Eagles could be picked for HBO's 'Hard Knocks' - Philly.com
The Eagles are one of eight teams that the NFL could force to participate in the HBO series, according to a resolution passed by NFL owners in 2013.
There are three exemptions that allow teams to avoid mandatory inclusion in the show: 1) They have appeared in the playoffs at least once in the past two seasons; 2) They have a first-year head coach; 3) They have been featured on Hard Knocks at least once in the past 10 years.
Last season, the Eagles avoided being considered for the show thanks to the dismissal of then-head coach Chip Kelly. But with Doug Pederson entering his second season, the Eagles won’t be able to say no if HBO thinks chronicling the offseason of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz could make for some compelling television.
The seven other teams that could be compelled to participate are the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints.
Of the teams eligible, only the Bears play in a larger media market than the Eagles.
"It's been a lot of fun, learned a lot," he said of his first season in the pros, "but definitely been physically and mentally taxing."
The 24-year old plans on shutting it down for a while. He says he'll "fight the urge to touch a football here for at least three to four weeks maybe -- at least." That right arm logged a lot of miles, as Wentz set a franchise record with 607 pass attempts. During that time, he intends to hunt, hang out and reflect on a first-year performance that he labeled as "OK."
"It definitely wasn't where it needs to be, for sure," he said. "Ultimately we were 7-9 and that's what it all boils down to. I thought I learned a lot, I thought I grew as far as mentally and physically on the field. Definitely nowhere near where I want to be or where I think we can be as a team, but I thought we did some good things at times, too."
When he comes off his hiatus, he'll find plenty of people eager to work with him. Wentz suggested he could very well end up calling on a quarterback tutor like Tom House as he tries to refine his mechanics.
Monday marked the first day of the Eagles' offseason, and these types of emotions are beginning to rise to the surface. Philadelphia is staring down a crucial offseason entering Year 2 under head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz. Changes are on the horizon. Goodbyes are, too.
The Eagles, for instance, could create about $8 million in cap space by cutting Barwin, whose five sacks this season mark his lowest total since 2013. And Barwin isn't the only one feeling the uneasiness on Philadelphia team that's known for making maneuvers as frequently as any other franchise in the NFL.
Cornerback Leodis McKelvin had a rough age 31 season this year, struggling to remain healthy and effective in his first year with the Eagles. The Birds could recoup more than $3 million in cap wiggle room by releasing McKelvin.
When your team’s best offensive weapon is a slightly below-average tight end, you have a skill position problem. The Eagles have their franchise QB protected by one of the better offensive lines in the NFL—when RT Lane Johnson isn’t suspended—and now it’s time to give the talented signal caller some weapons to distribute the ball to. While the jury is still out on Carson Wentz, he flashed major potential early in the season, but graded as the worst QB since Week 7. Wentz’s production took a major hit, and not all of that is his fault, as he was working with one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL.
WR Nelson Agholor has clearly never lived up to his first-round status, and has finished back-to-back seasons as the lowest-graded wide receiver in the league. Dorial Green-Beckham is a physically-gifted, but raw player that has yet to put it together as an NFL receiver. Jordan Matthews is the team’s best receiver, but ranks 55th out of 118 WRs in PFF’s grades. Roseman needs to take a Raiders-type approach to this offseason and sign a WR in free agency and draft one high, such as Clemson’s Mike Williams or Western Michigan’s Corey Davis.