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Eagles News: Brandon Graham says “I love Philly but I owe it to myself and my family to explore free agency”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/16/19.

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NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Brandon Graham makes it clear that he plans to test free agency - PFT
On Monday, Eagles defensive end Brandom Graham created the impression that he possibly would be willing to give his current team a hometown discount. On Tuesday, Graham made it clear that’s not the case. “I love Philly but I owe it to myself and my family to explore free agency,” Graham told PFT by phone on Tuesday morning. “I’m in the business of doing what’s best for my family. I need to explore the market.” Fueling Graham’s intent to make it to the market is the reality that the Eagles had been trying to get Graham signed to a new deal for a while, but that the offers hadn’t been deemed to be good enough by Graham. Now that he has completed his contract and carries no further injury risk, Graham can shop himself to the highest bidder.

Complete list of 2019 Eagles free agents - BGN
Nick Foles said it well following the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints: the toughest part about the season being over is knowing it’ll be the last time that exact team will be together. Philadelphia’s front office has a lot of critical roster decisions to make this offseason, especially when it comes to free agency. The team is currently projected to be $12.1 million OVER the cap so they’ll have to be wise about how they spend their money. Here’s a complete list of Eagles players that are set to be free agents when the new league begins at 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, March 13.

At the Podium: 2018 Year-End Special - BGN Radio
Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson field questions on a variety of topics that look back through the 2018 NFL Season and forward to the decisions that need to be made in the off-season. They also chime in on who the QB will be moving forward without mincing words. Tons of content in this special year-end press conference! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Agent’s Take: Making sense of Nick Foles’ contract with Eagles and what happens next - CBS Sports
Prediction: The Eagles pick up Foles’ option years. Foles pays the $2 million to get his freedom. The Eagles let Foles hit the open market because of the potential pitfalls of a franchise tag. Foles finds a team willing to pay him at least in the Case Keenum neighborhood. His former Rams teammate signed a two-year, $36 million contract with the Broncos last March in free agency. The deal is worth up to $40 million through incentives and had $25 million fully guaranteed at signing. An Alex Smith type deal is conceivable with enough interest assuming Foles is a free agent. Smith signed a four-year contract extension averaging $23.5 million per year with the Redskins in connection with his trade early last offseason from the Chiefs. The maximum value is $106.5 million because of $12.5 million in incentives based on Smith’s playtime and Washington’s playoff success. The extension has $71 million of guarantees, of which $55 million was fully guaranteed at signing.

Q&A with Joe Banner: Trade him? Decline the option? 8 scenarios for Nick Foles’ future - The Athletic
Scenario 2: Eagles pick up Foles’ option for 2019, but Foles pays back the $2M and becomes a free agent If the Eagles pick up Foles’ option, Foles then has until 25 days before the league year begins to void it. (That’d be Feb. 16.) He can do so by paying the team $2 million. That would then make him a free agent. Banner: So this, to me, is the most likely scenario. It gives the Eagles a chance to feel out the market if there’s a significant trade. It’s likely to me that Foles would want to control his own life and choices, which he can do by paying back the $2 million, in which case they still have the opportunity to get a comp pick and he can choose whatever team it is that he wants to go to under whatever terms he wants — completely free to do so.

Howie and Doug Speak on ’18 and ’19 - Iggles Blitz
The O-line came up as a topic. Obviously neither man was going to make any commitments in terms of who would be coming and going. Doug talked about Big V as a candidate for next year. Matt Pryor and Jordan Mailata also got mentioned. Jeff Stoutland is high on both players. The question is whether the Eagles are willing to count on either of them as starters next season. Doug said all three of his coordinators would return. There was fan and media criticism of Jim Schwartz and Mike Groh, but both men will be returning. Honestly, that’s the smart move. Schwartz remains one of the top DCs in the league. The Eagles banged up defense gave up 35 points in two postseason games. Dallas, with a healthy and high-ranked defense, gave up 52 points. Groh is a more complicated subject, but at the end of the day, I think there is value in staff continuity when dealing with a young QB like Carson Wentz. If you want to add someone to the staff, fine. But getting rid of Groh doesn’t seem like the right move.

Offseason needs for all 32 NFL Teams - PFF
Left Tackle: Cornerback is also circled in red sharpie for Philly, but they at least have some young options there. At 37 years of age, Jason Peters can’t be counted on to start 16 games even if he doesn’t retire. His backup, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, earned a 48.8 overall grade on 334 snaps this past season.

9 positives from an Eagles season that came up short - NBCSP
The Eagles had the depth to overcome a zillion injuries because the job Howie Roseman and the front office did. They had the ability to climb out of a 4-6 hole because Doug Pederson and the coaching staff held the locker room together and adjusted their schemes. Despite everything that went wrong, this wound up being one of the top eight teams in the NFL in 2018. No matter where the roster goes from here, the leadership is in place to replenish the talent pool, then guide the Eagles back to the Super Bowl. I have zero doubt they will be back on the big stage soon.

Setting The Goal For 2019: Gain A Top Seed In Playoffs -
The numbers are overwhelming. At least one team every year that has participated in the Super Bowl since the format expanded to four rounds in 1979 has had a first-round playoff bye. Since 1990, teams with a first-round bye have accounted for 44 of 56 Super Bowl spots, a percentage of 78.5. Of the 56 conference championship games played in the current format, 54 of them have been hosted by teams that had a first-round bye that year. In the 2017 season, the Eagles learned firsthand how important securing the No. 1 seed was for their ultimate playoff success. They used the bye week between the end of the regular season and the playoffs to reconfigure the offensive approach, and we saw how it benefited quarterback Nick Foles as he led the Eagles to the win in Super Bowl LII.

Second grader writes heartwarming letter to Alshon Jeffery -
On homemade stationery with Eagles-green hearts, 8-year-old Abigail Johnson penned a message of encouragement following the postseason-ending slip-up.

Panthers owner acknowledges QB Cam Newton could sit out 2019 - ESPN
The Carolina Panthers are keeping all options open concerning the sore right shoulder of quarterback Cam Newton, including the possibility of not having the 2015 NFL MVP available for the 2019 season. Asked to compare Newton’s situation with that of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, owner David Tepper said Tuesday, “If you told me he took a year off and could recover and be fully recovered and everything else, and that’s what it took, an extra year, why wouldn’t you do [that]?’’ ”Now we would have to do other things, right? We’d have to go out and get another quarterback. If you could find me some more cap space I’d appreciate that.’’

Week 19 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
Here are the single-game DVOA ratings for the divisional round. Opponent adjustments make two of the games pretty close, but the Colts-Chiefs and Eagles-Saints games are a lot further apart without those opponent adjustments. One note here: the blocked punt in the Kansas City-Indianapolis game ends up as a negative for the Chiefs special teams but not as a positive for the Colts special teams; this is a quirk of the special teams system that needs to be ironed out next time I update the special teams formulas. Given that blocked punts aren’t really predictive for either side, they probably should be removed from DVOA entirely or used in a separate rating that measures value in-game but not predictive value for future performance. This is one of those changes I keep wanting to make but never seem to have time for. Kansas City’s special teams rating is also hurt by below-average value on the Dustin Colquitt’s other punts, and by Tyreek Hill’s fumble (recovered by the Chiefs) and a total of just six yards on five punt returns. The Colts’ special teams rating, of course, is hurt by a missed field goal and extra point from Adam Vinatieri, as well as poor kick returns, balanced out (somewhat) by the excellent punt coverage.

Bill Belichick Will Need a Master-Class Coaching Performance to Beat Patrick Mahomes II and Andy Reid - The Ringer
If you want to know which way the NFL is trending, pay attention to New England. The Patriots are the league’s smartest and most adaptable team, but the Kansas City Chiefs present the biggest challenge Belichick and Tom Brady have faced in years.

Early Lines Conference Champ - Rotoworld
When the Chiefs went to New England in Week 6, we had a classic shootout. Ultimately, the Patriots prevailed 43-40, smashing the over, but failing to cover the four-point spread. For the season, the Pats were 10-7 ATS, but just 6-11 on the over/under. The Chiefs were 10-6-1 ATS, hitting the over 10 times, under seven times. One other interesting tidbit of history between these teams comes by way of Twitter, and I’m unable to credit the proper source on it…but here goes. Of all the games Bill Belichick has coached for the Patriots – regular and post-season – they’ve allowed 40 points just seven times. Three of those seven have been to the Andy Reid-led Chiefs, including the game in Week 6 of 2018. Pretty amazing stat!

The reality of NFL practice squad players on the move - SB Nation
Moving at a moment’s notice. Finding temporary housing. Learning new playbooks. An NFL practice squad player leads a journeyman lifestyle — often without a paycheck that makes the path worthwhile.


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