Rumors, Mysteries and Moves

Posted: March 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 101 Comments »

Offseason activity has already begun. The only surprising move so far is the re-signing of Jason Peters. He’s older and pricey, normally a combination the Eagles don’t embrace. The fact they extended him caught many of us off-guard. Those are the kinds of surprises fans want to see.

Unfortunately, things don’t always work that way. If history tells us anything, it is that this offseason will feature a couple of decisions that are minor head-scratchers at the very least. Hiring Bill Davis didn’t make much sense last year. Bringing back Mike Vick was odd. And then drafting Matt Barkley didn’t make sense since we all knew Chip Kelly wanted a mobile QB. Oops.

During the offseason a lot of rumors and reports will pop up. I wrote about this last year in News vs Noise. You have to understand what the message is and who the message is coming from. Does the writer/reporter have an agenda? Does their source? Is the story passed off as fact or speculation?

Many of you got upset at Jimmy Bama the other day for his column that talked about the Eagles possibly trying to trade DeSean Jackson. Some of you got mad at me for writing about his writing. I can assure you that Jimmy didn’t just make this up to stir the pot and get attention. He studied the moves made by the Eagles and how they affected the roster and payroll. He then wrote about one possible meaning. Jimmy was very reasonable and logical in what he had to say. He also has generally been pretty positive about DeSean in the past. It isn’t as if Jimmy has something against him and is hoping this happens.

I have no problem at all with someone in the media speculating like that if they have logical info and present it correctly. Jimmy did both. If his theory was based on some ridiculous ideas, I would have ripped it to shreds. Jimmy and I love to argue. And I love to rip his bad ideas.

One reason that the offseason is so mysterious is that we simply don’t have all the facts. Remember the 2002 draft? The Eagles took Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown and Michael Lewis. At the time, the Eagles had the best secondary in football. No one expected the first 3 picks to be DBs. The Eagles saw the guys getting older and had the feeling that they wouldn’t be able to re-sign them once they hit FA. They drafted for the future and that turned out to be a terrific draft.

I remember being shocked when John Welbourn went nuclear right before the 2004 draft. The Eagles dealt him to KC on draft weekend because the relationship had gotten so toxic that they felt things couldn’t be worked out. Trading Welbourn would have been a shocking idea just a week earlier.

The offseason officially starts on March 11th. Be ready for a few surprising moves. These could come in the way of signings, cuts, extensions or draft picks. Things should be okay for the next few days. Think of it as the calm before the storm. Then again…I guess unexpected moves can happen at unexpected times.

The minute I hear that the Eagles are trying to trade Jimmy Bama, I’ll let you know.

* * * * *

I watched some TJ Ward last night, but only 2 games. I’ll post my notes when I’ve seen more.

Some of you are asking about free agent CBs. I haven’t watched any. For whatever reason, I don’t think the Eagles are going to sign FA CBs. They already have a pair of veterans in place. My guess is that the Eagles would rather add CBs in the draft. I’ll try to watch a few CBs, but I’m not going to focus on them heavily unless we hear some direct rumors.

Peter King mentioned the Eagles should have interest in Alterran Verner, but that is pure speculation on his part.


101 Comments on “Rumors, Mysteries and Moves”

  1. 1 barneygoogle said at 8:55 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    The Birds haven’t had a good kickoff returner it seems, since Timmy Brown in 1966. Can somebody get the ball past the 30 yard line? Ted Ginn Jr maybe, on the market?
    Look for the Eagles to sign Reno Mahe for 5 years and 60 million.

  2. 2 Anders said at 8:58 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Brian Mitchell?

  3. 3 Mac said at 10:04 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Was amazing. What a great addition it was when the Eagles picked him up.

  4. 4 Media Mike said at 7:01 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    B-mitch should be in the HOF. He’s the greatest return man in the history on the NFL. A punter finally got in, now get the returner in!

  5. 5 bsuperfi said at 9:43 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    And don’t forget Vai Sikahema. His returns were like the right hook you never saw coming.

  6. 6 barneygoogle said at 10:21 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    This was said with… a sense of humor. But you have to admit, since early Westbrook– we’ve been poor in kick returns. Maybe DeAnthony Thomas? Hey, anyone remember “Gizmo” Williams?

  7. 7 Maggie said at 7:40 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Undersized (5-foot-6 and 183 pounds) with speedy, hard-charging legs, Williams often punctuated his touchdowns with end-zone flips. He is the CFL’s all-time leader in punt returns (1,003), punt-return yardage (11,177), kickoff returns (335) and kickoff-return yardage (7,354). Williams spent the 1989 season with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and rejoined the Edmonton Eskimos in 1990. He continued bringing excitement to the fans of Edmonton and amassed more amazing statistics.

  8. 8 iceberg584 said at 11:29 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    It’s a shame J.R. Reed got hurt. He flashed serious potential in 2004.

  9. 9 Mitchell said at 12:49 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I think Odell Beckham Jr. has some insane return skills. I’ve never seen someone move like that on a kickoff.

  10. 10 ACViking said at 2:05 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Is he a fence-climber?

  11. 11 Mitchell said at 8:06 PM on March 5th, 2014:


  12. 12 Crus57 said at 8:16 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    If he becomes an Eagle I’d want it put in his contract that no, he is not a fence-climber.

  13. 13 Sb2bowl said at 1:59 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Agreed– If I remember correctly, his dog got out of the yard, and JR went after the pup. He jumped a fence, caught his leg, and tore his calf muscle/tendons.

    He was never the same even though he tried to come back and play. Drop foot must be a horrible condition to suffer through, especially if part of your job is running, cutting and cover professional athletes on a regular basis.

    Funny, the next Safety we drafted from that college wasn’t bad either, he just had some bad luck with injuries and coaching…. know who it is? Hint, he’s a FA right now but started all 16 games for us last year

  14. 14 D3FB said at 2:57 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    At the same time remember that the kickoffs have been moved up, which has caused a major increase in touchbacks. Last year only 7 kickoffs were returned for touchdowns. In 2010 the year before the change there were 23.

  15. 15 Media Mike said at 7:03 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Somebody tell that to Alex Henery. Unless somebody from Lambda Lambda Lambda can invent a football to accommodate Henery’s limp-legged kicking style; we need a better kickoff guy.

  16. 16 ACViking said at 9:04 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Re: History Lessons

    T-Law, with all due respect . . . “if history has taught us anything, it’s that you can kill anyone.”

  17. 17 ICDogg said at 10:45 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    I was really mad about trading away Rick Wise at the time. (I guess I was wrong…)

  18. 18 Arby1 said at 11:00 AM on March 5th, 2014:


  19. 19 ACViking said at 2:04 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I was, too.

  20. 20 Jerry Pomroy said at 12:14 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    AC…it’s not just the content that makes me up vote your comments, it’s the “delivery”.

  21. 21 GermanEagle said at 9:14 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    It isn’t as if Jimmy has something against him and is hoping this happens.

    Nah, the real reason is that Jimmy loves country and hates rap music. He ain’t called ‘Bama for a reason, aight?! 😉

  22. 22 Mac said at 9:42 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Haha, but seriously, I started talking last year about how we need to find a replacement for DeSean. I actually like the fight he has in him, and now that we have a coach who can probably keep him in line I think that becomes even more positive. The problem I have with DeSean is that his elite ability is speed. We all know that at some point a player who relies on speed will fall off a cliff. The Eagles can’t afford to go into any season at this point without a backup plan for DeSean. He seems young because some of his actions/thought patterns are similar to a young person’s outlook, but he is among the longest tenured Eagles at this point. I’m not eager or looking forward to this happening, but at some point it will. I want the Eagles to be ready.

  23. 23 Media Mike said at 7:03 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    His route running is also elite. His ability to chop his feet to get in and out of cuts is top notch.

  24. 24 Mac said at 11:37 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Good point.

  25. 25 Maggie said at 7:35 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    There is no such thing as “rap” music. Music takes musicians with talent playing instruments which they have practiced on, or vocalists who do not need autotune to sound like human beings.

  26. 26 GermanEagle said at 7:49 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    This is way OT, but good rappers are indeed artists with lots of talent.

  27. 27 P_P_K said at 9:45 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Jimmy’s writing was reasonable. The idea of trading DeSean caught me by so much surprise that I wondered if Jimmy hadn’t heard something from the front office.

  28. 28 ICDogg said at 10:47 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    The theory makes sense as far as it goes but the missing piece for me, and one of the top considerations for such a deal, is how the team gets better by releasing Desean Jackson.

  29. 29 Maggie said at 7:33 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    NOT release! Trade for 2 or 3 draft picks. Get a couple WRs who are younger! cheaper! faster for more years! In 2 more years DJax will have lost value as he nears 30.

  30. 30 ICDogg said at 1:17 AM on March 6th, 2014:

    He won’t get very much in trade due to his contract obligation.

  31. 31 Weapon Y said at 9:48 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    I’m not mad at Jimmy at all. His reasoning makes total sense. It’s the Eagles front office who I’m mad at if Jimmy turns out to be correct. Too many fans underrate DeSean. Only a handful of guys in the NFL would be upgrades over him. He is a very, very good (not great) receiver who would be extraordinarily difficult to replace. I would hate the move of trading him unless the return was shockingly high.

  32. 32 bsuperfi said at 10:26 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    It’s actually scary how much sense his reasoning makes. I highly doubt the Eagles will move DeSean this year. But I could see them laying the groundwork to move on sooner rather than later. If Maclin has a career year with the new system, he could be more of Kelly-type player with his versatility. Add a talented and developing WR from this year’s draft to the mix, count on development at the TE and QB spots, and the offense might be scarier even without DeSean. Cheaper and younger too.

  33. 33 Jerry Pomroy said at 12:09 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Up vote for taking the words outta my mouth.

  34. 34 Weapon Y said at 12:39 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    DeSean is one of the scariest players in the NFL. He is an 80 yard touchdown reception waiting to happen at any moment. The offense will never be scarier without him. That isn’t to say there aren’t receivers better than him, but they are few and far between (Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson, and that might be it). There are a few other receivers, not many, who got more receiving yards than DeSean, but keep in mind that the Eagles are a run-first team. DeSean gets significantly less touches than many other receivers, yet puts up just as good if not better numbers.

    It’s just like how stupid the debate over what a Chip Kelly quarterback was. A Chip Kelly quarterback is a quarterback who plays very well. Similarly, a Chip Kelly receiver is a receiver who plays very well. It doesn’t matter how big or small the receiver is. If DeSean’s freakin’ better than Maclin and Cooper (which he is, don’t tell me differently), then he’s a Chip Kelly receiver.

  35. 35 Maggie said at 7:31 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    One of the arguments being made, however, is what about next year or the one after? DJax is started on the downside of his career, so trading him now while he has the most value to someone else, makes sense.

  36. 36 Weapon Y said at 9:58 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I don’t see any evidence that shows he’s on the downside of his career. If anything, he’s just getting better. So many more starting receivers are older than him. It’s not like he’s been around since 2004.

  37. 37 Maggie said at 7:29 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    My thoughts exactly. but include FA.

  38. 38 Brandon Ramsay said at 10:36 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Oakland gives up their 5th overpick… Do you pull the trigger?

  39. 39 ICDogg said at 10:52 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Yeah, but the likelihood of that is between slim and none.

  40. 40 ChaosOnion said at 1:02 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    R.I.P., Al Davis!

  41. 41 Weapon Y said at 12:22 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Only if Jadeveon Clowney or Sammy Watkins are still available. Watkins is the only receiver in the draft I could see being better than DeSean.

  42. 42 Sb2bowl said at 2:03 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I don’t see them giving up #5 this year…. but what about their 2nd round pick this year, their 4th, and their 2nd next year.

    Do you pull the trigger then? I’d seriously consider it……

  43. 43 Insomniac said at 5:01 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I would but that’ll never happen. If it did happen, I would draft Khalil Mack and Clinton-Dix in the first then a WR in the second.

  44. 44 Joseph Dubyk said at 10:20 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    You know what’s funny prior to last year many Eagles fans called Maclin the better WR overall and the better Eagle. They totally would’ve been down for that trade. I had many debates on how good DeSean actually was. .. I would be shocked to see him dealt as Maclin and Cooper as the starters doesn’t exactly scream deadly

  45. 45 mksp said at 10:48 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    The point of trading DeSean this offseason is to (a) Align our window of peak competitiveness with the highest possible amount of ascending talent across the team, and (b) Extract the most value we can for him from a team that is at its peak competitiveness right now.

    In all likelihood, 2014 will be another building year – there is simply just not enough talent on this team to win the Super Bowl unless a lot of things break our way (I’d argue that a lot of things broke our way in 2013, which is why it was a missed opportunity to at least get to the NFCCG).

    So if we posit that 2015 is the year we expect to have a real opportunity to win the Super Bowl, and 2016 and 2017 as additional opportunities, then a 30+ year old DeSean probably doesn’t help us a ton. For what its worth, this timeframe lines up neatly with when we could hope Nick Foles develops into a “near”-elite QB (he will never be “elite” IMO).

    But a 28-year “still in his prime” DeSean is worth a lot to team that is in its peak competitive window *right now*, especially one that is badly in need of a talent upgrade at WR.

    Like the 49ers. Who also happen to have a bevy of picks that they could cash in right now to get a game-breaking talent that is “worth” more to them than it is to us, strictly because of where we are in our respective ascendence’s as competitive teams.

    So make the trade, pick up two high picks (1st and 2nd? 1st and 3rd?) in an extremely strong draft, and those guys will have a year of experience and 3 years of cost control in 2015 as we hit our peak competitive window.

    Its not just about maximizing value for DeSean, its about maximizing value at the right time.

  46. 46 Sokhar20 said at 11:23 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    I’m not sure I view 2-3 years from now as our ideal time.Shady is our best player, and he’s only got so many carries in him. Particularly given the way we used him this past season, I’m not sure he’ll be the same kind of player in 2017. Obviously if someone blows you away with an offer, you take it. But if we’re talking just like say a 2nd round pick, I’d rather keep my immediate prospects looking better rather than trade for a probably marginal improvement down the road.

  47. 47 Jerry Pomroy said at 12:05 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    But with the NFL becoming pass happy, an elite RB is becoming less and less a centerpiece. Teams are looking more for efficiency at the RB position than franchise tore backs. I’m not downplaying Shady by any means as he single handedly won us games last season. But you can’t predicate your window for success based solely on the RB position anymore. It just comes down to the exception and the rule. Shady is the exception, he’s a luxury, but less of a need than an efficient back that can consistently get you 4yds/carry without the flash. Basically he’s more than what you need to be effective to bolster your running game enough to set up the pass. In boxing terms your run game should be your jab. An effective punch that’ll wear down your opponent and sets them up for the big overhand right (your passing game). That’s ok and it’s great that we have a back that’s special. But QBs & passing games are what’s gonna get you the knock out in the form of a win in the end more times than that jab is gonna get you.

  48. 48 Sokhar20 said at 1:56 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    As an overall thought, I don’t disagree with you. I however view Shady as an exception to most of these rules. Looking at his talent, I think Shady is comparable to a Barry Sanders kind of player. If there had been more of a commitment to the running game prior to last season, I think we’d see Shady at least discussed on par with Adrian Peterson, if not outright considered better. So yes, the general trend is towards the passing game. But when you get an extremely special talent–yes, a GREAT player–I’d be willing to predicate my offense around him in spite of the increased focus on the passing game. And I think Chip felt the same.

  49. 49 Sb2bowl said at 2:06 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    If Shady had 1 more “gear” of top end speed, he’d be the best RB in the game, ahead of AP…… its amazing to think how many more Td’s he would have if he simply had a touch more “long speed”.

  50. 50 Maggie said at 7:27 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    And the Seahawks, for one, seemed to think Marshawn Lynch was pretty important in their schemes.

  51. 51 RobNE said at 12:07 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I like the Hinkie approach for the Sixers but the Eagles are too talented to just give up on the next couple of years. They are in a really weak division too.

    Trading him now really sets back the offense. And sets their ability to take the BPA out the window. I just don’t see it.

    And his contract cap hit is 12.75, 12 and 10 the next 3 years. Are teams really going to absorb that AND give up two high picks? I don’t think so.

    The Eagles have shown no side of being willing to mini-reboot (not quite tank). Thankfully.

  52. 52 mksp said at 12:40 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Its not a “reboot” per se, its moving the handles on the clock a year back with regard to WR talent so the entire team is peaking at the right time and across more positions.

  53. 53 RobNE said at 12:53 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    you are making the team worse in order to potentially make the team better in a future year. Call it whatever you want, I vote no.

    You are giving up on 2014 and making assumptions about all the other players (DeSean is the only one aging?).

    Look, talent is talent as Shah8 likes to say. DeSean makes the offense better. He makes the running game easier, he made Riley look better than he likely is and he will help Maclin make money after this year’s one year deal. You can’t just take DeSean off the team and think our chances of winning are remotely the same.

    The Sixers were god awful anyway so it totally makes sense.

  54. 54 mksp said at 1:16 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I guess I’m not convinced you make the team worse with this trade, even in the short term. We’re not trading AJ Green or Calving Johnson. And you’re definitely not giving up on 2014.

    You’re just managing resources in order to maximize talent and amount of time w/ peak talent. DeSean’s major advantage over someone like Brandin Cooks is his experience. Physically and talent-wise, I prefer Cooks. And Cooks has age on his side, DeSean is a depreciating asset.

    The major problem with this plan is that it forces you into taking a WR early in the draft, thus eschewing the BPA philosophy

    BUT, if there’s a draft that this may work out okay, its this one. Its likely that Cooks or ODB are not only on the board at #22, but the BPA.

  55. 55 Sb2bowl said at 2:08 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I think as far as BPA goes, and where we are picking– if we are serious about drafting a WR but don’t see the value at the draft position, then there’s always the option of dropping back a few spots and picking up some later/mid-round picks.

    There are ways to line up need/want/value, its just a matter of making a trade where both sides “win”

  56. 56 Maggie said at 7:25 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    There just may be a couple of really good WRs available in FA also. Young with experience, still cheaper than DeSean, but may offer speed AND versatility.

  57. 57 D3FB said at 8:01 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Who may I ask do you have in mind?

  58. 58 Insomniac said at 8:18 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    There’s not a lot of WRs that can do what Djax does and there are a lot of WRs that can do what Djax can’t. However, there’s not a single FA WR that doesn’t come with “may and ifs” this year. Djax is a much safer bet.

  59. 59 Christopher Miller said at 9:31 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    “I guess I’m not convinced you make the team worse with this trade, even in the short term. We’re not trading AJ Green or Calving Johnson. And you’re definitely not giving up on 2014.”

    This is the part I don’t understand…if we would not be worse with a rookie, why would someone give us a 1st and a 2nd or 3rd. It is looking like a deep draft as wide receiver…why would the person with multiple high level picks to blow not just grab a couple of these potential studs and be set for years to come.

  60. 60 mksp said at 10:16 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Part of this reasoning is that we have the #22 pick and I strongly suspect that Brandin Cooks or ODB will be two of the highest rated players on our board. But they’re not necessarily “needs” considering our current WRs. And they may not be available by the time the 49ers pick.

    So for me, the equation is something like: Cooks + Fuller/Ward/Joyner (pick 1) + Christian Jones > Dee Ford + Djax.

    I know our whole thing is draft BPA….but I do believe need factors in on the margins.

    And I like Cooks a lot and *strongly* believe he will be a better player than DJax in 2-3 years.

    And 49ers do this bc DJax is a better player now and they don’t need help across the board like we do.

  61. 61 Jerry Pomroy said at 12:24 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    “Its not just about maximizing value for DeSean, its about maximizing value at the right time.”

    Agree with the overall sentiment of “aligning the stars” so to speak. But you could still draft a potential stud WR this year and keep DJ. If the rookie shines, then you can look to move DeSean. I don’t think he’s been that much of a disruption lately to justify an addition by subtraction. Now if that changes, well so does your approach.

  62. 62 mksp said at 12:41 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    But we have needs everywhere – not just a WR in a year or two. Thats why getting the picks for DeSean *now* is so pivotal.

  63. 63 nicolajNN said at 12:57 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I’m not a fain of the “this won’t be the year” train of thought, and I think it can be a slippery slope where you end up chasing your own tail

  64. 64 Ben Hert said at 1:53 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I’m way too lazy to do it myself, but it’d be neat if Jimmy or someone got bored to look at all of our 20+ yard passing plays and see where Djax was and how he affected the play. You could make the argument that we were so explosive because of the whole “take the top off the defense” concept that DJ brings, but I’m curious as to how much he really affected our ability to get the big play, and even more curious as to how Maclin would look trying to do the same thing.

  65. 65 Maggie said at 7:23 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Just like the FO should be, always thinking 2 or more years ahead. Kudos.

  66. 66 Christopher Miller said at 9:27 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I am not a fan of this thought process…way too many factors we cannot predict. Will we suffer key injuries the year our “stars align”? Will the young players we expect to ascend take a step back? Will we get leap frogged by other teams that strike gold in free agency/draft.

    I am not the biggest fan of Desean, but there is no question that even when the play does not go his way, he affects the defense. Replacing a known talent with potential talent seems like a risky bet.

    Would the 2011 Giants have happened if they followed that logic? They were a true dark horse. We need to approach every year as THE year, because you never know when your best shot may come.

  67. 67 izzylangfan said at 11:27 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    What I don’t understand about potentially signing Jarius Bird is how that effects the Eagles D compared to how they ran it last year. Last year we treated both safeties the same but Bird is not an in the box safety and does not blitz or cover the slot, suited only for playing single high safety or cover two. So is Billy Davis willing to switch to a free safety/strong safety concept? Can we sign Bird and then count on drafting Joyner in the first round or a safety of similar style later on.

    Looking back there were some years where it was great to have a ball hawking Asante Samuel. But there other years where we wished he could make a tackle or be the least bit physical.

  68. 68 Jerry Pomroy said at 11:43 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    But with the NFL gearing up the pass, Byrd’s style of play is becoming more the norm than the exception, as you’re seeing less and less of the box style safety. Our safeties played “keep the play in front of you” last season, with both back but not both deep. One covered the flat & one deep. If you’re gonna have one deep, wouldn’t your want the guy that can cover from sideline to sideline & also bring you on avg 4-5 INTs, a couple of FFs and also cause QBs to hesitate a second longer giving your pass rush extra time to get home?

  69. 69 izzylangfan said at 11:48 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    OK, but looking long term we might not want to play it so safe if the rest of our D was better.

  70. 70 Jerry Pomroy said at 12:39 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I guess my point is that we didn’t play a 2 deep zone or have the SS up in the box. So why would they change that? If they’re going to continue with a single high, I want the guy to be able to take away that part of the field. I’m by no means against us taking Pryor. But he’s much more than just a hitter & seems to do well in space in the secondary. Pryor reminds me of Dawk, my favorite Eagle all time. A guy that because he’s a bone crusher gets somewhat overlooked on his skills in the back end.

  71. 71 izzylangfan said at 2:38 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    You might change it if you had a safety that could blitz or cover the tight end. Presumably we didn’t blitz or cover the tight end with a safety was because our safeties couldn’t do that well. I like the idea of having a safety or two that the offense doesn’t know whether they are going to blitz, cover or drop back. With Boykin as the corner then when the TE lines up in the slot Kendricks has to cover him most of the time. That might just make us a bit too predictable. I like the idea of a safety who can play in the box. I confess that Pryor is my hope for the Eagles first pick. And I certainly agree that he is much more than just a hitter.

  72. 72 austinfan said at 11:30 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    With all the talk about signing defensive FAs, step back and look at last season. The defense in the first four games was so terrible it overshadowed the tremendous improvement they made the rest of the season:

    1st 4 games: 116 165 1348 70.3% 8.2 YPA 9-2 10 sacks

    next 12 games: 292 505 3288 57.8% 6.5 YPA 16-17 27 sacks

    Nor was this due to conceding the run:

    1st 4 games: 120 487 4.1 3

    next 12 games: 323 1181 3.7 9

    Point is they may very well feel they need to tweak, not rebuild, this defense, and focus on value in FA and BPA in the draft. The play the last 12 games would probably be among the top ten in the league, Football Outsiders had them at 15th in weighted defense, which puts more weight on the end of the season.

    So I can see Howie figuring he needs to resign/replace Allen, replace Chung, and then pretty much be opportunistic in FA on defense, and the only offensive free agents they might be interested in would be someone to potentially replace Herremans (Asamoh?). Otherwise, value, value, value, especially depth players where you want young guys with upside who don’t cost a lot and can be cut in camp without regret.

    The only players they need to worry about replacing the next couple years are Cole, Ryans and Williams (maybe Fletcher). So I don’t see the urgency to throw money at a “name.”

  73. 73 Tumtum said at 12:38 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Nice stats again AustinFan.

  74. 74 Jerry Pomroy said at 12:52 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Hey, I’d love to get Byrd, but my conscience tells me otherwise, to upgrade your Safety & CB positions over what they are now. I’d be ok with a Jenkins, Shields signing, so long as draft at those spots as well. I’d even concede to re-sign Nate & yes even Chung for depth purposes only. At CB, I just feel we need someone in FA that can push our starters from last year, add more depth and not have so much of a drop off on the outside. As for OLB, our only real means of upgrading is gonna have to come via the draft.

  75. 75 xeynon said at 12:00 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Speaking of Jimmy Bama, any chance of a H2H podcast in advance of free agency? Seems like you guys did them every week last year. I realize schedules have changed but I do miss that.

  76. 76 Mitchell said at 12:45 PM on March 5th, 2014:


  77. 77 austinfan said at 1:01 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    More food for thought, Eagles played 6 games after the bye, which gave the rest of the league time to absorb the new schemes in Philly and adjust:

    190 points scored (31.7 ppg) – 148 points allowed (23 ppg)
    Foles – 123 188 1532 65.4% 8.2 YPA 13-2
    McCoy – 122 675 5.5 5 22 155 7.0 1
    DeSean – 27 400 14.8 2
    Cooper – 22 311 14.1 2
    Avant – 15 152 10.1 1

    Celek – 15 228 15.2 3

    Ertz – 18 217 12.1 4
    Notice how balanced the attack became down the stretch, and I think that’s one reason they might feel comfortable making Maclin the #1 WR if they moved DeSean, because they aren’t channeling the offense through DeSean. And replacing Avant with a rookie, or even using Ertz in the slot and Casey as the #2 TE wouldn’t be a big leap.

  78. 78 GermanEagle said at 1:30 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Casey, who?!

  79. 79 Mac said at 5:35 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Not Matthews.

  80. 80 Maggie said at 7:18 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Absorb and adjust? Now you sound like NFL Network. Chip only has one scheme of course.

  81. 81 Sean Stott said at 5:38 PM on March 6th, 2014:

    Defenses playing honest coverage with their safeties because of DeSean’s breakaway threat doesn’t show up on the stats sheet.

  82. 82 Ben Hert said at 1:52 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Its crazy, it feels like its been so long since I’ve seen Maclin play that I almost forget how he does play. After the whirlwind that was last season, Maclin seems like a distant memory, much like AR. Super excited to see him in action again and see what he can do.

  83. 83 shah8 said at 2:21 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    It’s still a stupid move to get rid of DJax, Tommy.

  84. 84 RobNE said at 3:02 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    yes I agree. Wholeheartedly.

  85. 85 TheRogerPodacter said at 3:45 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    i think that as a whole it will take the offense a step back this year. we would more or less be replacing djax with maclin.

    djax has experience playing in this offense, which maclin has only watched what he is supposed to do and we don’t know if that will translate onto the field. Sure, Coop might know what he’s doing, but he’s not going to be forcing a lot of double coverage…

    how likely is maclin to re-injure his knee, leaving us with Riley Cooper as our #1 WR? thats SCARY. with Mac, Djax and Coop, we can likely sustain an injury to one of them.

  86. 86 Maggie said at 7:17 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Didn’t I hear something about lots and lots of WRs in this year’s draft? Younger, faster (maybe) and cheaper? With 2 or 3 picks from Oakland, piece of cake, lol.

  87. 87 mksp said at 7:30 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I mean, that’s just like, your opinion man.

    Anyway, I articulated (or attempted to) my thoughts above. Trading DJax has less to do with his talent and more to do with his value (and rapid depreciation of) to the Eagles versus another team.

  88. 88 Rage114 said at 2:58 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Off topic but what are your thoughts on Jon Asamoah? RG is not a need but he will likely be inexpensive, he is only 26 and considered a nasty run blocker. Seems like the kind of player they might be interested in.

  89. 89 Sb2bowl said at 4:10 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Agreed, but its tough to cut/release Todd at this point (next year is a different story), and Asamoah won’t be coming here as a backup (nor for backup money).

    If this was next year, I’d say it would be an important move; but at this point the fit doesn’t appear to be there……. Plus, think about the growth of Johnson; he had a hard job at the beginning of the year, giving up penetration as he learned the “ins and outs” of NFL life. Hopefully he can extend his learning curve deep into the off-season training

  90. 90 Media Mike said at 7:06 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Agreed. Heremans is an easier cut at this time next year.

  91. 91 Sb2bowl said at 11:48 AM on March 6th, 2014:

    And I think he will be, along with Cole

  92. 92 GermanEagle said at 7:14 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Jeff McLane vs. Jimmy Bama. Priceless. Lol

  93. 93 Dragon_Eagle said at 7:56 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    What would be fair trade value for ‘Bama? I’m thinking a 3rd rounder and Heather Mitts.

  94. 94 D3FB said at 8:03 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    As long as Ashley Fox is included in the outgoing package.

  95. 95 Zivetor said at 8:23 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    2 players that I have been looking at for safety are Mike Mitchell and Darian Stewart. Anyone got any thoughts?

  96. 96 Charlie Kelly said at 10:49 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Yeah… a whole bunch of “Meh”

  97. 97 GermanEagle said at 6:18 AM on March 6th, 2014:

    While I don’t agree with PFT all the time, those two players didn’t even make it onto their list of the top 100 free agents.

    It’s either Byrd, Ward or bust to me (include Jenkins maybe here as well). The Eagles have suffered at S so much that saving one or 2 million a year won’t cut it.

  98. 98 Scott J said at 8:34 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    I find Bama’s articles shallow and pedantic.

  99. 99 P_P_K said at 1:30 PM on March 6th, 2014:

    I very much enjoy his writing. His “10 awards” series during the season was some of my favorite post-game stuff. To each his own.

  100. 100 Scott J said at 1:49 PM on March 6th, 2014:

    You obviously don’t watch Family Guy.

  101. 101 P_P_K said at 3:59 PM on March 6th, 2014:

    You’re right. I did a Google search for your reference. Now I get it. Good one. D’oh.