SammyGate Update

Posted: April 26th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 491 Comments »

No real updates on the Sam Bradford situation.

Jeff McLane wrote a good piece on the overall situation. Here’s the one key new item.

During an interview on the draft with Comcast SportsNet, Roseman did not deny Bradford’s demands.

“I want to reiterate our support for Sam Bradford and go back to our statements last week – that Sam is our starting quarterback,” Roseman said. “His agent and Sam know how we feel about him. These workouts are voluntary. We look forward to seeing Sam again in the near future.”

Although Roseman didn’t say it directly, the Eagles aren’t considering trading Bradford, an NFL source close to the situation said. They haven’t granted Condon permission to shop the 29-year-old quarterback.

But Condon, who engineered Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ holdout four years ago, has certainly called around the NFL looking for teams that might have been interested had Bradford reached free agency last month. The Broncos, 49ers, New York Jets, and Browns have an obvious need at quarterback.

The Eagles are not shopping Bradford.

The Eagles are not letting agent Tom Condon work on a trade partner.

Either the Eagles truly want to keep Bradford or they are showing the world their best poker face. If they act like they still want him, teams might pay a slightly higher price. Obviously no team is going to break the bank on a deal. Bradford isn’t that good and the Eagles are backed into a corner, which limits their ability to negotiate.

Stay tuned to see what happens.

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The Eagles added DT Mike Martin. Zach Berman has a quick bit on the move.

Martin, 25, was a third-round pick by Tennessee Titans in 2012 out of Michigan. He played the past four seasons with the Titans, starting five games and appearing in 68. He has career totals of 42 tackles and four sacks.

At 6-foot-1 and 298 pounds, Martin will compete for a depth spot at defensive tackle. The Eagles already lost Cedric Thornton in free agency this offseason, and Martin is the only newcomer at the position. Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan are expected to be starters, and Beau Allen and Taylor Hart both return from last season. The Eagles also have Travis Raciti, who was on the practice squad in 2015.

Martin was a NT in college. He was a tough guy who did the dirty work well, but wasn’t much of a playmaker. He is meant to be a 1-gap NT. The Eagles need depth at that spot behind Bennie Logan.

Good signing for depth and competition.

Beau Allen was the backup NT last year. I think he will be traded some time this weekend. I don’t see him as a fit for Jim Schwartz’s scheme.

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Irony Can Be Pretty Ironic

Posted: April 26th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 490 Comments »

Sam Bradford wants out. I wonder if he’s just a huge fan of the German metal band Helloween and was trying to get me to link to this great video from the 80’s?

God, I miss the 1980s.

Anyway…back to Sam.

He wants out. Presumably he’s found somewhere else he’d rather go. Denver makes the most sense. They just won the Super Bowl. They have a terrific defense. They have a proven coach. They don’t have a QB.

So let’s say Sam now has buyer’s remorse and wishes he hadn’t re-signed with the Eagles. He sees Denver as a great place and wants to go there. His big selling point for wanting out of Philly is that they signed Chase Daniel to a big deal and are set to draft a franchise QB, albeit one who will sit for a year or two.

What’s going on with the Broncos and their QB situation?

Last year they had Hall of Famer Peyton Manning at the helm. He was struggling so they put in youngster Brock Osweiler. Manning was not happy.

Osweiler then struggled himself and was benched for Manning. Osweiler was not happy.

The defense became so dominant that it really didn’t matter who was at QB.

Once the offseason hit, Manning retired. Osweiler, so upset by the short leash they gave him as the starter, left to go sign with the Houston Texans. The Broncos only move so far has been to trade for Mark Sanchez, Sam’s old buddy from the Eagles.

Sam played well enough to deserve a reasonable deal from the Eagles. They gave him a very reasonable deal. And this was after very publicly scouting QBs at the Senior Bowl and Combine. The Eagles were never secretive about their desire to add a QB of the future.

Now Sam wants to be traded, most likely to a team that benched 2 QBs last year and angered them both to the point that neither wanted to come back. Peyton might have retired anyway, but the handling of the QB situation sealed the deal. We all thought Osweiler would re-sign for sure, but he chose to leave the Super Bowl champions for a team that has 2 playoff wins (both in the Wild Card round) in its history.

The Eagles don’t know how to treat QBs, but the Broncos do.

So now let’s see if the Broncos will give the Eagles a 3rd round pick this year…and maybe throw in a 2nd rounder in 2018. That’s when the Eagles have to give theirs to the Browns so they could use that future pick. Chase Daniel finally gets his chance to start.

And Sam better get off to a fast start or Mark Sanchez will be closer to getting his chance to get back on the field.

The 2016 Eagles weren’t going to be a great team, but they were going to be Sam Bradford’s team. I wonder if the same can be said for wherever he goes. He certainly will have a lot of questions to answer in the locker room. How is Sam supposed to handle playoff pressure if he’s scared off by Chase Daniel and a kid from North Dakota State?

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SammyGate

Posted: April 25th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 227 Comments »

I was away from the computer most of the day. Apparently I missed some stuff.

This is a joke, right?

Oh boy.

Lots of good tweets on this.

This is just an insane situation.

Bradford was getting good money to start for the Eagles in 2016. At the end of that, he would either be cut or traded…or possibly brought back for 2017. He was not going to be the long term answer unless he played so incredibly well that the Eagles had no choice but to keep him around.

Now Bradford has burned bridges with the front office and in the locker room. He could try to undo this mess by showing up and explaining that his agent was over-zealous with the trade talk, but that wouldn’t pass the smell test for most people.

Sam is acting like an entitled baby with this situation. He just came off a good 7-game stretch. That earned him a chance to come back this year. Nothing more. He didn’t play well enough for the Eagles, or any other team, to give him a mega-deal. He simply didn’t deserve that.

There were plenty of reasons to be encouraged about Bradford after last year and heading into this season, but this move really  hurts him. There will be incredible scrutiny on him with every word and action from here on out. He will be booed relentlessly if he stays with the Eagles.

Here is part of a piece by Charles Robinson of Yahoo.

Bradford’s emotions since the Eagles moved to the No. 2 overall pick in this week’s NFL draft – largely to secure a quarterback – have centered on anger and a resolve to solidify his standing as a long-term franchise quarterback, a source said. After the trade last week, the source said Bradford directly expressed his disappointment in a talk with some team officials, but he didn’t indicate a trade desire. Indeed, until Monday’s trade request, the source said Bradford appeared adamant that he was a viable long-term answer at quarterback.

That changed by the end of the weekend, when Bradford’s initial frustration with the Eagles’ draft move hardened during voluntary practices last week. Coming out of those sessions, the source said a question lingered into the weekend for Bradford, specifically whether he was being viewed as a team leader, or a placeholder for an incoming rookie quarterback. By Monday, he had considered his options and ultimately chose to ask the Eagles for a trade.

Philadelphia’s initial response was to deny the trade request, a league source said. That stance could change with Bradford relaying his intention to skip coach Doug Pederson’s offseason program and miss vital time learning the new offense.

I just don’t get this.

Bradford simply didn’t have the history/goodwill/power to pull a move like this. Know your place. If Bradford was coveted enough to simply get his way, he would have signed a bigger deal elsewhere.

Really disappointing that Sam pulled this stunt.

The Eagles now have to figure out if there is any logic to playing hardball with him or if they should work out a trade and just cut their losses.

One bit of advice…don’t touch another “high character” veteran who went to Oklahoma. After dealing with DeMarco Murray and Sam Bradford, I’d wipe that school off my scouting list. I know Lane Johnson has been a good Eagle, but he sure seems like the anomaly.

Ugh. I hate having to deal with a mess like this during draft week.

Let’s close with this beauty.

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Late Round DL

Posted: April 25th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 440 Comments »

Thank god the Eagles moved back to the 4-3. I forgot just how much fun it is to fall in love with athletic, 1-gap D-linemen.

I watched a player on Sunday night that I’d never heard of…Trevon Coley from Florida Atlantic.

Forget Megan Fox, I’m now in love with Trevon Coley.

Okay, that might be stretching things a bit, but this video got me so excited I sat here talking to myself for a good half hour. This kid’s agility is insane. Look at his Pro Day numbers:

PRO DAY RESULTS

40-yard dash: 4.93 seconds
Vertical: 29 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 8 feet, 9 inches
Short shuttle: 4.43 seconds
3-cone: 7.02 seconds
Bench: 22 reps of 225 pounds

That 3-cone time is shockingly good for a 304-pound DT. Only 11 CBs at the Combine were better than that.

Coley will go in rounds 5-7. He isn’t the most stout run defender. He won’t fit all systems. But man I think he would be fun to watch play in an attacking system…just like the Eagles run.

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Ever heard of Justin Zimmer?

I didn’t think so. He is a DL from Ferris State, a small school in Michigan. Zimmer led the team in tackles. He also had 26 TFLs (13 sacks). Check out his Pro Day:

Ferris State defensive tackle Justin Zimmer — 6-2 5/8, 302 — ran the 40 in 4.88 and 4.85 seconds. He had a 32-inch vertical and 9-foot-9 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.4 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.01 seconds. Zimmer put the bar up an astonishing 44 times on the bench press (the top number at this year’s combine was 34, posted by Arizona State’s Christian Westerman). Zimmer had a great workout at the pro day, and could be a free-agent possibility for a team following the draft.

Are you kidding me? 44 reps and fast and agile?

I’m not going to link to his game tape. He’s so dominant that it is really hard to get much out of the tape. He played mostly DE in college. Zimmer has a DT build that Jim Schwartz would be interested in. And the fact he can also play DE makes him even more interesting.

He’s likely to go in the 6th or 7th.

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As far as edge rushers, Tyrone Holmes from Montana is my favorite guy. He’ll go in the 5 to 7 area.

James Cowser is interesting. Matt Judon is a small school guy that will probably go in the mid-rounds, but could slide a bit.

There are some really interesting DL for the Eagles to get, even without the 3rd/4th round picks they gave up. And there will be some good UDFAs as well.

I can’t wait to see who the team adds.

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Mock Draft Time

Posted: April 24th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 120 Comments »

The draft is just around the corner. I decided to do a mock draft for PE.com.

This isn’t my ideal scenario. I’ll be posting that here in a couple of days. I’m still watching tape of late round prospects as I try to figure out who the best 7th rounders might be.

Mock drafts are scenarios. This is one take of what might happen. In this one, I had the Eagles passing on a RB. That will sound crazy to some. Clearly the Eagles need a RB. I don’t like a lot of the guys in this RB class for the Eagles so I passed on the position.

The Eagles don’t need a change of pace RB. They don’t need a 3rd down back. They need someone capable of starting. I don’t think this class is loaded with those guys. Some of the RBs I do like for the Eagles:

1st round – Ezekiel Elliott

2nd round – no pick

3rd round – Devontae Booker, Paul Perkins, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Howard

4th round – no pick

5th round – Darius Jackson, Kelvin Taylor, Wendell Smallwood

Late – Peyton Barber, Tre Madden

Aside from Elliott, I don’t love any of the prospects. The Eagles might. They’ve shown interest in Jordan Howard, who is talented. I don’t like him nearly as much as others. I think he has stiff hips. There are those that love him.

There are usually 18 to 20 RBs drafted. That leaves several good RBs for the UDFA market each year. Chris Polk and Matt Tucker were good UDFA signings for the Eagles.

Peyton Barber could be a UDFA and I think he would be excellent value there or even as a late pick.

The Eagles will add at least one RB in the next week, whether UDFA or draft.

If they don’t land a player they think can help them out this year, the team could look for a veteran free agent. There are no great players available, but there are some interesting options.

Joique Bell
Bryce Brown
Reggie Bush
Arian Foster
Tim Hightower
Fred Jackson

We’d love the Eagles to find a future starter in the draft, but trading away the mid-round picks means the team won’t be able to fill every hole on the roster. With Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barber already in place, I don’t think the Eagles will force a move a RB in the draft.

As Jimmy Bama pointed out when writing why the Eagles shouldn’t take Elliott, there are a lot of talented RBs coming out in the next year or two.

Again, there is no question that he is a great player. However, there is an absurd number of really good sophomore running backs who will be eligible to enter the NFL Draft in 2017. A quick list:

• Leonard Fournette, LSU: Beast of a human being, ran for 1953 yards and 22 TDs on 6.5 yards per carry in 2015.

• Dalvin Cook, Florida State: Ran for 1691 yards and 19 TDs in 2015 on 7.4 yards per carry.

• Christian McCaffrey, Stanford: One of three Heisman finalists in 2015, ran for 2019 rushing yards and 8 TDs, added 45 catches for 645 yards and 5 TDs, returned a kick for a TD, returned a punt for a TD, and threw 2 TD passes.

Royce Freeman, Oregon: Ran for 1836 yards and 17 TDs on 6.5 yards per carry. In 2014, as a freshman, he ran for 1365 yards and 18 TDs.

• Nick Chubb, Georgia: Ran for 1547 yards and 14 TDs on 7.1 yards per carry as a freshman, and then 747 yards and 7 TDs on 8.1 yards per carry before suffering a serious leg injury in the Bulldogs’ sixth game.

• Samaje Perine, Oklahoma: Ran for 1713 yards and 21 TDs on 6.5 yards per carry as a freshman, and then 1349 yards and 16 TDs on 6.0 yards per carry as a sophomore.

And then there’s Wisconsin’s Corey Clement, Pitt’s James Conner, and Baylor’s Shock Linwood, who will all be highly regarded seniors in 2016.

Missing out on a RB this year would not be the worst thing in the world.

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