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Eagles News: Bobby Wagner among top remaining free agent options

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 3/18/23.

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Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

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

Mailbag: Who are some of the Eagles’ free agent options at linebacker? - PhillyVoice
Bobby Wagner, Rams: Wagner has been named All-Pro in each of the last nine (!) seasons, and he won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks during the 2013 season. Spoiler: He’ll be in the Hall of Fame someday. He signed a five-year deal with the Rams worth $50 million last offseason, but the two sides “mutually agreed to part ways” in February. I’m not sure the Eagles want to / can pay a linebacker a ton of money, but they can certainly pitch the idea to Wagner that he can win again in Philly. As an added bonus, Wagner would not count toward the compensatory pick formula.

2023 NFL free agency: Don’t overlook these signings -
Rashaad Penny: Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is no stranger to praise these days, and this savvy pickup could be his next applause inducer. Penny is a low-cost signing with the potential to produce a huge return on investment due to his explosive playmaking potential. The oft-injured running back has teased evaluators with flashes of elite production and a career average of 5.7 yards per carry, but the former first-round pick has never panned out as a consistent workhorse in the backfield. If Penny can avoid the injury bug that has plagued his NFL tenure, he could emerge as a star playing alongside Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia’s RPO-based offense.

Should the Eagles bring back Jalen Mills? - BGN
Mills is exactly the kind of versatile player that Nick Sirianni likes to have on the roster. His first four years in Philly he played cornerback before moving over to safety in 2020. The move was made after Malcolm Jenkins left for New Orleans, and he did a respectable job filling those rather large shoes. In fact, Mills had a career-high season in 2020, finishing with 74 total tackles, five QB hits, three passes defended, one interception, and one forced fumble, plus 1.5 sacks, which are the only sacks of his career. He left for the Patriots in 2021, but New England put him back at corner and despite being a starter, he was never quite as effective as he was in Philly. There were indications that Mills would be moved back over to safety for the Patriots, but it turns out they are going to move on entirely.

NFL free agency 2023: Patriots reportedly set to release starting cornerback Jalen Mills - Pats Pulpit
Mills, 28, first joined the Patriots on a four-year, $24 million free agency contract in 2021. He took over a starting role as an outside cornerback right away and over the next two years appeared in 26 games, registering two interceptions and a fumble recovery. However, his 2022 campaign was a challenging. While he did look good when on the field — opposing passers went 27-for-45 for 333 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions when targeting him — staying there was a problem. The Patriots’ nominal CB2 missed one game with a hamstring issue and the final six of the season with a nagging groin injury. Now, the Patriots are moving on from him. The move will create net salary cap savings of roughly $4.1 million versus a dead cap charge of $1.25 million.

At the Podium: RB Rashaad Penny’s Introductory Presser - BGN Radio
The newest addition to the Eagles running back room, Rashaad Penny speaks with the Philly media for the first time.

Mariota Finally Comes to Philly - Iggles Blitz
I like the move. The Eagles needed a good backup. Mariota’s skill set is a good match for the offense. He is more physically gifted than Minshew and more experienced. Let’s also point out Mariota has his issues. He is an inconsistent passer. He’s got a strong arm, but you’ll see him underthrow deep balls. His decision-making isn’t always great. There is a reason a player with his experience and talent is a backup. Still, I think this is a good move. Mariota has never been surrounded by this much offensive talent. I also think this will be the best offensive coaching staff he’s worked with. Put simply, he’s in position to succeed.

Free agency gains and losses: Tracking WAR lost, gained by each NFL team - PFF
Philadelphia Eagles sign QB Marcus Mariota: Mariota generated 0.73 WAR in 2022, 30th among quarterbacks. He ranked 10th in the league in uncatchable pass rate (25.8%) and earned a 62.7 passing grade last season. Philadelphia Eagles sign CB Greedy Williams: Williams generated -0.03 WAR in 2022. He earned a 52.2 defensive grade and ranked sixth on the Browns in run-defense grade (68.3).

Grading the move: Eagles finally do deal for Marcus Mariota, add QB2 behind Jalen Hurts - The Athletic
As a passer, the overlap isn’t so snug, but that’s why he’s no longer a starting quarterback. Mariota’s 0.02 expected points added per dropback in 2022 ranked a respectable 18th out of 33 qualifying quarterbacks, as he completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 7.4 yards per attempt, 15 touchdowns, nine interceptions and just 170.7 passing yards per game in one of the league’s most run-heavy offenses. Where Mariota struggled in particular was on downfield passes. He actually threw the ball deeper on average than any quarterback in the league last season, with a league-high 10.6 true air yards per attempt (excluding bat downs and spikes), according to TruMedia. But on passes 20 yards or more downfield, he completed just 24.5 percent of his throws for 7.5 yards per attempt, the second-worst mark in the league. Hurts, by contrast, completed 40 percent of those throws for 15 yards per attempt, which ranked third. Downfield passing is not historically the stickiest skill year to year, so there’s hope for the Eagles to get some positive regression there if Mariota is called into action. He also underwent surgery for a “chronic” knee condition in December and left the Atlanta Falcons after the team named Desmond Ridder its starter.

Anthony Richardson Highlights Post-Combine Risers - Football Outsiders
They forgot about Nolan Smith like they forgot about Dre … and I don’t necessarily blame them. Injured for a decent part of his last year in Athens, Smith was on the sideline as Georgia repeated as national champions this January. Once healthy, Smith showed at the combine why he was in the conversation to be taken in the first round of last year’s draft along with his Bulldogs teammates who had decided to go pro after the first of what would be back-to-back championships. This year’s draft class is stacked with top end talent and athletes at the edge rusher position, so adding Smith fully back into the Round 1 mix is a boon to teams seeking pass-rush help. Smith ran a blazing 4.39s 40-yard dash, which is fast even given his lower weight for his position, but more importantly ran a 1.52s 10-yard split and put out elite performances in the vertical and broad jumps, which measures explosion more than speed. I put Smith with the Philadelphia Eagles with the 30th pick in my first mock for Football Outsiders. Probably not gonna happen!

NFL draft takeaways from free agency: Impact on top prospects - ESPN+
Miller: I definitely think we could see movement from the Eagles, especially since Roseman enters the draft with just six total picks, including none in Rounds 4-6. He’ll want to pick up extra selections to do what you said Jordan — start drafting for future needs at defensive end, defensive tackle, cornerback and right tackle. I think there’s a good scenario where the Eagles slide back from No. 10 to collect future draft capital and still target a cornerback like Devon Witherspoon (Illinois) or Christian Gonzalez (Oregon). Reid: Offensive line could be a target, too. And yes, the talk about Bijan Robinson will pick up now that Sanders signed in Carolina. But the Eagles have been hesitant to invest early draft capital in running backs, and they already signing Rashaad Penny and brought back Boston Scott. So while a midround pick could be in play, Philadelphia seems to be in a good place at the position.

Big Play Slay: ‘I plan on retiring an Eagle’ -
“It’s been a fun ride and I’ve done a lot of things here that I’ve never done in the league before,” Slay said. “I’m thankful. Being a captain, that’s one of the biggest achievements in my career. Having that big, old ‘C’ on my chest means a lot. Winning these games, reaching the Super Bowl – I’m upset we didn’t win the game – that’s all been amazing. “I’m looking forward to running it back and hopefully finishing the job. It was a great experience playing in that game and I want that feeling again. We’ve got a great team, a great coaching staff, and that’s the standard we have here and that’s the standard I have.” Slay entered the NFL as a 2013 second-round draft pick and he’s been as good as anyone at his position in the game since that time. The new contract cemented another goal he has: To finish his career with the Eagles. “I plan on retiring as an Eagle. I’m not gonna lie,” he said. “When my time is up, my time will be up from here.”

Chiefs’ coaching staff additions include Todd Pinkston and Andy Reid’s son Spencer - PFT
Todd Pinkston, who played for Chiefs head coach Andy Reid for six seasons in Philadelphia and later spent time with the Eagles as a coaching intern under Reid, is the Chiefs’ new running backs coach. Pinkston most recently coached the wide receivers at Austin Peay. Pinkston replaces Greg Lewis, who left to join the Ravens’ staff. Reid’s son Spencer Reid has also joined the Chiefs’ staff as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Spencer Reid previously worked on the strength and conditioning staff at BYU. Ryan Reynolds, who was assistant strength and conditioning coach, has been promoted to head strength and conditioning coach to replace the retiring Barry Rubin, and Spencer Reid is taking Reynolds’ previous position.

Cowboys rumors: Team open to trading for a wide receiver, but the price has to be right - Blogging The Boys
On Friday afternoon, 105.3 The Fan’s Dallas Cowboys insider offer a notebook’s worth full of notes regarding this situation. Make sure to read all of his work, but here are the highlights. The Cowboys haven’t been “near as invested” in the Hopkins situation as many would have hoped, but Hopkins is open to playing for the Cowboys and is willing to make financial concessions to do so. Despite reports the Cowboys called about Jerry Jeudy, they apparently have not. Denver’s Courtland Sutton would have a similar price as Jeudy which sort of rules him out. The Cowboys are not going to overpay for a receiver and are not even going to pay market value, they want a great deal like they got with Stephon Gilmore (and like they gave the Cleveland Browns with Amari Cooper)

2023 free agency news: Julian Love reportedly leaves Giants for Seattle Seahawks - Big Blue View
Love as named a captain of both the defense and special teams in 2023, and saw his role increase accordingly. He proved a vital piece for the defense following the injury to Xavier McKinney over the Giants’ bye week, and allowed Wink Martindale’s defense to weather the loss of its signal caller. With the loss of Love, the Giants currently have Xavier McKinney (who is going into the last year of his rookie contract), 2022 draftee Dane Belton, Jason Pinnock, and Trenton Thompson.

Washington Free Agency: Abdullah Anderson signed to add defensive line depth - Hogs Haven
The Washington Commanders are reportedly signing some depth for the defensive line. Abdullah Anderson is a defensive tackle who played for the Atlanta Falcons last season. He was an undrafted free agent from Bucknell after the 2018 draft and he was signed by the Chicago Bears. Anderson spent 3 years there, and was only active for 8 games. He has been on 6 teams during his 5 year NFL career. Anderson had his first NFL starts last season with the Falcons, He started 8 games, and had 40 combined tackles.

The biggest winners and losers of NFL Free Agency so far - SB Nation
There’s no doubt that the 49ers have lost a lot during this free agency. Success does that to a team, and players previously flying under the radar catch everyone’s attention, leading to huge money like what OT Mike McGlinchey got from Denver. Still, landing a player of Javon Hargrave’s talent as a cash-strapped team pegged to be losing a lot this season and expected to bring in very little is a massive boon. It’s difficult to call defense a “need area” for San Francisco, but losing Jimmie Ward and Emmanuel Moseley damages the team’s secondary, and they’re electing to overload on the pass rush instead of overpaying their defensive backs. This team can still play around in the draft to round out its depth, but immediately a defensive line of Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and now Javon Hargrave is absolutely terrifying and makes the best defense in the NFL even more fearsome.


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