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Eagles locker room clean-out day: Updates on Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Brandon Brooks, and more

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News and notes.

With the Philadelphia Eagles being eliminated from the 2019 NFL playoffs on Sunday evening, today was locker room clean-out day at the NovaCare Complex. It was a somber day as some players leave the Eagles’ locker room for the last time. There were a number of newsworthy tidbits from a number of players speaking on Monday, so here’s a roundup.

CARSON WENTZ

No. 11 spoke for the first time since news of his back fracture injury emerged after the Eagles’ Week 14 game.

It was encouraging to hear that the injury isn’t expected to be a long-term issue.

Former NFL team doctor David Chao weighed in on this:

Getting Wentz healthy (and keeping him that way) is obviously critical to the future of this team’s success. It sounds like he knows he has some doubters to prove wrong.

Q: With the level of success that Nick had, does it put more pressure on you?

WENTZ: It could, without a doubt. You look at that and you say it could put more pressure. You could say coming into the season there was more pressure. But I do everything I can to block that stuff out. I think right now, going forward, my focus is on getting my body right and to play this game freely the way I did back last year before the injury. Cut it loose and get rid of all that pressure and anxiety, and whatever it may be. Just play the game freely and that’s where I’m going to get to.

The feeling here is that some have gotten way too down on Wentz. I think people easily forget just how good he was in 2017. Let’s see Wentz have a full offseason to get healthy and work on his game. There’s reason for optimism when it comes to his 2019 outlook.

Nick Foles got better over time. Why can’t Carson?

Speaking of the Super Bowl MVP ...

NICK FOLES

Based on everything he’s said following the Eagles’ loss, it sure doesn’t sound like Foles will be back in Philly next season.

Nick Foles said he’ll always love Philly. Well, Nick, Philly will always love you, too.

BRANDON BROOKS

It really sucks that Brooks suffered an injury so late in the 2018 season that it could impact his 2019 outlook. Hopefully Brooks’ recovery timeline will allow him to be ready for the start of next season. The Eagles need their Pro Bowl right guard in the lineup.

BRANDON GRAHAM

I’m going to be so sad if the Eagles don’t find a way to keep my fellow BLG. He’s always such a happy guy who brings so much fun and positivity to the locker room. Not to mention he’s hell of a player who made the biggest play in Eagles history by strip-sacking Tom Brady in last year’s Super Bowl.

The good news is that it sounds like Graham, who is going to be a free agent, has a lot of interest in coming back to Philly. We’ll see if the feeling is mutual.

JASON KELCE

Over the weekend, conflicting reports emerged regarding Kelce potentially retiring before the 2019 season. Speaking after Sunday’s game, Kelce said he hasn’t made a decision quite yet. He sure didn’t slam the door shut on the possibility of calling it a career.

For the Eagles’ sake, hopefully Kelce isn’t leaving the game.

FLETCHER COX

Cox got banged up in the Eagles’ loss but he gutted it out as best as he could.

CHRIS LONG

Long, who turns 34 years old in March, is still under contract for the 2019 season. The veteran pass rusher gave some weight to retiring last year, however, so it possible he calls it a career. If that’s the case, the Eagles would save $5.3 million in cap space with only $300,000 in dead money. For what it’s worth, Long seems undecided about his future.

DARREN SPROLES

Earlier this month, ESPN reported Sproles told the Eagles he wants to play another season. Sproles turns 36 in June but he showed he still has some gas left in the tank. Sproles is set to be a free agent so the Eagles will have to sign him to a new contract. I’d guess we’ll see him back.

ZACH ERTZ

Ertz, Brooks, and Cox are the Eagles’ three 2019 Pro Bowl selections. Brooks definitely isn’t playing in the game and I’m guessing Cox isn’t either given that he’s in a walking boot right now. Ertz is the only player who might play.

MALCOLM JENKINS

As previously noted, made it through the entire regular season and playoffs without missing a single defensive snap. He also played 157 special teams snaps. Warrior.

NIGEL BRADHAM

Add Bradham to the long list of players who got hurt in New Orleans.

SIDNEY JONES

The 2019 offseason is a big one for Jones. After only playing in 10 out of 37 possible games over two years, he needs to prove he can get healthy. Jones is only 22 years old so it’s way too early to give upon him. But it’s time for him to step up.

It’ll be interesting to see how Jones fits into next year’s secondary with Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox, and Cre’Von LeBlanc all playing well down the stretch. Jim Schwartz favorite Jalen Mills will still be around and it’s not impossible free agent Ronald Darby could be retained.

GOLDEN TATE

I don’t think we’ll be seeing Tate return to the Eagles in 2019. It feels like he’ll get more money on the market than what the Eagles will offer.

DOUG PEDERSON

One of my favorite takeaways from Monday’s media session:

The Eagles don’t have the cap space to be super active in free agency but the allure of Pederson could potentially give the Eagles an edge when it comes to shopping for bargain bin guys.

Emotional intelligence!

THANKING THE FANS

The Eagles put out this video of players sending a message to the fans.