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Eagles News: Sammy Watkins an option for Philadelphia?

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/31/20.

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NFL: Super Bowl LIV-San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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

Still Looking? - Iggles Blitz
One way they could free up some money is to move on from WR Sammy Watkins. He is on the cap for $21M this year. KC could save $14M by letting him go, either by cut or trade. With Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman newly re-signed Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle, KC has a solid group of receivers. Is Watkins a necessity or a luxury they can no longer afford? Howie knows Chiefs GM Brett Veach very well from their time together with the Eagles. Maybe they can work something out. Maybe Howie is waiting to see if KC will flat out release Watkins. That would be a dangerous game to play, but it just might happen. Watkins hasn’t put up big numbers since he was with Buffalo in 2015, but he came up big in the playoffs last year and helped KC win the Super Bowl. Watkins is about to turn 27 and he still has plenty of talent.

Fantasy implications of Sammy Watkins’ shaky status with Chiefs - DraftKings Nation
Trading Watkins is likely out of the question unless the Chiefs eat a huge part of his contract. But, there must be interest, as Watkins does get the job done when healthy and called upon. In the playoffs last season, Watkins caught 14-of-18 passes for 288 yards and one touchdown, as he consistently helped the team in all three games. We also saw him go off for 198 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1 with Tyreek Hill leaving the game early, but even with Hill hurting for a few more games, Watkins didn’t surpass 64 yards or score a touchdown the rest of the regular season. He had some glorious bookends to his season, but you can’t hide those regular season numbers.

Taking stock of where the Eagles stand after free agency - BGN
I have mixed feelings on the Slay trade. On one hand, I’ve always liked the player from afar. I can envision him making some big plays (true to his nickname) for this defense. At his best, he’s easily a true No. 1 corner. But are the Eagles going to get Slay’s best? He’s 29 and he’s coming off a down 2019 season. He’s dealt with a number of nagging injuries. Giving up two draft picks just isn’t ideal when the Eagles have made the fewest selections (10) over the past two years. Giving up those picks limits the Eagles’ ability to trade up for one of the top three receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s also hard not to view the Slay trade through the prism of the DeAndre Hopkins deal (read: opportunity cost) and wonder why the Eagles couldn’t have been more aggressive when it came to acquiring a star player at a bigger position of need.

Carson & The Kids? - BGN Radio
Jimmy Kempski and Brandon Lee Gowton discuss all things WR and the Eagles, Carson and the kids being taken too far? How good has the offseason been? Evaluating Washington’s offseason. Examining the DB situation. AND MORE! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

In Search of Hard Evidence Proving that Alshon Jeffery is Josina Anderson’s Mystery Source - Crossing Broad
I should mention that other local reporters seem to think Alshon is the guy here, or at least shares some culpability in creating the locker room issues. In the latest BGN Radio, Jimmy Kempski goes as far to say that Jeffery has “trashed the quarterback to other media folks over the last couple of years.” Click on this link and fast forward to the 9:22 mark.

Ranking the Eagles’ team needs, after free agency - PhillyVoice
1) Wide receiver. The Eagles had the worst wide receiving corps in the NFL a season ago (like they did in 2016), and they did nothing to fix it at all in free agency, opting (for now, anyway) to solve that position in the draft. Barring a trade for a starting-level wide receiver, it’s hard to imagine how this can be the Eagles’ strategy, seeing as there are major question marks with every single receiver on the current roster. Alshon Jeffery: He has trashed his own quarterback anonymously in the media over the span of a multiple years, he looked cooked last season, in that he appeared slower than usual and struggled catching the football, and now he has a serious Lisfranc injury that will require at least a nine-month recovery period. He’s still on the roster, for now, but don’t expect Jeffery to ever suit up in a game with Carson Wentz ever again.

Kapadia: From Carson Wentz to DeAndre Hopkins, 11 thoughts on the Eagles - The Athletic
I know some will read this and think I’m being too negative. I get that. It’s only March 30, and the roster will change in the months ahead. Some want to be filled with hope and convince themselves these offseason moves will lead to another Eagles Super Bowl run. And maybe they will. I’ve certainly been wrong before. But I have to offer my opinion based on the available information. With Wentz, Pederson and Schwartz, the Eagles have a high floor and will be in the mix for the NFC East title. But my big-picture outlook is that they will not be legit Super Bowl contenders next season unless they upgrade at wide receiver beyond the guys on the roster and whomever they draft. It’s possible that Jackson stays healthy for 16 games and doesn’t lose a step or that the light comes on for Arcega-Whiteside or that the Eagles draft the next Michael Thomas. But those are all gambles — and strange ones to take given how last season played out.

2020 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus where each team stands after free agency - ESPN
12. Philadelphia Eagles. Three words: Send receivers, STAT! The Eagles did not address wide receiver during the main wave of free agency, even with Nelson Agholor departing for the Raiders and Alshon Jeffery still recovering from Lisfranc surgery. The plan is clear: to address the need in the draft by drawing early and often from what has been dubbed a historic wide receiver class. That approach leaves little room for error. The pressure is on to get it right come April.

Can Eagles build for the future around Carson Wentz and still contend for a Super Bowl now? - Inquirer
“That’s the biggest challenge that we have and that I personally have,” the Eagles GM said last week. “Balancing what we’re doing today with where we’re going to be two-three years from now. That puts me in a situation where sometimes I have to be the bad cop. Where we are now, we’re trying to do everything we possibly can to win a Super Bowl in the next couple of years. But we also realize that, because of the nature of this game and because of how often you’re dealing with injuries and other things that come across your plate during the season that you don’t anticipate, that you really can’t put all of your chips in the center of the table when you have a 27-year-old quarterback.”

Eagles’ Javon Hargrave went to South Carolina State and left as the Gravedigger - NBCSP
“I’d imagine he probably put his hands on somebody pretty violently and it gave me that image of domination,” Mike Adams said to NBC Sports Philadelphia last week. Hargrave, the 27-year-old defensive tackle who just signed a three-year, $39 million contract to join the Eagles, credits Adams for coming up with his nickname during Hargrave’s first spring at South Carolina State University in 2012. Back then, Hargrave was an undersized prospect from a small town at an FCS school, but the Bulldogs’ coaching staff saw something special in him. You didn’t get a nickname until you earned it … and Hargrave earned his quickly. “In the spring, that was his thing,” Hargrave said on a conference call with Philly reporters, “calling me the Gravedigger because I’m always jumping on quarterbacks.”

Justin Jefferson 2020 - Iggles Nest
Which leads to this question: what is Justin Jefferson’s upside? There’s guys who are going to be better professional football players than they were college football players and vice versa there will be players who are worse NFL players than they were college players. I think it’s a red flag that Justin Jefferson’s situation is likely going to be worse in the NFL than it was in college. Aside from that, what else gives me pause with Justin Jefferson? Please keep this in mind when you watch Justin Jefferson. I’m not saying that Justin Jefferson is replacement level but there are a lot of layups built into LSU’s offense for Justin Jefferson that a replacement level player could execute. Justin Jefferson’s average depth of target was 9.4 yards, a number that only exceeded Greg Ward’s average depth of target on the Eagles. Which is fine! There’s something to be said for executing the opportunities you’re given and Justin Jefferson is the type of disciplined, high efficiency player who will do that. But I think it’s important not to overrate things that most other receivers, especially professional receivers, can do.

Norris: NFL Draft Rankings - Top 50 - Rotoworld
20. WR Justin Jefferson, LSU - At the very least, Jefferson will be a highly successful slot receiver who can rack up production in good offenses. You’d expect a finesse receiver who is best when creating separation and sustaining it. Jefferson can do that, but he sets himself apart when winning through contact - at the catch and through contract. He is highly competitive, possesses good body control and is a great athlete… that leads to big plays.

Wild-Card Weekend Will Feature Tripleheaders, Draft Prospects to Have Cameras in Homes, NFL Notes - MMQB
With the potential for a truncated run-up to the 2020 season, every little bit of institutional knowledge that a player has going into a new place should help. One example? Washington’s move to sign Ronald Darby, to fill the hole left by traded veteran Quinton Dunbar. No, Darby’s never played a game in Ron Rivera’s defense. But he spent most of the 2017 offseason learning Sean McDermott’s defense, before being dealt to Philly that August. And McDermott, of course, was a top Rivera lieutenant for six years in Carolina.

John Stolnis on the birds! - 94WIP
John Stolnis from Bleeding Green Nation discusses the Eagles and let it be known, he does NOT want LeSean McCoy back.

Shamus Clancy from BGN joins Farzetta & Tra to discuss his Eagles bracket - 97.5 The Fanatic
Who’s your “favorite” Eagle of all-time? Shamus Clancy came up with the field of 64 to see who your “favorite” is all time…

Michael Kist from BGN joins Farzetta & Tra to discuss the Eagles offseason - 97.5 The Fanatic
How have the Eagles done so far in free agency so far, Michael Kist from Bleeding Green Nation makes sense of the signings & the trade for Darius Slay!

Rumor: Redskins are “Open” to Trading out of Number Two Spot - Hogs Haven
This debate has raged for months - To Trade or Not to Trade...that is the question. Now, to add more fuel to the fire, our friend Burgundy Blog has cited Jason La Canfora as saying that the Redskins are indeed open to trading back in April’s draft. They are also very high on Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons.

2020 NFL Draft prospect profile: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama - Big Blue View
Trevon Diggs projects best as a starting cornerback in a Cover-3 scheme. While he has the size teams typically look for in man or press-man corners, Diggs doesn’t have the elite athleticism or lower-body fluidity needed to thrive in that role. However, he is very well suited to play in a “Seattle style” Cover 3 scheme. He has enough athleticism to turn and run with receivers with a slight cushion, along with a good closing burst and the length to challenge or disrupt at the catch point. Diggs also has the football IQ and communication skills to thrive in a communication-heavy coverage scheme.

NFLPA medical director optimistic about 2020 season - PFT
Appearing on Adam Schefter’s podcast, NFL Players Association medical director Thom Mayer expressed hope that the season will proceed, adding that much more will be known by late May or early June. “So OTAs, probably not going to happen,” Mayer said. “As you know, the clubs are closed for now and will remain closed for a while. But I’m very optimistic. You know, you look at somebody like Drew Brees and [wife] Brittany Brees gave five million dollars to New Orleans. And you may have heard Drew the other day say, ‘Hang in there, hang tough.’ And that’s what we have to do. We have to hang in there and hang tough — but we have to scenario-plan for disasters in terms of the way we did it at 9/11.”

2020 NFL mock draft: The top 2 options for each team in the first round - SB Nation
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado. The Eagles brought in Slay to bolster their cornerback group, squarely making wide receiver their biggest first-round need. Coming into last college football season, Shenault was considered by many as the top wide receiver prospect in the nation. Other option: This could be the landing spot for Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, this year’s “draft process” superstar.

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