Pederson Defends Decision To Start Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Doug Pederson’s initial plan wasn’t to start Halapoulivaati Vaitai at right tackle in place of the suspended Lane Johnson, but after the rookie right tackle played well enough in practice, the Eagles plugged the rookie fifth-round pick in against Washington instead of moving Allen Barbre from left guard.

In his first NFL game, Vaitai allowed two sacks, two hurries and one quarterback hit in 29 pass plays, according to Pro Football Focus. But the Eagles’ head coach said Vaitai will start again against the undefeated Vikings on Sunday. Read more »

Darren Sproles: I Have Two Good Years Left

Darren Sproles. (Jeff Fusco)

Darren Sproles. (Jeff Fusco)

A few hours after inking a one-year contract extension that will keep him in Philadelphia through 2017, Darren Sproles said he has two good years left in him. When asked if he plans to retire after his deal ends, the 33-year-old running back smiled, paused and repeated three words.

“We going see,” he said. “We going see.”

Sproles said his contract, which reportedly gives him $4.5 million in new money, “means a lot” because he wants to finish his career as an Eagle. The signing continues the Eagles’ offseason theme of extending players who have been good contributors, after Chip Kelly’s tumultuous tenure of making personnel decisions. 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 »

Jim Schwartz: Fletcher Cox Will Fit ‘Very Well’

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today Sports)

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today Sports)

In his first media availability since the Eagles hired him in January, Jim Schwartz didn’t want to talk about Fletcher Cox much on Tuesday afternoon. He declined to comment on whether he’s spoken to the Pro Bowl defensive tackle, and he didn’t want to answer any additional questions about the biggest name missing from the Eagles’ OTAs.

But when he did discuss Cox, Schwartz didn’t seem concerned the 25-year-old will fall far behind.

“It’s voluntary, so you can only do so much,” Schwartz said. “Fletch was drafted in a scheme that was similar to this; he’ll catch up. I’m sure there’ll be some carryover for him, but I assume he’s a fast learner and I assume he’ll pick things up quickly.

“We think scheme-wise and technique-wise, what we’ll do will fit him very well.” Read more »

Report: Fletcher Cox Deal Is Close To Being Done

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox is close to signing a long-term deal potentially worth up to $52 million in fully guaranteed money, Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reported. Cole added that the Eagles want to sign him “earlier in this offseason” so he’ll participate in new head coach Doug Pederson’s activities.

Amid his unclear contract situation, Cox is one of two players who is expected to skip the Eagles’ voluntary minicamp this week. Darren Sproles, the other player, will not attend because of a family matter.

Despite his absence, Cox’s teammates appear unfazed. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Defensive Line Outlook

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

This week we’ll continue to take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason. In the first five installments, we covered the quarterbacks, running backswide receivers, tight endsoffensive linemen and safeties. Now, it’s on to the defensive line.

STATE OF THE ROSTER

Asked during an appearance on Daniel Jeremiah’s Move the Sticks podcast to pick one defensive lineman he’d choose to build a defense around, Jim Schwartz offered a response that revealed a little bit about his overall philosophy. Read more »

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