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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Money Beau Beau?

Posted: March 5th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 103 Comments »

The big question for the Eagles in terms of their own free agents is whether the team can re-sign DT Bennie Logan. From what Howie Roseman has said, it sounds like the Eagles want to, but we have to wait and see if the money works out.

The Eagles are working on a contract with another DT right now.

Smart move.

Allen played better in Jim Schwartz’s system than I anticipated. Some guys struggle to make the transition from being a 2-gap NT to a 1-gap DT. Allen isn’t a great athlete, but has a terrific motor and did have some 4-3 experience from his college days. He proved to be a good backup. Allen started 3 games when Logan got hurt. The Eagles struggled to stop the run in the Dallas game, but that was more about Dallas than Allen.

Allen could be a good #3 DT for the next few years so trying to extend him makes sense.

There is some question about whether this move means the Eagles think they are going to lose Logan. I don’t necessarily read it that way. The DL is crucial in Schwartz’s defense. Not just starters, but you need 6 to 8 quality players. Allen is young and hasn’t played his best football. The Eagles should try to keep him around. I don’t know if he’s starter material, but I think he has the potential to be an effective starter. Logan is obviously better, but his future is still up in the air.

I don’t think the Eagles want Allen as a projected starter for 2017, but having him as a fall-back plan is reasonable. Should Logan leave, you would want Allen in place in case something goes wrong and you can’t find help in free agency or the draft. If the Eagles can’t keep Logan, they will try to find DT help somewhere.

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Who will play LG? The obvious answer is Isaac Seumalo. However, I think there is a good chance he is the C if the Eagles trade or cut Jason Kelce. Josh LeRibeus and Dallas Thomas could battle for the job. Maybe Dillon Gordon is ready to take a big step forward.

The Eagles could target someone in free agency, but with limited cap room I have my doubts.

There are some really good OG prospects in the draft. The Eagles had luck last year with Seumalo and Big V. They could try to bring in a rookie to compete for the job with the veterans already in place. The Eagles wouldn’t let Barbre do this if they didn’t have some type of plan in place.

As for the trade, who would want Barbre? There are more than a few teams desperate for OL help. Barbre is signed to a reasonable deal so someone could be willing to trade for him. This would not get the Eagles much in return. Maybe you get a conditional late pick. Maybe you move up in the draft a few picks.

The Eagles are doing this to get younger and to save money. Barbre had a better year than I thought he would in 2016. He’s just not a long term solution and that’s something the Eagles would prefer.

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Some Eagles-related Combine thoughts.

A couple of the top QBs looked good today. That’s good news for the Eagles. You want Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson to go in the Top 13 picks so it will drive down a couple of other players for you to consider.

WR John Ross ran 4.22, the fastest time in the history of the Combine. He is a 1st round talent. The only real question with him is injury history. Ross has had knee injuries in the past and that’s always a bit scary. Ross could be in play for pick 14 because the Eagles like him and they covet a speedy receiver. That said, that might be a bit early for him.

Corey Davis did not run due to an ankle injury. Mike Williams didn’t run, but did work out. He was impressive. Williams is a big, physical receiver who has terrific hands and can make tough catches. He is in consideration at 14. Davis is the best receiver in the draft. The question with him is whether he lasts to 14.

Penn State star Chris Godwin was terrific in Indy. He ran 4.42, tested well in the other drills and caught the ball well all day long. He might have worked his way into the 2nd round. I would think the Eagles have interest in a player with his size, speed and hands.

Cooper Kupp did not have a good day. He ran in the 4.6 range and tested poorly. Jimmy Bama and I saw this in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. I don’t know how others didn’t see it. The kid can play for sure, but he’s got limitations. Apparently some speculated about him as a 1st round player. That is ridiculous. He’s not that good. I’m sure the Eagles love him because he is the kind of player Joe Douglas has described. Kupp did look good in the positional drills. He had the best gauntlet of anyone at the Combine. He has great hands and very good body control. I think he can be a very good slot receiver in the NFL. I have my doubts about him as a starter on the outside.

There are some really good TEs in this draft. The Eagles should be set at TE for now, but they will have some long talks about what to do if the right player is on the board in certain rounds. You always want to be careful about passing on talent. Brent Celek might be in his last year and we don’t know if Trey Burton is anything more than a #3 guy.

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There are so many Eagles news items these days that I can’t cover them all here. I am going to try to be regularly active with short posts over at Eagles Blog. Be sure to check that out.

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Something Cooking?

Posted: March 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 227 Comments »

The Brandin Cooks situation is getting more interesting.

So the Eagles are now the favorite and the asking price could be a 2nd round pick? That’s encouraging, if true. Marvez is a good reporter and isn’t the kind of guy to just throw stuff out there. He’s generally very reliable.

Still, this is hardly a done deal. Teams and agents use reporters to get stories out to the public for a reason. The Saints could leaking this to try and create a market for Cooks. Cooks agent could be doing this to show the Saints there is a market for his client. Or this could be a great scoop that Marvez got from a good source.

The Saints would be willing to deal Brooks for a couple of reasons.

Cooks has been a good player for the Saints, but might not be in the long term plans. They have good young receivers in Michael Thomas and Willie Snead and might feel those guys fit their long term plans better in terms of salary, skill set, size or some other reason. This would be the time to deal Cooks. He’s coming off a good year and still has a season under contract so his value isn’t likely to be higher than this.

If the Eagles are genuinely interested, they have to talk to Cooks before any deal can be done.

You only consider a trade like this if you think you can get the guy to sign a long term deal. Why trade for a guy, knowing you would also have to pay him a lot? Just draft or sign someone, right?

The Eagles would love to have DeSean Jackson’s speed. But they don’t want his age. The Eagles could draft a speedster like John Ross. But there is the question of what kind of pro he’ll be. Cooks covers everything. He is not even in his prime, but has shown big time NFL ability. He has explosive speed. He would cost a pick and money, but you would get more of a sure thing than drafting someone. And he could be good for the next 5 to 6 years.

I have no problem with the team trading a pick for a player like this. Cooks would be a key addition to the offense and would provide instant help for Carson Wentz. In a fantasy world, the Eagles would send a 3rd round pick and Mychal Kendricks to the Saints for Cooks. I’m sure we will hear all kinds of trade ideas in the next week. Stay tuned to see if anything does happen.

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Burton is a role player on offense and a terrific STer. He can still get better on offense. Burton is only 25 years old and is still learning how to play TE. He was used in a variety of roles in college and mainly played STs under Chip Kelly. Burton could take a big step forward this spring. Or we might find out that he is meant to just be a solid role player and isn’t going to get much better.

Burton strikes me as one of those guys who is both underrated and overrated. I think people who compare him to other TEs and aren’t impressed are missing the fact that he’s got such an odd background and is still learning. At the same time, I think there are some who focus on his highlights and don’t recognize the bad plays he’s also had.

This is a big year for Burton. He needs to show if he can be a #2 TE or if he is purely a #3 TE and STer.

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The Eagles won their coin flip today. The team will now pick 14th in the 1st round. This is a big deal.

No guarantees obviously, but you always prefer to have the higher pick.

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Another Crazy Day

Posted: March 3rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 224 Comments »

No news from Indy.

But lots of news from Indy.

Nothing involving the Eagles actually happened, but lots of rumors were swirling and peripheral events were happening.

The Eagles are looking for young, talented receivers. Cooks is a young, talented receiver. This report does make sense.

At the same time, the Saints won’t be giving Cooks away. The Eagles aren’t going to send a mid-1st for Cooks. The Saints do need defensive help, but I’m not sure the Eagles have any players the Saints would be targeting as part of a deal. Howie Roseman is really good at making deals so if he is really interested in Cooks, maybe something could be worked out.

The Eagles seem really interested in adding a speedy receiver. Cooks ran 4.33 at the Combine and that speed has shown up on the game field. He averaged 15 yards per catch last year and had 6 receptions of 40 or more yards. Jordan Matthews also had 6. For his career. Cooks is only 23 years old so he is the kind of young talent the Eagles would love to give Carson Wentz to work with.

While this does make a lot of sense, the NFL isn’t a great league for trades. I wouldn’t say this is likely. But we’ll see.

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Huh? Daniel barely played in 2016.

But he did help Doug Pederson install his offense and teach it to the other players. Daniel also helped Carson Wentz develop as a rookie. Those are the reasons teams would be interested. Nobody suddenly thinks he is a dynamic QB.

Any of the teams thinking about drafting a QB early could have interest in Daniel to help their rookie develop and adjust to life in the NFL. Daniel isn’t as valuable to the Eagles now that the whole team knows the offense and Wentz has a year of experience. I’m sure Doug Pederson would love to keep Daniel, but if you can trade him for any pick, you do it. Daniel isn’t cheap and moving him would give the team more cap room.

If the Eagles could pull off a trade, one player they would almost certainly be interested in is Nick Foles. The coaching staff and management loved Foles when he was here. He is a high character guy and can be a good backup. Foles just isn’t a guy you build a team around.

I would love to see the Eagles be able to move Daniel. The key here is for teams to draft QBs early so they feel the need to really develop those guys. As you watch the Combine this weekend, hope that Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Deshone Kizer and company all look terrific.

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Young? No. But Marshall and Decker would give the Eagles short term options. Marshall is better. Decker is younger. Neither is ideal.

I don’t think the Eagles would target these guys early, but could look at them as backup plans. If the Birds can’t land Alshon Jeffery or Kenny Stills or whoever they may want, Marshall and/or Decker would make sense as band-aids. Neither is a long term solution, but both are good enough to help in 2017 and the near future.

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Tony Pauline offered his thoughts.

The possibility of (DeSean) Jackson returning to the Philadelphia Eagles has captured most of the headlines, but I’m told the team would also be content with Garcon if Jackson re-signs with the Redskins or his price tag is out of reach.

The bottom line is Philadelphia wants to come out of free agency and the draft with weapons for Carson Wentz.

Garcon doesn’t have the speed the Eagles seem to want, but he is a tough, reliable, veteran receiver. There is some real value in a player like that. Jackson is the speedy type of receiver the Eagles seem to be focused on right now.

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If you haven’t seen this, watch it.

Great job by Fran and the Eagles video department, allowing us to see a Combine interview. Very cool.

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Indy Update on the Eagles

Posted: March 1st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 168 Comments »

Howie spoke. Doug spoke. And there was some minor news and rumors as well. Pretty good for the opening day at The Combine.

First, nothing major with the Eagles. Nobody was signed, cut or traded. Don’t get excited yet. That’s a week from now. Howie and Doug spoke to the media, as most coaches and executives do in Indy.

Neither guy said anything all that remarkable, but both did have the same focus. Building around Carson Wentz. Les Bowen summed it up well.

Carson Wentz wasn’t lurking behind the podium as Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson spoke Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

His red hair wasn’t lighting up the nearby NFL Network set. Wentz couldn’t be found in the darkened area behind that, sitting in the empty bleachers from which fans will watch prospects bench-press, in one quadrant of a cavernous Indiana Convention Center exhibit hall.

But Wentz was there, just the same.

The development of the Eagles’ second-year quarterback took up a significant part of both the Roseman and Pederson media sessions, and even when Wentz wasn’t the primary topic, he was the subtext.

Les is no Tom McCallister, but he’s pretty good. And his point is dead on the money. The Eagles might disagree about their exact plans, but there is no question that the organization is focused on building around Wentz.

They want to give him the right coaches, the right blockers and go find him some weapons.

Pederson was asked about RB Jamal Charles, who the Chiefs released. They spent time in KC together and it sounds like Pederson is curious, if not interested.

“I’ve got history with him in Kansas City for three years, and I think he’s a tremendous running back. It’s something that we’ll evaluate now. We’ll grade him, just like we do every free agent . . . see where he can fit into our offense.”

There are a couple of problems. Charles played in 8 games over the last 2 years combined. That’s a major issue for someone at a position that takes a beating. Charles is also on the wrong side of 30 and RBs rarely age gracefully. I would be all for adding Charles if the Eagles needed a number two back, but they already have Darren Sproles. They have Wendell Smallwood behind him. The Eagles need someone they can feed the ball to. They need someone who is talented, but also reliable. Charles is talented, but durability has been an issue the last couple of years.

Howie Roseman specifically talked about the depth of the RB position. That would lead you to think the Eagles might prefer to try and draft a RB first. If that doesn’t work out, then go find a veteran to be part of a group in 2017. I would certainly have no option with the Eagles using Charles as a backup plan. If they don’t land the right guy in the draft, go talk to him.

I could be way undervaluing Charles, who has had an amazing career. I just know that the aging RBs I’ve seen over the years rarely have bounce-back seasons when things start to go wrong. There are always anomalies, but as a rule of thumb you want to be careful about adding older RBs.

Roseman talked a lot about keeping a long term focus. He became a key part of the front office in about 2009. Since then, the Eagles have always been trying to “win now”. This is the first time they have had a young, franchise QB to build around. It sounds like Roseman is going to be disciplined this offseason and lean on Joe Douglas a lot. At the same time, Roseman said the Eagles won’t hesitate to be aggressive if the situation is right.

There were lots of questions about Jason Kelce and Connor Barwin. Roseman (and Pederson) said only good things. Roseman isn’t going to tell the other 31 teams the Eagles are shopping those guys or plan to cut them. There is no advantage to that. Keep the players. Say the right things publicly. See if you can work a deal. You only cut them when you have to.

Roseman was asked about Bennie Logan. Howie wouldn’t go into details about any contract talks, but said very positive things about the free agent DT and certainly left me feeling the team would like him back. The money still has to make sense so we have to wait and see how things shake out.

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Star DTs Dontari Poe and Brandon Williams reportedly will not be tagged. That helps to crowd the DT market and could help the Eagles to keep Logan.

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Here is an update on potential Eagles target Kenny Stills. He might want to stay in Miami and not go to the highest bidder. Just speculation, but there are some interesting quotes in the piece that make it sound like Stills wants more than just the biggest deal.

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Back to the Eagles for a second. Jeff McLane got a good scoop on Carson Wentz.

Carson Wentz experienced soreness in his right elbow last season that the Eagles believed was related to his throwing mechanics, sources close to the situation said.

The soreness wasn’t significant enough that Wentz had to be listed on the team’s injury report, and the Eagles also believed that it was partly because the rookie quarterback was throwing more than he ever had in his career. But his elbow pain was significant enough that the Eagles stressed that he took additional time off after the season ended.

“Take time off. Get away. Get healthy. Get fresh. Get rejuvenated,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday when asked for his parting message to Wentz on Jan. 2. “And that’s what he’s done.”

 Wentz finished the season with 607 pass attempts, the second-highest total ever for an NFL rookie behind Andrew Luck’s 627 in 2012.

That’s not a huge deal, but it is certainly worth noting. It doesn’t take a genius to see that Wentz posted better numbers early in the year. How much of that was due to the elbow?

You also have to remember that the Eagles had all sorts of OL injuries for a while. The WRs struggled in that time period. There were RB injuries. The defense suddenly became inconsistent. The Eagles relied a lot on Wentz at the time when his arm was sore. Not ideal.

Wentz should be better prepared for the upcoming season. He now understands what it takes to start 16 games and throw a bunch of passes.

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