Eagles Wake-Up Call: 53-Man Roster Projection

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

We haven’t seen the Eagles practice in pads yet, and the roster to pick from won’t be the same in September, but let’s have a little fun in these dull days until training camp starts. As the defending champion of the Eagles beat reporter roster projection pool (which I will definitely mention several more times this offseason), here’s my best guess as to how some key position battles will play out.

Quarterbacks (3): Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz.

The only certainty with this position is who will make the team, but we don’t know much else. If Sam Bradford gets hurt, how long until we see Carson Wentz? Or if he really struggles, does Doug Pederson put Chase Daniel in? The Eagles are hoping Bradford starts all 16 games so they can compete for a division title and trade him for a good pick to recoup some of the value they lost in the Wentz deal, but Bradford has played in every game just twice out of his six years in the NFL. Read more »

Wisniewski: Quarterback Drama Has ‘Blown Over’

Sam Bradford, Carson Wentz, and Chase Daniel. (Jeff Fusco)

Sam Bradford, Carson Wentz, and Chase Daniel. (Jeff Fusco)

Stefen Wisniewski joined SiriusXM NFL radio yesterday to discuss the Eagles’ quarterback situation and how his teammates feel about Doug Pederson compared to Chip Kelly, and he said the tension Sam Bradford created by demanding a trade has since dissipated.

“I think it’s definitely blown over from the viewpoint of the other players — I think from the coaches as well,” the offensive lineman said. “(Bradford) seems to be the No. 1 quarterback. Now, is that set in stone? I don’t know for sure, but it certainly seems to be that way right now. And he’s looked good through OTAs and minicamps.”

The free-agent signing added that while he didn’t play under Kelly, his teammates are “very excited” about Pederson and the coaching change. He also raved about Carson Wentz. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Ranking the Assets

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

For your mailbag question to be considered, complete the form at the bottom of this post.

How do you rank the top longterm players on the Eagles? -Terry

NFL teams unexpectedly cut and trade players all of the time, but one thing Howie Roseman has brought to the Eagles this offseason — at least for the near future — is clarity. By giving out twice as much guaranteed money as any other team since the beginning of the calendar year, it’s clear who the team values and wants to build around.

But one of the biggest question marks with Roseman has never been his salary cap management — it’s talent evaluation. So this is an interesting mailbag question to consider, and although the Eagles made a big trade to acquire a guy they think could be a franchise quarterback, they are building around a core group of players who went 7-9 last year and were on a team which often appeared worse than their record suggested.

Is that a nucleus you can win a Super Bowl with? Read more »

NFC East Roundup: Cowboys’ Running Back Depth Comes Into Play

Photo by: USA Today Sports.

Photo by: USA Today Sports.

Let’s take a spin around the NFC East to see what’s going on with the rest of the division:

With Darren McFadden injuring his right elbow this week, running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris have a chance to win the starting job, writes David Moore of the Dallas Morning News.

Even though McFadden finished fourth in the NFL in rushing, the Cowboys went out in free agency and signed Alfred Morris. The team turned around a few weeks later and used the fourth pick in the draft on Elliott. That led some to question the wisdom of devoting so many resources to one position. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Fletcher Cox’s Impact Across the League

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Here’s this weekend’s roundup of the national stories about the Eagles:

In Denver, the Fletcher Cox extension puts the Broncos in a more difficult situation to sign Von Miller, as Mike Klis of KUSA reports.

Even with Cox’s $63 million guarantee coming in over four years — $55.2 million over three years in “new” money, while [Ndamukong] Suh’s $60 million is over three seasons and the Broncos’ offer of $58 million to $59 million in guarantees to Miller is over three years – it can’t be argued the Eagles just guaranteed more dollars to Cox than the Broncos are offering to Miller. Read more »

Eagles Mailbag: Who Gets the Next Extension?

Bennie Logan. (Jeff Fusco)

Bennie Logan. (Jeff Fusco)

For your mailbag question to be considered, complete the form at the bottom of this post.

Cox got his deal… who will Howie give big $ to next? -Sean S.

Looking through the lens of who’s next in line to get a contract extension, two names stand out. The first, of course, is Bennie Logan. As the MMQB’s Albert Breer pointed out yesterday, Logan is the only projected offensive or defensive starter who will be a free agent after this season.

The 2013 third-round pick has never put up big numbers, but if you turn on the tape, his impact is obvious. He started off last season playing like a Pro Bowler, although his performance dipped a bit as the season progressed, at least in part because of his calf injury that prevented him from playing in the final two games.  Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Strengthening the Core

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Howie Roseman retold the Fletcher Cox draft story Thursday. About how they had a trade worked out with Seattle to move up from 15 to 12 if one of their targets happened to still be on the board; that they never anticipated one of those primary targets — Cox — to actually last that long; and how a last-second offer forced them to contemplate their chosen course of action.

“When he got to 12 and we were ready to make the pick, we had agreed on the trade, and then we got a call from another team offering us to move back for a future one,” said Roseman. “And so we just kind of took a minute and just thought about Fletcher and what we projected him to be. And if he was that, how would we get that guy again? And all around the room, everyone agreed that to get a 6-4, 310-pound guy, 35-inch arms, powerful, athletic, great character, we’d have to pick in the Top-5 — 21 years old. For us, even if that future one was a 12 or 13 or 14, we thought it was a unique opportunity that we were able to get that kind of guy, so we just kind of made the pick.”

Roseman called it “one of my favorite stories that we’ve had here.” And no wonder: it’s a triumphant tale involving the single-best pick he’s ever made. Chances are, he’s got some good ones about Vinny Curry and Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson as well.

The key thing, as we work to make sense of the decision to pour $143 million of guarantees into those four players, is the very fact that there are stories to tell. Read more »

Roseman Explains Approach To Cox Negotiations

Fletcher Cox

Talks between the Eagles and Fletcher Cox accelerated over this past week. The two sides were far apart during a portion of their months-long negotiations, Howie Roseman said, but were finally able to come to an agreement earlier this week that includes $63.3 million in guarantees for the 25-year-old defensive tackle.

What made it come together now?

“I think I just said, ‘Yes,'” Roseman responded with a laugh. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Pederson Bringing Hitting Back To Camp

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

Back before we started this site, Sheil and I struck up a friendship on the fields of Lehigh that was based primarily on our common fascination with Ernie Sims.

Sims wasn’t much of a player for the Eagles, but boy could he beat the hell out of his own teammates. Dubbed the “shark in the water” by then-defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, Sims would regularly deck unsuspecting offensive players — sometimes during supposed non-contact drills — sending trainer Rick Burkholder running out to tend to the victim while Andy Reid stared daggers.

“He’s got one speed and one mind-set. I think he wakes up, like, mad at his alarm clock,” McDermott said.

Training camp practices were an event under Reid. Rogue player or no, the action sent you scurrying from one field to the next with head on a swivel as pads crunched and tempers flared and fists flew and bodies hit the turf.

Two-a-day bouts under the Bethlehem sun eventually gave way to new-age track meets in NovaCare’s back yard. It was fly swatters and dance music and constant motion but very, very little contact under Chip Kelly.

It’s back to the old school now that Reid’s pupil is at the helm. Read more »

Adam Schefter: Fletcher Cox Considered Holding Out

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

ESPN’s Adam Schefter appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic’s morning show Tuesday and offered some interesting nuggets about the Fletcher Cox situation.

“Fletcher Cox had given some serious consideration to not showing up to the mandatory minicamp,” said Schefter. “[He] decided to go when the Eagles said ‘Hey, we’re gonna keep talking about this, we’re gonna keep coming up with proposals to try to get this worked out.’ And so often we see players stay away.”

Just a few days after the end of mandatory minicamp, the 25-year-old defensive tackle agreed to a six-year $103 million extension, with $63 million guaranteed. The guaranteed money is a record for a non-quarterback.

Read more »

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