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Eagles News: ESPN’s top 50 free agent list includes 7 Philadelphia players

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/21/23.

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NFC Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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2023 NFL free agency: Best team fits for top 50 available players - ESPN+
14. C.J. Gardner-Johnson, S. Best team fit: Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles would be retaining one of their most versatile defenders, as Gardner-Johnson can play the safety position or cover in the slot. He tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions in just 12 regular-season games, and his urgent play style pops on the tape. With the coverage traits and ball skills to create impact plays, Gardner-Johnson is in position to sign a multiyear deal. [BLG Note: ESPN has Javon Hargrave ranked at 3, James Bradberry at 13, Isaac Seumalo at 35, T.J. Edwards at 37, Brandon Graham at 39, and Miles Sanders at 43.]

Report: Eagles interview former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard - BGN
Leonhard has been named to the Broyles Award (given to the nation’s top assistant) and has been interviewed for various NFL jobs, including the Green Bay Packers DC opening, over the past few years. I may be biased as an Eagles fan who is also a Wisconsin alum, but Leonhard would be an excellent hire for the Birds and would help improve a talented secondary and would keep the vaunted pass rush intact.

Former Badgers DC Jim Leonhard interviews for Philadelphia Eagles vacant DC position - Buckys 5th Quarter
Former Wisconsin Badgers defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jim Leonhard has primarily been in the shadows after announcing he wouldn’t return to the university after he was passed for the full-time head coaching role. Some have assumed that the longtime Badgers coach would elect to take a year off after his contract ended, but that may not be the case, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Leonhard interviewed for the recently vacant defensive coordinator position with the Philadelphia Eagles.

2023 BGN Draft #1 - Full 1st Round Mock Draft - BGN Radio
It’s officially NFL Draft season! The crew of Shane Haff, Mark Henry Jr. and Chris Deibler kick things off in their debut episode of this special series with a full first round mock of the 2023 NFL Draft!

DC Update - Iggles Blitz
More than a few people thought Leonhard would be named head coach at Wisconsin, but the job went to Luke Fickell, the mastermind of the University of Cincinnati’s recent run of success. That isn’t an insult to Leonhard. Rather, that points to how big college football has become. Wisconsin has been drifting away from Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State in recent years. They didn’t want to settle for a homegrown up and comer. They wanted a coaching star. Fickell is a proven commodity and now has the challenge of closing the gap with the Big 3 in the Big 10. Leonhard needs a job and the Eagles need a DC. I like him because of his background. Leonhard hasn’t coached in the NFL, but he played there for a decade. Learning under Rex Ryan is a great way to build your defensive acumen. Rex acts goofy on ESPN, but he’s brilliant when it comes to coaching defense. Leonhard was lucky to learn from Aranda and Wilcox on the college level. They had to be able to stop the Air Raid, RPOs, the triple option, the spread and other offensive attacks that are in the college game. Those coaches understand adaptability. They are creative thinkers and good teachers.

Eagles, 49ers Shine in Football Outsiders Awards - Football Outsiders
Who wins 2022 Art Rooney Jr. Award for Executive of the Year? (Last year’s winner: Les Snead, LAR). Howie Roseman’s Eagles reached the Super Bowl, and their best receiver (A.J. Brown), pass-rusher (Haason Reddick), safety (C.J. Gardner-Johnson), and arguably even corner (James Bradberry) were all offseason acquisitions. That’s not even including rookies Jordan Davis (a run-stuffer who started five games) or Nakobe Dean and Kyron Johnson (two key special teams contributors). And then there’s Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh, signed during the season to shore up the run defense, which they did. Did we mention that the Eagles are still in the middle of the pack in effective cap space? Or that Philadelphia has two first-round draft picks this year and two second-rounders next year? This Roseman kid, he knows what he’s doing.

A.J. Brown’s top plays from the 2022 season -
In his first year as an Eagle, A.J. Brown set a single-season franchise record with 1,496 receiving yards. The rumors are true, he really is ‘always open’! Watch his best plays from 2022.

Nick Sirianni’s ability to ‘coach the coaches’ being put to the test - The Athletic
Over the course of Super Bowl week, Sirianni’s staff painted a consistent picture of his emphasis on opening the curtain. All along, he has been intentional about what amounts to professional development in the football world. “Access,” Gannon told The Athletic. “This has been one of the first coaches and head coaches I’ve been around that you’re in any meeting that you wanna be in. He pulls you into meetings that sometimes you don’t want to be in. It’s a great process because it’s so open. He’s transparent with everything he does.” Gannon and Steichen both said Sirianni went out of his way to quiz them throughout the year on different aspects of running an organization, from seemingly small things like the weekly messaging to the team to administrative things like offseason practice schedules to heavier situations like dealing with a player in trouble. “Sometimes it’s like, ‘Yeah, I have thought about that,’” Gannon said, “and other times you get done with a meeting and I go and write it down. And it’s like, ‘Wow, boy I was behind on that one.’”

The Eagles have coaches to hire. How much power will Nick Sirianni have to make decisions? - Inquirer
Sirianni isn’t wired like Pederson. He is more emotional, more demonstrative, more inclined to speak his mind, more inclined to push back. Those qualities, in and of themselves, will make it harder for Roseman to take him on if they come into any disagreement or conflict, and already he has shown a measure of forcefulness that would have been surprising from Pederson. In a media availability Tuesday, he made it clear that he’d be happy to have Brian Johnson — the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach, a friend and mentor to Jalen Hurts since Hurts was a child — become the team’s offensive coordinator.

Five Under the Radar Free Agents for the Indianapolis Colts - Stampede Blue
Andre Dillard - Offensive Tackle. With Bernhard Raimann hitting his stride towards the end of the 2022 season, the Colts may feel comfortable with him and start him heading into training camp. But every position needs some sort of competition, and Raimann’s play should not have guaranteed a Week One starting gig. Dillard has been a reserve offensive lineman for the Eagles, starting at both guard and tackle. But with an expiring deal, the former first-round pick could be looking for a chance to play more frequently. The versatile 27-year-old would be the perfect option to battle Raimann and compete for a starting spot at left tackle or right guard.

Illuminating Info on JG from NBC’s Peter King - Revenge Of The Birds
Despite all the hue and cry from Eagles fans in expressing their disdain for the 2nd year DC who helped lead the Eagles to a 16 win season and a berth in the Super Bowl, Jeffrey Lourie and Howie Roseman offered to pay JG a head coach’s salary in order to retain him. That’s a tremendous sign of respect and appreciation on their part.

2023 NFL franchise tag primer: Candidates to watch while window is open -
Jones’ dramatic improvement under Brian Daboll as head coach creates a situation that seemed unlikely last April, when the team declined the fifth-year option on Jones’ rookie contract: The Giants want Jones back. In fact, they want Jones and Barkley back, but only one can get the franchise tag, and therein lies the decision. The Giants tried to get a deal done with Barkley during the season, but even the team admitted the two sides were not close then. The Giants would presumably prefer to sign Jones to a multi-year deal. That would free up the tag to be used on Barkley, if necessary. If the Giants and Jones can’t reach agreement on a long-term deal, though, they would have to tag him for $32 million (the value of a non-exclusive tag for a quarterback). That is not a bad price in the current climate, but tagging Jones would also eat up a chunk of their salary-cap space that they would surely rather use shoring up other areas of the roster.

Daniel Jones’ agent switch adds intrigue, could complicate Giants’ offseason - Big Blue View
The New York Post reports that Athletes First has negotiated the largest deal in NFL history (at the time) on five occasions. Athletes First represents quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (No. 1 in the NFL in average annual value), Dak Prescott, DeShaun Watson (five years, $230 million fully guaranteed) and Matt Ryan. So, yes, this could be a power move by Jones. This could also increase the likelihood of the Giants being forced to use the franchise tag on Jones, something former New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum predicted recently on the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast:

How Bijan Robinson could help the Cowboys once again land the best player at his position - Blogging The Boys
Why this makes sense for Dallas. The Cowboys are no strangers to using premium draft capital on a running back as Ezekiel Elliott was selected fourth overall in 2016. The team certainly doesn’t want to make that mistake again; however, there’s a big difference between taking a running back 4th and taking them 26th. Still, it’s their top draft resource, and would they really want to use it for a player that might not stick around past his rookie deal? The only way this could even be in the cards is if the Cowboys hit the reset button at running back where they release Zeke and let Tony Pollard walk in free agency. So, while using a high draft pick at running back isn’t ideal, the team could pass on throwing any more money at Elliott and Pollard and still have a threatening rushing attack with the rookie Robinson.

The Arizona Cardinals request to interview Washington Commanders WRs coach Drew Terrell for OC - Hogs Haven
Update: Drew Terrell being considered for a pass game coordinator role with the Cardinals after not getting the OC job.

When is the 2023 NFL Combine? - DraftKings Nation
NFL Scouting Combine Live Drills begins Thursday, March 2nd, with coverage on NFL Network starting at 3pm ET. Throughout the week, draft prospects will have the opportunity to showcase their athleticism through positional drills and interview with prospective teams to raise their stock as much as possible before the NFL Draft begins on April 28th. Here’s a look at when each position group will go through their various drills at the combine.

The NFL’s franchise, transition, and non-exclusive tags, explained - SB Nation
Non-exclusive tag. This is the most common tag used each offseason. Under the non-exclusive tag, the player is given a one-year deal based on an average of the top five salaries at the respective position over the last five years, or 120 percent of his previous salary, whichever is greater. So, it is cheaper than the exclusive franchise tag, but more expensive than the transition tag. However, the player is free to negotiate with other teams. Should the player sign an offer sheet from another NFL team, the player’s current team has the right to match the offer. If they do not, they receive two first-round draft picks as compensation when the player leaves for a new team.


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