What They’re Saying About the Eagles

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Charley Casserly of NFL.com thinks Jeremy Maclin is the top free agent wide receiver on the market:

I would take a long, hard look at Jeremy Maclin, despite the fact that he missed the entire 2013 campaign with a torn ACL. In my opinion, Maclin is the best receiver on this list, so why not start there?


My contract offer obviously would factor in his current physical condition, though it's worth noting that in today's NFL, players routinely come back and play well after ACL injuries. And Maclin has youth on his side: The 2009 first-round pick turns 26 in May.

And Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com thinks Maclin could be undervalued:

Every season, teams undervalue players coming off injury. It happened with Michael Bennett last year. It could happen with Jeremy Maclin this year. He's a solid contributor who could be available at a bargain rate.

Doug Farrar and Chris Burke of SI.com rank every team based on offseason outlook. They've got the Eagles at No. 8:

Free agency could sting but not debilitate the Eagles, should they lose the likes of Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Nate Allen and that Michael Vick guy. Fortunately, they look to have $20 million-plus in cap space at their disposal. Howie Roseman did some nice work on the fly last offseason, helping move the roster from Andy Reid to Chip Kelly. But Reid wielded the power during Roseman’s first three years (2010-12), so Philly’s GM still has something to prove.

Farrar has the Eagles taking TCU CB Jason Verrett in his mock draft:

Similarly, as Chip Kelly’s offense comes together in its second NFL season, pass coverage will be at a premium. Verrett would be a great addition to Billy Davis’ aggressive defense. He can trail receivers, will undercut routes with aplomb and is tough enough to provide run support.

Ashley Fox of ESPN.com believes the Eagles have the structure in place to draft Michael Sam:

The Philadelphia Eagles are another possibility. The Eagles withstood the first major crisis of the Chip Kelly era -- Riley Cooper's racial epithet -- because Michael Vick touted the power of second chances and forgiveness. Cooper's remark could have shattered the Eagles' locker room last season, but it didn't.

Last season in Philadelphia was all about the program, the program, the program. With each win, it became easier to believe in what Kelly was preaching. That's why a team that finished 4-12 in Andy Reid's final season was able to win the NFC East one year later. Not everybody was friends with Cooper, but Eagles players knew he could help them win. That's what mattered most.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has the Eagles taking Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard at No. 22:

The Eagles need to upgrade their secondary and Dennard is a physical cornerback with outstanding ball skills.

Brent Sobleski of USA Today outlines a couple safety options for the Eagles in the draft:

Calvin Pryor (Louisville): During his time at Oregon, Kelly preferred safeties who provided a physical presence. Chung and current Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward set the tone for the Ducks’ defense. Pryor is an all-around safety who has the size to play in the box and the speed to cover deep. If the team passes on a wide receiver in the first round, Pryor is a good alternative.

Dion Bailey (USC): During Bailey’s career at USC, he converted from safety to linebacker back to safety. Bailey has natural instincts against the run, but he’s also athletic enough to cover in space. Bailey, who declared after his junior year, is a solid option after the first round.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk takes a look at the Eagles' franchise tag situation:

For the second straight year, the Eagles have limited free agents. The biggest names are at receiver, but with DeSean Jackson already making $10 million in 2014, it’s hard to justify giving more than that to Riley Cooper. And with Jeremy Maclin recovering from a torn ACL suffered in training camp, it would be foolish to guarantee that much cash and cap space. Punter Donnie Jones could be an option for the tag, given the low magnitude of the franchise tag for specialists.

Davis Hsu of the terrific Seahawks blog, Field Gulls, has his eye on the Eagles this offseason:

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  • Eagledelphia

    crazy how this team went from being a complete disaster in 2012 to everyone believing they have a strong enough locker room to draft Sam I think that is another testament to how good of a job that Chip did in his first season

  • PaoliBulldog

    Somebody needs to tell Mike Florio that the reason Riley Cooper does not merit a $10MM/year deal has nothing to do with DJax.

    • Token

      good lord, the guy never fails to amaze me.

    • Joe L

      I took it as him making the point that you don’t want that much salary invested in two players at the same position.

      • PaoliBulldog

        You don’t have that discussion unless you’re considering a WR with top-5 skills, say along the lines of Alshon Jeffery. Even if DJax wasn’t getting $10MM/year, there’s no way in God’s creation that you pay Cooper that much.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Lol ya priscos always making these stupid conclusions or points, why not say Cooper just doesn’t deserve that kind of money? Rather than justifying it by saying Deseans already getting 10M? Lol he’s spun, don’t know how he still has a job

          • GEAGLE

            Lol these “experts” are going to be scratching their heads when they see Cooper sign a modest extension with the Eagles, choosing to not even test the market!!!

          • G_WallyHunter

            Yup, cuz 1 he likes the locker room and vice versa 2 he loves the system and 3 he knows this offense is his best chance to max production… Bada Bing bada boom modest extension

          • GEAGLE

            Our WR coach loves Riley. Coop can’t find a better situation, a better system, a QB who trusts him as much and will give him as many opportunities..I just don’t see Riley leaving us…I will be shocked if an extension isn’t announced before March 6th. Something that pays him like a base of 3mil per year, but loaded with performance based incentives…if he wants to continue to be one of the leagues big play WRs and if he wants to continue being a beast in the redzone and catch 10TDs per year, then he should be compensated for it, and we should be HAPPY to pay him because it means we got some beastly production out of him

        • anon

          I wish we had an Alshon Jeffrey — where can we get one of those?

  • Adam

    “…but with DeSean Jackson already making $10 million in 2014, it’s hard to justify giving more than that to Riley Cooper. ”

    Yeah, it’s impossible. I’ll probably puke if this happens.

    • PaoliBulldog

      I can’t imagine any team being that stupid. But if it happens (and it’s not the Eagles), then I’ll wish him well and know not to put down any money on his new team winning the SB.

  • jabostick

    I know they’re really just talking about ‘distractions’ but I find it fascinating that people continue to equate (possibly) being a racist with being gay

    • G_WallyHunter

      Ya I dono if they’re equating them but rather just saying that they (in these two cases) create similar adversity or rifts in locker room. To compare them tho is a little off base. 90% of the league is personally offended by racial comments, 90% of the league is not offended by homophobic comments… Should be separated

      • jabostick

        Yeah that’s the part that baffles me, though, is the expectation that it’d cause a similar rift. Someone does/says something hateful versus someone who doesn’t.

        I get that it COULD happen – because someone is a meathead or super religious/conservative (and I’m not equating those two or making political judgements, by the way) – but it seems insane to me that it WOULD happen.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Yup, great points, they need to be separated bottom line and not compared like Ashley does..

          • Maggie

            Ashley is doing the job she is paid for. Several people are talking about her and what she said. Any number will go to ESPN to double check, therefore there will be large numbers of hits, thus, enticing more advertising dollars for her employer.

  • GEAGLE

    Proud of myself for not getting suckered into reading Fox’s opinion again. I can imagine what nonsense she has planned for us

    • jabostick

      You’re a stronger man than I am haha. I always get sucked in, and then hate myself afterwards

      • GEAGLE

        Lol this was the first time, I successfully avoided..can’t tell you how proud I am. I’m serious on a quest to limit the amount of dopes I let into my brain space this offseason

    • cliff henny

      http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/mock-draft
      .
      added 3rd guy…3/3 all have Eagles taking Pryor

      • GEAGLE

        Can’t say I’d complain. he is a defender, and I wanted him back when he was a “3rd round pick lol”….but it we were to draft him, then I’d start to get pretty desperate to land the other half of the Louisville connection. PLugging Pryor in at safety, and having Marcus Smith and his long arms replacing Cole in Nickle pass rush situations would really put us in the right direction as a defense. It most likely won’t happen as a rookie, but Marcus is going to develop into an amazing 3 down OLB, if he gets with good coaches in a good situation. Potential to develop into that coveted edge Sack master, but is an amazing athlete who will be credible dropping in coverage.

        If it weren’t for him never playing defense til he got to college, it think he would be a no BRAINER first round pick….Love me some Attaboy, and Dee Ford would be just as exciting…but I just keep seeing Marcus in an Eagles jersey..my gut says Marcus!

      • Richard Colton

        Just a lazy stab in the dark by Prisco there. I always discount mocks that start with “…well the Eagles really need X, so I plugged in the best available Y…”

        I like to scan the rest of their 1st round Mocks to see who we could have had instead of Pryor there – its an impressive list: Dee Ford, Zack Martin, Kelvan Benjamin, Kony. I’d rather see any of them in Kelly Green before Pryor.

        • Maggie

          Kelly green. Lol. You mean the Jets?

          • Richard Colton

            I’m including a return to Kelly Green as part of my mock.

  • Kev_H

    In reality, nobody deserves more credit for handling the fallout from the Riley Cooper video than Riley Cooper. Anybody else had bit parts.

    • SunShine

      I see what you are saying but that situation could of blew up everything if there wasn’t leadership from several players….Look at the Bucs and Dolphins problems (which was minor compared to the Cooper incident) and see how that whole locker room was never able to pull it together….

  • Kev_H

    It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Maclin isn’t a solid, productive pro over the next 3-4 years. I expect him to get a multiyear deal that pays him accordingly. The only way he doesn’t is if he thinks he’ll have a break out 1500 yd 15 TD season in ’14 and wants to hold off on his pay day.

    • GEAGLE

      I just don’t know how I’m supposed to look at a kid who had multiple ACl surgeries and just automatically assume that he will retain all his speed. If Mac is one step slower, he won’t be the same WR he was. he doesn’t have physicality, tackle breaking YAC ability or freak size to compensate for losing a step.
      ..
      I’m expecting us to announce an extension with Maclin before he reaches free agency so hopefully he gets his speed back and puts these ACL injuries behind him. Mac isn’t that true number 1 WR but he was getting retry close. And even if he isn’t, I don’t see how adding Mac to the most explosive big play offense in football can be a bad thing…Especially with a smart, accurate pocket passer who spreads the ball around.

      I think all this recent Maclin talk is nonsense. Just a good job of his agent to drum up interest…Maclin himself knew and acknowledge he wouldn’t have much leverage in this years market. I believe him when he says he wants to be here, and I’m really not that concerned about the two sides working out a deal before any teams even get to bid on…
      ….
      I’m expecting Cooper and Maclin to never make it to FA. The Nate situation is I interesting. Everyone trashed him for 4 years, everyone couldn’t wait til FA came, and now that the time has come, fans are getting scared and sentimental about losing him.

      For me it’s simple he isn’t signing some chump, back up safety contract. Someone will offer him a decent Mid level starter deal. ID prefer taking advantage of an opportunity to upgrade a long time weakness into a strength, if we are completely against spending money for a top solution and Billy thinks he can turn Nate into a player, then there is a part of me that would be curious to see how much more he can build off of last season. In that case, just extend him NOW!!!

      The one scenario that I don’t want is us going after a few safeties and not being able to land one, and then going back to Nate and having to match the starting money some other team offered him. If Nate is going to be brought back! I want it to be because we actually believe in him, not because we had to settle for him after swinging and missing on other guys. If we don’t want to lose Nate, then I really hope we extend him now, which would most likely mean we are getting him cheaper than if we let him test the FA market…

      • Kev_H

        In this day and age you can be pretty certain a 25 year old will bounce back from an ACL surgery. I’m not really invested one way or another in the Eagles keeping him or not, but I think he’ll get decent, multi-year offers on the market and he’ll probably sign one unless he’s uber-confident he can step it up to a higher level next year.

        • GEAGLE

          This isn’t his first ACL surgery. I think he signs with us before he can be showered with these alleged Multi year good money offers. There is no way I believe that a team would have Maclin higher on it’s wish list then a healthy Emmanuel sanders type, and everything we,are hearing now is just his agent creating noise.

        • Tom W

          Dont think he or his agent will agree with you. he is leaving alot of money on the table in his BIG contract chance if he signs a multiyr deal coming of a acl. much smarter to take a one yr deal on a great offense w a solid qb like pats, denver, eagles, etc, produce a 65 – 1000 7 season at 26 and turn around and sign a top 24 deal next year.

  • GEAGLE

    There isn’t a single Eagle I would sweat losing this offseason! and I wouldn’t even bid on ANY!! The eagles you want back, you work out an extension before they ever become free agents. Try to work out a fair extension with Maclin and Cooper, both heavy on incentives before teams get to bid on them. If a deal can’t be worked out and they become free agents. I’d let them walk..There isn’t anyone hitting FA that I would want to outbid other teams for. make them an offer for a fair Commitment, if they commit to us and void their right to see what they are worth on the market…

    I’d try to lowball Nate into decent backup safety contract, but I doubt he would sign it.

    • Richard Colton

      If we lose Cooper AND Maclin, it almost forces us to go WR in the first three rounds, doesn’t it? None of the other FA WRs excite me.

      • SunShine

        Agreed. It is imperative to keep at least one of the two since we still have to upgrade the slot position

      • GEAGLE

        Don’t expect to lose either of them. Expecting both to sign extensions before FA. I just can’t see both not being on this roster next year…at the very lest we will keep one from testing his value in FA….

        I’m expecting both back AND drafting a WR or two in the first 5 rounds.

    • anon

      If there’s no one you’d sweat losing doesn’t that say something about the quality of our players?

      • Maggie

        Complete opposite of the endless noise about “our” great and mighty warriors all season.

        • GEAGLE

          ,,,

      • GEAGLE

  • NickS1

    Dion Bailey intrigues me, having played both strong side LB and S. CBS has him projected in the 4th. I wonder where he is on the draft board and what Chip thinks of him since he would have faced him when he was a LB.

    • GEAGLE

      Rather have Deone Buchanon…but if you can get Baily in like the 4th or 5th, I would be thrilled even if I hate USC players. I wouldn’t want Baily in round 2, and I suspect some really good WR still on the board in round 3, so prob wouldn’t take him in the 3rd either…and in order for us to draft a guy like Baily, I would want us to have signed a cover safety like Malcom Jenkins, Byrd, settle for Nate Allen..

      can’t sign Clemons or Mitchell and also draft Baily

      • NickS1

        I tend to agree about Buchannon but we’ll see how they both develop. Definitely have to have a centerfielder in order to draft either Bailey or Buchannon. I like Bailey’s value, though. If we can nab two potential starting safeties in Wolff and Bailey both in the 4/5 or 5/5 rounds in consecutive years, we’re doing something right in the draft room.

        • GEAGLE

          Curious to see how we play this safety market in FA, and I’m curious to see how much these second tier safeties cost. There are some decent safeties outside of Ward and Byrd, but I don’t know that there are any we can sign and say I trust that kid to anchor our secondary for the next 4 years. I’m not so sure that any of these second tier options are so good that we can afford to wait til round 5 again to draft a safety..some fans like Clemons, some like Jenkins a few like Mitchell but they all have wharts and I’m Not sure how much of an upgrade they provide over Nate,….there are probably so many fans of teams those guys play for who right now are probably hoping they can upgrade Clemons, or Jenkins with Nate Allen lol..
          ….
          If you have a good young safety, you don’t let him hit FA unless you are a crappy franchise. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the elite safeties on the market are from Bills and Browns…if the eagles drafted either player! they would have been extended this past October. Like Miami has PLENTY of money, and no young safety waiting in the wings….a guy like Malcom Jenkins gives me a little more faith because the saints are in cap hell, and it’s hard enough for them to find the money to keep Jimmy Graham. Mitchell is basically Nate Allen, a guy who one good year came on his contract year

          • NickS1

            I’m telling you, we’re very likely replacing four safeties. I get your defense of keeping Chung, despite not liking him yourself, but the dude should not be back. Way I heard it from a guy who knows a thing or two, Allen is the most likely to be back, but as we know, that depends on if someone throws him 4-5mil a year (starter money). Kurt, Colt, and Pat are supposed to be gone, or at least that’s the plan. So, if we don’t retain Allen, prob making a serious push for Byrd, we have Wolff, draft a guy, a UDFA (or two), and Keelan Johnson are who we’re going to camp with, along with one or two other UDFA for camp bodies.

  • WCPhan

    Hey SI Dumbasses, Reid’s last three years as a GM “mentoring” Roseman were absolute disasters- Dream Team, Brandon Graham, Juan Castillo, etc etc. If anything, Roseman proved how past his prime as a personnel evaluator Reid is.

  • Maggie

    The most interesting items were the completely opposite opinions on Maclin’s ACL.

  • Brian

    Restructure Cole, Herremans, Peters, Celek and Ryans. Cut guys like Chung and Casey…franchise Donnie Jones, get Jairus Byrd, resign Maclin and Cooper, draft Calvin Pryor @ #22 he is the Dawkins replacement we’ve needed, draft best avail pass rush olb with #56 maybe a Telvin Smith, trade Graham for a 3rd, go best avail on the board after that and get a nt, cb, ol, lb. Get filler stop gap type cheap free agents and a stud kicker. Fill those starters in your depth chart and you’ll see a super bowl! BOOM!