Meet the New Guys

Posted: March 16th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The Eagles had a press conference for LBs Nigel Bradham and Corey Nelson. And then someone decided to crash the party.

You think Jim Schwartz was happy?

With Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan and Haloti Ngata, the Eagles have the best trio of DTs in the league. Ngata isn’t the guy he was in his prime, but he is still a massive, powerful man who can shed blocks and be disruptive. I think the Eagles rotation will help him to be more effective. Beau Allen played 422 snaps on defense in 2017. Ngata generally plays more than 500 snaps. Keeping Ngata fresh should help to bring out the best in him.

Ngata is a band-aid. The Eagles are checking out DT prospects for the draft and will likely add someone to develop for the future. It would have been great to keep Allen, but he’s making $5M per year and the Eagles can’t pay him that with Cox and Jernigan making big money as well.

You can watch the press conferences at, but they were pretty boring to be honest. We heard from the players, but not Howie or any coaches. The players played it pretty safe and said fairly generic things. Nelson did say he’s here to play WLB. That tells you pretty clearly that Mychal Kendricks is on the way out, whether traded or cut.

One thing about these signings is that character was an issue. Chemistry was a huge part of the Eagles success last year. They aren’t going to add just anyone. They want the right kind of guys, especially with the loss of good people like Allen, Brent Celek and Torrey Smith. Ngata is a high character guy. Ditto that for Nelson.

The 2011 Eagles were very talented, but more of a mercenary group. Howie Roseman seems to have learned from that experience. It also helps to have great leaders like Carson Wentz, Malcolm Jenkins and Jason Peters. They set the tone and that helps to bring out the best in the other players.


Did the Eagles do this just to make the Ngata move or do they have something else cooking?

You can’t help but at least contemplate this.

Mathieu could come to Philly to play the slot and be moved around in different sets. I don’t think this is likely at all, but it is fun to think about. The biggest problem is that Mathieu would be perfect for the Malcolm Jenkins role. I don’t anticipate MJ going anywhere.

The Eagles do need to add a veteran TE at some point, especially someone who can block.

They can consider going for a WR, but that’s not a must.

No good free agency rumors for now. The Eagles just might let things get quiet for a few days and then start talking to players when prices have stabilized. Or Howie could make some completely unexpected move. It is hard to know what to expect from the Eagles right now.


Judas Priest and Jim Schwartz? I saw a article that talked about the band’s newest album and loved this nugget. Singer and metal god Rob Halford knows who Jim Schwartz is.

OK. The sports thing: Jim Schwartz, the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles…

Oh, I know he’s a massive Priest fan. I want to drag him out to the show and onto the stage. He doesn’t know that yet.

He does now. Are you an Eagles fan?

I’m not going to put myself there, but I love watching the challenge and human complexity of it. To have all these players – who all have their own lives and things on their mind – come together in unison as the Eagles with that goal in sight – win that Super Bowl – that’s mind-boggling. All those physical and psychological mechanisms at work …. I’m happy they won, especially after all those years. It’s beautiful, man. That message goes beyond sports. That’s about never giving in and never giving up.

That would have been very cool. Make that happen the next time Priest is in the Philly area.


Rumors No More

Posted: March 14th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The new league year officially began today and that meant the moves were no longer rumors. They became real.

At least some of them did.

Things began with a big surprise.

Wow. Everything I heard indicated Bradham was headed out of town. The Eagles didn’t have great options at LB so I think bringing him back is a great move. There was no question for me of wanting him back. It was all about the money. That is a big contract, but we’ll have to wait and see what the exact numbers are. I’m glad the Eagles were able to work things out with their star LB. They don’t win the Super Bowl without him running the middle of the defense.

Keeping Bradham and adding Corey Nelson means there will be change at LB, just not the one we expected. The team is shopping Mychal Kendricks. His salary looks pretty reasonable right now so my guess is that they’ll find a taker. The Eagles won’t get a great deal for Kendricks, but they need draft picks and also still need to clear cap room so I think they’ll get something done.

Now for the bad news.

I don’t think the team could afford both guys. You can’t give everyone everything. Robinson played for the league minimum last year. This year he’ll make $5M. Talk about making the most out of your opportunity. He better send Howie Roseman, Jim Schwartz and Corey Undlin Christmas cards this year.

The Eagles have some internal options for the slot, but may be looking at cheaper free agent options, as well as considering draft options. We’ll see what happens there. Not all problems get solved on day one.

Fran Duffy has a piece up showing Bennett, Worley and Nelson in action. They can all impact the passing game, which you might have noticed was an issue in the Super Bowl. The Eagles have good depth at some key spots.

As Jeff McLane pointed out, Halota Ngata is not official yet.

Glad to hear this isn’t another Frank Gore situation. If there are any issues, it will be with the Eagles medical staff not signing off on him. I don’t anticipate that with Ngata coming off a biceps injury. That’s nothing like a torn ligament or degenerative/arthritic condition.

I’m gonna miss that guy.

The Eagles have now lost three players who will all be making at least $5M per year. That should help them with trying to get comp picks in 2019. We’ll have to wait and see what else happens before we know anything for sure.

There aren’t a whole lot of good rumors right now.

Maclin was cut by the Ravens today. He would make some sense for the Eagles, if they want another year to get Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson ready to become key contributors on offense. Maclin isn’t the player he was when he left a few years back, but he is still a good route-runner with reliable hands. He can play in the slot or outside. He doesn’t have explosive speed, but still runs well enough.

It is possible the Eagles want to go young at WR and will focus on Hollins and Gibson. We’ll see how the team plays things in free agency and the draft to get a better idea of just what the plan is.

If Ngata passes his physical and the Eagles are able to trade Curry and Kendricks, this will be a great start to the 2018 offseason. Not perfect, mind you. But great. The Eagles are loaded on the defensive line. They are deep and talented. The team has a strong set of LBs and all of them can cover. That’s critical in today’s game. The secondary has plenty of talent. The Eagles need to work on depth at Safety and they need to figure out the slot, but there is a lot of talent in place.

Expect more news on Thursday, with at least an update on Ngata. Howie is working the phones to see what is possible on the trade front. It is also possible the team could do more free agent shopping.



Coming and Going – Updated

Posted: March 14th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

Tuesday was a wild day for the Eagles.

Just as I predicted, the Eagles weren’t going to add any big names. Oops.

One of the benefits to winning the Super Bowl is that some veterans value the chance to join a title contender. Ngata is coming to Philly to be the Eagles #3 DT. Think about that statement for a second. Ngata as your #3. Crazy.

At the same time, you have to be careful about fixating on names at this time of the year. Ngata is 34 and coming off a biceps injury that limited him to just five games in 2017. This isn’t the same guy who dominated the line of scrimmage in his prime. Still, he could thrive as a rotational player for the Eagles.

Initially I thought Nelson was coming to Philly to be the new Najee Goode. That second tweet makes me think he might be a bigger part of the defense. The Eagles might see him as a potential “starter”…in the base defense. They mostly play with just two LBs on the field, but Nelson could be the third guy when they play a true 4-3.

It is also possible that the Eagles are either going to cut or trade Mychal Kendricks and see Nelson as a younger, cheaper player at WLB. My guess is that they keep Kendricks and go with a trio of Jordan Hicks, Kendricks and Nelson. All three of them can run and cover.

Nelson signed a one-year deal because he wants to come and play and have a shot at getting a bigger deal a year from now. He’s going to be a hungry, motivated player.

Now the down side of free agency.

The Eagles loved Burton, but couldn’t compete with money like that. They already have a lot of money in an athletic, pass-catching TE. You can’t spend big on two of them. Burton was a bit upset that the Eagles didn’t try harder to keep him, but I just don’t see how they could have made that work. They loved him as a player, but he outgrew his role here and needed to leave. I’m happy he’s getting good money and going to a good situation.

Great news. That would be a pick in 2019, in case you are confused at all.


I’m looking into the rumors that Carson Wentz forced the Eagles to move on from Beau because he was jealous of his long, flowing Thor-like hair, chiseled frame and overall sexiness. I can’t confirm anything right now, but I’m pretty sure that’s 100 percent true. Or more.

Beau Allen was a 7th round pick who developed into a good player. I think he was also a key guy for locker room chemistry. He always seemed to be having fun and seemed to connect with all kinds of teammates. I’m definitely going to miss him. I’ll be pulling for him as long as he stays out of Dallas. Let’s hope someone gives Beau good money. There was a report the Bucs were interested. That bizarre locker room could use a person like him. And that DL could use a player like him as well.


This one hurt.

I’ve been following Brent since he was a player at the University of Cincinnati. I was happy when the Eagles took him and have enjoyed watching him for the past decade plus. A pro’s pro. A true Eagle, through and through.

Here is one of my favorite memories of Celek.

I need to write a long piece on Celek when things slow down. He had a memorable 11 years with the Eagles. He saw just about everything you could imagine. At a time when it seems like so much is wrong with the league, Celek is the kind of guy who you could enjoy watching on the field and also feel good about off it.

He will be missed.


The Eagles cut Celek to save $4M in cap room.

The Eagles are now under the cap. They are under by more than a few bucks. That space could be spent adding Nelson and Ngata. The Eagles could also still be looking to add a WR or TE in free agency. And there is still the possibility of them keeping Patrick Robinson.

By getting under the cap, the Eagles can hold onto Vinny Curry and continue to try and deal him. Or…

Who knows. There are a lot of moving pieces for the Eagles (and other teams to deal with). We’ll get a better sense of things when free agency officially starts on Wednesday at 4pm.



First, some actual news.

Interesting. Not sure exactly what to make of this, but it does tell us they don’t see Bennett as just a solid guy. They’re paying him good money. They must think he can be a difference-maker in 2018.

And now this.

I am an idiot for trusting this idiot. I had a long, crazy day at the day job and didn’t do any digging on his Brandon Brooks tweet. I’m shocked that this guy doesn’t understand what the word expected  means and somehow blames that on Eagles Nation. I guess dealing with literate people was a bit much for him.

My apologies for any confusion that my trusting this idiot caused.


Free Agency Preview

Posted: March 13th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

Free agency officially begins Wednesday at 4pm. Teams began “officially” talking to agents/players on Monday, but some of those talks really got started at the Scouting Combine in Indy. Normally the Eagles would be very active shoppers, but this isn’t a normal offseason.

The Eagles are above the cap and have some serious work to do. There was a report on Monday that the team was close to re-signing CB Patrick Robinson. I thought that was a long shot to happen, but it would be an excellent start to free agency. Keeping Robinson would help the roster, but it will only make the finances tougher on Howie Roseman and the front office. I’m sure Howie can live with that to keep an outstanding slot corner.

I’m not going to get into all the moves the Eagles will make to get under the cap. They can restructure contracts. They are going to ask some players to take pay cuts. Some players will be released. You can bet the Eagles have a good plan with lots of different options. Cutting Vinny Curry would save the team $5M. They would prefer to trade him, but that’s far from a sure thing. Trading Ronald Darby would also free up some money, but trades won’t help the cap situation until after the league year starts.

The Eagles don’t just need to get down to the cap limit, they need to get under it enough to be able to make some moves. While the roster is in good shape, they need to add some veteran players for depth. Don’t expect any big names. The Eagles will be bargain shoppers this year. With that in mind, let’s talk about some players that make sense for them.


The Eagles have a terrific pair of starting DTs. They have a pair of young backups in Destiny Vaeao and Elijah Qualls. Beau Allen was the number three DT last year and is probably looking for a starting job. While the Eagles like Vaeao and Qualls, I don’t know that either guy is ready to play a lot if there is an injury to Fletcher Cox or Tim Jernigan.

The Eagles could look to the draft for help, but with a limited number of picks, they ought to bring in a veteran DT who can at least compete for a backup role. Jenkins had 4 sacks for the Bears in 2015, when Joe Douglas was with that team. Jenkins will turn 30 in April and he’s meant to be a role player so the price should be right. He’s 6-4, 300 and has the ability to make plays in the backfield so he does fit the Eagles scheme. Jenkins is a solid athlete. He reminds me a bit of Jernigan as a guy who can get upfield or do the dirty work.


The Eagles need help at LB, assuming Nigel Bradham goes elsewhere. And that seems to be all but a done deal. Jordan Hicks will be back at MLB, but you have to be careful about relying on him too much. Mychal Kendricks played well for the Eagles and seems likely to return. The Eagles could cut him to save money, but that would be a major risk with the other questions at LB. The Eagles play the vast majority of their snaps with just one or two LBs on the field so Hicks and Kendricks, if healthy, will be good enough. But they do need a third LB in base sets and also need someone who can play if called upon.

Bynes would be ideal. He’s a veteran player with solid size at 6-1, 235. He’s versatile, with the ability to play in the middle or outside. Most importantly, he can cover. Schwartz needs LBs who can drop back and cover more than he needs run stuffers.

Bynes will turn 29 this summer. He has played for three teams and in multiple schemes. I think he could fit in and be just what the Eagles need. He shouldn’t cost much money.


The Eagles love Mack Hollins. Do they love him enough to rely on him as the starter in 2018? That’s the key question. Hollins was 16-226-1 as a rookie and showed good potential. The Eagles know that young receivers take time to develop. Howie has talked about this in his press conferences. They may want to play it safe and add a veteran for one year.

If that’s the case, Brown would be an interesting fit. He’s coming off his best year as a pro (31-477-4), but those aren’t gaudy numbers. You do have to remember that Arizona didn’t have great QB play last year. Over the past two seasons, Brown has averaged 16 yards per reception so he can get down the field. He’s 6-2, 204 and runs in the 4.4 range.

The sales pitch to Brown would be to come to Philly for a year on a cheap deal so that he can play in an explosive offense and get more exposure. I know scouts grade snaps from every game, but coaches, GMs and owners are human beings. They can fall in love with players they see on TV. Brown played for $1.3M last year so he might be willing to sign a short, cheap deal. He just turned 28.

You would probably have to let Brown test the market in free agency, but if he’s still there in a week, he would be an interesting target.


Here are more players that make some sense for the Eagles.

Jaron Brown
Michael Campanaro
Cody Latimer
Brian Quick
Jeremy Butler

Campanaro is a slot receiver who can also return punts. Douglas was with the Ravens when they drafted him. Latimer is a size/speed guy the Eagles had interest in, but he’s been a flop in Denver. He is coming off his best season. Quick was a star at Appalachian State. That alone makes him worth signing. Mike Groh coached him with the Rams. That could be a good or bad thing.

Bruce Ellington

Ellington would be an upgrade on Kenjon Barner as a RS. He has played WR and RB and has some value as a pass-catcher.

Levine Toilolo
Lee Smith

If the Eagles cut Brent Celek, they need to add a veteran TE who knows how to block. Some people have asked about Martellus Bennett. I can’t see that. He is a volume receiver. The Eagles are going to feed the ball to Zach Ertz. The number two TE needs to be a blocker/receiver. Luke Willson would be ideal, but I don’t think the Eagles can afford him. Smith is a pure blocker. Would be interesting to see him in this offense.

Jarvis Jenkins
Jordan Hill
Quinton Dial
Clinton McDonald

The Eagles could use a veteran DT to add to the mix. All of these players have some pass rush ability, something Schwartz loves in his DTs. Dial is huge at 6-5, 318. He’s been mostly a 3-4 player to this point, but his size would make him an interesting addition to the DL.

Josh Bynes
Derrick Johnson
Keenan Robinson
Tahir Whitehead
Emmanuel Lamur
Akeem Ayers

Johnson is a fascinating target. He would be ideal for a title contender, but I’m not sure the Eagles can promise him enough playing time. Robinson is a former Giant with good size. Whitehead isn’t much of a cover LB. Lamur and Ayers offer size.

Korey Toomer
Christian Jones
Gerald Hodges
LaRoy Reynolds

The Eagles could consider playing Jordan Hicks more as an OLB and go after someone to play in the middle. Toomer is a solid athlete with good size at 6-2, 235. Jones is a player I loved coming out of FSU, but he’s more of a run-stuffer these days.

Nickell Robey-Coleman
D.J. Hayden
T.J. Carrie

This is a moot point if the Eagles are able to bring back Patrick Robinson.


The Eagles could look to add a punter, but they may try to save money and go with Cameron Johnston or a rookie.

I’m sure the Eagles will surprise me with a name or two that they show interest in, but I don’t expect them to be too active. I do think they will be patient shoppers. If some interesting players are still on the market in a couple of weeks, that’s when we may see the Eagles make an unexpected move or two.


P-Rob Returning?

Posted: March 12th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

Patrick Robinson had a breakout year in 2017. That was the good news. He signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum. That was the bad news. Most people expected Robinson to go for money in free agency by shopping himself.

That might not be the case.


That would be great news. It is hard to find a good slot corner. The Eagles are loaded with guys on the outside, but don’t have a good slot. Bringing back Robinson would take care of that and help to solidify the defense.

This isn’t a no-brainer. Robinson was a 1st round pick back in 2010, but he’s been wildly inconsistent in his career. He’s going to turn 31 this summer. He’s only played 16 games in a season three times in his career. Those are legitimate issues.

At the same time, Robinson seemed to find a home in 2017. He was on some dysfunctional teams in the past. Maybe coming to an organization with good coaching and the right overall environment just allowed him to play up to his potential.

Robinson was terrific in 2017. He had 4 INTs, 18 pass break-ups, and even added a sack. He made one of the signature plays of the year when he picked off Case Keenum in the NFC title game and returned it for a TD. In fact, he scored the same number of TDs in the NFC-CG as the whole Vikings team. Crazy.

The big question here is what kind of deal Robinson is getting. He was expected to get a decent contract, with some teams having so much money to spend and there being such a weak class of free agents. The Eagles couldn’t afford to pay him big. Maybe Robinson’s agent talked to teams in Indy and found out the market wasn’t going to be great. If so, Robinson might have decided to stay put and to play for a team he knew and liked.

He won’t be cheap. Robinson has been in the league awhile, but hasn’t ever had a major payday. You know he wants a fair deal. Howie is usually very good at knowing how to structure contracts so I’m going to trust that he does a good job with this.

The return of Robinson means the Eagles are really deep at CB. It almost guarantees that someone else goes. Ronald Darby is the one who makes sense. You can bet Howie is working the phones hard to see if he can make a deal with someone. That would let the Eagles start Sidney Jones and Jalen Mills outside, with P-Rob in the slot. Rasul Douglas and Daryl Worley would give the team a pair of good backup CBs. That would be a very impressive group.


I don’t expect the Eagles to be talking to a lot of free agents today. They are more likely to be bargain shoppers than going after the big name guys.

The value for the Eagles might be having other teams talk to their players. Maybe Beau Allen gets the sense he’s not going to get a starting job somewhere else. That might make him consider coming back to Philly.

There could be some interesting news and rumors in the next 48 or so hours.

Stay tuned.