Here’s what the national media are saying about the Eagles as the NFL playoffs continue into the Divisional round.
ESPN.com’s Tim McManus is a big fan of Kenny Stills.
The 24-year-old out of Oklahoma had 42 catches for 726 yards and nine touchdowns for the Dolphins this season. A fifth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in 2013, Stills was traded to Miami for linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and a third-round pick prior to the ’15 season and has proven to be an asset for the Miami offense, particularly this season. The Eagles are in desperate need of a receiver that can stretch the field, and that happens to be Stills’ specialty. Possessing sub-4.40 second, 40-yard speed, Stills averaged 17.3 yards per catch in 2016 — good for third in the NFL behind DeSean Jackson (17.9) and Chris Hogan of the New England Patriots (17.9).
ESPN Dolphins reporter James Walker recently wrote that the wideout’s production “may price Stills out of Miami.”
Money is always the big X factor. Right now, the headline wide receiver free agents include the likes of Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Terrelle Pryor. If a couple of big names are retained by their current teams, suddenly the next tier of receivers move to the front of the line. Certainly, the Eagles won’t be the only team looking for a young speedster who has averaged 70 catches (17 ypc) and five touchdowns over the first four years of his career.
The Eagles are not flush with cash to spend — they currently have the fourth-least amount of cap space ($9.4 million) for 2017, according to OverTheCap. But they’ll likely make some moves to free up some space, and won’t be afraid to use it on a potential core player that can help Wentz both now and in the future. Stills makes a lot of sense in that respect.
The Eagles do not need to overhaul their team a ton in the offseason, opines Mike Sando of ESPN.com.
21. Philadelphia Eagles
GM Howie Roseman has invested heavily in retaining the Eagles’ core players after dumping players associated with former coach Chip Kelly. Replenishing through the draft could be the next step for Philadelphia, which is why the Sam Bradford trade was so important. It’s unclear whether running backs Ryan Mathews and/or Darren Sproles will return.
Former wide receiver Keenan McCardell could be an option to replace Greg Lewis as the team’s wide receivers coach, pens Turron Davenport of USA Today.
McCardell played in the NFL from 1991-2007. He made his mark in the league as a member of the Jaguars from 1996-2001.
The longtime receiver was a member of the 1991 Washington Redskins and 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers teams that won the Super Bowl. McCardell is a member of the 10,000-yard receiving club, with 883 receptions for 11,373 yards and 63 touchdowns.
McCardell’s first coaching job was as a receivers coach in the East-West Shrine game in 2010.
As a coach, McCardell’s NFL experience includes a two-year stint as the Redskins receivers coach. Santana Moss had his most productive season (93 receptions, 1,115 yards, 6 TDs) with McCardell as his position coach.
McCarrell last served as Maryland’s receivers coach in 2015. He is credited with the development of Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs as well as Deon Long, a 2016 Eagles training camp attendee.
Carson Wentz finishes the year as the 23rd best quarterback in the league, according to Andre Vergara 0f F0xSports.com.
23. Carson Wentz, Eagles
It’s been a roller coaster rookie season for the No. 2 pick Wentz, who wasn’t expected to play, then inspired debates about whether he was better than Dak Prescott, then fell back to earth. Still, he set a rookie record with 379 completions, became the first Eagles QB to start all 16 games since Donovan McNabb in 2008 and made believers of his teammates and coaches. “To do the things that he’s done just is amazing, and really looking forward to the offseason and building for next year,” coach Doug Pederson told reporters.
2016 stats: 62.4%, 236.4 ypg, 16-14 TD/INT, 79.3 rating
Lane Johnson‘s lawsuit against the NFL and the NFL Players Association has some similarities to Alex Rodriguez, notes Marc Edelman of Forbes.
It is not entirely uncommon for NFL players to challenge their suspensions under the league’s drug testing policies, and sometimes, as in the case of Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman, they prevail on appeal.
However, what sets Lane Johnson’s legal action apart from most other cases is that Johnson has legally come after his own union — even going so far as to argue improper collusion between league and union officials.
The last notable case of a professional athlete simultaneously suing both his league and union was when former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez sued both Major League Baseball and the MLBPA related to his league-issued drug suspension. A-Rod ultimately dropped his case.
Davenport also writes that there are plenty of names to watch out for in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft.
Kevin King |CB| Washington | 6-foot-3, 192-pounds
King is a lengthy corner with long arms that will make it difficult for quarterbacks to complete deep passes against. While at Washington, King was asked to play a lot of man coverage.
He uses his long arms to get physical with receivers at the top of their route and fight for positioning to get the ball. Long corners with the ball skills that King possesses are always going to be in high demand at the next level.
Jamaal Williams |RB| BYU | 6-foot-2, 210-pounds
Williams is a strong back that runs behind his pads. Ironically, Williams reminds me of Ryan Mathews when I watch him run the ball.
He is the classic downhill runner that makes one cut and gets upfield at the second level. Williams also features a powerful stiff arm in his arsenal.
It is very impressive how Williams keeps his feet moving and uses his vision to sort his way through piles. His footwork and vision together allow him to find the slightest rushing lane and cut back to explode through the crease.
The Eagles are ranked fourth out of the eight teams that could be on Hard Knocks next season, opines Sean Keeley of Awful Announcing.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Why It’d Be A Great Season: The trials and tribulations of Carson Wentz are made for Hard Knocks, especially after he told reporters he’s going to be “shutting it down” for most of the offseason after a season with 607 pass attempts. There’s also just something about the Eagles organization (and their fans) that feels like an interesting follow.
Why It Might Not Be: Coming off a 7-9 season the Eagles are a mediocre team with mediocre expectations in 2017. There is trainwreck potential but perhaps not that much exciting potential.
What We’d Look Forward To Most: The Carson Wentz Experiment, Year Two.