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Eagles News: “Don’t be shocked if the Eagles take a running back in the first round. They really like Josh Jacobs.”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/20/19.

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College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

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

Report: Eagles ‘really like’ Alabama RB Josh Jacobs - CBS Sports
Geoff Mosher: “I’ve been hearing that...don’t be shocked if the Eagles take a running back in the first round. They really like Josh Jacobs.” Adam Caplan: “I talked to Greg Cosell from NFL Films. He likes (Jacobs) a lot. An offensive coordinator who I ran into at the combine said Jacobs is his top graded back in the draft. He’s a three-down back.” Geoff Mosher: “I think we need to adjust our philosophy. The people that said Howie Roseman would never take a running back in the first round. Do remember, two years ago...if Christian McCaffery was there at No. 14, he would have been an Eagle.”

Why The Eagles Brought Ronald Darby Back - BGN
All things considered, Darby’s transitional quickness gives him route-mirroring ability that is starting-caliber in the NFL; his click-and-close explosiveness and catch-point skills are in the upper echelon of NFL starters altogether. Darby hasn’t finished a season since 2016, but he has Pro Bowl ability on the field, and if he can stay healthy (and return to health without losing his athletic ability), Eagles fans should be excited about his starting role in 2019.

NFC East free agency grades: Dallas Cowboys edition - PhillyVoice
Without knowing exactly what Lawrence is looking for, contract-wise, the clock is ticking on a resolution there. The Cowboys can ill-afford to mess up that situation, because their defense is in deep trouble without him. Otherwise, predictably, the Cowboys were not players in the first wave of free agency. They’ll hunt bargains the rest of the way. Their grade is probably better saved until we see what these contract extensions for their current players look like, but they might not happen until much later this offseason. For now, we’ll give them an arbitrary C+.

Lawlor: Players show they want to come to Philly -
I think you have to give Howie Roseman a lot of credit for adding an impact player to the offense and defense. Too often people think of teams that make the most moves as being those who win in the offseason. That’s wrong. You want to make smart, selective moves. The Eagles have done just that. One thing that really stood out to me is that players wanted to be here. Graham didn’t even talk to other teams. He wanted to stay with the Eagles. Malik Jackson wants to play in an attacking scheme and for a winning team. DeSean Jackson has talked a lot over the years about wanting a chance to return to Philly.

2019 NFL Free Agency winners and losers: PFF WAR - PFF
While getting back a first- and a third-round pick for Odell Beckham Jr. may seem like a strong return, the truth of the matter is this: OBJ was one of the most valuable non-quarterbacks in recent memory and his nearly two full wins above replacement are going to be hard to come by. Combine that with their loss of Landon Collins, who was worth three-quarters of a win, on the defensive side of the ball, and the Giants have done more harm than good to a roster depleted of playmakers outside of Saquon Barkley.

A Giant Mess - Rotoworld
There’s no denying Barkley’s remarkable skill set, but when a foundation piece at the most important position is staring you square in the face, you don’t dare look that gift horse in the mouth. To say Barkley had a superior rookie year to Darnold is both a statement of fact and a short-sighted, ludicrously flawed rationale for Gettleman’s poor use of draft capital. Even if Barkley continues on this path and becomes the next LaDainian Tomlinson—a distinct possibility after leading the league in yards from scrimmage last year—the Giants still got it wrong from a team-building philosophy. It’s not just that running backs have a significantly shorter shelf life than QBs (the continued dominance of Drew Brees and Tom Brady would point to that fact). It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Compared to elite quarterbacks, star running backs practically grow on trees. Chris Carson was four picks away from being Mr. Irrelevant two years ago. Phillip “who lives at home” Lindsay wasn’t even drafted last year. Both rushed for over 1,000 yards last season.

Eagles’ offseason is going much better than rest of NFC East - NBCSP
Collins got a mega-deal, the kind the Giants were never going to pay him. The ‘Skins got a great player, but they clearly had to overpay to do it. He’s getting $14M a year. The Keenum deal isn’t awful given their circumstances, but Keenum vs. Colt McCoy in training camp kind of tells you about the ceiling the Redskins have in 2019. They actually signed Flowers, the failed Giants draft pick, and plan to play him at guard. The Eagles have to be thrilled about that decision. The worst part of the ‘Skins’ offseason is that we’re apparently finding out about all these moves at the same time as head coach Jay Gruden. According to a report from 106.7, Gruden learned about the Collins signing only when a media member texted him. That’s not great.

Passing-game role makes Ezekiel Elliott even more valuable - PFT
Also, there are two contracts that control the relationship: The contract between the player and the team, and the contract between the union and the league. Elliott has rights under the broader contract that are independent of his individual contract, and that allow him to technically violate the terms of his own deal. By taking advantage of those rights, he can try to leverage the Cowboys into doing the right thing, before he ends up being the next guy who finally makes it to free agency with bald tires and far less money in the bank than he deserves.

Teams Readying for Rosen, Peppers’s Fit for the Giants, Adrian Peterson’s Other Suitors - MMQB
It’s hard to find a better way to announce a retirement than what Haloti Ngata pulled off on Monday morning: posting a picture of himself holding a flag atop Mount Kilimanjaro. I’m not a Hall of Fame voter, and I try to be sparing with calling guys future Hall of Famers, but Ngata should be a serious consideration in five years. Really, he helped anchor a generation of great defenses in Baltimore, along with Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, 2019 inductee Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs, another potential HOFer. If all four get in, by the way, that would be more than the ’86 Bears defense had inducted (Dan Hampton, Richard Dent and Mike Singeltary are the three from that group), which says a lot about the job Ozzie Newsome did building those teams.

Redskins Sign Offensive Lineman Ereck Flowers to a One-Year Deal - Hogs Haven
The Redskins just received some help on the offensive line, and it comes in the form of a 6’6” 335 pound 24 year old player. Former Giants first round pick Ereck Flowers has signed a one-year, $4 million dollar contract to join the Washington Redskins.

Jets re-sign Eric Tomlinson and Brent Qvale - Gang Green Nation
[BLG Note: The Eagles originally signed Tomlinson as an undrafted free agent back in 2015 and he’s still hanging on in the league.]

Slot size matters - Niners Nation
You just need to scheme for it, and add downfield blocking to your mix. This is what Chip Kelly did at Oregon, but was never quite able to achieve in the NFL. And he picked Jordan Matthews in the second round of his second draft as part of his attempt to make it happen. Kelly’s Philly teams had great WR blocking, once DeSean Jackson was gone, and one of the best blocking receivers was a veteran named Miles Austin, now an offensive quality control coach for the Niners. He mentored Matthews in Philly and recruited him to the team this offseason, Matthews told team reporter Keiana Martin.

The completely risk free nature of Mychal Kendricks’ contract with the Seahawks - Field Gulls
It has been less than a week since the Seattle Seahawks inked Mychal Kendricks to a one year contract, and that has led many observers to believe that it was an extremely good sign for his prospects for freedom. Terms of the contract have now been released, and it shows that the signing carries effectively no financial risk for the Hawks, as there is no guaranteed money.

If the Giants pass on Haskins the Jaguars’ decision may not be easy - Big Cat Country
The question the Jaguars need to answer is how close they think this team is to competing without upgrading the offensive line or receiving corps with their present draft slot. As Oehser further noted, if the Jaguars believe Foles is the answer then they should not expect to be sitting high in in the first round for a few years to come. Your opportunity to grab a premier quarterback may be a present truth. Oehser makes a compelling point, one that mirrors what the Green Bay Packers did years ago when you still had Brett Favre on the roster but Aaron Rodgers fell to them. If you believe Haskins has the head for the NFL, but needs some bench time to transition considering his limited playing time at Ohio State, sitting behind Foles seems like an optimal scenario for the Jaguars.

How the NFL can save the onside kick - ESPN
The NFL’s onside kick might be responsible for more drama than any other single strategy in football. The mere possibility that a team can steal an extra possession has preserved hope and extended the attention of fans for generations. So it’s no wonder that the competition committee and coaches around the league are scouring for ways to restore the onside kick this offseason after it faded as a viable option in 2018. Restricted by rule changes designed to make the kickoff safer, teams recovered only four of 52 attempts last season for a 7.7 conversion rate -- a sharp drop from 2017 (21.1) and well below the long-term average between 2001 and 2017 (19.7 percent).

What Does All That Cap Space Really Mean for NFL Teams, and How Should They Use It? - The Ringer
The Colts came into free agency with over $100 million in room and big expectations. But as they’ve played things conservatively, Indy has illustrated the value in using that financial flexibility with patience and creativity.

Ledyard: 2019 NFL Draft Edge Defender Rankings - The Draft Network
Nick Bosa or Josh Allen? Montez Sweat or Brian Burns? Rashan Gary or Chase Winovich? These are the questions that will invade our pre-draft conversations from now until April 25th. While the draft world likely remains unsettled on anything close to a strong consensus on the 2019 edge defender class, my grade on the position group have been finalized. I went trait-by-trait to break down how each of my top nine prospects grade out.

Is DeSean Jackson actually a good fit for the Eagles? - SB Nation
The Eagles brought back a fan favorite in DeSean Jackson, but is he right player to help Philadelphia’s offense take off? [BLG Note: Yes, he is.]


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