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Eagles News: Philadelphia owns two of the NFL’s worst contracts

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/8/20.

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Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

The Worst Contracts in the NFL - Over The Cap
1. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles. If anyone wants to point to the contract that really started to change the dynamics for the 2nd tier receivers I think it was this contract. While you can give the Eagles some credit for getting ahead of the curve I am sure they expected more from this one. Jeffery signed this contract toward the end of the 2017 season and since then has produced, 843 yards, 490 yards, and 15 yards. Jeffery has missed 17 games in the last three seasons and just been a paperweight for the last two years. This contract would have wound up bad but ended up even worse because of a cap relief restructure in 2019 that saw the Eagles convert $10.82M of salary to a bonus. During this restructure they wound up agreeing to guarantee his 2020 salary. It was an epic failure leaving Philly with a cap charge of $15.4m this year and absolutely no production. Even next year when they walk away from him he will leave them with a $10.5M parting gift. 9. Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles I can’t explain the complete implosion of Wentz this year. He went from being a reasonable NFL starter to one of the bottom five in the NFL in the span of a few months. Our valuation metric puts Wentz at $23 million which for a healthy NFL QB is about as low as it gets. Wentz is one of those players where the contract was fine in relation to the market but now just looks like a catastrophe, similar to a situation that unfolded years ago with Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans. Wentz technically is only at the end of his rookie contract which ran through 2020 and there is no way to cut Wentz in 2021 without cutting him a massive check and carrying huge sums of dead money on the salary cap. If the team fails to cut Wentz this offseason then he will also have his 2022 salary guaranteed. Wentz’ cap hitis the 5th largest in the NFL next year to boot. Basically this is the Todd Gurley contract on steroids. The only hope for the Eagles is to either trade Wentz (“only” a $33.8M charge on the cap) or to hope he magically remembers how to play QB in the last five weeks of the season.

Eagles vs. Packers: 5 winners, 10 losers, and 2 I don’t knows - BGN
The rookie quarterback gave the Eagles a spark in his first extended NFL action. Was he perfect? No, far from it. Jalen Hurts finished the game with a 41.7% completion rate and a 67.7 passer rating. But I think he played a little better than his traditional stats suggest. On that note, Pro Football Focus graded him as their eighth best quarterback from Week 13 and the Eagles’ second best offensive player. Carson Wentz ranked 23rd out of 25 and 14th out of 19, respectively. The offense was moving the ball more effectively with Hurts at the helm. The Eagles ran 24 plays when Hurts was in the game for 131 yards (5.5 average) and six points (missed PAT kick). The Eagles ran 36 plays when Wentz was in for 127 yards (3.5 average) and three points.

FROM THE SB NATION NFL SHOW: MFM discusses the Wentz benching - BGN Radio
The SB Nation NFL Show brings together the greatest fan-alysts from across SB Nation’s NFL team communities in one place for the first time ever. Expect deep analysis, irreverent jokes, and plenty of bickering between rivals. It’s a show for NFL fans, by NFL fans.

5 winners and 2 losers from Week 13 in the NFL - SB Nation
Loser: Carson Wentz. Sunday felt like the finale of the complete collapse that’s been Wentz’s 2020 season. It’s been one of the strangest twists of the season. There’s no discernible reason why Wentz should have forgotten how to play football, but he’s been a complete mess. On Sunday he went 6/15 for 79 yards before he was pulled for Jalen Hurts. It’s not that Hurts was monumentally better, but he was closer than any second round rookie should be to a Pro Bowl quarterback who led his team to a Super Bowl berth recently. Philadelphia aren’t committing to a starter for now, and that’s normally not a great sign for an incumbent QB.

Video of Eagles QB Jalen Hurts’ runs and throws vs. the Packers - PhillyVoice
Hurts ran a lot. In fact, he ran on 5 of his first 6 dropbacks (one of which counted as a sack). Hurts has that in his arsenal, and it’s not uncommon for a young, mobile quarterback to tuck and run if the first read or two isn’t there. There’s no All-22 yet, so it’s hard to know what Hurts saw (or did not see) when he took off running, or when he took sacks.

Trevor Lawrence Watch Takes Over Week 13; Colt McCoy Steps In; Patriots Roll - MMQB
The Eagles have painted themselves into a corner at quarterback. Doug Pederson finally did what a lot of people have called for, benching Carson Wentz in Green Bay amid another trainwreck performance. The fifth-year quarterback was 5-of-12 for 38 yards in the first half, went 1-for-3 for 41 yards on the first series of the second half (and the 41-yard completion was late and short to a wide-open Dallas Goedert on a coverage bust), then got yanked for Jalen Hurts. Pederson said after the game that he just thought his team needed a spark. Hurts gave them that, and made the Packers sweat a little late. But really, this isn’t about Hurts. Not when the Eagles traded a treasure chest of draft capital to get Wentz five years ago, and not when they doubled down on the investment, at $34 million per year, two offseasons ago. And you can excuse things away to injuries on the offensive line and swings and misses at receiver if you want. The bottom line is that when you pay a quarterback at that rate, you’re going to need him to be good enough to make up for the salary cap real estate he’s gobbling up, and Wentz hasn’t even been good enough to hold onto his job. So yeah, the Eagles got their spark, and Hurts got his reps, but the bigger question is where this leaves the team and its franchise quarterback going forward. Realistically, the Eagles are contractually married to Wentz for at least another year, and to a lesser degree through 2022. There are four games left this year, and I’m not sure exactly how you go about reestablishing him as your starter (if you even want to) after the way he’s played, and where it landed him Sunday. Do I think Pederson did what he had to do Sunday? Absolutely. Do I think it ends there? It really can’t. Now that this particular can of worms has been opened, it’ll follow Wentz every snap he plays, or doesn’t play, the rest of the year. And where the team is with its quarterback becomes the story of the offeseason in Philly. It really is amazing that we’re here. But Wentz consistently has looked unsure of himself, to the point where opposing defensive coaches are preying on that lack of confidence, and uneasy about everything around him for a long while now. He looks, for lack of a better word to describe it, broken. We’ll see how the Eagles go about putting him back together. If quarterbacking history is a guide, it won’t be easy.

Philadelphia Eagles need to start Jalen Hurts against the Saints in Week 14 - ESPN
Maybe a breather on the bench will do that. But what if Hurts succeeds in his stead? Then we’re talking split allegiances in the locker room at best — something Wentz clearly does not need after finally getting out of Nick Foles’ shadow. So, then Hurts failing is the best-case outcome? The dangers of drafting Hurts No. 53 with a franchise QB already in place are playing out in front of us. When positive play from your second-round pick can be a net negative, you have put your team in quite the bind.

Jalen Hurts’ brief appearance suggests he should start at quarterback for the Eagles - Inquirer
It was a small sample. Pederson can’t base his decision on those snaps alone. He’s married to Wentz in a sense — as he repeated again — and owes it to the fifth-year quarterback to help him out of his season-long slump. But he also owes it to the other players to give them their best chance at winning, and few would argue that Hurts doesn’t provide that. He could still compete for whatever fleeting chance the Eagles have of claiming the NFC East crown, while also giving the franchise an extended glimpse at their second-round rookie.

Playing Jalen Hurts over Carson Wentz must inform Eagles’ 2021 QB plan - The Athletic
At 3-8-1, the Eagles hold the No. 6 slot in the 2021 draft. If they are back to square one in the search for an answer at quarterback, it would be negligent not to seriously consider drafting a quarterback with such a high pick in a draft said to be top-heavy at the position. That consideration will also be influenced by what they see from Hurts down the stretch, although they now run the risk of overvaluing a four-game stretch to close the season, just as they did last offseason. More reason why it would have been better to play Hurts sooner. There are three outcomes, then, entering next season. One is for Wentz and Hurts to return embroiled in an offseason competition for the starting job. At this point, there would be no credible justification for the Eagles handing Wentz the position without a fight. Two is for Wentz to be deported and Hurts given the keys. Three is for a first-round pick to be anointed the new franchise savior. As the saying goes, if you have two quarterbacks, you have none.

Daniel Jeremiah thinks Eagles’ QB decision should be easy - NBCSP
“Guys, we’ve been talking about Carson Wentz and this thing all year long,” Jeremiah said. “I feel like we can argue and debate about the past and what he’s accomplished. I tend to believe that he did a lot more than just 2017. I think he did some good things in 2018 and 19. We can argue about that. We can argue about the future and who should be the quarterback going forward, whether it’s Carson, whether it’s Hurts, whether it’s someone who’s not even on their roster. What we can’t argue about is the present. This is not working. It is time to let Jalen Hurts just see what he can do. There’s no harm, no foul with Carson Wentz because what are you gonna do? It’s not like he has any confidence right now anyway. So get a chance to see Jalen Hurts, evaluate him for the remainder of the season. I think that’s the only decision there is to make at this point in time.” [BLG Note: As an aside, the Eagles should hire Daniel Jeremiah to be their next general manager.]

The Winners and Losers of NFL Week 13 - The Ringer
I hate to get technical here with football terminology, but I’ve noticed something this year: While Jalen Hurts is “good” at playing quarterback, Carson Wentz is “bad.” (Sometimes you’ll hear analysts say that Wentz “sucks ass” or “is trash”—these are also advanced football terms.) Hurts had 104 net yards on 15 dropbacks; Wentz had 57 net yards on 19 dropbacks. Hurts also ran for 29 yards, nearly making him Philly’s leading rusher on the day. The Eagles’ offensive line is disastrous—they’ve had a lot of injuries, leading to rugby convert Jordan Mailata playing left tackle and Jason Peters playing with a broken toe (poorly). So of course Hurts—who ran for more yards in his senior season at Oklahoma (1,298) than Wentz did in his entire college career at NDSU (1,028 yards)—is better suited to play when there are rushers in the backfield on every play. He can actually avoid getting tackled, while Wentz is historically good at getting sacked and fumbling.

Duffy: Here’s what I learned from the All-22 | Packers edition - PE.com
Like Wentz, Hurts has the ability to create and make plays with his legs. Hurts’ legs are a bit younger and fresher, so his ability to escape was maybe a bit more apparent in this game. He took off for multiple first downs in the second half, sometimes eschewing a throw that was open in favor of taking off, but that’s to be expected with young quarterbacks seeing their first playing time. Hurts finished just 5-for-12 on the afternoon with a couple of sacks, a pick, and a touchdown. This wasn’t a performance that blew anyone away looking at box score, but as we saw some bad, we also saw some good as well. Two throws, in particular, were notable by the young quarterback.

Washington stuns the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, wins 23-17 - Hogs Haven
Wow!

The debate is finally over: Carson Wentz is not as good as Dak Prescott - Blogging The Boys
It’s clear that Prescott has been the better performer to this point in their careers, and to make things even murkier for the Eagles quarterback, he just got benched in favor of second-round pick Jalen Hurts. Wentz may not catch Dak in career starts this season, and our ol’ pals over at Bleeding Green Nation are ready to throw dirt on the idea of the Eagles playing Wentz ever again.

Giants 17, Seahawks 12: 5 plays that led to a stunning upset - Big Blue View
New York took the Joe Judge mentality to the Pacific Northwest, controlled the line of scrimmage on offense and defense, limited mistakes, and made Wilson uncomfortable the entire game to earn a 17-12 victory. The Giants rushed the ball 31 times for 190 yards and a touchdown, while holding Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde to 15 carries for 66 yards and zero touchdowns. Star wide receiver DK Metcalf, who just went 8 catches for 158 on 11 targets against the Eagles’ Darius Slay, went 5 for 80 against the Giants on 8 targets. Wilson was sacked 5 times, and Seattle couldn’t do much offensively. As for the Giants offense, Colt McCoy threw for just 105 yards, only turned the ball over once, and did just enough to win this football game. Let’s look at 5 plays that led to this improbable Giants victory.

Saints defensive line rotation continues to wreak havoc - Canal Street Chronicles
On Sunday’s 21-16 win against the Atlanta Falcons, the New Orleans Saints found themselves short-handed along the defensive line. Even though Sheldon Rankins was making his return, the team had lost Marcus Davenport to a delayed concussion symptoms during the practice week and soon lost defensive tackle Malcom Brown during Sunday’s game. Despite being down two key players, the Saints defensive line continued to rotate and shift, making it hard for offensive lines to keep up and perform. While the offensive linemen are playing every snap, the Saints continue to sub in and out fresh legs. With Rankins back, a larger focus on twists and stunts were present as well.

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