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Eagles News: Merrill Reese thinks the chances of Philadelphia drafting a quarterback at No. 6 are “close to zero”

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/3/21.

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Eagles 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ohio State QB Justin Fields - BGN
As it is, I think Justin Fields will be on the board for the Eagles at #6 — and if he is, I expect them to take him. I’m not sure they’d trade up — they need more than just a quarterback, of course, and trading back could reap a ton of capital — but Fields is the current leader in a crowded pack of options for the Eagles’ first-round pick. I wouldn’t take him over the field, but if you make me commit to one name that I believe the Eagles will draft come April, he would be my pick. And if he is the pick, he would beat out Jalen Hurts for the starting job and play as a rookie. He may not be immediately dominant, in the way that last year’s sixth overall pick, QB Justin Herbert was — the Eagles’ WR room is bad and their offensive line is aging — but Fields projects as a high-quality pro with a Deshaun Watson/prime Cam Newton ceiling. This would be a home run selection.

Why Chris Simms thinks Eagles should gamble on QB at 6 - NBCSP
“I would probably take that gamble (on drafting a quarterback),” Simms said. “I probably would. I never evaluated Jalen Hurts through my process — and I know he’s a fine young man and he’s got charisma and leadership skills and all that — but there’s just nothing that I ever saw that led me to think he’s an NFL starting quarterback. And I don’t like saying that about a young kid and, listen, I hope he proves me wrong. And if he proves me wrong, I’ll be on here to go, ‘Way to go, Jalen Hurts, you made Chris Simms look like a dumb idiot, way to go.’ I hope that’s the case, I do.

Eagles trade superlatives: GM Howie Roseman’s best, worst, most overrated & more - The Athletic
The worst trade deadline deal. Oct. 28, 2019: Getting DE Genard Avery from Cleveland for a 2021 fourth-round pick. The Eagles didn’t necessarily need a situational pass rusher in 2019 when they added Avery — cornerback, wide receiver or defensive tackle would have made more sense — but it was understandable why they would add a second-year player who had intrigued the team. The problem was they didn’t quite know how to use him. After a full season with Avery, they still don’t know how to use him. Avery has two sacks in 19 games with the Eagles. They’re expected to move him to linebacker in 2021. Maybe that will salvage the investment in the final year of Avery’s contract, although Roseman would likely prefer his fourth-round pick this April.

Dan Campbell: Duce Staley will be primed and ready to be a head coach - PFT
Campbell hired Staley to be Detroit’s assistant head coach/running backs coach in January, after the former pro running back had spent his entire coaching career with the Eagles. Staley also had the assistant head coach title in Philadelphia from 2018-2020. Campbell said being the assistant head coach isn’t just a label. “I told him, ‘You’re not going to be a token assistant head coach.’ I’m going to use him,” Campbell said. “We had him in during our player evaluations on the whole offense and defense — though he wasn’t able to be in there very long because he had to go back with [offensive coordinator Anthony] Lynn and work offensively. But I’m going to keep him abreast of the cap and things of that nature, what we’re trying to do with free agency.

Didinger: Irv Cross was a fixture in the NFL for several decades - PE.com
Irv Cross was a fixture in professional football for decades as a player, a coach, and a pioneering broadcaster, but he almost didn’t survive his first Training Camp with the Eagles in 1961. Cross, who died Sunday at age 81, was a seventh-round draft pick from Northwestern, a long shot to make the roster of the defending NFL Champions. Although he played both ways at Northwestern for coach Ara Parseghian, he primarily played running back and wide receiver. The Eagles’ coaches made him a permanent defensive back. The rookie was initially overmatched. “The first practice I was going against Tommy McDonald,” Cross said, referring to the Eagles’ Hall of Fame receiver. “Tommy came at me, faked to the inside and, whoosh, he was gone. I was 30 yards away from him when he caught the ball. They put me on the other side and Pete (Retzlaff) ran a short pattern. I went for him and, whoosh, he was off in another direction catching the ball.

Reid’s 2021 NFL Draft Top 10 QB Rankings — March - The Draft Network
2) Justin Fields — After being mostly used as Wildcat QB while at Georgia, he stepped into the shoes of many greats at Ohio State. Welcoming the challenge, he went on to win 20 of 22 career starts. Finishing a historic two-year run, Fields threw for 5,373 yards, 63 touchdowns, and only nine interceptions during those appearances while also collecting 867 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. A well-constructed prospect that throws with a firm base, he also has the mobility necessary to consistently get himself out of harm’s way. Capable of layering the ball to all three areas of the field, the former Buckeye signal-caller is one that requires some projecting as he was involved in a heavy early step progression offense. There are many times where Fields tries to be too much of a perfectionist and it results in holding the ball too long, which results in sacks. If able to land with a known QB developer and one that can help speed up his mental clock, he has the capability of being a highly productive NFL starter.

B/R NFL Scouting Dept. 2021 NFL Draft Big Board 1.0 - B/R
[BLG Note: Interestingly, these rankings have Ja’Marr Chase as WR3.]

NFL draft 2021 mailbag: Mel Kiper answers 15 questions on quarterback prospects, teams and picks - ESPN+
So if we’re using my pre-draft rankings for last year’s class, the top two is pretty easy. Trevor Lawrence is going to have one of the highest grades I’ve ever given (more on that Wednesday); he’s the clear No. 1. And Joe Burrow was head-and-shoulders above the rest of last year’s class. After that, it’s very close, but I had slightly higher grades on two 2020 signal-callers. My top 10 — again, based on pre-draft grades — looks like this: 1) Trevor Lawrence, Clemson ... 2) Joe Burrow, LSU ... 3) Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama ... 4) Justin Herbert, Oregon ... 5) Zach Wilson, BYU ... 6) Justin Fields, Ohio State ... 7) Mac Jones, Alabama ... 8) Trey Lance, North Dakota State ... 9) Jordan Love, Utah State ... t-10) Jacob Eason, Washington/Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma. Tagovailoa didn’t have a great rookie season, but the talent is there — if Miami gets him some help. I’ve gone back and forth on Wilson and Fields in my rankings, but I’m giving Wilson the edge for now. There is a lot of demand for quarterbacks in this draft, which means Jones and Lance could go higher than they would in a normal year.

Dak Prescott’s representatives want a deal that is “right behind” the deal Patrick Mahomes got - Blogging The Boys
But it does indicate one thing, they want a contract that is above everyone else’s, only topped by Mahomes’ deal. That means that Prescott is looking to top the deal signed by Deshaun Watson. Watson received a four-year deal worth $39 million annually with $110 million guaranteed and $73 million guaranteed at signing. If you are looking for a baseline for a Prescott contract, that is probably it. So it seems the parameters are somewhere between $39 million a year to $45 million a year, but given Mahomes’ enormous success and willingness to sign such a long-term deal, the Prescott deal will likely look more like Watson’s deal. Probably in the $41-$42 million average per year range, with a guaranteed value of $115-$120 million, and likely for four years. That’s probably the minimum Dallas can get away with.

Will Washington Have a New Quarterback Before Free Agency Starts? - Hogs Haven
Jared Goff - Don’t laugh here. If the Lions are not sold on Goff being the long-term answer, don’t want to carry his current salary and would rather pick their own quarterback in the 2021 draft, there is a chance he could be moved again. I am one of the few who believe he could thrive here in DC with some solid playmakers and a great defense that keeps him in games.

If Russell Wilson leaves the Seahawks, which team is best? - SB Nation
There is no question that Dallas would be a better team with Russell Wilson than Dak Prescott. It’s not so much an issue here of Wilson being drastically better than Prescott, and more that there aren’t many quarterbacks in the league better than Wilson. Comparing the two is splitting hairs a little bit. Still, there are some reasons this would be beneficial for both teams. Dallas has been hesitant to commit to Prescott long term, and there are lingering questions whether he’ll be back to 100 percent following his season-ending injury. Also, when it comes to the current climate of quarterback contracts, Wilson is on a far more cap-manageable deal that what it might cost the Cowboys to ink Prescott long term. There’s also an out built into Wilson’s deal following the 2021 season. It gives Dallas a chance to try on the union for a year, then eat a cap hit and move in a different direction. If it works, then Dallas can keep him until 2023 without much issue. This also makes sense in terms of a potential trade, with Prescott being a significant return Seattle would be interested, and they could do a lot worse than losing Wilson and replacing him with a younger QB who is still excellent in his own right.

A Quick Primer on NFL Free Agent Tenders - Over The Cap
Exclusive Rights Free Agent (ERFA) Tender. This is usually the tender that is most active in late February or early March. The ERFA tender applies to any player whose contract is expiring and he has no more than two accrued seasons in the NFL (an accrued season is a season with at least six games on the 90 man roster or one game this year if they were on the teams opening week roster). The tender carries no guarantees and is for the minimum salary that the CBA allows a player to play for. Because the salaries are so cheap, for most teams it makes no impact on a team’s salary cap position if they already had 51 players under contract. Basically this is no different than a futures deal impact. The ERFA tender does block free agency so once a player is tendered there is really no reason for them not to sign the tender. In many cases players will sign a new contract rather than be tendered though too often those contracts contain splits and waivers which would not exist if tendered.

Off Day Debrief #26- JJ Watt is going to the Cardinals + Locker Room Mailba‪g‬ - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera (Niners Nation) and Brandon Lee Gowton (Bleeding Green Nation) held a Locker Room session on Monday night to interact with you and talk about the biggest stories of the day. Today’s episode is a recording of that session, and includes talk of JJ Watt going to the Cards, why Russell Wilson’s days in Seattle are numbered, Deshaun Watson’s future, and more!

The vaccine race against the coronavirus variants, explained - Vox
Covid-19 vaccines are here. So are new mutations. Here’s what you should know.

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