Hints?

Posted: March 9th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 928 Comments »

One of the great lines from the great film Miller’s Crossing is when the police chiefs says “Geez Tom, I know I don’t know nothin. I’m just speculatin’ about a hypothesis is all.”

Me too.

Fran tweeted that yesterday. It is the only such link he put out. Does he know something we don’t?

Hmm.

On the flip side.

Peter isn’t great with free agency. He doesn’t break a lot of news on who is signing where so this is more of an educated guess than a definitive report.

I don’t expect the Eagles to sign Bouye, but I went from thinking it was an extreme long shot to thinking it is actually possible.

Jenkins was a good player and former 1st round pick. I’m still not sure why the Saints moved on from him. That was a bizarre mistake. I don’t think this is a good comparison at all. Bouye was arguably the best corner in the NFL last season. Big question with him is whether he can sustain that. He’s not getting by on highlights and hype. Bouye was legitimately great in 2016.

It is still very possible the Eagles are quiet today. Don’t get your heart set on big names. The key is to sign the right guys. That could mean making a hard push for Alshon Jefferey or A.J. Bouye. Or it could mean trying to land Kenny Britt and Kayvon Webster.

Stay tuned.

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A Goode Role Player

Posted: March 9th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 97 Comments »

Free agency doesn’t officially start until Thursday, but the Eagles made one move.

Per Adam Caplan, Good got $875K, with $50K guaranteed. That tells you that Goode has to earn a roster spot. No team wants to throw away money, but the Eagles would eat the guaranteed money if Goode had a terrible summer or if some rookie beat him out.

Goode has been a very good STer in the past. Last season he had a couple of amazingly dumb penalties that made me want to send him on a one-way trip to Mars. Luckily, the Eagles don’t let me fire frustrating players into space anymore (no has heard from Matt Schobel in a while have they?). Goode is the backup WLB. If the Eagles trade Mychal Kendricks (still waiting to see what happens there), Goode could get a chance to earn that job.

I have no problem with the Eagles bringing back Goode. He is a solid role player at a reasonable cost. I tend to like bringing back guys like that. There is no upside, but you know them and they know you. Stability helps on STs, just like offense and defense.

Re-singing Goode doesn’t mean the Eagles are done at LB. They could sign another cheap free agent or spend a mid to late round pick on someone. One player that I loved coming out of college is Sean Spence. He played for the Titans last year as a 3-4 ILB. I think he could handle the WLB spot in Jim Schwartz’s defense.

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What’s going on at WR?

Kenny Stills re-signed in Miami, for $8M per year. Pierre Garcon is heading to SF.

Remember this from the other day?

There is talk tonight that Britt will sign with the Eagles on Thursday and that would be just fine with me. I wasn’t so keen on Britt a couple of months back, but watched tape of him and read about him and he grew on me. He’s no longer the punk playing for the Titans that underachieved and got into trouble. He’s matured and just had his best season. I wrote a post about Britt and the other key WRs about 6 weeks ago.

The key with Britt is that the Eagles would not add just him and look at him as some kind of savior. He’s not that level of player.

We don’t know what is going on with free agent receiver Alshon Jefferey and Terrelle Pryor, my top rated guys. Would the Eagles add one of them and Britt? That would be a lot of money, but would seriously upgrade the position.

Howie Roseman has talked about wanting to go young on offense. He could look at adding Robert Woods from Buffalo if he wants to go that route. Torrey Smith isn’t young at 28, but would certainly be affordable and can be a vertical threat.

The perfect addition is still Brandin Cooks. He is young, experienced and explosive. What’s up with him?

Okay, that’s sort of encouraging.

Say what? I have never heard of John Hendrix and have no idea how good his sources are. He could be dead on the money, or way off on this. It seems crazy to me that a team would turn down pick 18 for a player they want to trade. Then again, the Saints do some odd things. Maybe this all just a negotiating tactic to try to get the Eagles to give up pick 14. I don’t think that is going to happen, but it certainly can’t hurt to ask.

Cooks is a good player, but he’s hardly worth a king’s ransom. The Eagles should continue to talk to the Saints to see what can be worked out, but you absolutely don’t hand them a blank check. If Cooks was truly an elite player, he wouldn’t be available. He’s good. And he’s a terrific fit. Roseman is a good negotiator so I expect him to keep working on this to see what he can do.

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Anything else going on?

So which is it? If I had to guess, I’d go with Wilson. He covers the Texans and is well-connected with agents and sources. Werder is in Texas, but is more of a Cowboys expert. Bouye’s agent could be using him to drive up the Texans offer.

I would love to sign Bouye. He is a terrific corner. The big issue is cost. We’ll find out on Thursday if the Eagles are casually interested or really plan to make a run at the star CB.

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Mostly Quiet on the Tampering Front

Posted: March 8th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 276 Comments »

Apologies to Erich Maria Remarque for stealing/butchering his great title, but it seemed appropriate on a day when there just wasn’t much going on. No player could get signed, but we expected more interesting rumors, whether involving the Eagles or not. Tampering day was fairly boring.

There was one big nugget regarding the Eagles.

Bouye is arguably the top CB available on the market. He had a great year in 2016. This isn’t a case of Byron Maxwell being the top CB available, but not being that good. Bouye was legitimately great this season. The problem is that it was a breakout season for him. You are taking a chance on his ability to play at that level for multiple years.

The other big issue is simply cost. Bouye will get $12 to $15M per year. Do the Eagles want to make that kind of investment in a CB? Forget cap space for a second, is any CB worth that in the Jim Schwartz defense? Maybe, maybe not.

We don’t know how seriously the Eagles are interested. We know they called Bouye’s agent, but that could simply be a formality. You call the guy up, feel out the situation and then move on if the price isn’t right. I think there is a decent amount of that going on right now.

Here is an interesting, if not exciting, nugget.

Brandon Lee Gowton posted some thoughts on Webster as a low risk target.

Webster would have the chance to come here and compete for a starting job. He hasn’t started since his rookie year, but has been a key STer for the Broncos. One of the reasons he hasn’t started is that they are so loaded at CB (Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Bradley Roby). It isn’t like he’s sitting behind Dimitri Patterson, Nolan Carroll and Bradley Fletcher.

The Eagles are not going to add one CB and relax. They want to add multiple CBs involving free agency and/or the draft. They need to build that position up. Webster is a terrific STer and could be good depth at the very least.

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Can the Eagles afford to do anything?

The Eagles have several players to cut. That will clear up quite a bit of money. The team hasn’t cut anyone yet because they are hoping to trade a few of the players in question. Cutting those players now helps the guys out because they hit the market early, but this is a case where Howie Roseman is smart to hold onto them and see if he can get anything. If he can’t, the players will likely be released on Thursday or early Friday.

Why would a team trade for a player rather than letting the Eagles cut the guy? Control. When a player hits the market, he controls his future. If the team trades for him, they control his future. Sometimes giving up a late pick for a good veteran proves to be a bargain. Think about the Eagles and Darren Sproles. He has been huge for the team in the last 3 years. Great trade. The Eagles could have waited for him to hit the market, but Sproles might have preferred to play elsewhere. That late round pick turned out to be a great investment.

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We’ll get some more rumors and reports on Wednesday. Deals can’t be signed until Thursday afternoon. Until then, lots of talking. Lots of speculation. Even more waiting around, hoping something exciting finally happens.

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Who’s Playing Who?

Posted: March 7th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 349 Comments »

The Eagles are interested in Alshon Jeffrey. And Kenny Stills. And Brandin Cooks. And Terrelle Pryor. And Kenny Britt. It feels like the Eagles are being used by every agent in the business to pump up their clients. That certainly is a possibility.

It is also possible that the Eagles are leaking some of these reports to help their bargaining position. Let’s say the Eagles really covet Kenny Stills because of his age and speed. If Stills and his agent know that, they bargain from a position of strength. The Eagles could counter that by leaking that they are interested in another free agent or are trying to trade for Cooks.

Maybe the Eagles do covet Cooks and keep leaking names of free agent targets to make the Saints think they are willing to go another direction. Leverage means everything when negotiating at this time of the year. This is all a big game of chicken. Who blinks first?

You don’t want to be the team that didn’t land a key free agent. You don’t want to be the agent who failed to get a big deal for his client. You don’t want to be the team that is stuck with a player because you asked for too much in a trade. Any advantage you have in these negotiations can help, maybe a lot.

I have no idea if the Eagles are leaking rumors or if this is all agents and other teams. At the very least, the Eagles are benefiting from being associated with just about every available WR on the planet. Time will tell if any of this helps the team to really get the guy they want.

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Starting at noon on Tuesday, teams can legally “tamper” with free agents. They will have until 4pm on Thursday to negotiate as much as they want. No deals can be signed, but just about anything else goes. PFT has a good write-up on the situation.

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McManus usually has good sources so this feels legit. At first, I wasn’t so keen on Britt. The more I read about him and watched his tape, the more he grew on me. He has matured quite a bit, on and off the field. He just had a terrific season, despite poor QB play. I think Britt would be a good addition and he would have a reasonable price tag.

If you could get Britt and Terrelle Pryor or Britt and Kenny Stills, that would really upgrade the receiving corps and the passing game.

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There is another.

Smith will be on the market. The Eagles tried to trade for him at midseason, but couldn’t work things out. That was probably a good thing. Smith had a bad contract. The Eagles can now make a run at him with no compensation involved and get him for a cheaper cost.

If you focus on stats, Smith is a player in serious decline. He really struggled in SF. I think you have to be careful with that, though. Their QB play was a mess the last 2 years. No receiver is going to flourish when QBs are struggling. There is no guarantee that Smith will recapture the form he had in Baltimore, where he played well and showed the ability to be a good downfield threat. But if you don’t have to trade for him and the cost is right, it might be worth taking a chance on Smith. He has a good size/speed combination and has played at a high level in the past.

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Twitter Hints

Posted: March 6th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 289 Comments »

Players on Twitter is a good and bad thing. This time of the year it can be a confusing thing.

Interesting, huh?

Pryor’s agent is Drew Rosenhaus, who you might remember is on very good terms with Howie Roseman. If the Eagles were going to reach an unofficial deal with someone before free agency begins, a Rosenhaus client would certainly make sense.

The Eagles want to give Carson Wentz weapons. Pryor would certainly fall into that category. The Eagles want young players around Wentz. Pryor turns 28 in June so that’s not ideal, but his size, speed and ability are worth taking a chance on. He was 232 pounds at his Pro Day and ran in the low 4.4 range. You put on the game tape and see a terrific athlete and gifted receiver. He’s a bit raw since he’s still learning how to play WR, but you can teach him the subtleties of the position. You can’t teach talent, which he’s got plenty of.

I would love for the Eagles to sign Pryor. There is some risk involved, but he would immediately upgrade the WR position and he’s got the potential to play at a high level. He was 77-1007-4 for the 1-15 Browns, with Cody Kessler, Josh McCown and RG3 as his starting QBs. You can bet that Pryor would be pretty excited about having Wentz throw the ball to him.

While there is some interesting evidence, do remember that this is all conjecture. We don’t know anything yet.

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So what’s going on with Brandin Cooks?

There was a report on Saturday that the Patriots offered pick 32 for Cooks and a pick to be given back. The Saints turned that down and the rumor mill had them demanding a mid-1st rounder for Cooks. The Eagles do have pick 14…

Things got weird on Sunday.

Mike Thomas just had a great year for the Saints. Is there a beef between him and Cooks?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

I don’t know enough about these guys and this situation to know if this is a weird feud or just everyone reading into a tweet by a player.

The perception is that there is an issue and that will hurt the Saints ability to pull off a deal. If other teams think the Saints have to trade Cooks, that lowers his value. They can demand a 1st or mid-1st all they want, but other teams will be patient and wait for the price to drop.

The Eagles reportedly want to add a couple of weapons for Wentz so it is possible they could sign Pryor and deal for Cooks. I wouldn’t say that is likely, mind you.

Cooks does make a ton of sense for the Eagles because of his age and his skill set. ChipWagon wrote a terrific piece on why Cooks would be such a good fit. The key to all of this is that the Eagles have options. They can sign someone. They can make a trade. They still have the draft. The Eagles will add a couple of talented WRs. Wentz will have a better set of weapons in 2017.

Free agency starts on the 9th so we’ll find out some of the moves this week.

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We’ve already discussed trading Daniel. That makes sense, if the right offer comes along.

Matthews is a new topic, but there is some sense to this. He is the Eagles best WR. There is no disputing that. His future is the issue. Matthews is entering the final year of his deal. The Eagles would love to keep him around, at the right price. Unfortunately he may want more money than the Eagles think he’s worth. If the team spends big money on outside receivers, they’ll want someone cheap in the slot.

The Eagles are keeping their options open.

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