A few notes to pass along after wandering around the combine for a couple days:
“The Eagles won’t spend.”
That was a quote from the representative of a free-agent defensive player, whose client will likely command somewhere between mid-level and high-end money. Asked for his reasoning, he said that was the general understanding out there about the team’s approach to free agency. Read more »
INDIANAPOLIS – The quality of this wide receiver class is impacting the Eagles thinking. There’s no denying that.
Analysts and general managers alike are raving about the talent in this draft, and receiver is the first position they cite to illustrate their point. If you’re in need of a wideout, chances are you’ll be able to find one come May.
“I think we’re going to be sitting there in every round and there’s going to be a receiver we like,”said Howie Roseman. “It’s just going to happen that way…Guys will be pushed back because of the quality and the depth of the class.”
The question is: how much will that factor into their stance when it comes to free agents Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin? Read more »
INDIANAPOLIS — Hopes are high that the Eagles will finally find the solution to their safety problems this offseason. But it is certainly possible — perhaps even likely — that they’ll fall short of those aspirations. It may be another year of survival at the safety spot.
Howie Roseman painted that as a possible scenario when speaking with a handful of reporters at the combine Thursday afternoon. Read more »
In the past week or so, we’ve profiled a couple of the bigger-name free agents at safety: Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward.
But if Howie Roseman is telling the truth when he says the Eagles will target more mid-tier guys, it’s worth exploring who those options might be.
And one name Birds 24/7 readers have asked about is Miami Dolphins safety Chris Clemons. So we’ll start with him and cycle through some more names in the days ahead. Read more »
The NFL scouting combine officially gets under way today in Indianapolis. Here are three things we’ll be watching, with an Eagles slant. Read more »
NFL analyst Mike Mayock opened his conference call with reporters Tuesday by offering the following:
“From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably 10 years. That’s been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts that I’ve talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top 20 pick this year is very similar to having a top-10 pick last year,” he said. “I think there is more depth. I think there are certain positions that are stacked.” Read more »
With free agency set to kick off three weeks from today, one thing seems certain: It’s going to be fascinating to see how the market plays out for Riley Cooper.
The 26-year-old wide receiver is coming off a 47-catch, 835-yard, 8-TD season, and according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there will be “significant demand” for his services: Read more »
Chip Kelly‘s “big people beat up little people” line is a popular one, and will be recited plenty in the coming days with the combine getting underway later this week. Height, weight, hand size, wing span…all of these measurables mean something to Kelly, and can help lead us towards the players that may be of interest to the Eagles. But there’s another, less heralded quote that should also be kept in mind as the powers that be descend on Indianapolis to get up close and personal with the draft prospects.
“There’s a very cerebral part to this game that I don’t know if people give enough credit to. It’s about making good decisions. Dumb people do dumb things and smart people rarely do dumb things,” he said last April. Read more »
For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.
From @pmeredith77: Why are people saying the Eagles won’t pursue Jairus Byrd or TJ Ward when mid-level safeties haven’t gotten it done in the past?
Many view the message coming out of the NovaCare as a smokescreen, but I really believe the Eagles have changed their thinking when it comes to free agency. They’re wary of sinking a large chunk of their available cash into a single player. On multiple occasions, Howie Roseman has likened free agency to an arranged marriage: you don’t know whether team and player are truly compatible until after pen has gone to paper.
The fact that Chip Kelly‘s time at Oregon overlapped with both Byrd and Ward’s takes some of the guesswork out of it. He has spent time around the players, and has a basic understanding of how they would fit into the Eagles’ defense and culture. That alleviates some of the concern. Read more »
On the surface, Jairus Byrd appears to be a near-perfect fit.
That’s why he’s the free agent Birds 24/7 readers have asked about the most in recent weeks. Byrd played his college ball at Oregon, and for two seasons while he was there, Chip Kelly was the Ducks’ offensive coordinator. At 27, he is a three-time Pro Bowler and appears set to hit the open market.
At this point, we don’t even need to discuss the need for the Eagles to upgrade at safety. It’s been a position of weakness for five straight years, and the personnel whiffs have led to struggles on the back end of the Birds’ defense.
While Howie Roseman has dropped hint after hint this offseason that the Eagles won’t be pursuing big-name free agents, I decided to take a closer look at Byrd anyway. Read more »