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Eagles News: Many NFL executives believe Philly is the front-runner to land Deshaun Watson

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/27/21.

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Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

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

Ranking NFL’s top five QB hotspots as training camps begin: What to expect with Packers, Texans and more - CBS Sports
4. Philadelphia Eagles. I am a believer in Jalen Hurts, and the Eagles really like him too, but this is as aggressive of a front office as you will find, and a very involved owner and the prospect of landing a star QB has been talked about within that organization since things began falling apart with Carson Wentz. They have been watching this Watson thing for months and many execs believe they would be front-runners to land him, should a trade materialize. They’d love Rodgers, too, I am sure, though I don’t see him being someone who is bound for Philly (and he will be able to control where he lands should trade talks commence). Could Jimmy G become available at some point? All I know is the Eagles are not afraid to ask about anything and willing to think big and make a blockbuster if need be. [BLG Note: Jason La Canfora was first to report the Eagles’ interest in Watson.]

Report: Texans now willing to listen to trade offers for Deshaun Watson - BGN
Overall, it’s a complicated situation with an unclear timeline. It seems hard to believe any team would be willing to trade for Watson without a high level of confidence that legal issues and/or suspension won’t seriously impact his availability. Then again, it’s incredibly rare that a quarterback of Watson’s ilk is available. He’s a 25-year-old elite talent under team control through 2025. And it’s exactly this reason why the Eagles are rumored to be so intrigued about the possibility of acquiring him. Understandably, there are those who want nothing to do with seeing Watson in a midnight green uniform. Some fans would just not be interested in cheering for him given the allegations that have come to light.

The Eagles and a potential trade for Deshaun Watson: Answering 7 key questions - The Athletic
It feels gross to talk about given what Watson has been accused of. But if the purpose of this exercise is to try to assess what the Eagles are weighing, then this is obviously a big part of it. At every turn of the Roseman/Lurie era, the goal has been to find a franchise quarterback. The Eagles (rightfully) believe that building an efficient, explosive passing game is the most straightforward path to sustaining success in the modern NFL. Watson turns 26 in September. The Texans finished eighth in passing DVOA last year. He ranked fifth in TruMedia’s Expected Points Added (EPA) per play model and 12th in QBR. Next Gen Stats tracks completion percentage above expectation. It looks at the probability of a completion on every throw based on distance, receiver separation, pressure and other factors. It then compares a quarterback’s actual completion percentage to what was expected. Watson ranked first out of 41 quarterbacks last year. He’s made 47 of a possible 48 starts over the past three seasons and has completed 67.8 percent of his passes while averaging 8.3 YPA with 104 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. The truth is that quarterbacks of Watson’s caliber pretty much never become available. The Texans are a train wreck of a franchise, which led to Watson wanting out. And had it not been for the serious allegations, they likely would have been able to land a massive haul for him before the draft.

Ten criminal complaints are pending against Deshaun Watson - PFT
It’s hard not to think that Hardin’s candor is aimed at getting the Texans to drop their price (supposedly three first-round draft picks and then some) to reflect the various uncertainties regarding Watson’s status. He could still be placed on paid leave. He could still face criminal charges. He could still lose anywhere from one to 22 trials. Indeed, Hardin made it clear that he believes teams are ready to do a deal, in light of all current circumstances. “Teams are ready to jump now if the Texans would trade with them, even while all this is pending,” Hardin said. There’s no question that teams, numerous teams, are still interested. The ball is in the Texans court.” The onus is on the Texans to drop their price. If they do, perhaps the Broncos or Eagles or Dolphins (or someone else) will bite.

Does Deshaun Watson Play Another Snap with the Houston Texans? - Battle Red Blog
His return was surprising for most of us. The preconceived notion was that Watson would do as he said, ignore the Texans, not report to camp, remain idle at his home and throwing footballs to dummies in his free time until next season when the Texans could trade him. It’s important to remember the Texans shouldn’t trade Watson until the following season once they know what the draft capital they receive would be worth. His return throws a hitch in the narrative. Will Watson practice? Will he pull a Jalen Ramsey and fake injuries and sit out the season? Will he eventually play another snap for an employer he hates and doesn’t trust? Will he be suspended this season, making all this moot?

30 things I’ll be watching at 2021 Eagles training camp - PhillyVoice
4) Is Hurts exhausting all his progressions in the passing game before he tucks and runs? In 2020 camp, Hurts was constantly running with the ball, like, even on 7-on-7’s. And then during the regular season, he was quick to tuck and run if his first option or two wasn’t there. It’s not at all out of the ordinary for quarterbacks who possess the type of running ability that Hurts does to lean on that skill as a young player. However, in his second season in camp, he should be looking to refine his skills in the pocket. Training camp is the time to iron out some of the areas where you’re not quite as comfortable.

Why there’s hope for Reagor and more in Roob’s 10 Observations - NBCSP
1. One reason to be encouraged about Jalen Reagor – and there are a few – is how much more comfortable he looked with Jalen Hurts than with his predecessor. Reagor played nearly twice as many snaps with the guy in Indy (334 to 177), but he had only 48 fewer yards with Hurts (222 to 174) and nine of his 18 catches of at least 10 yards (and three of four of 20 yards) came with Hurts at QB. Pro-rating his time with both quarterbacks, Reagor averaged 44 yards per game and 14.5 yards per catch with Hurts and 34 yards per game and 11.7 yards per catch with the previous quarterback. At that pace, over a full season he would have been 53-for-704 with Hurts. That’s a big leap, but it just shows how much more of a connection Reagor had with Hurts. There are other reasons to be optimistic. Reagor won’t be facing No. 1 corners this year, he’ll presumably be healthy and have a full camp, and he’ll be playing in an offense that should play to his strengths. Reagor may never be Justin Jefferson, but with DeVonta Smith in the fold, he really just needs to be a consistent, productive No. 2 receiver. Kind of like what Jeremy Maclin was to DeSean Jackson in their four years together. Can he do it? I don’t know. But I do know he’ll have a much better chance this year than last year.

For several reasons, defense is must-see at Training Camp - PE.com
“The main thing, though, when I got here, I didn’t drop a book on the table and say, ‘Hey, this is what we’re running.’ If you actually ask the head coach, when we first talked about this when he interviewed me, it was, ‘Hey, what scheme are you going to run?’ I said, ‘I don’t have a scheme.’ And I believe that you have to be adaptable. But the first thing is we’ve got to figure out what our players can do, and then we’ve got to put them in those situations as much as possible to utilize their strengths. The main thing for us is it’s not what we play; it’s how we play. And if you asked our players that, I think they know that from the jump as far as we’re going to run to the ball, we’re going to outhit people, we’re going to take it away, and we’re going to be smart. Those four things – hustle, intensity, takeaways, smart. The acronym for that is the HITS principle, and that’s what we’re going to hold our hat on.

10 Questions to Keep in Mind as NFL Training Camps Open - The Ringer
Eagles tight end Ertz has been angling to leave Philadelphia since the end of the 2020 campaign. Even though the Eagles gave the veteran permission to seek a trade, months have passed with no progress toward a deal. The 30-year-old recorded only 335 yards and one touchdown (both career lows) across 11 appearances last season. Ertz is scheduled to make $8.5 million this year before becoming a free agent in 2022.

2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 37 Quarterbacks - Fake Teams
For now, feast your eyes on the first set of rankings, and argue with us in the comments about how we were too high or too low on your favorite (or least favorite) player. You know, because you have a crystal ball and we don’t...right? [BLG Note: Jalen Hurts finished as fantasy QB10 in these rankings.]

Washington signs Jonathan Allen to a 4-year, $72 million contract extension - Hogs Haven
Jonathan Allen said he wanted to get a new contract signed with the Washington Football Team before training camp, and that’s exactly what happened. Camp opens tomorrow and his agency announced that he has sign a 4-year, $72 million extension with a $30 million signing bonus. There were a lot of rumblings today that a deal wasn’t going to get done, but Washington’s new front office has done something that has been an issue in the past, re-signed a 1st round pick. This is a huge win for Ron Rivera, the franchise and its fans.

1-on-1 with Giants coach Joe Judge: Growing as a coach, his journey, believing in Daniel Jones, much more - Big Blue View
“What I always look for is improvement on a daily basis and the work ethic and commitment to make that consistent improvement. The thing I look at with Daniel is this guy has improved throughout the first year we’ve been together. I’ve watched how he’s worked this offseason, made improvements, and his command, his presence, the way he’s handling the offense, the way he’s really growing within the role,” Judge said. “These are things that to me are a lot more important for quarterbacks than just stats. The only stats we really care about are wins and losses here. For me, it’s always important to stay in the moment and stay very present in what you’re doing. Everyone has long term goals and we can throw out words, greatness, things of that nature, but I think all the people who have ever really accomplished things are really more focused on the present and what they’re doing day by day.”

Titans sign a pair of defensive tackles - Music City Miracles
Anthony Rush is another big body (6-4, 361!) that has been primarily utilized as a run stopper. He has spent time with the Seahawks, Eagles, Bears, Packers and Raiders since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Alabama-Birmingham in 2019. Rush has played in 14 career games, and totaled 14 tackles.

Arizona Cardinals sign veteran cornerback Daryl Worley - Revenge Of The Birds
The Arizona Cardinals signed a veteran cornerback afterall, just not the one we were all hoping for. The team announced on Monday they had signed veteran cornerback Daryl Worley.

Sources: OT Dennis Kelly visiting Texans - SportsTalk 790
Kelly, 31, is a 6-foot-8, 321-pound former Philadelphia Eagles fifth-round draft pick from Purdue who’s regarded highly in NFL circles for his blocking skills, power and character.

Packers and Aaron Rodgers are finalizing a deal to ensure his return for 2021 - Acme Packing Company
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, there are a few primary reasons why Rodgers would agree to the adjusted contract. One is a condition that the team will “review Rodgers’ situation” after the upcoming season, in the spring of 2022. That language is particularly vague, however, giving no indication as to whether there is an explicit agreement to trade him or simply that the two sides will check in after the year. Additionally, the void year will put some added pressure on the Packers to make a decision on Rodgers’ future next March. Although the team could keep him through the last year of his contract and allow him to leave in free agency in 2023, the team would receive only a high compensatory draft pick in 2024 in that case. By contrast, a trade in 2022 would likely net the team significant and immediate draft picks instead. That added motivation likely gives Rodgers some level of confidence that the team indeed will move him if his relationship with the front office fails to improve or work with him on a long-term extension if the two sides become more amicable.

Monday Football Monday #46: AFC West All-Star Team, Aaron Rodgers + Frank Reich tests positive for COVID-19 + more - The SB Nation NFL Show
On this week’s jam-packed episode, RJ Ochoa is joined by Bleeding Green Nation’s very own Brandon Lee Gowton. The two run through each position and build their AFC West All-Star team then discuss the latest news surrounding Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Frank Reich testing positive for COVID-19 + more.

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