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Eagles Mailbag: Nelson Agholor’s future, Zach Ertz trade question, Mike Scott comparison, and much more

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Answering your Eagles questions.

Wild Card Round - Philadelphia Eagles v Chicago Bears Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Welcome to the latest edition of the Bleeding Green Nation mailbag! I’m sorry that it’s been way too long since I’ve done one of these. Let’s get to your Philadelphia Eagles questions (and non-Eagles questions) that you sent me on Twitter. Shameless plug: follow me at @BrandonGowton so you can see future prompts for BGN mailbag questions.

@_ClassicJeff asks: What happens to Nelson Agholor at the end of this season?

Well, I’ll start by saying there’s a non-zero chance he’s not even on the roster by the end of the season. Agholor getting traded isn’t a likely outcome but there’s a non-zero chance. The Eagles are paying $9.4 million to a slot receiver in the final year of his deal ... at a time when they might be cutting back on their 11 personnel to play with more two tight end sets. Does it really seem impossible that they’d move him?

But let’s assume Agholor sticks around past the NFL trade deadline. When March 2020 rolls around, he’s going to be an unrestricted free agent. Or not, if the Eagles give him an extension.

So, will the Eagles re-sign Nelly? I don’t think so. I think the two sides would’ve already worked out a long-term deal by now. The feeling here is that there’s a disconnect about Agholor’s value. Agholor’s camp will argue he deserves to be paid like the player who has shown up the past two seasons. The Eagles will point to Agholor’s massive struggles in his first two seasons in an attempt to pay less.

I believe the Eagles will let Agholor walk in the hopes of potentially receiving a 2021 compensatory pick for him signing elsewhere.

@blowcheeks asks: Will the Eagles trade Zach Ertz before his contract is up?

With a 24-year-old stud named Dallas Goedert on the team, it’s fair to wonder about Ertz’s long-term outlook.

Ertz, who turns 29 in November, is currently under contract through 2021 (note that 2022 and 2023 are fake years designed to spread out his bonus).

We know he’s not getting traded this year. If you move Ertz and Goedert gets hurt ... then you’re down to Richard Rodgers as your starting tight end. It’d be a very unnecessary risk for a team with serious Super Bowl aspirations in 2019.

Ertz should be safe for the 2020 season as well. Trading him would actually cause the Eagles to lose $1.4 million in cap space and take on $13.6 million in dead money.

The 2021 season is the year to watch. At that point, Ertz can be traded to save $4.7 million with $7.8 million in dead money. 2021 will also be the last year of Goedert’s rookie deal, assuming he hasn’t already signed an extension before then.

Trading Ertz wouldn’t be an easy move for the Eagles when it comes to sentimental value. He’s the guy who caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl victory. He’s well on pace to surpass Harold Carmichael as the franchise’s all-time receptions leader.

But the Eagles will have to manage the Ertz-Goedert dynamic in the future. For now, it’s simple: Ertz is the main guy and Goedert is an ascending talent who deserves a bigger role. Eventually, Goedert will likely want to be the guy. And Ertz’s age will eventually have him poised for a decreased role.

It’s a “problem” the Eagles have a lot of time to figure out. And it’s hardly a bad one to have.

@Stephen_Lee20 asks: Over/under: Nelson Agholor - 5.5 TDs … Carson Wentz - 11 INTs … Avonte Maddox - 2.5 INTs.

Always good to hear from BGN’s top over/under correspondent, the great Stephen Lee.

Agholor’s touchdown totals by season: one, two, eight, and four. That’s an average of 3.5 per year. The under seems like a safe bet here considering Agholor could see a decreased role in the offense. The likes of Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside should be getting the most red zone targets. I’ll say Agholor ends up with exactly four touchdowns this year.

Wentz’s interception totals by season: 14, seven, and seven. That’s an average of 9.3 per year. I’ll take the under on this one as well, though just barely. I’ll say Wentz throws 10 picks. I’m bullish on him having a really big year so I can’t take the over.

Maddox had two interceptions as a rookie. I’ll take him to hit over 2.5 in 2019. As I’ve written before, Maddox is simply a playmaker. He’s always around the ball. The Eagles are unsettled at corner but I think he’s too good to not to be on the field. I think Maddox can get at least three interceptions.

@NotLonis asks: Who is the Mike Scott of the Eagles?

For those who don’t follow the Sixers, Mike Scott is essentially a cult hero who gained a lot of popularity last season for his “IDGAF” attitude. The easy comparison here is Cre’Von LeBlanc. Like Scott, the Eagles picked up LeBlanc in the middle of the season. Like Scott, LeBlanc exceeded expectations.

Speaking of Cre’Von, earlier this offseason I asked him if he’s shooting for Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. His response:

Lock it in.

@BurchfieldTyler asks: Who scores the first touchdown of the season and how?

SPOILER ALERT — First play of Eagles versus Washington in Week 1: Carson Wentz chucks it deep to a sprinting DeSean Jackson for a 75-yard touchdown.

Can you really envision it going any other way?

@RoniRivera34 asks: Will the season ever get here?

Yes.

@WillyKurtz asks: What was your original way of consuming your Eagles news when you first became Eagles fans? Mine was the OG Eagles Digest paper that came in the mail ... God I am old.

The PhiladelphiaEagles.com mothership used to be my exclusive Eagles news source growing up. There used to be a section on the site called ... Blog Roll ... or something like that? I’m so mad I can’t remember the exact name. Anyway, I used to non-stop refresh that page on my desktop computer and my iPod Touch (!). I was addicted to finding out the latest Eagles news, no matter how small the update might be.

Now I’m the one blogging about Eagles updates for BGN. Never thought I’d be making a career out of my teenage obsession.

@gambitross asks: What’s your early board look like for the Bo Wulf and Sheil Kapadia cereal draft [on Birds With Friends]? This draft comes with such a high degree of potential controversy.

1 - Reese’s Puffs
2 - Raisin Bran
3 - Frosted Flakes
4 - Oreo O’s
5 - Cocoa Puffs
6 - Honey Bunches of Oats

Kind of indifferent after that. Can’t wait to be flamed in the comments.

@JerkStoreJeff asks: Favorite Circa Survive record? I first listened to Juturna nonstop when my band toured in college (along with TREOS’ Between the Heart and the Synapse) but I think Blue Sky Noise is tops on my list now.

Wow, love the TREOS reference. I miss that band.

Tough to pick a favorite Circa record. Juturna feels like the chalk pick, too easy. Their newer stuff is still very good but how can I take it over the classics? I’ve never been able to get into Violent Waves so it’s not that. I guess it’s between Juturna and On Letting Go for me. And yet, Get Out and Child Of The Desert are two of my favorite Circa songs and they’re not on those records.

(For those who somehow aren’t aware, Circa Survive is from Doylestown, PA and they’re Eagles fans. Their guitarist Brendan Ekstrom once wrote an article for BGN. You can go annoy him on Twitter: @brendanekstrom. The band is touring right now if you want to go see them live, which you should.)

@Da_CTrain asks: I still want to hear the whole story behind the death and rebirth of the BGN podcast, but I’m sure there’s a contract signed somewhere preventing that ...

It’s a long story. Probably too long to answer in this mailbag post. The simple version is that Vox wanted to officially put BGN Radio on their new podcast network last summer (2018). This would mean Vox paying us instead of us having to sell sponsors on our own. John Barchard ultimately didn’t like the terms of Vox’s offer so he went to WIP to see if they’d make an offer. WIP made an offer that John liked despite the fact taking it wouldn’t allow me to continue to be part of the podcast feed I co-created (that is, unless I left BGN entirely to take a WIP job offering significantly less money among other deterrents). Despite a longstanding agreed upon policy that two out of three votes (from me, John, and James Seltzer) were needed to approve any big podcast decisions, John said he didn’t care what James and I thought and accepted WIP’s offer. So, John took a podcast feed that I had worked very hard to build and was never even close to being properly compensated for (and still haven’t been while others who were never even part of BGN Radio are now making money off my efforts). With that old feed taken away, BGN Radio was forced to relaunch from scratch. Michael Kist, Benjamin Solak, John Stolnis, and I have since worked very hard to build the feed to where it is today as Vox’s No. 1 team focused podcast.