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Eagles News: Six players make ESPN’s list of top 100 free agents

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/13/20.

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Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

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

Top 100 NFL free agents for 2020: Ranking best players on market - ESPN+
51. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT/G. Big V, as he is known in Philadelphia, has spent most of the past four seasons as a swing backup and spot starter. He can play both guard and tackle, and was good enough as a replacement left tackle in 2017 to help the Eagles win Super Bowl LII. A player of his size and relatively youthful age is sure to generate interest. [...] 58. Jason Peters, OT. At his age, Peters is a year-to-year proposition. But after he played in 29 of a possible 32 games over the past two seasons, there is a reason to think he could squeeze out at least one more quality season. Even if his best years are long behind him, starting left tackles of any quality generate intense interest. [...] 85. Nelson Agholor, WR. Agholor was part of a receiving corps that helped scuttle the Eagles’ offense in 2019. He had a 4.3% drop percentage, among the 40 worst rates in the NFL, and missed five games because of a knee injury. But if he is healthy, and perhaps in a new system, he can help a team’s depth. [...] 88. Rodney McLeod, S. Although few teams seek out 30-year-old free agents, McLeod can be the kind of calming veteran whose presence alone can settle a defense. [...] 97. Jordan Howard, RB. Howard’s career hasn’t followed the trajectory that suggests he is about to cash in on the open market, but he could be a value signing. [...] 100. Ronald Darby, CB. Darby once again had his season cut short by injury, this time because of a hip flexor. He has missed 23 of a possible 80 games in five seasons. But he is talented in coverage, still young and will merit some looks.

NFL Draft Rankings: Top 10 cornerbacks (with pro comparisons) - BGN
4. Kristian Fulton, LSU: Fulton is a high IQ player who makes up for lack of elite athletic ability with technique and physicality. Fulton might be a “lower ceiling” prospect, but he is a pro-ready player who could be a dependable defensive back from day one. Pro comparison: Kareem Jackson.

Ranking the Eagles’ top 10 free agent targets - PhillyVoice
3) WR Breshad Perriman (26). Has anyone noted that the Eagles need more speed at the wide receiver position? Well, at his pro day in 2015, Perriman ran a blistering 4.24. So that’s pretty fast, right? After a disappointing start to his career as a first-round pick of the Ravens in 2015, Perriman showed some life with the Browns in 2018, making 16 catches for 340 yards (21.3 YPC) and 2 TDs. Baby steps. In 2019, he improved on those numbers once again, when he caught 36 passes for 635 yards (17.9 YPC), and 6 TDs in 14 games.

Imagining the Eagles’ free agency big board - The Athletic
Cory Littleton does not fit the Eagles’ M.O. of siphoning resources from the linebacker position, but he offers something most linebackers don’t — reliable quality in coverage. And he’s 26. According to most reports, Byron Jones is the likeliest from this tier to end up with the Eagles. He checks almost all the boxes for a reasonable big-money free-agent investment. Durable? He’s played 79 of 80 possible games over his first five seasons. Versatile? He’s played deep safety, outside corner and nickel. Young? He turns 28 in September, which is probably young enough. And there’s a good answer for what is always the most important question in free agency: Why is his old team willing to let him go? In this case, it’s because of the Cowboys’ series of unforced errors that put them in a position in which paying Jones what he’s worth is untenable since Dak Prescott and Cooper are higher priorities.

Inside the Eagles’ response to the coronavirus -
For the coaches and players, the interruption in the offseason changes lives. The team’s offseason conditioning program isn’t scheduled to start until late April, so only a handful of players have been present at the NovaCare Complex throughout the offseason to date, either receiving treatment from the athletic training staff or conditioning in the strength and conditioning room. Those players will still have the opportunity to work with the trainers and get their workouts in. ”We want to keep this as safe an environment as possible, so the players who are rehabbing and working out are in an environment where they feel like they can come in here in a time of uncertainty,” Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman said. “It’s a ‘dead’ period in the NFL, so if players want to work out it’s on their own accord. This is a place they can come, they can work out, they can get their rehab in. We just want to make sure at this point in time that we’re limiting the exposure for the amount of people that we have in this organization.”

How coronavirus is affecting the NFL’s offseason schedule - SB Nation
How much it will directly affect the NFL’s offseason schedule remains to be seen. For now, most of the major events will go on as planned. The voting period on the new collective bargaining agreement is supposed to end March 14. The NFL’s free agency period will start on March 18 at 4 p.m. ET. The NFL Draft begins on April 23 from Las Vegas. However, the NFL’s annual meeting, which was scheduled for March 29-April 1 in Palm Beach, Florida, has been cancelled. Additionally there are some changes that have been made with most of them relating to the pre-draft process. The league has also encouraged team staff members to work from home until further notice.

Agent’s Take: Here are the contracts Jadeveon Clowney, Byron Jones and other top defenders should target - CBS Sports
The cornerback market is long overdue for a major reset in a similar manner as the inside linebacker market last year. Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard is currently the position’s highest paid player at $15.05 million per year. The top of the market has grown a little over 5 percent since Nnamdi Asomugha signed a two year deal with the Raiders in 2009 averaging $14.296 million per year, which was considered a market anomaly at the time. Byron Jones proved in 2019 that his 2018 breakout season in which he earned his first Pro Bowl berth wasn’t a fluke. Jones is excellent in coverage but doesn’t pick off many passes. His last interception came during the middle of the 2017 season. That’s partially because opposing quarterbacks don’t target Jones that often. According to Pro Football Focus, the opposition completed 30 of 53 passes (56.6 percent) when he was targeted. By contrast, 2019 first team All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White was targeted 84 times last season. 56 percent of the passes thrown at him were completed.

The Top 10 Non-QB Offensive Free Agents in the 2020 Class - The Ringer
The problem with Amari Cooper isn’t his ceiling—it’s his floor. He’s struggled with drops his entire career, and last season, he had a tendency to disappear for stretches. Cooper got worked by top corners like Darius Slay and Stephon Gilmore in their individual matchups, and he was a nonfactor in ugly losses to the Jets and Eagles. He’ll be only 26 at the start of next season and is arguably a top-10 receiver in the league, despite his inconsistencies. The guy is going to get paid, but Cooper’s ridiculous upside can make him a frustrating watch when he doesn’t get there. Why he’s a free agent: I touched on it above, but Cooper’s current status has everything to do with the knotty situation unfolding in Dallas. You don’t trade a first-round pick for a player just to watch him leave in free agency. Before the CBA talks ramped up, many expected that even if Dallas franchised Prescott, it would use the transition tag on Cooper and match any offer another team made in free agency. But if the new CBA is passed, teams will no longer be able to use both tags this spring, which would leave the Cowboys in a precarious position. My hunch is that Cooper will wind up back in Dallas, but that’s looking more uncertain by the day.

Bears sign Danny Trevathan to three-year extension - Windy City Gridiron
The debate between whether Chicago would re-sign Trevathan or Nick Kwiatkoski had been one of the bigger storylines heading into free agency, and it appears that the Bears have made up their mind. Kwiatkoski stepped in when Trevathan suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 10 and performed admirably, but that high level of play likely placed him out of the Bears’ price range. [BLG Note: Kwiatkoski could very well be on the Eagles’ radar in free agency.]

Jets release Blake Countess - Gang Green Nation
Countess was signed by the Jets in October. The Eagles had claimed him off waivers in May when Joe Douglas was still there. Philadelphia waived him in August, and he remained unsigned until the Jets picked him up. Countess did not appear on defense for the Jets, but he did play 52 special teams snaps over six games in 2019. There likely was a financial reason behind this move. [BLG Note: Wouldn’t hurt for the Eagles to bring him back on a minimum contract.]

Report: Titans releasing Dion Lewis - Music City Miracles
Lewis primary played on passing downs for the Titans, which is an area of weakness for Henry. Jon Robinson will now be tasked with adding depth at the position, along with finding someone that can handle passing game work. In 2019, Lewis accumulated just 209 yards on 54 carries — good for 3.9 yards per carry. He caught 25 passes for 164 yards, down from 400 yards in 2018. This was an obvious and inevitable for the Robinson to make.

XFL suspends season due to coronavirus concerns - DraftKings Nation
UPDATE: The XFL released a statement announcing the suspension of the season. The players will receive their full pay and benefits and XFL ticket holders will receive refunds or credit toward future games.


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