Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Howie Roseman’s staying power is built on Jeffrey Lurie’s trust, but he has his fair share of critics - Inquirer
A month later, the Eagles were in London to face the Jaguars. [Lane] Johnson had suffered a high ankle sprain three games earlier but continued to forge on. But as the players geared up that Sunday in the Wembley Stadium locker room, Johnson voiced concerns about playing. Roseman caught wind and berated him, sources present said. Nearby teammates and coaches couldn’t understand why he would provoke him, considering Johnson’s current state. The tackle finished suiting up and as he walked by Roseman, the GM said, according to sources, “Good, you have your mouthpiece in, now you can’t say anything stupid.” The last comment, which a source close to Roseman said was intended to be playful, set Johnson off. “I can’t play for this [expletive],” he said, according to a source. He took off his equipment and went to the showers and missed pregame warmups. Left tackle Jason Peters went to Pederson’s office for help defusing the situation. Defensive end Chris Long, right guard Brandon Brooks, and others talked Johnson into playing. He lasted seven plays. Johnson further aggravated his ankle injury and sprained a knee ligament. The Eagles still won. Roseman sought counsel on how to apologize to Johnson and did so on the plane ride home, sources said. Johnson sat out the next game, but he returned in Week 11 and played through injury the rest of the season. (Johnson did not respond to a request for comment, although a source said his relationship with Roseman is good.) [BLG Note: Very well done article by Jeff McLane here. Strongly recommend you take the time to read the entire thing.]
NFL Free Agency Targets: 38 players with connections to the Eagles - BGN
LB Eric Wilson — Nick Rallis spent time as Wilson’s assistant position coach for the last three seasons in Minny. It wasn’t until last year that Wilson, who turns 27 in September, became a full-time starter for the Vikings. He filled the stat sheet with 122 tackles, 8 passes defensed, three interceptions, and one forced fumble. Wilson might command more money than the Eagles will be able to afford but he should be on their radar given their need for linebacker help.
Locker Room Livestream Special w/ BLG, Shamus + Alexis Chassen! - BGN Radio
BGN mainstays Brandon Lee Gowton, Shamus Clancy, and Alexis Chassen are joined by SB Nation’s Rob “Stats” Guerrera. They talked: which free agents can the Eagles sign? How confident are you in Jalen “QB1” Hurts? Jeffrey Lurie the Meddler.
Three free agents who make sense for the Eagles, version 4.0 - PhillyVoice
Nicholas Morrow, LB, Raiders (6’0, 225). The Eagles have attempted to convert safeties into linebackers over the last few years, like Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, and (sort of) Davion Taylor. That track record isn’t exactly awesome, obviously. It’s unknown if that was more of a Jim Schwartz directive, or if the Eagles’ front office prefers that tact, but if they’re still looking for linebackers who can cover like safeties, the Raiders had success converting Morrow from a safety into a linebacker after signing him as an undrafted free agent in 2017. In 2020, Morrow allowed just 4.5 yards per target, per pro-football-reference.com. He was also a threat as a blitzer, as he collected 3 sacks and 8 pressures on the season. The Eagles have a rather obvious need at linebacker, and Morrow could pair with Alex Singleton as the starting duo, with T.J. Edwards reassuming his effective run down role.
2021 NFL free agency: Why Eagles could still pursue top WRs, DBs; potential targets, projected price tags - CBS Sports
“Anything is possible with a willingness to have a low first-year cap number where the other figures balloon like the Saints did in 2014 with Jairus Byrd while having a tight salary cap,” says Joel Corry, CBS Sports contributor and former agent and cap expert. “The Eagles already have no problem adding voiding/dummy years to deals to stretch out signing bonus proration. Using the signing/option bonus structure, like in Carson Wentz’s contract, would be a way to keep cap numbers low in the first two years.” There’s more risk in this approach, Corry says, because if a player doesn’t pan out, the back-loaded contract can haunt the team down the road. (The Eagles are navigating that very issue, in part, this offseason.) But let’s say Philly is desperate to improve the WR spot after years of swings and misses, and not only that, but sees value in signing a younger starter who can conceivably still be hitting his prime in 2022-24. They have the flexibility to be bidders, at least for one major player, even if said flexibility isn’t apparent right now.
2021 NFL free agency: Analytics-based player-team fits - NFL.com
Kenny Golladay — Since 2018, Golladay has earned 27.5 yards per game on deep passes, the third most in the NFL (among players who have played at least 30 games), per NGS. Last season, Eagles wideouts caught just 27.8 percent of deep targets (the seventh-lowest rate). Acquiring a true deep-threat WR doesn’t just boost the deep-passing game; it also makes it possible to spread out the defense and increase the potential for players running shorter routes to catch the ball. With tight end Zach Ertz likely to part ways with the Eagles, Golladay would make life easier for presumed starting quarterback Jalen Hurts, not just on the perimeter but by helping the rest of the pass-catchers significantly.
Ranking Eagles’ top positional needs this offseason - NBCSP
1. Receiver. Could the Eagles show up to Week 1 with Travis Fulgham, Jalen Reagor and Greg Ward Jr. as their starter? I guess so. But they also need an upgrade. I’m not sure what the Eagles have in Fulgham or Reagor. They both have potential but are pretty big question marks heading into the 2021 season. And Ward is a solid player but isn’t overly explosive. The Eagles haven’t had a true No. 1 receiver in quite some time so if they have a chance to land one in the draft, it would go a long way.
News and notes as critical offseason period nears - PE.com
“I’ve had the pleasure to know Jalen for a really long time,” Brian Johnson said. “His father (Averion) was actually one of my high school coaches. I played for his father in high school, so Jalen was probably 4 or 5 at the time and his dad would bring him around during the summertime at the facility along with his older brother. I knew who he was throughout the course of my high school career. Once I got into coaching, I went out recruiting and that (Texas) was my recruiting area so I would go out and Jalen would be there. Once I got to Mississippi State, Jalen was in 10th or 11th grade and we started recruiting him really, really hard at Mississippi State and I thought we were gonna get him. He ended up going to Alabama, but he’s someone I’ve known for a really, really long time along with his family. It’s funny how everything works out and I get to coach him on the professional level now. He wants to be coached extremely hard and he has been coached extremely hard throughout his career, starting with his dad. I know the kind of person he is – he’s extremely hardworking, he’s extremely dedicated, he’s extremely focused, goal-oriented, and he has an unbelievable makeup in terms of his intangibles and the standard that he sets for himself on a daily basis.”
Why a Chargers-Eagles trade for Zach Ertz might make sense - The Athletic
Option 1: Chargers trade pick No. 119 (fourth round) for Ertz. This would be the ideal scenario. The Chargers do not have to part with any of their top-100 picks, including the comp pick, No. 97 overall, they received Wednesday. And they fill a need with Henry’s possible departure. But if the Eagles are demanding more … Option 2: Chargers trade pick No. 97 in the third round for Ertz and pick No. 189 (sixth round). The Chargers give up a little bit more here, but they do get an early sixth-rounder in return. Telesco has preached the importance of rookie contracts all offseason, so I find it hard to believe he will give up that comp pick for a player over 30. But if Telesco thinks Ertz has good football left in him, this is a deal that makes sense. [BLG Note: I think these are optimistic returns for Ertz from an Eagles perspective. Would be nice, though!]
LeSean McCoy already making his case for the Hall of Fame - PFT
“If it’s not the right team, I’m going to retire,” McCoy said on the All Things Covered podcast of Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden, via 610 Sports Radio. “Had a nice run at it. Hopefully I get a gold jacket.” McCoy, 32, has a better chance eventually to end up in Canton than to end up on an NFL roster in 2021. He made the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2010s, one of the four running backs. He rushed for more yards in the decade than Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch, the other three running backs on the list. Making an all-decade team bodes well for a player’s Pro Football Hall of Fame chances. McCoy made six Pro Bowls and twice was elected All-Pro. His 11,102 career yards rank 22nd in NFL history, while his 2,457 carries are 26th and his 73 touchdowns are tied for 28th. McCoy’s 15,000 yards from scrimmage have him 26th in history. “I got stats. I got two championships,” McCoy said. “A lot of these dudes have three or four good years and they make them the greatest. I’ve been the best in my decade-plus. Everybody can’t say that.”
Now that we know the value, should the Dallas Cowboys pick up Leighton Vander Esch’s 5th-year option? - Blogging The Boys
While this decision obviously centers around the level of play that we all believe Vander Esch to be capable of, an equally large question is how likely it is that he will even be available for the team relatively speaking. Vander Esch played nine games in 2019 and 10 games this past season. He is a question mark if there ever was one at the linebacker spot, and given that his running mate is Jaylon Smith, the future of the position is one that has people feeling rather skeptical. One player who has been mocked to the Cowboys at times is Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. The merits of going another direction with the 10th overall pick certainly exist, but if the Cowboys have an opportunity to reset in the middle of their defense they should certainly consider it.
Getting veteran QB help for the Washington offense - looking at the candidates for trades or free agent signings - Hogs Haven
Marcus Mariota’s contract makes him an unlikely trade candidate, but the Raiders can’t really afford to keep him as an $11m backup to Carr. They are widely expected to release him this week, making him an unrestricted free agent who could be signed immediately. The second overall pick in 2015, the 27-year-old Mariota has a 77-45 TD-INT ratio and a 30-33 record as a starter, but, in a bit of a Kirk Cousins-like fashion, took his team (the Titans) from 3-13 as a rookie to 4 consecutive 9-7 seasons. Mariota’s skillset and style of play would probably make him an excellent match for Allen and Heinicke & Scott Turner’s offense. Mariota would likely see Washington as an attractive opportunity, as it would be one of the few places where he would be able to immediately compete for a starting job. I suspect he’ll sign for around $7-8m on a one-year contract, which could suit the WFT very well. If he can be signed after release by the Raiders, he won’t cost any draft capital and wouldn’t count against the Comp Pick calculation, which could matter later.
Giants salary cap: After cutting Kevin Zeitler, what else can the Giants do? - Big Blue View
The biggest cap issue the Giants currently have is the $19.351 million franchise tag they felt they had to place on Leonard Williams to keep him off the free agent market. I certainly understand the Giants’ desire to keep Williams. He is a really good 26-year-old player they consider part of their core, and they want to build around him on defense. Yet, readers of this site know I was opposed to using the franchise tag to make that happen. I know the belief is that the Giants issued the tag as a placeholder, to reaffirm their commitment to Williams and keep him in the fold while they negotiate a long-term deal. They will be hamstrung entering free agency, though, if they can’t reach a deal in the next few days that would knock, say, $12 million or so off Williams’ 2021 cap hit.
The Look Ahead #27: Who is the next QB to get a big pay day + COVID anniversary + Chiefs make big moves - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera (Niners Nation) & RJ Ochoa (Blogging the Boys) react to the Dak Prescott press conference, and speculate on how his deal will impact talks for Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and others. The sports world shut down for COVID one year ago today. We look back on what we thought we knew then. Given what Dak just got paid, should the Ravens and Bills try and get their QB deal done ASAP? The Chiefs make massive changes to their offensive line. RJ’s bold Drew Brees prediction.
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