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Eagles News: Philadelphia named among “winners” of NFL free agency

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/15/19.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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

The early winners in free agency - PFF
GM Howie Roseman put on a masterclass in team building this past week. He dealt defensive lineman Michael Bennett for a fifth-round pick after he asked for a new contract, and he immediately filled his role with Malik Jackson. The former Jaguar is four years younger and had nearly an identical pass-rushing grade last season. Roseman then brought DeSean Jackson back to Philly for only a sixth-rounder, after the perennial deep threat voiced his unhappiness in Tampa Bay. With limited cap space, they were forced to let linebacker Jordan Hicks walk, but here’s the kicker: because Malik was cut and DeSean was acquired via trade, they’ll get back two compensatory picks in 2020 – likely a third- and a fourth-rounder.

Six things to know about new Eagles linebacker L.J. Fort - BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles addressed a need on Thursday morning by reportedly signing free agent linebacker L.J. Fort. But who the heck is L.J. Fort, exactly? In order to answer that question, I thought it’d benefit BGN readers to get a Pittsburgh Steelers perspective on him. In order to do that, I reached out to good friend Jeff Hartman (@BnGBlitz) of Behind The Steel Curtain. Here’s what he had to say.

The QB Scho Show #17: Napoleon, Ned Stark & Gettleman Walk Into a Bar - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Mark Schofield talk decision-making and Dave Gettleman, plus thoughts on the Eagles applying a second round tender on Nate Sudfeld and Pro Day reviews of Kyler Murray and Tyree Jackson! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

A list of available free agents who won’t count toward the compensatory pick formula - PhillyVoice
As such, perhaps it’s worthwhile to sort through the list of available free agents, and pick out the players who would not count toward the compensatory pick formula, because they were released (or other). Below is who I found. To note, we did not include players unlikely to receive contracts greater than the veteran minimum.

Another Interesting Day - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles have a bunch of 230-pound guys with some athletic ability who can run and play in space. What they don’t really have is a true MLB. They could add someone through free agency or the draft. It is possible they see Fort playing on the inside. I have my doubts about that. I just don’t know that he can shed blocks consistently and be a run-stuffer when needed. Gerry could play MLB. I listed him at SAM for now, but that’s more a guess than anything else. The Eagles aren’t done at LB. We’ll just have to wait and see what the next move is.

Eagle Eye: Howie Roseman delivers gifts for the New League Year - PE.com
Whether he’s attacking the leverage of the corner to get the defender’s hips turned down the field or just flying through a speed cut at top gear, Jackson has displayed an impressive ability to create his own separation through more than just his physical gifts. He’s become more of a technician as a route runner, a trait that will serve him well as he continues to progress in his career. With his speed still being a factor that corners must respect, Jackson consistently toys with defenders at the second and third level to create space to work in the passing game. This stood out to me while watching him before the Eagles faced the Bucs in Week 2, and it stood out to me while watching all of his targets from the 2018 season. Getting back to his speed though, this makes him a weapon with the ball in his hands, and that shows up on film.

Why DeSean Jackson is exactly what the Eagles need and five more big-picture thoughts - The Athletic
The thought process behind trading for DeSean Jackson is that there may be no better receiver at stretching the field, even at 32. In 2018, Jackson led the league with 18.9 yards per reception. According to SportRadar, he also led the NFL with 19.2 average air yards per target, a measure of how far down the field he was on every throw his way. He led the league in the same category in 2017. Alshon Jeffery led the Eagles with 11.1 average air yards per target in 2018, the 43rd-highest average among qualifying receivers.

Eagles sign L.J. Fort to compete at middle linebacker | 3 thoughts on the move - NJ.com
The middle linebacker competition could be eventful. Fort is expected to be the leader in the clubhouse at the moment, according to the league source. While he isn’t a sure thing, his competition will be former safety Nathan Gerry and Paul Worrilow, who is coming off a torn ACL. B.J. Bello could also get an opportunity. There’s still plenty of time to add to the competition.

5 takeaways from DeSean Jackson’s introductory press conference - NBCSP
DeSean was 27 his last season with the Eagles, and now he’s 32, and that’s a big difference. I had heard he had grown up a lot since leaving here and going to Washington after the 2013 season, and honestly, he came across much more mature and much more, I don’t know, grown-up than the DeSean we saw when he was an Eagle.

Tale of the Tape: Are the Jets or Giants More Embarrassing? - The Ringer
One last-place New York NFL team just traded away its best player. One last-place New York NFL team is the Jets. On the heels of a wild week, it’s time to ask the league’s most pressing question: Which of the two franchises will flop harder during the 2019 season?

Giants sign wide receiver Golden Tate to 4-year, $37.5 million deal - Big Blue View
While those numbers are OK, they represent a clear decline from his average of 93 receptions, 1,000 yards, and catching roughly 70 percent of passes over the previous four years. Football Outsiders named him the second-worst receiver of 2018, with a -134 DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement), and a DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) of -22.3 percent with the Lions and -36.9 percent with the Eagles.

Report: 49ers sign former Eagles WR Jordan Matthews - Niners Nation
Fun fact: Matthews has family ties to legendary 49ers WR Jerry Rice. According to previous interviews, Matthews said his mother is Rice’s first cousin.

Falcons sign running back, returner Kenjon Barner - The Falcoholic
The Atlanta Falcons just got a lot faster at running back and on special teams. The team has signed former Panthers and Eagles returner Kenjon Barner to a one-year deal, per the mothership.

Taking a look at some of the key parts of the Mychal Kendricks case - Field Gulls
It’s been more than six months since the Cleveland Browns released linebacker Mychal Kendricks at the end of training camp for his involvement in a conspiracy to commit insider trading, and his sentencing is currently scheduled for early April. In spite of that uncertainty, Wednesday the Seattle Seahawks signed Kendricks to a contract, and while his sentencing has been rescheduled multiple times already, and could obviously be rescheduled yet again, let’s take a look at some of the facts of the case.

Nick Foles cap hit just $12 million in 2019 - Big Cat Country
With the $25 million signing bonus, $6.25 million will be pro-rated through the four years of the contract, but that is about $30.75 million in cash fully paid out to Foles immediately, which is why it counts as “guaranteed” money paid out. The rest of the guaranteed money would likely be paid out in year two, meaning after the 2020 season the only dead money hits you’re taking is from the remaining $12.5 million in prorations from the signing bonus. More or less it’s a two-year deal that can bring cap savings in 2021 if it doesn’t work out.

Jets Release RB Isaiah Crowell - Gang Green Nation
The New York Jets have released running back Isaiah Crowell after one up and down season with the team. This move was widely expected after the Jets signed free agent running back Le’Veon Bell to a large deal yesterday.Isaiah Crowell ends his Jets career with 685 yards rushing on 143 carries for a 4.8 yards per carry average. More than 60% of those yards came in just three games, while in his other 10 outings Crowell failed to produce as many as 50 rushing yards in any one game.

NFL Free Agency: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix chooses Bears over Redskins, signs 1 year, $3.5million deal - Hogs Haven
The Redskins were interested in re-signing safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but he has signed a 1 year deal with the Chicago Bears instead. Doug Williams was aked about bringing him back at Landon Collins presser, and said “the door is cracked, there’s no lock on it” Collins also mentioned talking with Clinton-Dix, and playing on the same team with him again. Maybe next year! The Redskins traded a 4th round pick in this year’s draft to the Packers t add a starter at safety. He was thrown into the mix early, and started all 9 games for the Redskins. He had 66 tackles, 3 passes defended, and 1 forced fumble for Washington. He had 3 interceptions with the Packers earlier in the season, but none after the trade.

Play-Action Passing and Game Conditions - Football Outsiders
Notably, the five highest team-seasons in play-action rate by this definition all came in 2018: the Rams, Panthers, Chiefs, Eagles, and Falcons. In addition, 2018 was the highest average for the league at large by a fair amount. As teams rush less often and use play-action more often, the share of “shown handoffs” that are play-action has risen over time.

Ranking the 9 dumbest mistakes so far of 2019 NFL free agency - SB Nation
Nick Foles was significantly worse when he wasn’t wearing green and white, even for a pair of teams that offered him better protection in the pocket. But the Jaguars, suffering through the Stockholm Syndrome of five years propping up Blake Bortles at quarterback Weekend at Bernie’s style, took one look at those numbers and said “yes, please.” Jacksonville signed Foles to a four-year, $88 million deal Wednesday, giving him more than $50 million in guarantees in the process. So how does a non-Eagles Foles measure up to the since-released Bortles?

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