Eagles Sign Agholor; Collins To Cowboys

Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

Four of the Eagles’ six draft picks have already agreed to terms on their rookie deals. On Wednesday, Eric Rowe, Randall Evans and Brian Mihalik agreed to terms. First-round pick Nelson Agholor joined them today.

The only draft picks currently without deals are Jordan Hicks and JaCorey Shepherd. 

Signing rookie draft picks is a much easier process under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Andrew Brandt explained why last year for SI.com:
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Eagles Wake Up Call: Kiper, McShay Bullish On Chip

Eagles Draft 2015
Dak Dillon / USA TODAY Sports

Dak Dillon / USA TODAY Sports

How did Chip Kelly do in his first draft with full control? We won’t know definitively for some time. But many of the early reviews have been positive, including those from ESPN’s top draft analysts.

Mel Kiper and Todd McShay held a conference call with reporters to give their extended thoughts on the NFL Draft, and were mostly bullish when it came to the Eagles. Kiper believes the Nelson Agholor and Eric Rowe picks in the first two rounds “were really strong.” McShay is particularly high on Agholor — his choice for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

McShay offered this evaluation of the Jordan Hicks selection: Read more »

McCoy Brings Up Race When Discussing Philly Departure

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

LeSean McCoy brought up race when discussing his departure from Philadelphia with ESPN The Magazine.

Asked about his relationship with Chip Kelly and how their time together ended, McCoy reportedly responded:

“The relationship was never really great. I feel like I always respected him as a coach. I think that’s the way he runs his team. He wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That’s the truth. There’s a reason. … It’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players — the good ones — like that.” Read more »

Sanchez Believes There Will Be An Open Competition For QB Spot

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When Mark Sanchez was re-signed back in March, sources close to both Sanchez and Nick Foles were expecting a quarterback competition for the starting job to be held this summer.

Things have obviously changed since then. Foles was dealt to St. Louis as part of a package for Sam Bradford, who is scheduled to make around $13 million this season. Given his price tag and the cost of acquisition, the common belief is that Bradford is the team’s clear-cut No. 1 when healthy.

Sanchez sees it differently. Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: A Focus On Defense

Chris Nicoll / USA TODAY Sports

Chris Nicoll / USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly recognized the imbalance. To try and correct it, the offensive mind has spent the bulk of his first offseason as head of personnel addressing the defensive side of the ball.

He traded away his most formidable offensive weapon for a middle linebacker. Signed Byron Maxwell to a six-year, $63 million deal. Made a big push to steal safety Devin McCourty away from the Patriots.

“We were inadequate in terms of the money allocated defensively to offensively,” he said at the owners meetings back in March, “and we’re trying to balance that out. I think it showed in our play.”

 In 2014, the Eagles ranked fifth in cash spending on offense and 14th on defense, according to Over The Cap. Perhaps an example of you get what you pay for, the offense finished fifth in the NFL and the defense 28th. The correction won’t be made in one season — especially in a year when the Eagles added Sam Bradford‘s $13 million to the books — but over time, you should see the two sides of the ball coming closer together financially assuming Kelly stays the course. (The Eagles’ spending on defense has gone from about $55 million in ’14 to over $63 million so far this season.)

The concentration on defense continued in the draft. Kelly went with wide receiver Nelson Agholor in Round 1, then spent the next five picks on ‘D’. Was that a conscious decision coming in?

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Bradford-Kelly Combo Hits Field For First Time

Sam Bradford. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Sam Bradford. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Chip Kelly and Sam Bradford will work together on the practice field for the first time today.

During the first two weeks of the offseason training program, called Phase One, activities are limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation. We are now on to Phase Two, where player instruction and individual drills are permitted.

“So it’s our first look at what he is and where he is and what he can do,” said Kelly. Read more »

Eagles Close Out Draft With 6-9 Mihalik

Eagles Draft 2015
Winslow Townson / USA TODAY Sports

Winslow Townson / USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly closed out the Eagles’ 2015 draft by selecting Boston College defensive lineman Brian Mihalik.

“Brian has a skill set that when you spit things through — height, weight, speed — he’s kind of off the charts,” said Kelly. “He’s (6-9), he weighs 300 pounds, he’s a 34-inch vertical jump, he ran a 4.88 (40), and he’s a productive player.”

Mihalik started all 12 regular-season games for Boston College last season, recording 27 tackles (4.5 for a loss) and 3.5 sacks. He played wide defensive end in BC’s 4-3 defense. Kelly believes he’s designed to be in a 3-4 scheme.

“He hasn’t been a two-gap player but we feel with the physical skill set he has, we can convert him to a four-technique,” said Kelly. “You want the prototype for big people beat up little people? I think he’s obviously the biggest person we’ve drafted or brought in since we’ve been here. Read more »

Kelly, Mathis And the O-line Situation

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

A back-and-forth between Chip Kelly and the media about the state of the offensive line eventually landed on Evan Mathis. The All-Pro guard is unhappy with his contract and has chosen to stay away for the beginning of voluntary workouts.

Does Chip Kelly expect him back eventually?

“That’s a question for Evan,” Kelly replied.

If there is uncertainty about Mathis’ intentions, how do you decide whether trading him is the answer?

“We have never had an offer for Evan so there is nothing to take,” Kelly replied. “Evan has been available to trade for two years now and we have never had an offer for him. That’s through his agent [Drew Rosenhaus] and him. They’ve asked us if he can renegotiate a contract and see what he can get and we’ve obliged them with that, but we’ve never had an offer on him.” Read more »

Eagles Take ILB Jordan Hicks In Round 3

Eagles Draft 2015
Brendan Maloney / USA TODAY Sports

Brendan Maloney / USA TODAY Sports

The inside linebacker room just got a little more crowded, as the Eagles used their third-round pick on Jordan Hicks out of Texas.

“He was our highest rated player by far,” said Chip Kelly. “We had him rated in the second round. We had great exposure to Jordan. I think he’s the individual we saw the most this offseason, whether it was exposure at the Senior Bowl, his pro day, individual workouts, top 30 visits…I think he’s the player we’ve seen the most.

“He’s got a great skill set. He’s a three-down linebacker. Can cover. Is an outstanding special teams player and we’ll bring him in here and he’ll learn from DeMeco [Ryans], Mychal [Kendricks] and Kiko [Alonso]. ”

It’s hard not to wonder about Kendricks’ future. There have already been reports that he’s on the block, and that was before the Eagles used a third-round pick on an inside ‘backer. Read more »

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