Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
With Carson Wentz benched, do Eagles hit reset button entirely? Execs weigh in - The Athletic
The Eagles were facing a roster reckoning even if Wentz and the offense had functioned at a high level this season, and even if the salary cap were expected to expand instead of contract. A cap manager from another team struggled to find enough players to release for Philly to comply with the projected $175 million cap for next season. “Holy shit,” the cap manager said at one point. “They are screwed in general,” he said a few moments later. Finally: “This is a bear.” “I would advocate tearing it all down and starting over,” a top exec from another team said. “Do you do that with Carson? Do you trade Carson and play Hurts for a year and see where it goes because he can be a run-around guy? It all depends who you hire as head coach.”
State of the Eagles: Doug vs. Howie Cage Match Special - BGN
But that was then. This is now. Howie’s shining moment has faded faster than a shooting star - a streak in the night not forgotten, but long since past. And what we’re left with is a general manager that doesn’t appear to be doing anything well. We already knew he wasn’t great at drafting - but when is the last time he really hit big on a free agent signing? When was the last time the Eagles “won” a trade? Where are these market inefficiencies he is supposed to be seizing? And don’t even look at the salary cap - now impossibly bloated in a desperate attempt to recapture lightning in a bottle, using tactics most infamously employed by Jerry Jones, which at one time earned him our unending ridicule.
From the Bleachers #44: The Fans Deserve Hurts - BGN Radio
Shamus Clancy details all the reasons he’s excited for an Eagles offensive reboot with Jalen Hurts under center!
Malcolm Jenkins on his return with the Saints: Eagles (read: Howie Roseman) didn’t value me - Inquirer
There have been many reasons for the Eagles’ descent. And most of their issues have been on offense. But there have also been defensive struggles, particularly early in the season, and seemingly accountability problems that Jenkins could have alleviated. “He was just that player that always did the right thing,” Schwartz said Tuesday. “He was really good at weathering any storm. Always remained calm. He knew when to turn it up and when to give his fellow teammates confidence. I’ve thought about a lot over the years of all the great players I’ve coached, and Malcolm goes right up there. He’s probably the smartest player I ever coached, and leadership-wise you take all those players, if he was on that he would probably be elected team captain.” Schwartz gave a 500-word testimonial on Jenkins and their their four seasons together. It was hard to listen to his praise and wonder why the Eagles ever let Jenkins get away. Schwartz has had a lot of personnel sway, but this was obviously one player he couldn’t protect.
NFC Hierarchy/Obituary, Week 14 - PhillyVoice
Looking forward, the Cowboys will perhaps appreciate what they have in Prescott a little more than they did previously, but the ship has sailed on any sort of team-friendly deal. Prescott seems destined for a second franchise tag this offseason worth approximately $37.7 million, which will make it difficult to navigate an already cramped salary cap. The Cowboys are loaded with receiving talent, but the offensive line is aging, Ezekiel Elliott is on his way to being washed (we’ll say he’s in the pre-soak cycle?), and the broken defense needs help at all three levels. The return of Prescott, however, will bring renewed hype and delusional hope in 2021, as is always the case in Dallas. I look forward to hearing why they’re Super Bowl contenders for the eleventy billionth straight year in a few months.
Howie On The Hot Seat - Iggles Nest
Considering these issues, could Howie attract a top head coach if he’s still the GM? He was put onto Doug Pederson by Andy Reid. Before that, Howie Roseman aggressively pursued Gus Bradley, Chip Kelly, Adam Gase, Ben McAdoo, and Tom Coughlin (yiiikes). Actually, lets ask a different question: is Howie even able to identify a quality head coaching candidate let alone hire one? It’s widely assumed that Jeff Lurie trusts Howie Roseman but at this point, I’m not sure why.
Mailbag: Will Jim Harbaugh Be Coaching Trevor Lawrence Next Season? - MMQB
GM Howie Roseman gets blame for a roster that aged because the team has had to hang on to older vets, without young guys they could count on coming up behind them. I’m not sure where it is in all this that you’d blame owner Jeffrey Lurie, but I can say confidently that Lurie’s not pleased with the state of affairs and, because all of the above, I think the entire group, from Roseman to Pederson to Wentz to all the assistant coaches, will be under evaluation over the next month. I wouldn’t rule any result out. And let’s wrap up with this: Wentz’s contract puts the Eagles in a tough spot, but the deal’s not untradeable, if Philly had an inclination to start over in 2021 with whoever’s in charge at that point.
NFL coach firings, hirings and openings 2020: Latest rumors and what we’re hearing on the Eagles, Bears, Chargers, Jets jobs - ESPN+
Several people around the league legitimately can’t believe that Pederson would be on the hot seat after a Super Bowl win and three straight playoff appearances. His pedigree should buy him one bad season, they say. One source believed that the relationship can still be salvaged and that Pederson and Roseman could coexist with perhaps more tweaks to the coaching staff to balance things out. But somebody probably has to take the fall for the regression of the franchise quarterback, and signs, at least for now, say that Pederson could end up being that guy. [...] Roseman has been with the team a lot longer and has survived previous tricky situations involving team struggles and GM-coach power dynamics. Team owner Jeffrey Lurie has a lot of history with Roseman, and there’s thought that if only one of them makes it out of this, Roseman is the more likely survivor. [BLG Note: Boooooooooooo!!]
Jalen Hurts Can’t Fix the Eagles—but He Can Give Them a Spark - The Ringer
With Hurts behind center, the Eagles pulled within seven points of the Packers. He often took what Green Bay’s defense gave him, was aggressive in spots, and showed willingness to target receivers at every level of the field. When his wideouts were covered, he looked comfortable maneuvering the pocket without appearing frenetic—Hurts took three sacks, but on each, his targets were blanketed and he was taken down near the line of scrimmage for an average of 1.7 yards lost. Wentz took four sacks Sunday for a loss of 22 yards (5.5 yards loss per sack); this season, he’s been sacked a league-high 50 times for 326 yards lost, an average of 6.5 yards lost per sack. Hurts’s elite athleticism for his position and excellent pocket presence allow him to escape disastrous positions, which is notable considering the Eagles’ offensive line has been significantly hampered by injuries. A date with the Saints’ pass rush—which boasts Cameron Jordan (6.5 sacks), Trey Hendrickson (10.5 sacks), and David Onyemata (six sacks)—is not an ideal situation to make a first career start, but Hurts’s athleticism could serve him well in managing congestion within the backfield. According to Pro Football Reference, New Orleans’s 25.4 percent pressure rate ranked fifth among teams as of Tuesday.
Jason Kelce’s perspective: ‘We’re here to help each other’ - PE.com
Jason Kelce is on his third Eagles head coach. He has enjoyed winning seasons and long playoff runs. He became the King of all Speeches after his Parade of Champions delivery following the Eagles’ Super Bowl win in February 2018. Too, there have been playoff droughts and difficult seasons. This one, 2020, is one in the latter category. The Eagles are 3-8-1. They’ve just made a quarterback switch from Carson Wentz to Jalen Hurts. The sting in Kelce’s voice was palpable as he spoke to the media on Wednesday prior to practice at the NovaCare Complex. “It’s kind of hard to believe that we’re at this point now, to be honest with you,” Kelce said. “This season has not gone the way any of us, obviously, anticipated or would like it to have gone. Sitting here 3-8-1, you’ve got to do something. You’ve got to try and make a change or whatever. Obviously, the offense has been absolutely terrible the last four weeks, in particular. I have no doubt that this is not the final chapter to the Carson Wentz story or saga. I will always have confidence in him as a person and in him as a player. I’m just going to go out there this week and play some ball.”
Carson Wentz addresses benching in typical classy fashion - NBCSP
Doug Pederson didn’t want to get into the specifics of his conversations with Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts after making the decision to start Hurts this week. But he did inform both quarterbacks on Monday night. On Wednesday, Wentz made his first public comments since the news broke and he’s handling the benching in a typically classy fashion.
2020 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running backs for Week 14 - Fake Teams
RB28 — Tough match-up and it’s unclear what Jalen Hurts’ installation will do for Sanders. Sanders is now losing snaps to both Boston Scott and Jordan Howard.
How Carson Wentz went from Eagles savior to benched QB - SB Nation
Obviously this is untenable. If Hurts proves he can carry the load then Wentz’s deal essentially eats up any, and all possible cap room to get the team some much-needed weapons. If Philadelphia were to cut Wentz outright he would cost $77M against the salary cap next season in dead cap space. With a projected NFL cap of $176M it’s not clear if Philadelphia could even field a team for that cost. Meaning, they’re not going to cut him. Sure, the Eagles could live cheap and keep Wentz on the roster — but this would be a death knell to their chances for 2021 and beyond. This means that the most likely scenario would be trading Wentz, losing a few players in the process as cap casualties, but at least getting something back in return and fixing the team’s finances. The issue is that every team in the NFL knows the Eagles need to move Wentz. That isn’t a scenario conducive to getting a good return. It also means we could see Wentz traded for as little as a third, or even fourth round pick — which could potentially be a steal for a quarterback-needy team.
Saints QB Drew Brees eligible to come off IR, to remain limited in practice - Canal Street Chronicles
The New Orleans Saints offense is far from pretty without Drew Brees. As the season winds down and the Saints try to hang onto the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Packers are still hot on their tails. With that in mind, although the Saints are 3-0 with Taysom Hill at the helm, fans are itching to get Brees back under center. Brees is now eligible to come off of the injured reserve after cracking 11 ribs and puncturing a lung, which is good news for New Orleans. However, with a game upcoming against the Philadelphia Eagles before a Week 15 showdown with the seemingly unstoppable Kansas City Chiefs, they’re taking their time.
Saints remove Terron Armstead, Derrick Kelly from COVID-19 list - PFT
The Saints activated left tackle Terron Armstead and offensive guard Derrick Kelly from the COVID-19 reserve list Wednesday. Armstead tested positive for COVID-19 and went on the reserve list Nov. 28.
Poll: Does Carson Wentz’s demise in Philadelphia make you feel better about paying Dak Prescott? - Blogging The Boys
This isn’t to say that all of this was some grand plan for the Cowboys that worked out the way that they wanted it to. They should have paid Dak Prescott long ago and things are going to be a bit more complicated in a world with a lower cap. However, the silver lining of waiting is the benefit of hindsight and all Dak has done since negotiations started is prove that he is the heart and soul of this team. The team has proven that in his absence so far this season. It is extremely unfortunate that Dak Prescott does not have a long-term deal with the Cowboys yet, but we are all hopeful that one will come in the offseason. Dallas will be getting one of the more promising quarterbacks in the game when they ultimately agree, and they won’t have to doubt themselves the way that the Eagles did.
Is Giants’ QB Daniel Jones playing Sunday? Giants don’t tip their hand - Big Blue VIew
The New York Giants played it coy on Wednesday as to whether or not they expected Daniel Jones to be back in the starting lineup this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Jones, of course, missed last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks with a hamstring injury. Jones said “I always want to play,” but was also vague about his healthy, saying “luckily t’s Wednesday” and that he is “feeling better” and “working every day” to get back on the field. “It’s tough not playing. It’s tough missing time,” Jones said. The Giants held a walk-thru practice on Wednesday and listed Jones as “limited” in a participation estimate. The team also had both Jones and Colt McCoy speak with the media via videoconference.
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