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Eagles News: Javon Hargrave acquisition dubbed as “one of the best signings of the 2020 free agency period”

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/17/20.

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

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

2020 NFL Free Agent Tracker - Establish The Run
Javon Hargrave (27) — Signed 3-year, $39 million deal with PHI. He got $26 million guaranteed. Hargrave teams with Fletcher Cox to form a nasty defensive interior and will be unleashed in DC Jim Schwartz‘s up-field penetrating scheme. Hargrave played more of a gap-clogging role as the Steelers’ nose tackle. Considering money, age, and fit, this looks like one of the best signings of the 2020 free agency period.

Javon Hargrave, Eagles reportedly agree to three-year contract - BGN
Hargrave, who turned 27 years old in February, was originally selected by the Steelers in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft (No. 89 overall). He logged 53 starts in 63 games (out of 64 possible) over the past four years and posted 168 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 22 quarterback hits, 14.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two pass deflections, and one defensive touchdown in that span. For what it’s worth, Hargrave graded out as the eighth best interior defensive lineman by Pro Football Focus in 2019. He was just behind Fletcher Cox, who was seventh. Speaking of Cox, it’ll be interesting to see how Hargrave fits in on the Eagles’ defensive line. Cox is obviously one starter at defensive tackle. Malik Jackson figured to be the second starter after the Eagles signed him to a lucrative contract at this time last year. Are the Eagles merely going to heavily rotate at defensive tackle? Are we going to see more of Jackson at defensive end? The Eagles won’t be trading Jackson. (Or Cox, obviously.)

Special: Legal Tampering Has Begun! - BGN Radio
Michael Kist breaks down all the trades, tags, extensions, signings and so as the NFL kicks off the wild ride that is the off-season!

How we’re grading every 2020 NFL free agent signing and trade - SB Nation
Eagles sign: DT Javon Hargrave. Hargrave doesn’t have to move far, going from the Steelers to the Eagles. They’re paying him more than any other nose tackle in the league, and they’ll be using him as a 4-3 interior pass rusher, which represents a bit of a scheme change for him. It’s a gutsy move because there’s always a chance he doesn’t respond well to the change. He’s 27 years old though, which is a definite plus. Short-term grade: B+. Long-term grade: B+.

Javon Hargrave signs huge deal with the Philadelphia Eagles - Behind The Steel Curtain
It is not really that big of a surprise the Steelers were unable to retain Hargrave following his rookie contract. A third-round pick out of South Carolina State, Hargrave exceeded expectations and became a dominant force on the Steelers defensive line. With the Steelers already paying Stephon Tuitt and Cameron Heyward hefty contracts, both of which are in the top five on the Steelers, it just was not realistic for the Steelers to devote so much money at a given position group. With Hargrave obviously commanding top dollar, his departure was inevitable.

2020 NFL free-agency and trade grades: Bill Barnwell tracks every big signing and move - ESPN
Javon Hargrave — Grade: C. I’m not sure nose tackle was an enormous need for the Eagles or a position they needed to fill with this sort of investment. Philly was fourth in rush defense DVOA last season, despite losing Malik Jackson to a season-ending injury in Week 1. Tim Jernigan and Hassan Ridgeway were already free agents, but the Eagles have Jackson coming back alongside Fletcher Cox for 2020, and two-down nose tackles aren’t usually this expensive. Hargrave can be an impactful pass-rusher in addition to his run duties, and Jackson can take snaps outside as a defensive end, but if you had told me the Eagles were giving a defensive free agent $13 million per season, I would have guessed just about every other position on that side of the ball before landing on a nose tackle. Although I like Hargrave as a player and could see this sort of deal making sense for another team, this wasn’t the best use of Philadelphia’s cap space.

Grading the move: Eagles, DT Javon Hargrave agree on 3-year, $39 million deal - The Athletic
The other issue I have is that the Eagles have a lot of holes on their roster, and I’m not sure this was the best use of their financial resources. They were decimated by injuries at defensive tackle last season and still finished fourth against the run. They signed Malik Jackson as an interior pass rusher last offseason and now have to figure out what to do with him. And there were times last season when the pass rush didn’t have a chance because the secondary was so bad. Maybe once other moves are made, this one will make more sense. But for now, it feels like a luxury move more than anything else. I like Hargrave as a player, but I’m not sold on the idea that this was the best way for the Eagles to make a splash in free agency. Grade: C

March Madness - Iggles Blitz
That is one talented, disruptive player. And pressure up the middle is critical. Think about the Super Bowl teams. Chris Jones was huge for KC and DeForest Buckner was huge for SF. The Eagles simply weren’t good enough with interior pressure in 2019. That will change. The signing caught me off guard, but I love the move.

Eagles 2021 compensatory draft pick tracker - PhillyVoice
In 2020, the Eagles are highly unlikely to chase comp picks, for several reasons: They don’t have outgoing free agents likely to garner high-round comp picks. They have more cap space than in previous years, so they can be active in free agency to a larger degree than they were the last two offseasons. They have more glaring holes to fill, and can’t punt on free agency to gain a few extra picks in 2021.

Recapping a busy Monday as Eagles’ plan for 2020 starts to unfold - PE.com
3. At the same time, let’s take a look at the running backs currently on the roster. It’s a talented, young group. Miles Sanders is the No. 1 back as it stands now with Boston Scott as a change-of-pace back. The Eagles want to work with Elijah Holyfield and see him with a full offseason – more on that in a moment – under his belt. The Eagles think that Holyfield can develop into a powerful, physical runner and a guy who can help on special teams. Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Duce Staley will work with Holyfield and get him right. Jordan Howard, who had played so well in the 1-2 role with Sanders, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. Interesting position to watch, for sure.

In search of a third running back for the Eagles - Inquirer
But at some point in the next couple of months, they’ll need to add a third running back, most likely a veteran. It could be Jordan Howard, who was terrific last year until an early-November neck/shoulder injury derailed his season. He is one of 16 Eagles players who will be unrestricted free agents on Wednesday. Or it could be someone else, like Devonta Freeman, who was released by the Falcons on Monday, or the 49ersMatt Breida, a restricted free agent who certainly would address the Eagles’ need for speed.

Cornering the Cornerback Market - Football Outsiders
Darby, Poole, Chris Harris, Trae Waynes, and Daryl Worley fall into the category of being coin-flips with impressive upside. Technically, Joseph could be included here too given his profile, but at 35 years old, it feels more likely that he could just fall off physically. Perhaps a team could sign Joseph to a small contract and hope he still has something left in the tank. Darby, Harris, and Waynes will likely demand the most money and each earn around $8 million to $12 million per year on their contracts — which is about two or three times as expensive as a first-round pick depending on the draft slot. Poole may be had at a bargain (again) in part because he is only a slot player, while Worley will be paid as a No. 2 cornerback. Prince Amukamara, Eli Apple, Logan Ryan, and P.J. Williams should not at all be considered as No. 1’s. All four should be considered as No. 2 options. In particular, Amukamara, Apple, and Ryan have all been relatively stable over the past two seasons with non-detrimental dips in just one area and should be expected to provide similar play moving forward. Realistically, that kind of profile can make for a solid No. 2, as all three have proven to be over the past couple of seasons. Williams is a less certain bet considering how far below-average some of his numbers have been at times.

Report: Detroit Lions signing OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai to 5-year, $50M deal - Pride Of Detroit
Vaitai will immediately step in and take assume the Lions’ right tackle spot. Last week, the Lions released starter Rick Wagner, who was scheduled to take up $11.9 million in cap space. Though Wagner still counts $5.8 million against the cap, the expectation is that Vaitai will cost significantly less—although the full contract breakdown isn’t out yet.

Report: Cowboys have offered Dak Prescott more than Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, issue is with length - Blogging The Boys
If you thought news of the tag was the only Prescott-centric news that would drop on Monday, well you had another thing coming. Late Monday evening ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tweeted what felt like a message from the Cowboys. They don’t feel that there is any disrespect associated with the franchise tag.

Breaking Down the 14 NFL Franchise-Tag Situations - The Ringer
Prescott will make more than $30 million this year. Tagging him again in 2021 would cost Dallas closer to $40 million. That means if Dak plays on the tag two years in a row, he can earn an average of roughly $35 million in the next two years, or the same that Russell Wilson makes on average as the league’s highest-paid player. Tagging Dak a third year in a row would come at an even higher cost. The price will become so exorbitant that Dallas must get him signed to a long-term deal this offseason, but now the floor in the negotiation is making him the league’s highest-paid player by average annual salary (and therefore the highest-paid player in NFL history) until Patrick Mahomes signs his next deal. Not only will they have to pay Prescott a record amount, but now they will have to pony up for receiver Amari Cooper, who is also a free agent. Whether he stays or goes, it’s a lose-lose situation for the Cowboys. Either Dallas gives Dak Prescott a record contract but lets his best receiver leave, or Dallas signs both and ends up with the most expensive quarterback, most expensive running back, the most expensive offensive line, and possibly the most expensive wide receiver. Dallas fans will have nobody to blame but the Joneses who misplayed their cards.

2020 NFL free agency rumors: Multiple NFL teams reportedly interested in Nick Foles trade - Big Cat Country
That’s teams. With an “s”. Multiple teams. More than one. My God. If Dave Caldwell somehow offloads Nick Foles this week, there won’t be enough self-control in the world to keep my pants from FLYING OFF. As we said earlier in the offseason, the Jaguars absolutely can trade Nick Foles and should be what they aggressively try to do in the offseason. Even with trading Foles you will have to eat some dead money, because of his guarantees, but it’s a lot more manageable than if you’re just cutting him. In a trade, the Jaguars would have to eat $18.5 million in dead money, but would be a net cap relief of about $4 million. The key here is, whatever team is getting Nick Foles in a trade is really only on the hook for his salary, which is not guaranteed and manageable at $15 million.

Buffalo Bills send first-round draft pick to Minnesota Vikings for WR Stefon Diggs - Buffalo Rumblings
The Buffalo Bills have made a massive trade at the start of the 2020 league year, sending a first-round pick and change to the Minnesota Vikings for standout wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Jay Glazer was the first to tweet the deal.

Redskins 2020 Free Agency: Kendall Fuller comes home - Hogs Haven
The Redskins have signed DB Kendall Fuller. He was drafted here in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft. Fuller was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs as part of the deal that brought QB Alex Smith to Washington.

Report: Linebacker Blake Martinez signing with New York Giants - Big Blue View
The New York Giants, rumored on Monday to be in the market for off-ball linebacker help, appear to be getting that. The Giants are reportedly signing four-year veteran Blake Martinez. The deal is reportedly for three years and $30 million. A fourth-round pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2016 NFL Draft, Martinez has started every game for Green Bay the past three seasons, and 57 of the 61 regular-season games he has appeared in overall.

NFL rumors: Giants franchise tag Leonard Williams, doubling down on Dave Gettleman’s trade deadline mistake | Why it’s a bad move - NJ.com
Williams proceeded to only record one half-sack in eight games with the Giants. So, Gettleman entered the offseason from a position of negotiating witness, knowing that the Giants gave up two draft picks for Williams and fully wanted to re-sign him. The Giants are going to pay a player now who is a solid, young defensive tackle, but not quite worth the money he’s about to earn. On the franchise tag, the tender is expected to be worth $16.126 million this season.

Dolphins strike a megadeal; team nabs free agent cornerback Byron Jones - The Phinsider
Jones, 27, has morphed into one of the league’s top boundary corners after three rough seasons at safety with the Dallas Cowboys. The lockdown defensive back doesn’t have the interception totals of some of his ballhawking counterparts, but that may simply be because opposing quarterbacks tend to avoid him when targeting receivers downfield. Jones has totaled 20 pass defenses over the past two seasons along with 113 total tackles. With Jones now in the fold, the Dolphins suddenly possess a scary combination of defensive backs. The former Cowboy will be joining Howard, Bobby McCain, Eric Rowe, and the newly acquired Clayton Fejedelem in head coach Brian Flores’ revamped defense. And let’s not forget, the Dolphins still hold a good deal of cap space and 14 draft picks to use come April. Grier, Flores and company aren’t done yet.

Per sources, Raiders agree to terms with Marcus Mariota - Silver And Black Pride
The Athletic’s Vic Tafur tweeted late on Monday that the Las Vegas Raiders are closing in on a contract with quarterback Marcus Mariota. Tafur notes that he had linked the Raiders to Mariota early on Monday and so it would be interesting to think he’d double down on that without confidence that a deal would be announced soon. Later on Monday, it was confirmed by Vincent Bonsignore that the Raiders were signing Mariota.

Cleveland signing QB Case Keenum to be the backup to Baker Mayfield - Dawgs By Nature
According to multiple reports, the Cleveland Browns are signing QB Case Keenum to a 3-year deal worth $18 million, including $10 million guaranteed.

One NFL owner: A surprise if teams are able to work before training camp - PFT
The NFL announced last night that offseason activities were “delayed indefinitely,” and some are wondering if it’s definite there will be any offseason program at all. According to Judy Battista of NFL Network, one team owner she spoke with said he’d be surprised if teams are able to report before training camp at all. Commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a statement last night, which said team facilities will be closed until the end of March, with only a few exceptions for players getting treatment.

11 things everyone should know about getting the novel coronavirus - Vox
As the coronavirus spreads, it’s becoming a nationwide crisis that could severely strain our health care system, so we need to take collective measures now to protect ourselves and others. Here’s what you need to know.

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