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Eagles News: Brian Dawkins thinks Philadelphia should stick with Jalen Hurts

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/25/22.

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Carolina Panthers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

5 ‘most improved’ Eagles candidates for 2022 - BGN
For a 2nd year, former 6th-round pick, Watkins’ emergence as a solid weapon last year was certainly a surprise. Despite being in an offense that threw the ball less than any other team in the league, with a QB who had accuracy issues, Watkins still hauled in 43 balls for 647 yards, an average of 15.0 yards per catch. The Eagles should absolutely pursue a wideout in free agency to add to DeVonta Smith and Watkins, preferably one that would push Watkins into the slot full-time, which would allow defenses to turn some of their attention away from Watkins, allowing him to do even more. As we saw on numerous All-22 recaps this year, there were plenty of plays in which Watkins was wide open and Hurts didn’t see him. If Hurts sticks around, Watkins’ numbers may not get much better. But if Nick Sirianni gets himself a quarterback who specializes in throwing the ball, Watkins’ numbers could spike and turn him into a true weapon in the slot or as a No. 2 receiver.

Free agents the Eagles are most likely to sign - BGN Radio
NFL free agency is on the horizon! Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski play “stay or go” with the Philadelphia Eagles’ own free agents before running through their annual “most likely free agents to sign with the Eagles” draft game. Plus, a special guest stops by towards the very end of the show.

Doug Kyed’s Pre-Combine Mailbag: Russell Wilson trade rumors, franchise tag opinions and the New England Patriots’ throwback jerseys - PFF
There’s also the question of whether the Seahawks would be open to a fresh start at the position, as well. One league source I spoke to during the season believed they would be open to that possibility. One thing is for certain, and that’s the fact that neither side would want to be seen as the root cause for a divorce. So, if Wilson is unhappy in Seattle or if the Seahawks would be willing to start anew at quarterback, there could be a game of chicken where neither party would want to state its intentions first. It would really have to be a mutual parting of ways from a public relations standpoint. The Philadelphia Eagles are interesting because Howie Roseman has heavily implied that he wanted to draft Wilson in the 2012 NFL Draft, but the Seahawks took him before they could. It’s unclear if Wilson would want to be in Philadelphia, but Eagles QB Jalen Hurts would likely be an attractive trade chip for Seattle or another team as a young quarterback who showed improvement in 2021.

Insider says Hurts trade would bring Eagles a strong deal - NBCSP
But... what if this is close to the ceiling on his NFL potential? That seems relatively likely. He was a second-round pick for a reason: he doesn’t have those jump-off-the-film physical traits that separate a Top 10 pick, he didn’t really show a ton of growth in his weak areas from Week 1 to the Wild Card round, and I’m just not sold on that arm in today’s NFL. If the Eagles’ front office feels the same way, it sounds like they might be smart to sell high on Hurts. This offseason could be the prime time to do so, according to one insider who says the Eagles could recoup some pretty solid draft capital in a Hurts trade.

Could free agent JuJu Smith-Schuster join the Eagles? Five fits in free agency and the draft - ESPN
Free agent: JuJu Smith-Schuster (25), Pittsburgh Steelers. 2021 stats: 15 catches, 129 yards in five games. Bowen: “I think you need a bigger slot receiver [Schuster is 6-foot-1, 215 pounds], someone who is physical, with catch-and-run traits. Someone who can work the middle of the field and has enough lower-body explosiveness to create after the catch. ... I think he would fit what Sirianni wants in the middle of the field. He’s tough, he’s physical, he’s a detailed route runner, and he’ll compete inside the numbers.”

2022 NFL Scouting Combine Preview: Offensive Line - PE.com
Kenyon Green, Texas A&M – Green is a quick-footed athlete who is rarely on the ground, signifying his balance and body control on the field. At 6-foot-4, 325 pounds, Green has the ideal build for a guard but has played snaps at all five offensive line spots in college.

James Harden will make his Sixers debut vs. Timberwolves - Liberty Ballers
This isn’t exactly groundbreaking news, but it’s always nice for fans to get confirmation. Shams Charania has now reported that James Harden will be making his debut for the Philadelphia 76ers in their first game back from the All-Star break on Friday, as they go on the road to face the Minnesota Timberwolves. [BLG Note: Let’s gooooooooo]

Multiple teams would trade for Deshaun Watson without a settlement of civil cases - PFT
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, multiple teams are indeed willing to make the deal, as long as the criminal situation is resolved. Last year, the Dolphins insisted on settlement of all cases before a trade would be finalized. The Panthers were willing to make the deal regardless of the civil (or criminal) cases, but Watson didn’t want to waive his no-trade clause for a trade to Carolina.

2022 USFL Season Preview - Football Outsiders
Philadelphia Stars: The Stars will be led by Bart Andrus, a long-time minor league football lifer. Andrus was the head coach of the Amsterdam Admirals for seven years, winning World Bowl XIII and reaching the title game the next season. He has also coached for Rocky Mountain College at the NIAA level, Feather River College at the CCCAA level, the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL, the Omaha Nighthawks in the UFL, the Generals in the Spring League, and Team 9 in the XFL. He has been around a bit, is what we’re saying. And he has brought that knowledge with him to the USFL, to an extreme. Andrus went with a familiar face—to him, not us—and grabbed Bryan Scott as his quarterback of choice. Scott played for Occidental in college, down at the Division III level, and also competed internationally—he was on the USA’s U-19 national team and won a gold medal and MVP honors in the 2014 IFAF World Championships. No NFL team was interested in gold, however, and Scott spent the next few years at mini-camp tryouts and on CFL practice squads. He did beat out Zach Mettenberger to lead Andrus’ Generals in the 2020 Spring League. They went 4-0 and won the championship, with Scott named as league MVP. He’ll have to beat out Case Cookus, who also played for Andrus on the Generals, to keep the starting job. Andrus didn’t stop there. He also used high picks on cornerback Channing Stribling and running back Darnell Holland, both former Generals. Andrus raided the AAF and XFL as well, taking Jack Tocho (of the Iron and the Wildcats) as the top safety off the board. While other teams went for bigger name recognition, the Stars are very much a minor league team led by a minor league coach who knows minor league players. The fact that there is a different team called the Generals is confusing, but we’ll roll with it.

Poll: Should the Dallas Cowboys restructure Ezekiel Elliott’s contract? - Blogging The Boys
Ezekiel Elliott carries a guaranteed salary of $12.4M this offseason. That is obviously not ideal considering the position he plays (which has nothing to do with Zeke himself), but hey, Stephen Jones has got this, baby. That same figure for Elliott’s future is $0 for 2023-2026. If the Cowboys felt confident that Elliott would be on their team next season they could dip into his contract, kick the proverbial can down the road, and have more breathing room in the here and now. But given Zeke’s production, the position he plays, and all of the arguments that we have had to great degrees for the last two years, it doesn’t exactly seem like a great idea.

Juan Castillo Presser: Logan Thomas has some god-given ability and he works hard. - Hogs Haven
New Washington Commanders TEs Coach Juan Castillo spoke with local media today. The team announced his hiring after former coach Pete Hoener retired. Castillo has a history with Head Coach Ron Rivera. They worked together on the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff from 1999-2003. Rivera became the Chicago Bears defensive coordinator the following year, but Castillo stayed with the Eagles until 2012. Castillo spent one year with the Eagles as their TEs coach(1997) under OC Jon Gruden, but also coached the offensive line(1998-2010) and was their defensive coordinator(2011-12).

Giants 2022 free agency: Edge Lorenzo Carter - Big Blue View
This is a tough call. Do you put more weight on the 2018 third-round pick’s first 3½ NFL seasons, during which he looked like a player with immense physical gifts who wasn’t really able to use them to produce game-changing plays? Or, do put more weight on Carter’s final four games of 2021, easily the most productive stretch of his career? During that stretch he had all five of his 2021 sacks, including at least one in each game. He had six of his eight 2021 quarterback hits, five of his six tackles for loss, four of his five passes defensed and his only two forced fumbles of the season. Do you look at those final four games and think they hinted that Carter, entering his fifth NFL season, is about to make a Shaq Barrett or Leonard Floyd-type leap?

Restructure or release? Carson Wentz, Kenyan Drake among eight AFC players to keep an eye on - NFL.com
CARSON WENTZ: The opportunity to WIN NOW is partially based on division opponents, and while it’s unlikely the Jags and Texans will both be selecting in the top three again in the 2023 NFL Draft, they both still have enough question marks to make the 2022 AFC South the most favorable division in the conference. Wentz’s -2.5 completion percentage over expected in 2021 ranked 24th of 31 qualified QBs in 2021. In fact, he’s had a negative CPOE in each of the last three seasons (-4.1% in 2020, -1.4% in 2019). If the Colts want to get back to the playoffs next season, allotting 13.4 percent of the salary cap to Wentz doesn’t seem like a wise approach.

Report: Colts Hiring Jets’ Nate Ollie as New Defensive Line Coach - Stampede Blue
According to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson, the Indianapolis Colts are hiring former New York Jets assistant defensive line coach Nate Ollie for their currency defensive line coach vacancy. Ollie just completed his sole season as the Jets assistant defensive line coach, having spent the prior two seasons (2019-20) in the same coaching capacity with the Philadelphia Eagles.

FOX, ESPN and Amazon are in a three-way fight for NFL broadcasters - SB Nation
The race to get NFL broadcasters has never been hotter, and it’s led to some unprecedented scenarios being thrown around. With FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN and now Amazon all trying to secure broadcast teams, all with the promise of huge money, there’s the potential we could see current NFL staff members leaving the league. Troy Aikman is the first domino in all this. The FOX broadcaster is on the verge of leaving the network, which he’s been with since 2001, to join ESPN and Monday Night Football. It’s a deal reportedly being north of the $17.5M per-year deal that Tony Romo has with CBS. This means Aikman could be making over $100M on this five year deal — an eye-popping number for other prospective announcers.

The Look Ahead #78: Rodgers news could come “soon” + Troy Aikman going to ESPN - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and RJ Ochoa react to the latest report about Aaron Rodgers’ future and wonder what the dominoes for NFL broadcasts will be once Troy Aikman leaves Fox for Monday Night Football. Aaron Rodgers will reportedly be letting the Packers know what’s up very soon (4:35). Who are the teams that could have trade offers on the table for him? (12:29). Troy Aikman is likely leaving Fox for ESPN and MNF (24:31). What are the dominoes of this move (29:06). How does Fox replace Aikman? Is John Lynch a factor? (31:43). A potential 3 way broadcaster trade (34:17).

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