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Eagles News: ESPN says Philadelphia made one of the NFL’s biggest offseason upgrades

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/2/21.

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

Ranking the NFL offseason’s 25 biggest position upgrades: Why the Cardinals, Rams, Browns and others improved - ESPN+
18. Philadelphia Eagles, S: Anthony Harris replaces Jalen Mills. Mills was a solid find by the Eagles as a seventh-round pick back in 2016, but the versatile defensive back was not the answer as Malcolm Jenkins’ de facto replacement at safety last season. Mills is now in New England and will be replaced in Philadelphia by a more traditional safety in Harris. The 29-year-old broke out with a league-high six INTs in 2019 before he was slapped with the franchise tag by Minnesota. He wasn’t quite as dominant last season, as he failed to record a single interception, but he did increase his tackle total from 60 in 2019 to a career-high 104. Nonetheless, Harris provides an upgrade and solid starter with upside opposite Rodney McLeod in an Eagles secondary that badly needed an injection of talent. The Eagles have ranked 22nd or worse in interceptions each of the past three seasons, with a total of 29 during the span.

Can DeVonta Smith have the greatest Eagles rookie receiving season of all time? - BGN
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I believe there’s a case to be made DeVonta Smith is the most exciting Philadelphia Eagles draft pick of all time. Admittedly, I was born in 1991, so it’s not like I’ve lived through the Eagles’ entire 85-year draft history. Accuse me of recency bias if you must. But I can’t think of an Eagles rookie that people (myself included) were more excited to see play. Carson Wentz obviously belongs near the top of that list but, remember, it wasn’t even a sure thing he was going to see the field in 2016 with Sam Bradford originally set to be the starting quarterback (lol). Fletcher Cox was surely an exciting pick in 2012, but defensive tackle is hardly one of the flashiest positions to watch. Smith plays one of the most entertaining positions in all of football. A position that hasn’t offered the Eagles fans much reason to be excited in way too long. Just look back at the Eagles’ leading wide receivers in recent history.

An early look at five Eagles camp battles - PhillyVoice
During the 2020 offseason, we reviewed Dillard’s 2019 season, and it was a lot harder to find positives. There remains a perception that Dillard was bad when he played RT, but was fine at LT. That simply wasn’t the case. More accurately, he was bad at LT, and a disaster at RT.. The Eagles drafted Dillard because they loved his athleticism, which is indeed quite impressive. He has light, quick feet, and there should be little concern about his ability to mirror/match pass rushers. Dillard’s biggest flaw as a rookie, by far, was his inability to anchor against power. If that doesn’t get fixed, and opposing pass rushers know they can just bull rush him into the quarterback, it will likely be a fatal flaw for his NFL career. In the run game, Dillard’s best hope was to stalemate with opposing defensive linemen, as he rarely moved anyone off the line of scrimmage. Despite only playing a total 343 snaps on the season (183 of which were pass blocking snaps), Dillard led the team in sacks allowed.

Will the Eagles be forced to cut Ertz? - NBCSP
Unless a team is desperate for Ertz, why not wait and force the Eagles’ hand? And if a team were desperate, it would have presumably made a deal with the Eagles already. You don’t see very many players in their 30s traded these days, no matter how accomplished they are. Teams value draft picks and youth more than ever. [...] If Ertz hits the open market, it’s hard to imagine him getting more than $3 or $4 million per year. That’s a huge savings for whatever team signs him. So if the Eagles really have made up their minds to move on from Ertz, they just may have to settle for getting nothing in return.

6 things we know about the Eagles - PE.com
1. The word you hear more than any other from the players is “energy.” It’s a constant theme, and it is clear that Head Coach Nick Sirianni and his staff have the daily approach that just comes naturally. Sirianni is an upbeat guy. He’s a hands-on coach who doesn’t miss a thing on the practice field and, as he’s said many times, relationships are important to him. “It definitely makes a difference,” defensive end Ryan Kerrigan said. “There is great energy in this building. You can feel it. You want to be part of it. I think that’s a great thing to have and not all teams have that positive energy.” Said cornerback Darius Slay: “They’ve got a lot of energy. That’s one thing I do know. They got a lot, a lot, a lotta, lotta energy.” And the players are enjoying it. That’s a huge positive.

What Teams Might Make Sense to Trade for Julio Jones? - Over The Cap
The teams not expected to win now such as the Lions should not be considered since this is a short term rather than long term boost. Those with little cap room also should be out. The Packers, Cowboys, Saints, Rams, Texans, Giants, and Bills have no business being involved. Likewise you should question the Chiefs, Bucs, or Eagles from being involved.

Seahawks become the new betting favorites to land Julio Jones - PFT
On the eve of the arrival of the period for a potential Julio Jones trade, a new betting favorite has emerged: The Seahawks. PointsBet has Seattle as a +225 proposition to make the deal, followed by the Titans at +250. Next come the Eagles at +275, followed by the Ravens and 49ers at +300. The Patriots, the prior favorites at +150, have plunged to +450. The Chargers stand at +800, the Packers are at +1200, the Colts are at +1400, and the Rams and Jaguars are at +1600.

Casey Toohill appears to be on track to make the regular season roster again - Hogs Haven
Casey Toohill had to pass through the unpleasant experience of being a Philadelphia Eagle for nine weeks, but facing that ugly reality and surviving it should only make him stronger and more thankful to be in Washington. Last season, with Ryan Anderson, Ryan Kerrigan, and Nate Orchard all on the roster, Toohill got on the field every week. In 2021, Toohill looks like a good bet to return as part of the 53-man roster. He will probably continue to get around ten snaps per game on special teams, but his role on the defense, predominately as a situational pass rusher from either defensive end position, should expand to as much as 30% of the defensive snaps as he steps into the void left by the departure of three veterans from last year’s roster.

PFF cornerback rankings: Two Giants make Top 32 - Big Blue View
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said recently that the NFL is a “passing league” and that “you can never have too many good corners”. He must be happy with Pro Football Focus’ recent 32 Top Outside Cornerback rankings, as they named James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson the league’s fifth- and 12th-best cornerbacks, respectively.

Cowboys’ patience in Randy Gregory could finally pay off in 2021 - Blogging The Boys
To say that it’s been a bumpy road for Randy Gregory since entering the NFL as the Dallas Cowboys second-round pick in 2015 would be an understatement. After overcoming his personal demons and multiple NFL suspensions, the former Nebraska pass rusher is finally hoping to reward the Cowboys for their patience in him in the upcoming 2021 season. As things stand right now, Gregory is projected to be the Cowboys starting right defensive end opposite DeMarcus Lawrence for the 2021 season. They are putting a lot of faith in their former 2015 second-round pick, especially considering his unreliable past. A past that will continue to put him on thin ice as far as the NFL is concerned.

Buffalo Bills restructure Stefon Diggs’s contract, create 2021 cap space - Buffalo Rumblings
The Buffalo Bills made a bold salary cap move on Tuesday, converting a large portion of Stefon Diggs’s 2021 salary to a “signing bonus” in order to spread out the cap hit over multiple seasons. The news comes from ESPN’s Field Yates. In NFL contracts, signing bonus money is pro-rated over the life of the deal. In this context, the Bills gave Diggs money that was originally supposed to be salary as a new signing bonus, so it pro-rates over each of the three years remaining on his deal. Yates reports that the Bills took $11,718,333 of the base salary and converted it to signing bonus, creating $7,812,222 in 2021 cap space. The move gives Buffalo roughly $11 million in cap space to work with over the coming months as the season approaches. They could add a cornerback or even pull off a trade for a big-name player. [BLG Note: Precursor to a Zach Ertz trade?]

NFL Daily Kickoff, Wednesday - Tom Brady update in Tampa, Rex Burkhead has a new team, Big Ben speaks - The SB Nation NFL Show
On today’s episode, Tom Brady may be “coaching” during mandatory minicamp, Rex Burkhead heads to the Houston Texans to the weirdest RB room in the league, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger speaks, free-agent right tackle Morgan Moses continues to make the rounds, plus a speed round to end the show with updates on the 49ers, Jaguars and Broncos.

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