Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Under-the-radar NFL free agents in line for a healthy payday - NFL.com
The safety market is absolutely loaded, with big deals expected for Thomas, Collins and Tyrann Mathieu, and Eric Weddle now available after his surprise release from the Ravens, too. But the cornerback group is lean. That should benefit Ronald Darby (Eagles), who may get close to top-10 money -- perhaps $12 million a year -- even as he rehabs from a torn ACL. Darby just turned 25. Justin Coleman (Seahawks) is a slot guy to watch. He could end up at $7 million to $8 million. Pierre Desir (Colts) should do well, too.
The Under-the-Radar Free Agents Who Are About to Cash In Big - MMQB
Eagles CB Ronald Darby: He tore his ACL in November, which isn’t ideal. But Darby’s high-end ability flashed in both Buffalo and Philly over the last four years, and he may well be in position to take advantage of a weak crop at his position. He’d be an interesting dice roll for a team with a need, like Houston, and it wouldn’t be stunning to see him land in the $12 million per neighborhood.
Pro Football Focus says the Eagles must sign Ryan Fitzpatrick - BGN
Fitzmagic seems like a realistic signing based on last week’s report that the Eagles are targeting a veteran quarterback in free agency to replace Nick Foles as Carson Wentz’s backup. Fitzpatrick also fits the Foles mold of being a high-variance player. That’s ideally what you want in a backup as opposed to someone who’s consistently mediocre. The Eagles recently saw first-hand how Fitzpatrick is still capable of playing at a high level. Fitzpatrick was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for completing 81.8% of his attempts for 402 yards (12.2 yards per atttempt), four touchdowns, one interception, and a 144.4 passer rating in Week 2 last season.
The QB Scho Show #16: Percentage of a Meteorologist - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Mark Schofield get into the Nick Foles to the Jacksonville Jaguars reports, the Josh Rosen situation, and Kyler Murray’s agent strikes back against Charley Casserley in glorious fashion! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.
Thought of the Day - Iggles Blitz
One concern with Jordan Howard would be his ability as a receiver. The Eagles prefer complete RBs. Howard has never caught more than 29 passes in a season. To put that in perspective, Wendell Smallwood caught 28 passes last year. I would have interest in Howard, but only at the right price. The Eagles could use a big, physical runner, but you can’t overpay for him due to his contract situation. You’re only guaranteed to have Howard for one more season. There is also the question of use. The Eagles like to use a group of RBs. Howard averages 16.6 carries per game for his career. It doesn’t seem likely that he would get nearly that much work with the Eagles. That has to be factored in when thinking about his value.
What will the Eagles do with Nelson Agholor? - The Athletic
Those are not a particularly impressive collection of numbers. What is, perhaps, most telling is the very low target percentage. Across two seasons, with two different quarterbacks, Agholor was not used as anything resembling a focal point of the offense. In 2017, when Torrey Smith was largely ineffective on the outside opposite Alshon Jeffery, Agholor was still playing a relatively bit role. In 2018, when the offense was desperate for any semblance of dynamism, Agholor ranked 70th of 84 qualifying receivers in target share. The Eagles also surrendered a third-round pick in order to acquire Golden Tate, a player who would theoretically displace Agholor from his slot position. If we watch how head coach Doug Pederson and the offensive staff have deployed Agholor, he does not necessarily seem worthy of a contract that could make him one of the 20 highest-paid receivers in the league.
Lawlor: Interesting themes with pre-free agency contract extensions - PE.com
Brandon Graham doesn’t post gaudy sack numbers, but he has become one of the best pass rushers in the league. He generates consistent pressure and is one of the most disruptive defensive ends in the game. Graham is also an outstanding run defender. He can set the edge if you try to run at him and chase plays down when you run away from him.
5 offensive combine winners Eagles should keep an eye on - NBCSP
Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State (5-11, 211): After sitting behind Saquon Barkley, Sanders broke out during the 2018 season and then broke out again at the combine. He had a great formal meeting with the Eagles and they should be interested. He probably worked his way into the second- to third-round range. Just a really solid performance from Sanders.
Redskins swap 2020 picks with the Broncos for QB Case Keenum - Hogs Haven
The Redskins have been linked to multiple QBs this offseason, Nd now they have reportedly found their guy for this season. Washington will reportedly send a 6th round pick in 2020 to the Denver Broncos for QB Case Keenum and a 2020 7th round pick. Keenum’s contract will get reworked with the Redskins only owing him $3.5 million for this year.
Panthers exercise option on wide receiver Torrey Smith, per report - Cat Scratch Reader
While Smith is widely considered an all-around good dude and is still a serviceable wide receiver at 30 years old, this is a questionable decision by the Panthers. They have emphasized getting younger during this offseason and have made moves that support that direction, such as the release of veterans Mike Adams and Captain Munnerlyn. The Panthers also have plenty of younger, cheaper options at wide receiver on the roster, making Smith’s services less of a need than the $5 million in cap space that could be created—and used to fill other holes on the roster—by releasing him.
Raiders make smart moves on three tenders for key restricted free agents - Silver And Black Pride
They locked up starting cornerback Daryl Worley as well as running back Jalen Richard, both 2nd round tenders. This means if anyone is interested in signing either player, they will have to give up a 2nd round pick to do so.
Miami Dolphins release defensive end Andre Branch and center/guard Ted Larsen - The Phinsider
Long story short, the Dolphins save $9,125,000 as a result. Branch signed with the Dolphins in 2016, amassing 11.5 sacks in his three years (44 games played). Branch’s production stymied, having only 1.5 sacks in 2018. [BLG Note: Could be worth noting that Eagles defensive special assistant Matt Burke overlapped with Branch in Miami over the past three years.]
Washington Redskins 7-Round Mock Draft - The Draft Network
Pick 15: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. Lock is my pick here, as he’s the most likely QB to fall out of the Top-10 among the consensus top guys (Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins). I wouldn’t like spending a Round 1 pick on him -- I don’t even know if I want to spend a Round 2 pick on him -- but when you need a quarterback, you have to go a-reachin’. Lock’s strength are his ball velocity, ability to throw from various arm angles, and deep ball. His short accuracy needs work to survive in a West Coast style offense like he’ll run in Washington, but he has developed over his time at Missouri, and can win outside of structure, which will help him survive in Year 1 as he becomes acclimated to the NFL game.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie wants to play again - PFT
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Rodgers-Cromartie has been reinstated from the retirement list and wants to resume his career in 2019.
Steak, booze and a sense of dull dread: Here’s what really happens at the NFL combine - ESPN
An NFL general manager stands in his suite at Lucas Oil Stadium watching the combine workouts. I’m not using his name; even though he’s merely admitting what everyone privately acknowledges, he worries about saying it aloud because the combine is such a growth industry for the NFL. After years of coming to Indianapolis, he now understands that his presence here -- everyone’s presence -- is simply to play a small part in a televised show, even if real futures are at stake. The players are running on the field down below, and they are running on the screens playing all around him, broadcast by the NFL Network. From his suite, this GM can barely read the names and numbers on their jerseys, so he watches on TV. Like most guys, he has an iPad where the stats and scores and results automatically update in his draft software. Except the results are always posted faster on the live television broadcast than in his own system. That’s what cues his sense of dull dread: If I can just watch this on television, and if I don’t even really care about the results anyway, then why exactly am I here?
Futures: Devin Bush - Football Outsiders
The NFL is no longer moving toward an era of smaller, faster linebackers -- that era is here in full swing, and will remain as long as offenses continue to force defenders to play in space. Linebackers such as Deion Jones, Lavonte David, Telvin Smith, etc., are the new normal. Michigan’s Devin Bush is next in line to continue the reign of the NFL’s electric breed of linebacker. A two-year starter under defensive coordinator Don Brown’s tutelage, Bush asserted himself as a leader on the field. Bush posted 19.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and 11 passes defended in his two seasons as a starter while carrying the burden of being the defense’s “quarterback” and shot-caller. Bush put on many hats in a complex, aggressive Brown defense.
Will trading for Case Keenum help or hurt Washington more in the long run? - SB Nation
For Washington, the move insulates a team without a starting quarterback. Alex Smith’s severely broken leg means he’s unlikely to play in 2019 and may never take the field again. Adding Keenum gives the club an extra quarterback option and a stopgap solution should Dan Snyder’s team fail to add its franchise passer in this year’s draft. But it comes at a price — one Washington might not have needed to pay.
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