A Tale of 2 Jeffs

Posted: February 11th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 115 Comments »

Jeffrey Lurie wants the Eagles to get back to being a title contender. He knew that meant getting a QB so he backed Howie Roseman’s aggressive moves last year to land the Eagles Carson Wentz. Now Lurie wants to give his young QB some weapons.

Could Jeffrey Lurie back the move to sign Alshon Jeffery? They disagree on Jeffrey vs Jeffery, but if they can agree on a contract, that would offer a significant boost to the Eagles passing game.

NFL insider Jason La Canfora says the Eagles are interested.

But (DeSean) Jackson isn’t the only option. Several league sources anticipate the Eagles being in on Alshon Jeffery (Bears) and Philadelphia was aggressive in exploring trade options in-season on other receivers as well, like Torrey Smith (San Francisco), and they need to add more than one pass catcher this offseason.

La Canfora is friendly with Roseman so anything he writes in regard to the Eagles has to be taken at least somewhat seriously. Obviously Roseman isn’t going to fully give the Eagles offseason plans away to someone in the media, but he might at least offer some hints.

Jeffery does make sense. He is big at 6-3, 230. Some NFL sites list him at 6-4, but he measured 6027 prior to the draft. That is 6-2 and 7/8. I doubt he’s grown an inch since hitting the league. He has 33-inch arms. That and his frame give him a big catch radius. And Jeffery isn’t just big on paper, he plays to his size. There is nothing more frustrating than a big guy who plays like he’s 5-11, right DGB?

Jeffery will turn 27 on Tuesday so he is still very much in his prime. He is a very good player. I don’t think you can call him great. Guys like Julio Jones and Antonio Brown are at another level. Still, Jeffery is good enough to build a passing game around.

2012 – 89-1421-7
2013 – 85-1133-10

Those are big time numbers. Watch him play and you can’t help but be impressed.

Doug Pederson has talked about his preference for big WRs. If the Eagles did sign Jeffery, they would have a big group. DGB is huge. Jordan Matthews has good size. Nelson Agholor would be the runt of the group and he’s 6-0, 198.

The downside to Jeffery comes down to 2 things. He was suspended 4 games this past season for a PED violation. As the Eagles saw with Lane Johnson, the next suspension can be a situation where the player doesn’t think he’s doing the wrong thing, but it can devastate the team. Jeffery seems to be a solid veteran player so I wouldn’t anticipate him doing anything to risk that situation.

The other issue is cost. The Eagles don’t have a ton of cap space. Signing Jeffery will eat a lot of that. I know the team can be creative if they want, but the Eagles don’t sign players to crazy deals that create huge issues down the road. The Eagles might feel WR is such a need and that Jeffery is such a quality target that it is worth it to go get him.

La Canfora does mention in the piece that a lot of NFL people think the return of DeSean Jackson is a near lock. Obviously the team isn’t likely to get both. Jackson would cost much less, but he’s not as good a player at this point. He’s also older. Recently Jackson has been talking a lot about his desire to stay with the Skins.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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La Canfora has another piece on free agency and talks a lot about the Chiefs.

They have a pair of big time free agents in NT Dontari Poe and FS Eric Berry. The Chiefs want both back, but they don’t have much cap space. They will be cutting RB Jamaal Charles to help the situation.

I wonder if they will consider cutting Jeremy Maclin.

If he hit the market, the Eagles could have some interest in him. He will turn 29 this spring, but is a high character, quality veteran receiver. He’s being way overpaid right now and is coming off a down year.

Jeffery is in a class by himself. If the Eagles can’t land him, they will need options.

*****

Cold blooded.

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Cutting the Corner

Posted: February 8th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 202 Comments »

There was the Chuck Bednarik Era.

There was the Ron Jaworski Era.

There was the Reggie White Era.

Sadly the Leodis McKelvin Era will not be joining those special periods in Eagles history.

Leodis did last longer than Frank Gore, but McKelvin proved to be a mediocre player. He started off okay, but nagging injuries got the best of him. And it wasn’t like he was Troy Vincent to start with.

The Eagles will gain $3.2M in cap space. They need that so they can go get WR help…and maybe go after a CB. Oh the vicious cycle of life.

Nolan Carroll is a free agent. I know there were some reports about the Eagles talking to him, but don’t expect anything to happen there. From what I’ve heard, Carroll isn’t likely to come back.

The Eagles want to get better at CB.

The Eagles want stability at CB.

Carroll won’t help the team get better. And he wouldn’t offer long term stability. He would be a band-aid. The Eagles have had enough of that. They need to find players that can man the corner spots for several years. Jalen Mills has a chance to start at one spot. The Eagles will draft one or two corners and could add one in free agency. They know this is a spot that must be addressed aggressively.

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Not big news, unless you study the DT depth chart very intently. Wujciak was a key UDFA last year, but got hurt and never really got to show what he could do. The Eagles obviously felt they had seen enough or were just ready to move on.

Aziz Shittu was on the practice squad all year and is still on the roster. He showed good promise in the preseason.

The Eagles are focused on Bennie Logan when it comes to DT. If they lose him, things get interesting. Has Beau Allen shown you enough to start? Do you spend a high pick on a DT? Let’s hope they bring Logan back so the only question is whether they spend a late pick at DT or are pretty happy with depth like Beau Allen, Destiny Vaeao, Shittu and newly signed Justin Hamilton.

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Rumors Start

Posted: February 7th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 130 Comments »

The offseason is here and the rumors are starting.

This isn’t big news. Peters is due $11.2M this year. The Eagles would love to lower that cap figure. They can ask him to take a pay cut, but I’d be shocked if Peters agreed to that. Nice guy, sure, but giving up money when you have the advantage over the team? Just doesn’t seem likely. It is possible the Eagles could re-work his deal and take some of his money and move it around to lower this year’s figure. That will mean more dead money in the future, but the Eagles might be okay with that. They’d like more room now.

The Eagles are usually good with contracts so I would expect them to figure out a way to handle this situation.

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The Eagles were linked to WR Torrey Smith prior to the trade deadline. Jason La Canfora makes it sound like they could still be interested.

It’s all about receivers for the Eagles as well. Yeah, the offensive line needs retooling, too, but getting Carson Wentz someone who can line up outside the hash marks and make a play is a required starting point for the 2017 offseason. They might land Torrey Smith in a trade, but they need to draft a receiver high as well.

Trade? No. Smith is due $9.5M this year and has high figures after that. No thank you.

The Niners are almost a lock to cut Smith so they can get out of that deal. When he hits the street, the Eagles could very well be interested.

Smith struggled in SF, but had poor QB play. In 28 games over the last 2 years, he was 53-930-7. That’s not good for a veteran receiver with a big deal. If you go back to his Baltimore days, Smith was a much better player. He had a lot more stability and that showed in his numbers. From 2011-2014, Smith averaged 53-898-7. He helped them win a Super Bowl. That’s a WR you actually want. Those numbers helped him get the big deal from SF.

To be sure, Smith isn’t a great WR. But if you got him for a fair price and teamed him up with another free agent and a mid-round pick, you would have a good group to put around Jordan Matthews.

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Speaking of WRs.

I don’t know if the Eagles will be interested in Garcon and/or Jackson, but it would be nice if they both hit the market. First, that would give the Eagles the option of making a play for one of the guys. Always good to have options. Second, it would spread out the market a bit and possibly help the Eagles land a WR they do want. The fewer targets there are, the more competition there will be for those guys.

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It has been reported that the Eagles will be interested in WR Kenny Stills from the Dolphins.

Kelly is a Miami beat writer so I’m sure he has some solid connections in regard to Stills. That’s a very reasonable contract for Stills and the numbers could actually be low. If that is his price range (and he’s young and talented), you can understand why the Eagles would have interest.

And please don’t turn this into “The Eagles are being cheap” nonsense. There is only one big time free agent WR and that’s Alshon Jeffrey. We don’t know if he will hit free agency. And if he does, is Jeffrey worth mega-bucks? Is he a guy you pay $14M per year to? If there was an elite WR with no baggage for the team to pursue, the Eagles would be on that guy like a duck on a june bug. There is no such player in this market. That’s why you have to be a smart shopper.

If the Eagles decide Jeffrey is worth it, fine. But he’s not a slam-dunk, no questions asked kind of target.

It will be very interesting to see who the Eagles do target and who they’re able to land.

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2017 is Finally Here

Posted: February 6th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 145 Comments »

No more Super Bowl hype.

No more playoffs.

No more Hall of Fame.

2016 is finally in the books so we can now concentrate on something truly important…the 2017 offseason. Spoken like someone who follows a non-playoff team, right? When you aren’t at the top or near the top, you can’t wait for the offseason. That’s when your team has a chance to make moves that could change their fortunes and get them where they want to be.

Atlanta had a great offseason last year. They signed free agents C Alex Mack, WR Mohammed Sanu and DE Dwight Freeney. They drafted well, landing 4 starters. They also developed their own players. That pushed them from 8-8 to being up 25 points in the Super Bowl. There were no mega-deals given out. There were no parades for the signings of Mack or Sanu. Atlanta got the right guys to help their team get over the top.

As for that loss….I cannot imagine how Philly would handle that.

The Falcons had the Super Bowl won. And then they blew it.

I’m still hurting from blowing a 10-point lead to Dallas back at midseason. I can’t wrap my head around the idea of losing the Super Bowl the way the Falcons did. I’ll be interested to see how those players respond next season. That’s the kind of loss that could galvanize a team or ruin it. Those guys will be second-guessing each other for the rest of their lives. Getting pas that will be a monumental task.

Good Eagles fans are now trying to turn that loss into a positive.

I like it.

*****

I spent a lot of the weekend watching college WRs. I need to write out some thoughts on them. This isn’t an elite group, but there are some really talented guys.

I think I like Corey Davis a hair better than Mike Williams right now. Davis is faster and is also more dangerous with the ball in his hands. The Eagles might not have a chance to draft either guy. Or if the Eagles sign a couple of FA receivers, they may not want to draft either guy.

There are plenty of mid-round players that I like. The Eagles do need to add a WR in this draft. That position needs all the help it can get.

One guy that I find fascinating is Jalen Robinette of the Air Force. He’s 6-3, 218 and really gifted. But he comes from the Air Force and that makes evaluating him tricky, because of their offense (option) and the level of competition. Still, watch this and you’ll see how talented the young man is.

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Denied!!!

Posted: February 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 238 Comments »

Dawk did not get into the Hall of Fame today.

Nor did TO.

Voters did elect this group.

I can live with those guys making it, but Morten Andersen? A kicker? That stings, to put it mildly.

He was a great kicker in his era, but his numbers pale in comparison to today’s kickers. And it isn’t like Andersen was some great postseason kicker. I could see Adam Vinatieri making it because of all his amazing clutch kicks. Andersen played for 26 years and does hold some NFL records (most career FGs made), but putting him in over a dominant position player seems silly.

Some people were upset with the choice of Jason Taylor. I think he is one of the best DEs I ever saw play so I can live with that. He wasn’t on great teams, but posted very good career numbers.

Dawk is a special player and deserved to make it.

That’s pretty incredible.

I think a couple of things worked against Dawk. First, he never won a Super Bowl. Fair or not, that is important for making it in.

He wasn’t part of a great defense. The Eagles never finished first overall in yards or points allowed in his career. They were second a few times, but that’s not the same. As a LB or DB, it helps a lot for you to be on a great unit. You can glance at Taylor’s sack totals and see when he had big seasons. Dawk never had more than 4 INTs or 3.5 sacks in a season. There is no “wow” year for him statistically.

It may take a year, two or even more, but Dawk should get in. He did have a great career.

I thought TO had a real chance to make it in. He is being punished for his erratic behavior off the field. Owens deserves to be in, but I’m not going to feel sorry for the guy. He is paying the price for his own behavior. If he hadn’t been such a jerk over the years, he’d already be wearing a gold jacket.

In a way, this is fair punishment by the Football Gods. I think Donovan McNabb had a real chance to make the Hall of Fame. He finished 2nd in the NFL in MVP voting in 2000. He threw 25 TD passes in 2001 and almost got his team to the Super Bowl. Injuries slowed him the next 2 years, but McNabb and Owens did team to lead the Eagles to the SB in 2004. McNabb threw 31 TD passes and played really well. At that point, McNabb was on track to make it to Canton.

Then TO went TO. He split the locker room and forever eroded the relationship between McNabb and his teammates. McNabb never threw for more than 23 TDs in the rest of his career. He never ran for 250 yards in a season. TO got in his head and never left.

If TO hadn’t gone nuclear on McNabb and the Eagles, who knows how things might have gone. The team might have made it back to the Super Bowl in the ensuing years and both those guys might be in Canton. Maybe not, but those guys made a dynamic duo in 2004. They could have been special if they played together for several years.

The Eagles are undoubtedly the ultimate “What If” team.

*****

Dawk would not approve of that language, BLG. But yeah…you’re right.

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