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Eagles News: Derek Barnett finally poised to break out in 2020?

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/27/20.

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Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

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

Predicting Every NFL Team’s 2020 Breakout Player - B/R
Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett — Heading into the 2017 draft, Derek Barnett was considered one of the top pass-rushers behind Myles Garrett. While Barnett’s career hasn’t lived up to that hype, he could turn things around in 2020. In 14 games last season, Barnett set a career high with 6.5 sacks, adding 30 tackles and two forced fumbles. But Barnett has missed 13 games in his first three seasons and has just 14 career sacks. The good news for Barnett is that his health seems to be trending in the right direction; he missed just two games last season after missing 10 in 2018. More time on the field led to significantly more production, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who watched Barnett play in college for Tennessee. If he can stay healthy, and the Eagles can add some more talent to the defense this offseason, Barnett will have the chance to be one of the premiere pass-rushers in the league.

Howie Roseman talks Eagles’ inaction at wide receiver, secondary additions, and much more - BGN
On the Slay trade and extension vs. doing the same for star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Roseman didn’t want to get too specific, but said that sometimes teams might ask for different terms from different teams based on draft pick position or team needs.

Decoding Howie Roseman’s comments about the Eagles’ secondary - PhillyVoice
Roseman’s comments on Mills clearly paint a picture of the Jenkins role in the Eagles’ scheme. ”Jalen Mills, bringing him back was important for us. We feel like Jalen is a positionless player. He can really play down in the box, he can cover tight ends, he can cover slot receivers, he can play out wide, he’s got range, he’s played the position before. When we scouted him, he played the safety position against Alabama in a huge game for LSU, so we’ve seen him do that. His versatility, his mentality, is something we wanted to keep on the defensive side of the ball.”

Howie Roseman leaves Carson Wentz hanging as he prays Eagles offense turns itself around - Inquirer
As the dust settled from a 10-day flurry of free-agent signings and player trades, the Eagles are definitively worse offensively today that they were on opening day last season. They won’t have left tackle Jason Peters, No. 1 running back Jordan Howard, slot receiver Nelson Agholor, or all-purpose back Darren Sproles. Athletic center Jason Kelce and speed receiver DeSean Jackson, both in their 30s, are a year closer to 40. Tight end Zach Ertz, who turns 30 in November, showed signs of slipping. Upgrades were available. Roseman passed on the chance to add franchise receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, or Amari Cooper, and did he guess wrong about the cost of more modest talents such as Breshad Perriman and Robby Anderson. In fact, Roseman admitted, he was startled at the modest prices the group commanded. “We have all the information, now, after the fact,” he said. “Hindsight’s 20-20.” General managers aren’t paid for hindsight. They’re paid for foresight, or they don’t get paid at all.

Looking at the roster’s bottom line as it stands now -
This is an area that needs to make more plays than it did a season ago and the changes made – allowing Nigel Bradham to become a free agent and seeing Kamu Grugier-Hill leave for Miami in free agency while adding Jatavis Brown from the Chargers in free agency – reflect that. There is some versatility here, understanding that the Eagles play a high percentage of defensive snaps with two linebackers on the field. Nate Gerry made plays last year in the first extended playing time in his career. Duke Riley is down with the system as he looks to become a starter, as he was early in his career in Atlanta. Second-year man T.J. Edwards hopes to build on his rookie season and Alex Singleton wants to earn playing time. There are no “headline” names here, but the Eagles think they’ve got an athletic group that is assignment-sound and that plays well within the system. Jalen Mills and even Will Parks could at times line up as quasi-linebackers – safeties in the box, essentially – and be counted with this group.

Offseason needs for all 32 NFL teams in 2020 - PFF
The Eagles’ 2019 season was defined in large part by their attrition, particularly at offensive skill positions, down the stretch. A lack of wide receivers — and specifically Desean Jackson, due to injury — created a season in which running back Miles Sanders led the team in receiving yards on passes 20 or more yards downfield. It’s hard to have an effective passing game when that is your reality. Jackson should be back and healthy in 2020, but the Eagles could still benefit by adding a speedy receiver or two this offseason. That is something they have surprisingly not done yet through the first week-plus of free agency.

Best signings of 2020 NFL free agency: Barnwell’s nine top grades, with Brady, Brees and Rivers - ESPN
Grade: B+. Nickell Robey-Coleman is always going to be synonymous with that play against the Saints, but he has been an above-average slot cornerback in his time with the Bills and Rams. Los Angeles declined his option in order to create cap space, but at this price, I’m surprised the Rams weren’t able to bring him back for another season. This is an easy victory for the Eagles, who have upgraded two of their three cornerback slots by signing Robey-Coleman and trading for Darius Slay. The slot cornerback market seemed to take off in 2019, when guys such as Bryce Callahan, Justin Coleman and Tavon Young were able to sign significant multiyear deals, but with Brian Poole and Robey-Coleman each taking a one-year deal for modest money, things appear to have swung in the other direction.

Howie Roseman on Sidney Jones: ‘It’s time for him to prove it’ - NBCSP
There’s no more excuses for Sidney Jones. Even Howie Roseman admits it now. “It’s time for him to go prove it,” he said. Jones has been an off-the-charts disappointment since the Eagles drafted him, his career marred by injuries and disappointing play since the Eagles drafted him in the second round in 2017. And as Roseman rebuilds the Eagles’ secondary this offseason, it’s natural to wonder where Jones fits in right now. Or more accurately ... if he fits in.

How NFL Players Are Handling an Unusual Offseason Amid Coronavirus - MMQB
“This is really how we lived anyway,” Allen said. “It’s just 24/7 now. It’s an interesting time. You talk to some people, and they’ll say the football part of it is similar to the lockout year, we might have nothing until camp. And maybe we’ll look around the league in August, and there’ll be some teams that took advantage of the time, and some teams that didn’t. That’s the most interesting part. What happens to OTAs? Training camp, maybe that’ll only be four weeks.”

Source says that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott will become the highest-paid player in the NFL - Blogging The Boys
Ian Rapoport also noted that at the end of the day it is obvious that Prescott is going to be among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the game and that he could actually be the highest. This would likely mean that he would top Russell Wilson’s $35M per year average and/or Jared Goff’s $110M in total guarantees.

The Cowboys May Have Spent Themselves Into a Bad Situation - The Ringer
The natural consequence of that shift is that Dallas has been forced to let a number of key defensive contributors go. Cornerback Byron Jones left in free agency last week for Miami, where he is now the league’s second-highest-paid cornerback. Defensive end Robert Quinn, who led the team in sacks and quarterback hits in 2019, left to flank Khalil Mack in Chicago. Dallas also voided the contract of Michael Bennett and lost defensive lineman Maliek Collins to the Raiders. Dallas has added defensive linemen Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy to balance those losses and added Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to fill its perpetual hole at free safety, but depth is still a key issue for Dallas’s defensive line and secondary. It may also become an issue at linebacker. Leighton Vander Esch finished last season with a neck injury, and details on his recovery are sparse. Stephen Jones said he would have restrictions going into training camp. Relatedly, the Cowboys re-signed linebacker Sean Lee to a one-year, $4.5 million deal last week, but last year marked the first time he ever played 16 games in a season.

How the Cowboys can navigate a tricky offseason and reclaim the NFC East - SB Nation
Keeping Prescott and Cooper was their top order, so the Cowboys are doing well so far. Unfortunately, the loss of Byron Jones will be tough to recover from, as will the loss of Robert Quinn. The signing of Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix fills a need at safety, while bringing in both Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe gives them some needed beef up front. Still, they haven’t accounted for their biggest loss.


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