Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
Eagles players cleaned out their lockers Monday and had their exit interviews with coaches. In all likelihood, we won’t hear from Chip Kelly again until March.
Keeping that in mind, it’s time to set up the offseason. We’ll be represented at all the major events: the Senior Bowl in January, the combine in February and the owners meetings in March. Below are some notes on where things stand for the Eagles going into the next few months.
The following Eagles are unrestricted free agents: WR Jeremy Maclin, OLB Brandon Graham, S Nate Allen, CB Bradley Fletcher, QB Mark Sanchez, ILB Casey Matthews and WR Brad Smith.
The priority there is Maclin. By all accounts, he wants to be back, and the team wants him back. But there are no sure things. If Maclin were to hit the open market, he would have plenty of suitors. Read more »
The Eagles seem to have a willing dance partner in Trent Cole.
The 10-year veteran appears comfortable with the idea of moving on if that’s the way things break, but his preference is to finish his career in Philadelphia.
Is he willing to rework his deal so he can come back for another season?
“Yes,” he responded. “I want to do whatever I can to make things work. Hopefully it results in me being here.”
The 32-year old’s base salary jumps from $5 million to $10 million next season and he’s slated to make just shy of $35 million over the final three years of his deal. There’s basically no shot he ends up collecting all that coin. Cole and the Eagles will likely have to find some middle ground to keep the relationship going. Read more »
Chip Kelly was handed the Pro Bowl list last night so he could call the Eagles that had been selected. His reaction when he saw that Fletcher Cox was a sixth alternate?
“Wow,” said Kelly. “That was the one that kind of surprised me. I think he’s been our top player. He’s been really unblockable at times. I think he’s a very disruptive force. But sometimes you make the Pro Bowl I guess on reputation. You ask Jason Kelce, Jason will be the first to tell you that he played better last year than he played this year, which is obviously true — he missed four-and-a-half games. Evan Mathis is a second alternate and he missed eight games…so sometimes I think your reputation goes into it.” Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY
No current Eagles player has been with the team longer than Trent Cole.
A fifth-round pick back in 2005 (the same year the team drafted Todd Herremans), Cole has logged 154 games in Eagles green over the span of 10 seasons.
Has the 32-year-old thought about the fact that Sunday could be his last opportunity to play for this franchise? Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
Here’s the injury report for Saturday’s game in D.C.: Read more »
Player I’ll Be Watching
Kapadia: Brandon Graham
T-Mac did a good job earlier this week of detailing Graham’s contract situation. The bottom line as I see it: The Eagles want him back, but Graham wants to find a role that fits and get paid what he thinks he’s worth, which is completely understandable.
A first-round pick in 2010, Graham is playing the best football of his career. He made the switch from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB and has come into his own this season. Graham has 5.5 sacks, 14 hurries, 13.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. He is able to do all the things the coaches have asked of him: rush the passer, set the edge and drop into coverage. Additionally, Graham has become a valuable contributor on special teams. Read more »
Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Here are three Eagles leftovers to get to:
1. LeSean McCoy was one of the few Eagles who spoke up in support of DeSean Jackson after the team released Jackson during the offseason. And earlier this week, he unveiled a pretty hilarious impression of the speedy wide receiver.
We never got to see what a Chip Kelly offense would look like with McCoy, Jackson and Jeremy Maclin all on the field at the same time. Maclin tore his ACL in the summer of 2013, and Jackson was gone by the time this season rolled around.
McCoy was asked about the prospects of Jackson and Maclin teaming up in Kelly’s offense.
“Just a lot of big plays, a lot of space, a lot of yards,” he said. “That’s what I would think. But you never know.” Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
The Eagles are interested in re-signing Brandon Graham, and Graham genuinely wants to remain in Philadelphia. But the level of commitment on both sides to making it happen will be tested in the coming weeks.
As Geoff Mosher reported, the Eagles reached out to Graham’s camp to express their interest in re-signing the 26-year-old. While no formal offer was made, we’re told that the opening salvo by the Eagles was to the tune of four years, $24 million. That’s an average of $6 million per season. Graham’s camp is looking for something in the $7-8 million per year range.
While that might not seem like a huge gap to bridge, there are other factors – and more specifically, other Eagles players – to consider. Read more »
Some Eagles notes before we head to practice…
Emily Kaplan of The MMQB has an excellent feature up on Danny Watkins, his career with the Eagles and why he’s currently out of the league. Watkins’ failure as a player still irks his former offensive line coach, Howard Mudd: Read more »
Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today
Brandon Graham‘s fifth season with the Eagles is nearing its end. The rookie contract that has tied him to Philadelphia — for better or for worse, in good times and in bad — is about to expire.
Most of the good has come of late. Graham has made peace with the ghosts of expectations unmet and has adapted to his new position to become a productive part of the Eagles’ attack. He has 5.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 14 quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles on the season while playing a shade under 40 percent of the snaps.
Somewhat apropos of the way his pro career has gone, Graham’s playing time is set to spike just as the sand threatens to drain out of the hourglass. Trent Cole is expected to miss at least one week with a broken hand, meaning Graham jumps into the starting lineup for the first time since 2012.
“This is a big opportunity for me to really show what I can do with more snaps. I’m excited to just be able to go compete and get better with my teammates,” said Graham. Read more »