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Eagles News: NFL coaches think Rodney McLeod compares to Earl Thomas

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/13/16.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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Evaluating the Opening Free-Agent Moves - The MMQB
Quietly for the past two years with the Rams, McLeod has been the rangiest centerfield safety in football not named Earl Thomas. His speed translates as effectively east and west as it does north and south. And when he goes north and south, he’s a willing and able hitter. Coaches who have to scheme against McLeod have told me they think he’s in Thomas’s class.

Eagles have sixth-most salary cap committed to QBs in 2016, most in 2017 - PhillyVoice
That money is going to an average-at-best starter who has been in the league for six years and has never won more than seven games in one season, as well as a career backup with 77 career pass attempts.

Strong Moves Behind, More To Come -
Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod have a chance to become an outstanding team at safety for the Eagles, who have added flexibility and playmaking skills to the secondary. McLeod is a physical player who can also cover. With the additions of Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks at cornerback, the Eagles also can keep Jenkins at safety in the nickel, rather than move him into the slot, as they did last year. It still wouldn’t hurt to add more at safety, though, and challenge Ed Reynolds and Jerome Couplin (Chris Maragos is more of a special teams ace, although he had quality snaps at safety last year).

Nigel Bradham: Schwartz 'let me play free and aggressive' - CSN Philly
Jim Schwartz has played a major role in recruiting free agents to the Eagles this offseason, but as Nigel Bradham explains, the defensive coordinator wasn't the only draw. The fifth-year linebacker says Schwartz's scheme was actually the biggest selling point. "Definitely the scheme," Bradham told reporters on Friday. "Jim Schwartz's scheme, I feel like it fits my style of play very well. Being an aggressive linebacker, attacking, pretty much just knowing his scheme and playing football to my best ability. He pretty much just let me play free and be aggressive and just a tough-nosed player."

Chip Who? - Iggles Blitz
There is a narrative that Howie Roseman and the Eagles are trying to get rid of everything having to do with Chip Kelly. The team traded Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso, Mark Sanchez and DeMarco Murray. The Eagles cut Riley Cooper, a Kelly favorite. They cut Brandon Bair, who played for Kelly at Oregon and the NFL. DeMeco Ryans, who Kelly loved, was released. Chip who? The narrative says that the man behind all of this is Howie Roseman, exacting revenge for a year ago, when Kelly had him demoted and pushed out of the personnel department. I’m sure Roseman isn’t a fan of Kelly because of how things went down. But the idea that Roseman would focus his offseason plans on revenge is ridiculous. And facts don’t support it.

KRACZ: Analyzing the Eagles moves so far - BCCT
It’s easy to feel giddy during free agency, when teams like the Eagles typically make it feel like Christmas morning at this time every year. While it helped the Broncos win a Super Bowl after they had been big players in free agency the past two seasons, it’s not exactly the ideal way to build a team. After all, how often do you see teams like the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers or Green Bay Packers making big splashes in the open marketplace? The Birds, though, did a good job of filling some needs with their signings. A very good job.

Brooks provides an upgrade at guard - Inquirer
When the window for negotiations opened Monday, two days before the start of free agency, Brandon Brooks said he received text messages from three Eagles offensive linemen, among others, urging him to sign with their team. Center Jason Kelce was one of the first to reach out to the free- agent guard. It shouldn't have come as a surprise. Kelce stood to benefit more than anyone. Last season's struggles on the interior of the line were, in part, of his own doing. And some of his problems were attributed to having not one but two new guards playing at his side.

Breaking down Cedric Thornton's 4-year deal: Base salaries, guarantees and salary cap ramifications -
At 6-4, 309 pounds, Thornton is more athletic and versatile than Hayden. He has the quickness to push the pocket and generate some pass rush, something Hayden doesn't possess. Thornton had four sacks for the Eagles over the last four seasons. The Cowboys will ask Thornton to shed a few pounds to emphasize his quickness even more. The staff envisions giving Thornton some work behind Tyrone Crawford at the other defensive tackle position and believes he can provide spot duty at end.

Texans, Giants among big spenders with adjusted draft priorities -
The Eagles dumped their RB1 (Murray) and have dangled their RB2 (Ryan Mathews) as trade bait. If they're looking for a feature back to build around in the backfield, Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott is an explosive three-down player who seems like a logical fit, based on his versatility, toughness and durability. If the Eagles wait until Day 2, Notre Dame's C.J. Prosise, UCLA's Paul Perkins and Alabama's Kenyan Drake will jump on the radar as solid possibilities.

Steelers WR Martavis Bryant reportedly facing year-long suspension - SB Nation
The Steelers' wide receiver served a four-game suspension last season for violating the same policy.

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