25+ YD avg. on KO returns. Against several defenses (including us) last year, he got double teamed & really opened things up for Jimmy Graham et all. With all our weapons, double teaming him wouldn’t even be an option. I think he would still be MORE than productive in a limited role. Which is all he’d be required for with the birds. I’m sure Tommy’s correct & we won’t, but I still be really happy to see him in this offense

        • Neil

          Yeah, the problem is who would you get rid of. If Brown plays up to his potential, the Eagles have two great backs. Polk deserves touches too. Matthew Tucker isn’t shabby as depth.

          • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

            Trade brown. And yes Polk deserves more touches. Darren is used to this role. Tucker is an after thought, he still has much to prove.

          • BobSmith77

            When are people going to realize Brown sucks?

          • shah8

            When he actually does.

          • Neil

            Words out of my mouth

          • shah8

            But didja hear? Desean Jackson swims with the Crips, the thug!

          • BobSmith77

            You mean like last year when with the exception of his 65-yard TD garbage time run vs Bears he averaged 3.3 yards/carry, struggled yet again in basic pass protection, and was a non-factor all year except garbage time in blowouts vs Bears & Raiders?

          • shah8

            Uh, huh…

            whatever salts your pickles, dude.

          • BobSmith77

            So you are going to seriously argue that Brown had a good year last year, was productive, and didn’t start to lose time to Polk midseason?

          • shah8

            Nah, it’s pretty obvious you will not be responsive. Moreover, I’m not going to feed into the bad side of Philly fans that hates talented people for what they aren’t.

          • BobSmith77

            I’ll take that as acknowledgement of what I listed above then.

          • shah8

            Don’t be silly.

            I do not view Nick Foles as a viable QB. I, however, at least think he can be functional as long as things are going well.

            I don’t give credence to the idea that Riley Cooper is much good at all. Not only is he not particularly talented, he’s not technically good, or sensible (with good instincts) on the field. That’s the reason for his glum appearance on a day he’s getting more money.

            Bryce Brown, however, has talent, and if I needed BB to be the feature back because McCoy went down, I would feel much more comfortable having Brown, instead of Polk or someone else. I watch enough NFL games to know what happens to teams without adequate talent at RB (say, if Polk was to be running the show at RB). And I am a very long ways away from stupidlandia. Lastly, to be honest, I have not had a problem with Brown’s performance last year. He didn’t get the carries he would need to star–he’s far more like Adrian Peterson than he’s like Shady. Part of that game is home run hitting and terrorizing the secondary, and he still did that this last season when he got a hole. Sometimes slipped of course, but I’m pretty sure he’ll grow out of it.

            Now, you can bitch and moan as much as you want. I will not dignify your complaints further.

          • BobSmith77

            So Foles isn’t a viable QB and Brown has similar talent to AP?!

            No Brown didn’t do what you described last year. Not remotely. Just go back and look at his carries and the number of tackles he broke.

            I guess it was the o-line’s fault that more than 90% of his carries were less than 4 yards.

          • BobSmith77

            Feb 25, 2014

            “Eagles coach Chip Kelly prefers Chris Polk’s running style to Bryce Brown’s and sees Polk “as a better complement” to running back LeSean McCoy, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Polk is more of a north-south runner, and Kelly likes that he “wastes so few yards.”

          • Neil

            I watched all his plays. What I saw was that the offensive line mostly liked to suck when he was subbed in.

          • BobSmith77

            yeah that’s it. They laid down and sucked just when Brown carried the ball. It had nothing to do with his repeatedly trying to turn runs to the outside, not hitting the hole, and frankly not being in great shape to start the season.

          • Neil

            His decision making has always been his shortcoming. Certainly does need to improve. But yeah, the offensive line seemed to have a knack for having their bad plays when he was in the game. Guys getting pushed into his lap a couple yards into the backfield etc. It was striking. I remember thinking what dumb luck.

            Based on where Brown’s at now, he’s a good 2 if you can live with his production being erratic. Can always hit the homerun, but sometimes he makes decisions that leave yards on the field. If he gets better about decisions, he could be a great starting back.

            I didn’t notice anything about his conditioning.

          • BobSmith77

            For a guy who only gets several touches a game at the max, that is a huge issue. You want a guy who will maximize his production. Not a guy who will turn to turn nothing into something and overwhelmingly give you limited production.

            The o-line laying down is BS. That is like arguing that certain baseball lineups score more when a certain pitcher is on the mound.

          • Neil

            Wait, don’t all lineups score more when a worse pitcher is on the mound? Or a righthanded lineup scores more when a lefty is on the mound?

            I think if Brown keeps improving he’s going to get more than several touches a game. If he wasn’t behind such a stud back, he would have last year. He’d probably have started for at least ten teams despite his faults last year.

          • BobSmith77

            The notion that a baseball team scores more and give more run support when a certain starter is on the mound is complete BS and was long ago debunked. Same with the idea of ‘being clutch’ and ‘lineup protection.’

            Brown showed no improvement though last year and he is going to have to show up to camp this year in shape, be productive with his touches, and pick up on pass protection/blitz pickups.

          • Neil

            Hah, he stopped fumbling. One thing at a time, man.

          • Neil

            OK, I think it finally set in what you were saying with the baseball analogy.

            It’s true that that’s bunk if you’re trying to ascribe some causality, but if you just look at how lineups hit for each pitcher on their team it’s never the same. I mean, what are the odds the lineup woud put up the exact same level of performance for each pitcher? I’m not ascribing causality when I say the line did poorly when Brown was in the game. I’m saying they just seemed to have a much higher ratio of bad plays for whatever random reason.

          • Michael Winter Cho

            The difference is OL and RB have to coordinate their efforts. Shady and BB could well have different rhythms and that could cause some problems.

          • shah8

            yup.

            To give you a contrast, think about how Dion Lewis was used in 2011, and what his production was like–compared to Bryce Brown in 2013.

            Or oh, Toby Gerhart! He’s a feature back doing backup duties to one of the best ever, also with a great OL–and his best games were in 2011 when AP was out and he was the starting RB. Of course, only one of the games he was good in was with Christian Ponder. Then again, a QB that everyone is terrified of really helps the RB. Anywaaaayz, Gerhart is very much a RB that could start for many teams as well, and he isn’t more productive than Bryce Brown.

  • Media Mike

    Good thinking cap work Tommy. McClellin was 100% a 3-4 player that the Bears messed up by drafting. Swapping him for Graham makes sense on a lot of levels.

  • Iskar36

    One more CB rumor that you didn’t mention:

    CB Corey Graham

    Graham is a player BGN has discussed as an Eagles target before (special h/t to Mike Kaye). His versatility and background with Chip Kelly could make him an intriguing option.

    https://twitter.com/GeoffMosherCSN/status/443051205984780289

    http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2014/3/10/5491100/nfl-free-agency-rumors-eagles-have-interest-in-antoine-bethea-none-in

  • http://www.aceandson.com/blog Richard O’Connor

    Why do you think Hester is possible, but McCluster is doubtful? Seems McCuster is the better RS at the moment and brings the offensive versatility that Kelly talks about.

    Not that I’m advocating for him, but between the two he seems more like a possibility.

    • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

      I like mccluster, and would be excited for the sign… but he isnt a KR. Purely PR

    • Corry

      I think the statistic that sticks out for a lot of people is one I saw on Twitter from an insider: McCluster has 10 fumbles (6 lost) to 9 career touchdowns.

  • Sean

    It’s not a great sign that Nolan Carroll is best remembered for being tripped by a Jets assistant.

  • Media Mike

    Any chance we can tamper with Ware and have him refuse to take a pay cut with Dallas? I’d love to trade a conditional 2015 pick for Ware so the Cowboys don’t have to cut him for zero compensation while we can add him to the roster with ZERO dead money concerns because all of the guarantees revert back to Dallas.

    • D3FB

      At 12.25 mil in base salary? For a declining player? I’ll pass.

      • Media Mike

        I admit that is a lot of money, but you’d be taking on zero risk in the process. You could also do your own extension with the guy if you’re liking how he’s playing. I’m very much into any deal we can take on with no risk, Ware is that type of deal.

  • Joseph Dubyk

    Why don’t you think guys like Sproles won’t draw any interest from the Eagles? He could be a KR and he can be used a lot of different ways as a WR…. On the flip side I actually thought the Eagles were going to draft McCluster when he came out of college. He just screamed an Andy Reid type guy. He did seem to be a bust though throughout his unproductive career.

    • ACViking

      Avoid Sproles’s age and cost issues by drafting GA Southern triple-option QB Jerick McKinnon. Same kind of build as Sproles. And JMc posted some dominant numbers at the combine.

      Younger. Cheaper. Faster. Played RB before shifting positions.

      Whoever gets McKinnon may strike gold.

      • D3FB

        But is he better than Joe Webb?

        • Mitchell

          I dnt think anyone is.

  • Corry

    Steve Smith vs. Cary Williams in one on one drills in the heat of the summer? I’d pay to see that.

    • Anders

      So the over/under of TC fights per day is at 10 right?

  • Corry

    Also, from following along on Twitter, the Redskins are interested in signing…everyone.

    • A_T_G

      That sounds about right. Same ol’ Washington.

      • ICDogg

        A Snyder never changes his stripes

    • Dominik

      Sooo glad they didn’t change Defensive Coordinators. :D

  • zbone95

    I dont see why they shouldn’t get a solid corner in free agency. Behind Cary and Fletcher we have nobody to man the outside. Having 3 solid expereinced corners should be important to maintain (Im not including boykin cause hes primarily slot) especially in this passing league. We are one injury away from having a depleted corners. I think they add a good value corner like corey graham or nolan carrol if the price is right.

  • Insomniac

    If the rumors are true, we should try to pick up Rolando McClain if he really wants to play again.

    • SuPaFrO

      He likes the idea.

      As do I.

  • SleepingDuck

    Per Schefter, Bucs are cutting Revis by Wed. if Bucs can’t trade him. Wow.

    • holeplug

      some of these teams are just so dumb. trade 1st + 4th round pick for revis, cut a year later

      • ACViking

        New management. New menu.

        • Tumtum

          Pretty crazy that any team wouldn’t want Revis… and he just finished the year healthy after an AC tear. Wow..just wow. I don’t care what system you run. You make it work for a talent like that.

          • Dominik

            Revis could play in the Tampa 2 – but you just don’t need a 16m CB for that system. Give Smith some Williams/Fletcher like CBs and he’ll be alright.

            I didn’t thought the Buccs would do that, but it makes sense.

  • Weapon Y

    Sign Darelle Revis? I’m in favor

    • SleepingDuck

      I’d be in favor too, but I’m not sure what would happen with his contract

      • ICDogg

        If he’s released, he has no contract at that point.

        • Weapon Y

          How much dead money do the Bucs have to pay him? If a lot, we could sign him for a bargain deal for what he’s worth.

  • Buge Halls

    Don’t we have enough converted DEs that can’t cover as LBs? It’s going to take this team at least two more years to acquire the talent of a true 3-4 D

    • D3FB

      Shea was drafted too high and projected into a role he probably shouldn’t have been. Most people were surprised when the Bears picked him because he was considered a better fit as a 34 OLB.

      As far as needing two more years to be a true 34? We have two good DE’s, Barwin is a good player, Kendricks and Logan should be improved with another year of seasoning. Only areas that need upgrading are Ryans replacement and ROLB.

      • Buge Halls

        And the most important part – a solid nose tackle.

  • nopain23

    Lamar Woolley..on the cheap…..May have a resurgence with chip kelly’s sports science system

  • ICDogg

    It seems like every team is dumping older players, even more than they have in the past. In a lot of cases they’re victims of their own success, they make too much money for their current production.

    By older players here, I’m talking about guys who are going to be 30 or more next season.

    But some of those guys can still play pretty well. If the demand for them is low, one or a few could be obtained for reasonable cost, buying time for developing draft selections.

  • Tom W

    Love how our front office feeds nothing to our local media …save Caplin who had a couple hits last year during free agency but he works for birds so who knows …… Seems like agents feeding bad info or Howie has his personnel interns feeding the locals smoke and hogwash

    • ICDogg

      In the past they’ve been known to threaten agents to pull offers off the table if they were leaked.

    • SleepingDuck

      Caplan is pretty close to Howie so it’s not surprise Howie gave him some info.

    • Anders

      Caplan does not work directly for the Birds. They just use him for some of their shows, like Greg Cossell.
      But Caplan is one of the most well respected media guys and in general when he has info, it is legit.