Weekend Reading: Deep Dive On Bradford

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here are some Eagles-related links worth checking out this weekend.

Paul Domowitch of the Daily News takes a long look into Sam Bradford’s background:

On this particular day, an assistant coach from Michigan dropped by the school to make a sales pitch to young Sam.

The coach knew that, in addition to being an all-state quarterback, Bradford also played on the basketball and golf teams at Putnam City North. Which presented him with an opportunity to drop Michigan alum Tom Brady’s name into the conversation for the 100th time.

“You know, son,” the coach said. “Tom is a big golfer. I think I probably could arrange for you to play a round with him. Would you like that? He’d give you a few strokes, of course.”

Bradford looked at the coach, smiled, and without the slightest hint of arrogance, replied, “I don’t need any strokes.”

Read more »

Williams: We Were Exhausted, Got Outcoached

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Cary Williams wasn’t afraid to speak his mind when he was in Philadelphia.

And that’s continued now that he’s a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

During an interview with ESPN 710 in Seattle, Williams sounded off about Chip Kelly’s methods and what doomed the Eagles down the stretch last season. He was asked specifically about what was going through the players’ minds before their December matchup against the Seahawks.

“We were talking about the fact that our conditioning and things like that were going to kick in because we worked harder than everybody in the National Football League with the Chip Kelly thing,” Williams said. “When we got out there, we got our teeth kicked in, so all that conditioning didn’t necessarily work. The preparation wasn’t necessarily the greatest that week. So when you’re going up against teams that prepare, practice well, coach well, it’s difficult in games like that. And I think towards the end of the year, we were exhausted, and we got outcoached the majority of the games. Read more »

Notes: Polk To Receive Low Tender

Jeffrey G. Pittenger - USA Today

Jeffrey G. Pittenger – USA Today

Busy morning. Let’s get to the latest:

The Eagles will give restricted free agent Chris Polk a low tender, per NJ.com, which would put his salary at approximately $1.5 million for 2015. Teams that want to snatch a low tendered free agent away from their current employer must give up a draft pick equal to where that player was drafted. Polk, though, was an undrafted free agent, so no compensation in this case is required.

The Eagles could have ensured that he’d remain with the team by offering a higher tender, but that would have cost more money. This tells us that they are interested in having Polk back but at their price, and are probably willing to let him walk if another team comes in and sweetens the pot. They do have the right of first refusal should they want to match an incoming offer.
Read more »

Making Sense Of the Cary Williams Release

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

The Eagles announced Tuesday that they have released cornerback Cary Williams.

The move saves the team $6.5 million in cap space. Williams was scheduled to make $8.17M in 2015. There had been some thought that the Eagles would see what they could get in free agency before making a decision on Williams, but they decided to simply cut ties with him. Read more »

Inside Voices: Graham Not Out Of Picture

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

The league year begins in just over a week. Here’s the latest Eagles buzz as free agency approaches and the draft draws closer:

* The Eagles still have interest in re-signing Brandon Graham. The two sides are expected to meet early this week, we’re told, presumably to try and knock out a deal.

It’s understandable why the Eagles would want to hold onto the 26-year-old. He has had a high production rate in two years under Chip Kelly, turned into a solid special teams contributor this past season and is already familiar with the system and culture. Without him, they would likely have to dive into the free-agent pool for help. And while they could theoretically grab someone like Jason Worilds, whom they’ve shown interest in previously, they would probably have to overspend to get him. Read more »

Combine Notes: Eagles Favorite For Maxwell?

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

INDIANAPOLIS – Meetings are in full swing here at the NFL Scouting Combine, with the groundwork being laid for the free agency period opening March 10.

According to one report, the Eagles are not only eyeing cornerback Byron Maxwell, but have the inside track in getting him. Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj - USA Today

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj – USA Today

The dead period of the NFL calendar is almost over with the NFL Combine slated to begin on Wednesday. As free agency and the draft inch closer, here’s what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com identifies Jeremy Maclin as the Eagles top priority this offseason:

Letting DeSean Jackson walk a year ago will probably haunt Chip Kelly for a while. So now Jeremy Maclin has him over a barrel a year after the Eagles were able to re-sign him on the cheap while coming off an ACL injury. With the quarterback position unstable — or at least unproven — this team needs to keep skill players who fit and Maclin is the obvious starting point. If I can find a trade partner for Trent Cole, I’m doing it, and I am releasing Riley Cooper before his salary becomes guaranteed next month.

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Offseason Outlook At CB

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

We’ve got to knock out the final two offseason outlook pieces, so instead of taking a question today, we’ll take a look at the Eagles’ cornerback situation.

State of the roster

The only cornerback from last year who is a free agent is Bradley Fletcher.

Cary Williams enters the final year of his deal, but carries with him an $8.17M cap hit. That’s 13th among all NFL cornerbacks.

Brandon Boykin enters the final year of his rookie contract. And Nolan Carroll is on the last year of his deal as well.

The only cornerback who was on the roster last year and is signed past 2015 is Jaylen Watkins. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Secondary Shuffle

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

There was a change in approach and personnel Sunday, but the results were in many ways the same.

The struggling Bradley Fletcher was inactive for the regular-season finale in New York (Chip Kelly said he suffered a hip injury in practice during the week), moving Nolan Carroll into a starting role and rookie Jaylen Watkins into the rotation. Because of the new pieces, Billy Davis opted to have Cary Williams shadow Odell Beckham Jr. instead of keeping the starting corners on their respective sides as is custom. And to try and minimize the amount of big plays, Davis went with more split-safety looks.

The Giants, though, still racked up 429 passing yards and the Eagles yielded five plays of 20-plus yards through the air, adding to their league-leading total. Read more »

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