Eagles Rumors

Eagles Still On Track To Sign RB?

  • In the same piece, Caplan notes the expectation remains the Eagles will add a veteran to their running back corps. Philly has been linked to LeSean McCoy and Devonta Freeman. Both remain free agents. The Eagles pursued Carlos Hyde as well, but he opted for a Seahawks deal. If the Eagles determine they do not need help behind Miles Sanders, Boston Scott‘s pass-catching ability intrigued coaches last season more than his “OK” run-game chops, Caplan adds. Scott would be in line to be the team’s RB2, were it to stand pat at this spot.

Eagles, Jamal Adams A Potential Match?

  • Although the Eagles re-signed Rodney McLeod and agreed to terms with Jalen Mills with the intention of moving him to safety, Geoff Mosher of InsidetheBirds.com views an Adams-to-Philadelphia path as an ideal match. The Eagles made a big splash at corner, giving Darius Slay a lucrative extension that essentially doubles as a two-year pact. But they remain $24MM-plus under the cap, providing intriguing flexibility on this front. However, the Jets having Adams under contract through 2021 gives them leverage in against the disgruntled defender.

Eagles’ Dallas Goedert Doing “Fine” After Sucker Punch 

Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert is “fine” and resting at home following a strange incident on Friday night, a source tells ESPN.com’s Tim McManus. As first reported by Mike Kaye of NJ.com, Goedert was sucker punched at a South Dakota restaurant. 

[RELATED: Jets’ Jamal Adams Puts Eagles On His Trade List]

A video posted on Sunday seems to corroborate that version of events (Twitter link). In the security footage, Goedert appears to be asking one patron to move away from him. Then, a second man walks into the frame and punches Goedert in the face. The suspected sucker puncher was arrested over the weekend.

Goedert was knocked out cold, but, thankfully, escaped any life-threatening injury. And, if the video pretty much tells the whole story, the tight end will not be in danger of league discipline.

Goedert, 25, broke out with 58 catches, 607 yards, and five touchdowns. The Eagles are counting on him to keep up the good work and give defenses fits in 2020 as he supports star Zach Ertz. And, if Goedert delivers, he’ll have an opportunity to secure a major payday – he’ll be extension-eligible after the season.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jamal Adams Seeking $20MM+/Year?

Jets safety Jamal Adams has been in the news a great deal this offseason as he pushes for a new contract, and he made another splash yesterday when he requested a trade. As Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv writes, the Jets’ stance on the issue has not changed, and the team has no intention of trading him or allowing him to seek a trade on his own. New York still wants to keep him long-term and pay him as a top-of-the-market safety, but the team is hoping for a little patience from him in light of the uncertainty created by the pandemic.

After all, Adams remains under club control for two more seasons and can be hit with the franchise tag after that, and teams are generally loathe to extend a player with that much time remaining on his existing deal. While Adams continues — with reason — to point to the Panthers’ recent extension for Christian McCaffrey as justification for his demands, the C-MAC deal is an exception to the rule. After all, players like Jalen Ramsey, Patrick MahomesDeshaun Watson, and Cameron Heyward are still waiting for their new deals, and it’s clear that potential salary cap cuts and other fiscal concerns are the primary reason for those delays. And as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes, GM Joe Douglas is under cash-flow restrictions imposed by ownership, which helps explain why the team is reluctant to do an Adams deal now (and perhaps why Douglas stayed out of the deep end of the FA pool, though his restraint in that regard has generally been lauded given the team’s recent history with splashy signings).

Adding to the Jets’ frustrations with Adams is the fact that, if he is traded to certain teams, he would not demand a contract extension. And further compounding the problem is that Adams may not be content to be the league’s highest-paid safety, which would give him an AAV of roughly $15MM. Instead, a source who has looked into acquiring Adams tells Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com that Adams is actually seeking a contract that would put him among the highest-compensated defensive players at any position, which would mean an AAV in excess of $20MM (Twitter link). Given his youth and skill level, it’s not surprising to see Adams shoot for that goal, but it would be surprising to see him achieve it.

As for a couple of the teams on Adams’ list of preferred destinations? Field Yates of ESPN.com believes the Cowboys remain the best fit (Twitter link), but regardless of fit, the draft capital it would take to land the First Team All-Pro — not to mention the eventual extension — is a huge obstacle to clear. Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com does not believe the 49ers will swing a deal given the club’s preference to keep as many draft picks as possible going forward, a desire underscored by the number of players on the current roster that are under or will soon be under premium contracts (Twitter links).

Similarly, although Zach Berman of The Athletic thinks the general concern over the Eagles‘ 2021 cap situation is overblown, he does not see the team parting with a first-round pick and ponying up a big-money deal at some point in the next year for a DB. If Philadelphia were to make that type of move, Berman believes it would be for a pass rusher like Jacksonville’s Yannick Ngakoue.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs, 49ers, Cowboys Among Teams On Jamal Adams’ Preferred Destination List

Jamal Adams has made an official trade request, and although the Jets have yet to grant it, the All-Pro safety has formed a list of teams he would be fine with joining.

Both of the Super Bowl LIV participants — the Chiefs and 49ers — headline the list. The Cowboys — who submitted an offer for Adams last October — are also included among a seven-team contingent that features the Ravens, Eagles, Texans and Seahawks, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The Cowboys are the only team on this list that did not qualify for the playoffs last season. Adams, however, is a Texas native. Dallas offered a first-rounder and a Day 3 choice for the Jets standout last year.

As of now, the Jets are not prepared to trade Adams. But the safety may be more amenable to playing the fourth year of his rookie contract with one of the seven teams on this trade wish list than he is with the Jets, who have not made the playoffs since 2010.

The Jets are taking their time on extension talks for their top player, but with Adams signed through 2021 via the fifth-year option, that is not exactly uncommon. Teams often slow-play extensions for former first-rounders because of the option, but Adams is attempting to force the issue.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Elliott, Eagles, Hyde

Ezekiel Elliott is not experiencing any complications after testing positive for COVID-19 (via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News). Assuming Elliott stays healthy and largely symptom-free, that should bode well for the Cowboys‘ star running back in the long haul.

Earlier this week, Elliott was one of four players (two from the Cowboys, two from the Texans) to test positive for the coronavirus. Other players are being tested as a precaution, but no additional positive cases have emerged from either club. Furthermore, quarterback Dak Prescott did not test positive, despite hosting a widely-criticized birthday party earlier this year.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

Poll: Which First-Round WR Will Make The Biggest Impact In 2020?

This year’s wide receiver draft class was widely regarded as one of the deepest in recent memory. It was so deep, in fact, that teams felt they could secure immediate-impact players on Day 2 and even Day 3 of the draft. Still, a few players separated themselves from their peers and became first-round selections, the cream of a bountiful crop.

The consensus top three talents were Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and Alabama standouts Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. It would not have been surprising to see any of those three players taken in the top-10, and ultimately Ruggs came off the board first, going to the Raiders with the No. 12 overall selection.

The Broncos were quite content with that, as they snagged Jeudy – whom they considered trading up for – with the No. 15 pick. Then, although the Cowboys perhaps had more pressing needs, they could not turn down Lamb when he surprisingly fell into their laps at No. 17.

TCU’s Jalen Reagor was the next domino to fall, heading to the Eagles with the No. 21 selection. Reagor was something of a late riser in the process, as he had been mocked as a second- to third-round choice but began garnering attention as a potential first-rounder as we got closer to draft day. Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman obviously saw something he liked, and he pounced.

But LSU’s Justin Jefferson, generally considered the fourth-best wideout in the class, didn’t have to wait too much longer to hear his name called. The Vikings took him one pick after Reagor.

All five of those players stand a good chance of becoming difference-makers for their respective clubs, as is the case with any first-round pick. But we would like to know from you which of them you think will have the biggest impact as a rookie.

With Ruggs, the Raiders added a speed merchant whose college production did not match that of Jeudy — his teammate of three years with the Crimson Tide — but who fits the Las Vegas offense nicely. The Raiders added another collegiate wideout, Bryan Edwards, in the third round, and they also took a flier on veteran Nelson Agholor. Still, it appears as if Ruggs has a good chance to start opposite Tyrell Williams, with Hunter Renfrow working the slot. Ruggs is electric with the ball in his hands, and he is not a one-dimensional deep threat; he is a solid route-runner who should only get better with coaching. His recent off-field injury seems to be a non-issue, and he will be a boost to a passing offense that performed better than one might think in 2019.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are building a strong young nucleus of skill position talent, and Jeudy will team with Courtland Sutton to form one of the most promising 1-2 punches in the game. He is a gifted route-runner whose excellent production against SEC defenses jumps off the page — he averaged 72 catches for 1,239 yards and 12 TDs over his final two years in school – and he has the versatility to line up outside or in the slot. Fellow rookie KJ Hamler, whom Denver nabbed in the second round, may get most of the slot reps, but Jeudy will be a threat no matter where he plays.

Though Lamb will have to compete with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup for targets, the Cowboys are perfectly capable of moving the ball through the air and will have plenty of opportunities to go around. Lamb should work primarily in the slot, which will mask some of the deficiencies he has as a route-runner and against press coverage. He has terrific hands and tracking ability, and though he may lack top-line speed, he is plenty quick enough to make things happen, and his overall athleticism is off the charts. He is also a strong and willing blocker, which Ezekiel Elliott will surely appreciate.

Due to injuries and under-performance, the Eagles’ WR group provided very little production last year. Veteran DeSean Jackson played just three games in 2019, Alshon Jeffery may start the season on the PUP list, and 2019 second-rounder JJ Arcega-Whiteside failed to live up to expectations. Philadelphia tried to trade up for Lamb but was happy to pick up Reagor, whose blazing speed could pair well with Jackson. Though it took a while for his stock to rise, that may have been because the TCU offense didn’t give him the chance to show off his route-running skills, so the more scouts were able to evaluate his tape, the more impressed they became. He struggled with drops from time to time, but with his abilities as a deep target and a YAC monster, he has the potential to be a dynamic pro. On the other hand, there are rumblings that Reagor will be asked to focus on just one position in 2020 and will be the understudy to D-Jax, so he may not get as much immediate PT as we might have expected.

Like the Eagles, the Vikings sorely needed to upgrade their WR corps, and Jefferson steps into a great situation, as Minnesota traded Stefon Diggs earlier in the offseason and did little to replace him. So Jefferson should start opposite Adam Thielen, whose mounting injury history could open up even more opportunities. Like most of the LSU offense, Jefferson was tremendous in 2019, securing 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 TDs. He offers an intriguing blend of size and speed, and though he may struggle to create separation in the pros, he has good hands and runs good routes. The Vikings like to run the ball, but Kirk Cousins is a capable QB and Jefferson should see plenty of passes coming his way.

So let’s hear your thoughts. Tell us which of these five players will have the most impact on his team in 2020, and explain your reasoning in the comments.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Head Coach: Alshon Jeffery Is “Big Part” Of Team

Despite all the speculation, it sounds like Alshon Jeffery is staying put. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, head coach Doug Pederson said that the wide receiver is “a big part” of the Eagles’ offense.

[RELATED: Eagles To Replace Brandon Brooks Internally?]

All our veteran players, to be part of this virtual offseason like they have, I have been impressed and Alshon is of those guys,” head coach Pederson said (via Evan Macy of the Philly Voice). “The dialogue he’s had in the receivers room, the way he converses with some of the younger players…

That’s all very promising for the Birds, given the drama they’ve had with the veteran in the past Last fall, Jeffery was accused of anonymously ripping into quarterback Carson Wentz and other teammates through the media. For his part, Jeffery has denied any involvement in that bombshell story.

Frankly, the Eagles don’t have much flexibility when it comes to Jeffery. Thanks to a restructuring of his deal in September, they’d be looking at a $26MM cap hit if they wanted to cut him. Jeffery is now guaranteed a base salary of $11.5MM for 2020. In total, he’s got upwards of ~$55MM guaranteed on his four-year deal.

Jeffery’s 2019 – capped with a trip to the injured reserve list – ended with 43 catches for 430 yards and four touchdowns. It was a step down from his 65 catches for 843 yards and six touchdowns in 2018 and his 11.4 yards per catch average last year marks a career low.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles To Replace Brandon Brooks Internally?

After losing Brandon Brooks for the year, many have been quick to connect the dots between the Eagles and old friend Jason Peters. A reunion certainly seems possible, but head coach Doug Pederson says he’ll take a good look at his in-house options first. 

[RELATED: Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Done For Year]

My heart sunk when I got the news,” Pederson said (Twitter link via John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia). “We are still looking at a lot of options. Starting with our own roster. We’ve got some time before training camp.”

Since joining the Eagles, Brooks has blossomed into one of the game’s best guards. Despite the bad luck with injuries – two Achilles and one shoulder tear – he’s managed to make the last three Pro Bowls. He lived up to the lofty expectations set by his initial five-year, $62.5MM deal, prompting the team to lock him up with a four-year, $54.2MM pact late last year. At the time of signing, the deal made Brooks the second-highest-paid guard in the game, with his $13.6MM AAV only trailing Zack Martin‘s $14MM/year.

Peters, meanwhile, stands as the best available offensive lineman left, and one of the best free agents left on the market, period. His age (38) has hindered his market, but he turned in yet another solid season in 2019. Peters has said that he’s willing to play on the left or the right side, so it stands to reason that he could be talked into moving inside.

Larry Warford would represent a less flashy option, but he still offers ample starting experience. And, for what it’s worth, he’s a whole lot younger – Warford will turn 29 later this week. The Eagles’ tight cap situation for 2021 would make a multi-year deal tricky, but Warford might be willing to accept a one-season prove-it deal at this stage of the offseason.

Internally, the options are somewhat limited. Matt Pryor, who has experience at guard and tackle in the Eagles’ system, would be the favorite to fill in. There’s also fourth-round rookie tackle Jack Driscoll, who has taken some snaps on the inside.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Done For Year

Guard Brandon Brooks suffered a torn Achilles tendon while working out at the Eagles’ facility. Brooks personally confirmed the news in a tweet on Monday night, vowing to come back “and better than ever.” 

Unfortunately, Brooks has been here before. In January of last year, Brooks tore his right Achilles. This time, it’s the left one. His previous tear came in the 2018 playoffs, giving him enough time to recover before the start of the season. He managed to play in all 16 games for the Eagles in 2019, providing much-needed consistency for an offense that desperately needed it. Then, right when the Eagles clinched the NFC East title, they lost Brooks all over again, thanks to a shoulder injury.

Brooks joined the Eagles in 2016 as a free agent, following his time with the Texans. Since then, he’s performed as one of the best interior linemen in the league. With the Birds, Brooks has started in 62 games, plus five postseason contests.

The 30-year-old (31 in August) will be under contract with the team for years to come, thanks to his recent four-year, $54MM+ extension. The Eagles can expect more good work between 2021 and 2024, but they’ve got a major hole to fill this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.