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Eagles News: “Smart people I talk to around the league think the Eagles apply the tag” to Nick Foles

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/19/19.

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

2019 NFL Free Agency: Ranking the likelihood that Le’Veon Bell, Demarcus Lawrence and others will be tagged - CBS Sports
The Eagles are weighing playing a very dangerous game with their back-up QB. IF they tag Foles he will sign it ASAP and lock in his $25M. Ultimately, besides Jacksonville I don’t know who else trades anything of value for him, and it’s not like Foles is the only QB out there (Teddy Bridgewater, anyone?). How much more than the fourth-round pick Baltimore got for Joe Flacco can the Eagles hope for? And does it make more sense to just take the comp pick return in 2020 rather than risk it in 2019? Smart people I talk to around the league think the Eagles apply the tag in the end. Personally, I would not.

ESPN has a 5 step plan for the Eagles’ 2019 offseason - BGN
I really don’t love the idea of moving on from Jason Peters. It’s tempting to want to save $10.5 million by not bringing him back in 2019 ... but who’s starting at left tackle if he isn’t back? Halapoulivaati Vaitai and/or a rookie protecting Carson Wentz’s blindside for 16 games is not a comforting prospect. I think the Eagles should bring back JP for one more year. They should also draft a rookie who can potentially take over in 2020. Jordan Mailata also might be ready to make a meaningful impact by next year.

The Kist & Solak Show #79: Overrated & Underrated Draft Prospects - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak discuss what they think the Eagles’ philosophy will be in the free agency period before hitting up their picks for overrated and underrated prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Clearing up Eagles DE Chris Long’s contract status - PhillyVoice
I’ve gotten to the bottom of it, and it’s not that complicated. Long signed a two-year deal in 2017, but then signed a new deal in 2018 that added an extra year in 2019. He is under contract through the 2019 season.

Answers From Within - Iggles Blitz
I wrote about that for PE.com. The Eagles must get improved play from players already on the roster if the team is going to be a Super Bowl contender. There are going to be salary cap issues in 2019 so the team can’t just hunt for help. They need cheap answers…young players already in place. Mack Hollins could be a key player. The Eagles could have really used his ability as a deep threat last year. WRs normally struggle as rookies and take a big step forward in their second or third year. It would help tremendously if Hollins could do that in 2019. Hollins is a big guy, but was an exceptional deep threat in college. He averaged 21 yards per reception for his career.

2019 NFL franchise tag primer and candidates: Everything you need to know - ESPN
Can a tagged player be traded? Yes. In fact, there have been reports that the Philadelphia Eagles could do just that with quarterback Nick Foles. In this scenario, the compensation is agreed to by both teams and does not necessarily have to be two first-round picks. The new team can accept the terms of the tag or renegotiate into a multiyear deal.

How to navigate all of the swirling NFL offseason rumors - The Athletic
Foles holds most of all the cards. As long as he remains unsigned, he can’t be traded, as no player under a tender is tradable. Foles can’t sign a deal until he picks his new team and that team agrees on compensation with the Eagles. The Eagles might be offered a two from a non-divisional opponent, but let’s pretend Foles wants to go to the Giants and play in the division. He won’t sign the deal, and the Eagles will remain restricted from improving their team until Foles’ cap number comes off the cap. This game of chicken has the potential to backfire on the Eagles and unless they can make a quick deal with a team Foles approves of, then the longer this goes on, the less attractive the pick becomes for the Birds. Expect Foles and the Eagles to get something done at the Combine.

Le’Veon Bell—Yes, Le’Veon Bell—and the Other Players Who Could Be Hit With the Franchise Tag Starting Tuesday - The Ringer
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles: Foles’s situation is unlike the rest. If the Eagles place the franchise tag on Foles, they almost certainly would not be doing so to keep him: They would tag him intending to trade him. If they don’t sense a big enough trade market for Foles, they may choose to let him leave as a free agent, which would likely give them a compensatory pick in 2020. If the Eagles do use the tag, however, they could send him to a team—Jacksonville?—that would sacrifice a draft pick to avoid bidding against another team on the open market

Four Downs: NFC East - Football Outsiders
The Eagles have the second-worst cap situation in the league, per Spotrac; they’re $1.7 million over the cap already. As such, their free-agency period is going to be one of triage, figuring out where they can save some cash and which contributors they’re going to have to let walk. Graham and Hicks are probably the highest-priority names here; the Eagles are going to have to wait out the initial free-agency splurge and hope that Graham and Hicks will return on team-friendly deals. They’ll need a starting running back, too, but they’ll likely have to find someone cheaper than Ajayi or Sproles to go alongside Wendell Smallwood. The biggest name is Foles, who is going to start for someone in 2019. There’s been talk of franchising him in order to trade him, but that would require freeing up gobs of cap space by cutting names like Jason Peters or Nelson Agholor. Better to let him walk and take the third-round compensatory pick in 2020.

2019 Free Agency Profile: Jay Ajayi - PFF
Question marks surrounding Ajayi’s health should keep his asking price lower than other veteran backs on the market. Expect him to take on a lead role for an NFL team willing to take a low-cost bet on his health in hopes of getting the playmaking ability his displayed with the Miami Dolphins in 2016. Ajayi earned a career-high 77.3 overall grade and forced 62 missed tackles that season.

Top pending free agents from NFC East - NBCSP
4. Brandon Graham, DE, Eagles. BG is 30 now and is coming off a season where he had just four sacks, but he’ll still be a highly sought-after free agent. The former first-round pick has played all nine of his NFL seasons in Philly, but will likely get to test the free agent waters. Graham isn’t the top DE in this free agent market, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get a big deal.

Fran Duffy’s Combine Preview: Edge Rusher - PE.com
Jachai Polite, Florida: Polite is a freakish athlete, and he should perform extremely well in Indianapolis in all of the athletic tests. He has an explosive first step to pair with great flexibility turning the corner, and that’s how he wins as a pass rusher more often than not. That athleticism will transfer to the bag drills, but let’s not look over one other part of his skill set. While he’s more of a “high-side” rusher, relying on speed to win upfield, I thought Polite had pretty violent hands when attacking blockers. I think that will show up in those drills as well.

3 Running Backs With Most To Prove At Combine - The Draft Network
Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic: Singletary is an absolute joy to watch on film. The cuts he executes often don’t make sense and lead to some of the most creative tracks I’ve ever seen a running back take. His elusive ability is rare and tacklers just look silly trying to square him up in space. The strange thing about how Singletary wins and how he profiles to the next level is that he doesn’t have the burst or long speed expected for his skill set. While he makes insanely dynamic cuts, his acceleration and home run speed disappoint. Is he faster than I am giving credit for? We’ll find out in Indy. I’d also expect a back with his creativity and ability to create in space to be featured more as a receiver in college. He only caught six passes in 2018, with his receiving output declining every season of his career at FAU. Why wasn’t catching the football a bigger part of his collegiate role? We’ll get a deep look at his ability to run routes and catch the football at the Combine. Looking natural doing so will boost his stock.

NFL Franchise Tag Thoughts, Sean McVay’s Coaching Staff, More NFL News and Updates - MMQB
I’d be surprised if the Cowboys paid top dollar for Earl Thomas, who’s played footsy with Dallas for some time. Xavier Woods, at a cost of $685,000, showed promise last year; he’s not Thomas, but he’s a lot less expensive for a team that has Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and Byron Jones to take care over the next year or so. Maybe Thomas takes a discount to come home. If not, I don’t get the sense the brass is going to bend over backwards to make it happen.

Patriots’ interest in OBJ made Giants think twice about trading him - PFT
The Giants came close to trading receiver Odell Beckham Jr. last year. And then they didn’t trade him. So what happened? As Chris Simms explained on Monday’s PFT Live, New England’s interest in Beckham ultimately caused the Giants to think twice. Basically, if the Patriots saw something in Beckham that would have caused them to give up significant trade compensation and to cough up a significant second contract even though he’d never previously played for the Patriots, the Giants should be more inclined to keep him around.

PFT: A ‘sense persists’ the 49ers will pursue Odell Beckham Jr. - Niners Nation
Pro Football Talk is offering the latest speculation about OBJ. At the turn of the new year, they reported there was buzz the San Francisco 49ers would be interested if the Giants made him available. Things quieted down amidst all the Brown hubbub, and then last week, NFL reporter Jay Glazer predicted OBJ was going to be traded this offseason. He did not say to whom and he simply predicted rather than reported, but it got tongues wagging. This evening, PFT reported that a “sense persists” the 49ers will try and make a run at OBJ. They say the No. 2 overall pick for OBJ might be too high, but maybe they would send it if the Giants sent back a third or fourth round pick. It is worth noting PFT also suggests the Rams might decide another big splash is needed, but does not offer up any sort of persisting sense.

2 maps that might help you decide which AAF team to cheer for - SB Nation
The AAF’s Eastern Conference has teams in Atlanta, Memphis, Birmingham, and Orlando. The Western Conference has teams in Phoenix, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, and San Diego. But if you don’t happen to live in one of those eight cities, you might be wandering who you should cheer for. Everyone knows geography is one of the best ways to pick a team, and that is where the map below comes into play.

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