Eagles news and notes for 1/10
The evidence on franchise QBs fueled Roseman's diligent pursuit of Carson Wentz last offseason and time will tell if he got the right guy. Not that it matters all that much because circumstances are always so different, but Wentz only had a better statistical first season as a full-time starter than Smith and Osweiler among the guys mentioned above.
All we can say for certain right now about Wentz is that it's too soon to say he is a franchise quarterback and it's too soon to say he is not.
Another common denominator among the NFL elite is the head coach. Roseman has not talked much about that part of his study during his one-season hiatus, but he did give a fair and accurate assessment of Doug Pederson's first season as the Eagles head coach during Wednesday's news conference.
"You talk about facing adversity," Roseman said. "Head coach comes in and our right tackle [Lane Johnson] is suspended for 10 games, our starting quarterback [Sam Bradford] is traded eight days before the start of the regular season. And the way the players responded, certainly toward the end of the season, you could see how the players felt about him. I'm just looking forward to him getting better and continuing to grow like all of us in our jobs."
Pederson definitely deserves another year. He did face a lot of adversity and he also had the least amount of talent in his own division. If Wentz has faith in Pederson - and there's every reason to believe he does - then the Eagles have the right man for right now.
Logan is obviously the biggest name on this list. The Eagles used a third-round pick to take Logan from LSU in 2013 and he has started 50 games in the last four years. No, he's not an elite defensive tackle. But he has been very good. And the Eagles clearly missed him during the middle of the 2016 season when Beau Allen had to fill in. Recently, Logan said about Philly: "This is where I see myself at." But he's also in line to get a nice-sized contract and the Eagles might not want to break the bank for another defensive lineman. Logan can play in a 3-4 or a 4-3, which means there won't be a shortage of teams looking at him. Eagles executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman has continually said the Eagles want Logan back, but it'll come down to money, as it often does.
Curry remained marginalized. True, he began the season hindered by a knee injury, the aforementioned circumstance that briefly diminished the degree of Roseman’s mismanagement. But how hurt was Curry? After all, he played a higher percentage of the snaps in the first two games than in the last two games. The Eagles simply had no spot for him. Curry spent most of the season as Graham’s understudy on the left side and usually attracted most of the attention, since he usually played opposite Marcus Smith, the Eagles’ 2014 disappointment. Occasionally, Curry played opposite Graham, who played effectively from the right end position.
It’s hard to fault Schwartz for wanting to get Graham and Barwin, his two most versatile ends, on the field at the same time as much as possible. It’s hard to blame Barwin, undersized and out of position, for his ineffectiveness.
It's hard to fault Curry, who never got as much playing time as his past performance and his new contract warranted — a laughable deal, considering Curry's inclusion and production.
Curry had 16.5 sacks his previous three seasons and cost about $2 million total. In 2016, playing part-time behind a square-peg veteran, Curry collected just 2.5 sacks … at a cost of $11 million in bonus and salary.
Roseman just kissed that money goodbye.
The first thing you notice when you meet Brandon Graham is the smile. It never wavers. He is a relentlessly upbeat person, and it shows in his countenance. Graham, a first-round draft pick by the Eagles in 2010, has needed every bit of that attitude to climb to the top of the NFL’s food chain.
Graham was named second-team All-Pro by The Associated Press on Friday, a second honor for the defensive end, finishing his seventh season as an Eagle. Earlier, Graham was voted as a first alternate to the Pro Bowl’s NFC team, and it remains to be seen if he will make the trip to Orlando.
“It’s just an honor to be recognized and, yes, it means a lot to me,” Graham said. “I’ve worked hard to put myself in this position. It’s been a long road.”
It sure has, and Graham’s rise is a story of a young man who found his footing in life and in his career, and he stands as the kind of player the Eagles want to have, one who is 100 percent invested in the sport and in every play of every game. Graham’s remarkable strength off the edge is one of the keys to his success, along with a great first step, good technique and huge desire.
Graham, tackle Fletcher Cox, middle linebacker Jordan Hicks and safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are among the group of players the Eagles must build around on defense for the long haul and Graham represents a shining example of just what it takes to get to the elite level.
“Brandon keeps coming and coming,” defensive line coach Chris Wilson said during the 2016 season of Graham. “He wants to be great. He works to be a great football player and it shows. He comes off the ball with so much force and power. He’s been a treat to work with.”