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Eagles News: PFF thinks Philadelphia should trade for a running back not named Le’Veon Bell

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/5/18.

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Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Trades we’d like to see after the first quarter of the season - PFF
Player acquired: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions. Compensation: 7th round pick. Le’Veon Bell is the obvious link, but the chances of the Eagles paying him a contract rich enough to make him anything more than a rental are slim to none. Still, the team is in desperate for help in the backfield, with three quarters of the rotation already banged up. Darren Sproles might be done after his latest injury, or the offensive coaches could limit his touches to the return game and maximize his production. Corey Clement is also out, and Jay Ajayi is playing through a broken bone in his back that is obviously limiting his effectiveness. The only healthy back, Wendell Smallwood, lacks the vision, balance and pass protecting awareness to thrive in Doug Pederson’s offense. Abdullah would come cheap – he’s barely seen the field behind LeGarrette Blount, Kerryon Johnson, and Theo Riddick – and would instantly provide some sorely needed depth.

Eagles vs. Vikings Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the enemy - BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings are set to play each other this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. In order to preview this big Week 5 game, I reached out to our associates over at Daily Norseman. The candid Christopher Gates (@Gates_DN) took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming tilt. Let’s take a look at his answers.

Eagles-Vikings Week 5 Preview - BGN Radio
John Stolnis and Brandon Lee Gowton get you up-to-date on all the noteworthy stories about the Eagles AND get you prepped for their Week 5 rematch of the NFC Championship Game with the Vikings!

Safety Blitz with Malcolm Jenkins: No one can beat Eagles ‘when we play our best’ - PhillyVoice
“Being 2-2 doesn’t sit well with me,” admitted Jenkins, who was amazing for the Eagles in overtime, making two crucial tackles for losses, only to have the Titans answer with three fourth-down conversions, one on fourth-and-15 at the Tennessee 31. “One thing I have learned is you can’t always expect things to turn out exactly the way you plan them. I can tell you this, a pro football player has an idea of what their season is going to look like and how it’s supposed to go.

What Must Be Done For The Philadelphia Eagles To Acquire Le’Veon Bell - Clayton Football
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is the most logical contract restructure candidate for cap room. His $17.9 million cap number is the largest on the team. Offensive guard Brandon Brooks, tight end Zach Ertz, safety Malcolm Jenkins, and offensive tackle Lane Johnson have already created cap room by restructuring.Lowering Cox’s $11.5 million base salary to just under $800,000 and releasing a player at the back end of the roster would give the Eagles approximately $5.85 million of additional cap room. That’s barely enough for Bell. The Eagles would have the second tightest cap situation in the NFL behind the Vikings with a just over $200,000 of space. Cox’s remaining contract years, 2019 through 2022, would each increase by $1.385 million in the restructure. His $22 million 2019 cap number would become $23.385 million. Cox would have the second largest 2019 cap number for a defensive player. His is currently third. Philadelphia easily has the NFL’s most 2019 cap commitments at $216.5 million with 41 players under contract. The top 51 cap numbers matter under offseason cap accounting rules. The 2019 salary cap will be in the $190 million neighborhood with a similar increase as in recent years.

Q&A with Joe Banner: Eagles should ‘seriously’ consider Le’Veon Bell trade - The Athletic
But if I said to you that he’s the difference between winning the Super Bowl and not, and there’s no way to know that but he’s good enough that he could be, if I said to you you’re giving up a second-round pick, which you probably get back a third-round pick a year later, in return for a guy who may be able to be the difference between winning the Super Bowl and not, I think most people would say that’s worth it.

The Means Effect - Iggles Blitz
Means is gone and rookie Josh Sweat now has that spot. Anyone who watched Sweat this summer could see his potential, but also that he’s very raw and needs a lot of work. It is fair to wonder if someone like Sweat is a strong practice player. Means had a limited ceiling, but was a relentless player who treated practice like the Super Bowl. That helped Johnson and the other O-linemen to play at a high level. Joe Ostman is on the practice squad, but he’s an undersized rookie. I doubt he’s having the impact that Means did. The interior OL were practicing against Beau Allen at times. He combined effort and talent. Allen is gone to Tampa now and Destiny Vaeao might be the best practice DT on the roster. He’s a solid role player, but isn’t as good as Allen.

Michael Bennett focuses on winning more than reduced role with Eagles - ESPN
“I think it’s always a test of character when you have to reinvent yourself or do something that you’re not comfortable with or find a way to find some comfort in it when you’re not comfortable, but to find a way to contribute in any type of way,” he said. “When you’ve got great leadership like Malcolm Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Chris Long, all these great players, you just have to find a way to contribute on the team.” One of the things Bennett is getting used to is playing fewer snaps. He has been on the field for just under 55 percent of the defensive plays so far in 2018, compared to about 85 percent last season for the Seattle Seahawks, which was tops on the team among defensive linemen.

Eagles Hunker Down To Get Back On Track - PE.com
Jason Kelce doesn’t like seeing quarterback Carson Wentz on the ground. The Eagles’ All-Pro center, however, has seen too much of it in Wentz’s two starts as the Colts and Titans pressured the line of scrimmage and hit Wentz 18 times these last couple of weeks. Why is it happening? What is going on with an Eagles offense that expected to be further along at this point in the 2018 season? “I see, quite frankly, an inconsistent football team, whether it’s the offensive line, whether it’s penalties,” Kelce said. “The main thing I focus on is the offense and if we had converted in the red zone a few more times and get some touchdowns in there, we’re not even talking about an overtime. Red zone was one of our best areas of production last year. I think that one mistake, one guy not doing his job on each play, is culminating into stalling out drives, resulting in three points instead of seven points. All of those things make a difference in the end result.”

Silva’s Week 5 Matchups - Rotoworld
Still getting in sync after Nick Foles quarterbacked the offense for eight games dating back to last season and the playoffs, and Carson Wentz missed the 2018 preseason plus Weeks 1-2, the Eagles return home following last week’s meltdown loss in Tennessee to face a Vikings defense that has allowed 29 or more points in four of its last five road games. Mike Zimmer’s team sorely misses top pass rusher RE Everson Griffen (personal), while Minnesota’s secondary has looked lethargic and disorganized on tape. Wentz improved from Week 3’s QB22 fantasy finish (Colts) for last week’s QB13 mark, even as Nelson Agholor dropped three balls and Philly’s pass protection let Wentz down, yielding four sacks and 11 hits to the Titans’ red-hot pass rush. With Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) back and rolling, however, Wentz is on the positive side of the QB1/2 fringe after Minnesota coughed up Week 3’s QB6 result to Josh Allen and last week’s QB2 finish to Jared Goff. … The Eagles’ likely inability to generate Week 5 rushing success could enhance Wentz’s volume. Coming off extra rest after their Thursday night shootout loss to the Rams, the Vikings have held enemy backs to an 89/346/0 (3.89 YPC) rushing line as one of just three remaining teams yet to allow a rushing touchdown to a running back. Zimmer’s defense has also allowed the NFL’s fifth-fewest running back catches (14). Despite playing through a small fracture in his back, Jay Ajayi did impress on season highs in snaps (51%) and touches (18) at Nashville but is purely a volume-based RB2/flex play. Ajayi was backed up by Wendell Smallwood (8 touches) as Corey Clement (quad) and Darren Sproles (hamstring) continued to nurse soft-tissue injuries. Josh Adams played only one snap.

Eagles need pass rush to lead them just as in last two wins over Vikings - Inquirer
The Eagles have 11 sacks in four games, which ranks ninth in the NFL. It puts them on pace for 44 sacks this season, which would be six better than last season’s total and would have ranked top five in the NFL last year. The defense has continued the trend of playing better at home. The last two games against the Vikings came in Philadelphia, too. There should be opportunities to get after Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has attempted more passes (189) than any other quarterback in the NFL. That’s the reason he has made the most pass attempts under pressure (72), according to Pro Football Focus. Although the Eagles had only one sack in the NFC championship game, they had eight quarterback hits. Cousins has been sacked 13 times and hit 25 times in four games. If the Eagles can top the average of three sacks and six hits on Sunday, it will be a good sign for their defense.

Finally healthy, Brandon Graham confident sack drought will end soon - NBCSP
There’s a big giant zero next to Brandon Graham’s name on the Eagles’ 2018 stat sheet, and he admits the lack of sacks got to him. Graham, whose strip-sack of Tom Brady at the end of Super Bowl LII is one of the two biggest defensive plays in franchise history — Chuck Bednarik sitting on Jim Taylor at the end of the 1960 NFL Championship Game was pretty big, too — is 0 for 4 this year. Four games, zero sacks. Other than 2011, when he didn’t play till November, this is the first time in Graham’s career he hasn’t had at least one sack the first month of a season.

Five Good Questions with Bleeding Green Nation - Daily Norseman
As we do leading up to most games, we got an opportunity to exchange some questions with the folks that write about the Minnesota Vikings’ upcoming opponent. This week is no different, as I got the opportunity to swap questions from Brandon Gowton from Bleeding Green Nation, SB Nation’s home for the Philadelphia Eagles. You can see the answers that I provided to his questions right here, and here are the questions that he answered for me.

Patriots activate wide receiver Julian Edelman, release running back Kenjon Barner - Pats Pulpit
The 28-year old originally joined the Patriots after week one to serve as a depth option at running back and punt returner. However, he was a healthy scratch for his first potential game and subsequently let go again. Barner rejoined the team last week and saw some playing time against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday but failed to establish himself as a fixture on the roster despite New England lacking depth at the running back position.

So, Uh, Why Does the NFL Have Cheerleaders Again? - The Ringer
Some more questions: What does any of this have to do with football? Why is it here at all? Why is it bras and not—just throwing it out there—maybe shirts? (It is sometimes shirts, but generally only in conjunction with still less coverage below.) Why does every team with a cheerleading squad—and that is 26 of the 32 teams in the league—insist on some version of the same thing: young women, little clothing, tanner and blowouts and false lashes and Hollywood tape until things are just so, which is to say together and up high? Where does this leave female fans, or people who did not, maybe, want to look at breasts at this particular moment?

The NFL’s roughing the passer rule is bulls***. Just ask a retired defensive end - SB Nation
Imagine being penalized, hurting your team, and maybe even getting fined all for just doing your damn job. Welcome to the world of today’s NFL pass rushers, where having textbook tackling technique on a quarterback is grounds for a flag. Or worse. If you have been paying attention, you have probably noticed that the controversy over the new rule change on roughing the passer this season is following what has become a pretty predictable pattern for the NFL. First, the league unilaterally decides to change a rule under the guise of “improving player safety.” Then, when it blows up in their face, they scramble to “fix” something that didn’t need fixing in the first place.

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