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Eagles News: NFL opt out deadline reportedly set for Thursday

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/4/20.

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NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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NFL opt-out deadline set for Thursday, source says - ESPN
The deadline for NFL players to opt out of the 2020 season will be Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The NFL Players Association agreed to shorten the window between the finalizing of the agreement and the opt-out deadline (which was originally supposed to be seven days) in exchange for some concessions on the final language, sources said on Monday. The league’s COVID-19 protocols, officially an amendment to the new collective bargaining agreement signed in March, were agreed to by players and team owners July 24, but it took until Monday night for attorneys for the two sides to finalize the formal language of the deal. The original agreement stipulated that the opt-out deadline for players would be seven days after the attorneys finished that work, but as the process dragged on, owners wanted the deadline to be set sooner than that. The union agreed, sources said, because the new Aug. 5 deadline is still a couple of days later than the originally projected Aug. 3 deadline, but the union also got the owners to agree to a number of changes to the final language they feel are beneficial to the players.

Eagles 2020 Opponent Preview: Baltimore Ravens - BGN
One could theorize that the Eagles are better equipped to stop the Ravens than other teams. Jim Schwartz’s penchant for stopping the run could actually come in handy against the NFL’s only offense that passed the ball on fewer than 50% of their snaps last year (just 44%). If the Eagles are able to take away the Ravens’ run identity and force them to be a more one-dimensional passing attack, they should have a shot to win. They’ll just have to find a way to score enough on Baltimore’s tough defense.

At the Podium: Doug At the Quarantine + NFL Updates - BGN Radio
Michael Kist highlights some key points from Doug Pederson’s meeting with the press after testing positive for COVID-19 + updates from around the NFL! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

How several NFL teams turned areas of weakness into areas of strength: Eagles add speed at WR, Browns beef up their OL - PFF
Tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert hauled in 37.6% of quarterback Carson Wentz’s 388 completions and 40% of his 27 touchdown passes last year. The Eagles used a rotation of nine players at wide receiver in 2019, and that group scored a combined 11 touchdowns — equivalent to the total amassed by Ertz and Goedert. A return to health for Jeffery and Jackson will also mean a return to productive play for both. The youthful talents of Reagor, Hightower and Arcega-Whiteside must find a way to flourish without having access to a full offseason program due to COVID-19.

Making the Eagles offense more explosive is not just about the wide receivers - The Athletic
Pay attention to play-action. Consider that, according to SportRadar, Wentz attempted just 20 passes on play-action under center through the first 12 games of last season and then a whopping 26 over the final four regular-season games, when a moribund offense came to life with a cast of castoffs. That four-game winning streak to end the season also accounted for 38 percent of the team’s plays of 25 yards or more for the entire season. According to the “Football Outsiders Almanac 2020,” the Eagles were one of only eight teams in the league whose offense was more efficient under center than it was in shotgun (although they were still slightly better than league average from shotgun, which they were in 72 percent of the time). Thirty-one percent of their pass plays were play-action, not far from the highest mark in the league but still leaving room for improvement given the overwhelming evidence that play-action is universally more efficient than regular passing plays and that there don’t seem to be diminishing returns when the frequency is increased.

Can the NFL really pull off a football season with COVID-19 lurking? - NBCSP
The Eagles have three players on the COVID-19 list, they’ve got an all-pro right tackle who tested positive, they have a head coach who’s quarantined at home in South Jersey after testing positive and they’ve got a quarterbacks coach who was sent home because he was in close proximity to the head coach. And practice hasn’t even started yet. How do you play football like this? We would all love to see the NFL find a way to play a 16-game season plus playoffs this fall, but each passing day brings more and more issues and more and more questions and more and more doubt that it can be done.

Jeremiah Valoaga, D.J. Killings opt out of 2020 season - PFT
Killings, 24, signed with the Raiders in May 2019. He spent last season on injured reserve after tearing a pectoral muscle in the preseason. He has never played in a regular-season game but also has spent time with the Colts, Eagles and Packers.

Which NFL players are being placed on NFL Covid-19 IR list - DraftKings Nation
NFL training camp is underway, which means Covid-19 testing is picking up. We have a running list of players placed on the new IR spot designated for the coronavirus.

Could CeeDee Lamb really become Dak Prescott’s favorite receiver in 2020? - Blogging The Boys
Hold the phone. As Nicolas Cage might say - that’s high praise. Lamb will be stepping in for Randall Cobb, so he’ll basically be a starter. It’s unknown how much Lamb will be in the slot and how much they will move him outside, but he’s shown he is adept at both. And yes, his skills with the ball in his hands are magnificent. But Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are established veterans with track records hooking up with Prescott. Schein doesn’t define what being Prescott’s favorite receiver entails. Most catches? Most yards? Most TDs? In any of those categories, it will be a heavy lift for Lamb.

Better or worse? New York Giants offensive line - Big Blue View
I am a big fan of what the Giants did to bolster the offensive line in the offseason. I’ve been calling for the signing of a veteran swing tackle for several seasons. Using three draft picks in the first five rounds, including the fourth overall pick, was also a major play that could provide long-term dividends. I just have questions about the 2020 season and the short term. The Giants are going to have at least three new starters on the line. They will have two rookies if Lemieux or Peart end up starting, possibly three if they both end up in the lineup at some point. If Thomas and Gates are the tackles, that’s a duo I feel good about for the long haul. Again, though, they are unproven. The center spot? Can the Giants get something approaching even adequate play there this season?

The Rock, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital just bought the XFL ... seriously - SB Nation
In one of the most surprising twists of the sports year, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in partnership with Dany Garcia and investment firm RedBird Capital, purchased the XFL from WWE for a reported $15M. The league, which was set to be auctioned off as part of bankruptcy proceedings, never managed to make it to the gavel as Johnson partnered with Garcia and RedBird to purchase the league outright, according to a report from Sportico. There has been no announcement whether there is a plan to relaunch the league, or if the acquisition was simply a play for its assets. Regarding the purchase Johnson said:

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