Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
Leading up to training camp on July 25, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We have already covered the defensive line, quarterbacks, outside linebackers, running backs, inside linebackers, cornerbacks, wide receivers and safeties. Now it’s on to the offensive line.
The pressing question: How much will the Lane Johnson suspension hurt the Eagles?
Let’s put it this way. In terms of devastation level, losing LeSean McCoy would be a 10. Losing Patrick Chung last year would have been a 1. I’ll put the Johnson suspension at a 6.5.
Offensively, losing McCoy or Nick Foles would fall into the “season changer” category. Losing Jason Kelce would hurt a lot too, given that the Eagles don’t really have an adequate replacement (at least not a proven one). Jason Peters or Evan Mathis missing time would mean definite downgrades. After that, there’s Johnson and a few others. Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
When the Eagles’ team huddle broke to end Tuesday’s OTA, dozens of players walked toward the NovaCare Complex’s main building that houses the locker room.
Walking alone in the other direction was offensive lineman Karim Barton. He slowly traveled about 50 yards with his helmet in hand and his green jersey drenched in sweat, passing many teammates along the way. He stopped at the two-person orange blocking sled on the outskirts of the facility to get additional work in.
“The coaches can’t come out here and give me one-on-one time because of time restrictions,” he said. “So I created one-on-one time with the sleds.”
Barton is used to traveling alone, and taking a different path than most of his peers is why he’s in Philadelphia in the first place. After growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, then moving to South Central Los Angeles, he has escaped the drugs, violence and poverty that plague both areas. Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
Michael Bamiro spent a large portion of Monday’s OTA holding a rectangular orange blocking pad. As one of 16 offensive linemen competing for about half as many spots, it acted as his entry pass so he too could jump into drills and prove to offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland he’s more than just a practice player.
“I’m really just doing whatever I can to get myself on that field,” Bamiro said. Read more »
Eagles practice was once again open to the media today. Here’s what we saw.
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Dagger. Dagger in the heart.
Those were the words of Howie Roseman when, moments after the 2014 NFL Draft concluded, a reporter brought up the fact that the Eagles came away with no offensive linemen.
“I firmly believe in building on the line of scrimmage. That’s kind of how I was raised in the National Football League,” the general manager said. “I thought we’d have some opportunities to get some o‑linemen, but there was a run in the third round that was like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life. It was like ‑‑ I don’t know, if someone gave me the numbers, it was like player after player after player, and it was like ‑‑ all of a sudden we looked back up and our board was depleted, and we weren’t going to reach. That hurt because we went in thinking that we’d get some guys.” Read more »
Most draft questions that Howie Roseman fields in the offseason elicit a similar sounding response.
The phrases “best available player” and “stick to our board” are uttered over and over and over again.
Yet every time the team makes moves – re-signing its own players, adding free agents, making trades – questions arise about how draft plans will be impacted. So today, let’s take a look at the moves individually and predict what they might mean come May. Read more »
In the days leading up to the scouting combine, the NFL sent out a media schedule detailing when coaches and general managers would hold press conferences at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
In the release, nine coaches were missing: Chip Kelly, Bill Belichick, Joe Philbin, Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Mike McCoy, Jason Garrett, Sean Payton and Pete Carroll.
Among that group, seven ended up eventually deciding to chat at one point or another (even if it was only to the team’s Web site or a single media outlet). The exceptions? Tomlin and Kelly.
Last offseason, Kelly was available at the Senior Bowl, the combine and any time the Eagles made significant personnel moves (re-signings, free agents, etc.). This year, we haven’t heard from him since the day after the season ended.
Instead, he has taken more of a behind-the-scenes approach. But Kelly’s fingerprints were on every move the team made last week. Read more »
Part of it is just that Jason Peters is a freak.
He’s 32, yes, and he is not too far removed from a double Achilles rupture. Normally, that’s not the type of player you hand a lucrative four-year extension to. But Peters is not normal. He is an athletic phenomenon; a five-time All-Pro rabbit in a bear suit with the makings of a Hall-of-Fame resume.
“This is a unique situation when you are talking about Jason Peters and his level of excellence, his level of play,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “It’s hard to turn on the tape and look at him as a 31-year-old offensive tackle. You look at him and you see him dominate players. He still has upside in his body because of the things that we’re doing and the scheme that we’re in…For us, this is about the player. Jason Peters has defied all odds, and he’s a unique player.”
The fact that the Eagles were willing to hand a 10-year vet $20 million of guaranteed coin speaks mostly to how rare a specimen Peters is.
There is more to the story, though. Read more »
Asked how much he dealt with Chip Kelly during the Jason Peters contract negotiations, agent Vincent Taylor responded, “Man, not at all.”
Kelly told reporters at the beginning of the offseason that he would not be delving into the contract side of things, and it appears he is staying true to his word. The lines were a little more gray under Andy Reid, who had final say over personnel decisions and by the end of his tenure was sitting in on some of the negotiations.
That’s not to say that Kelly wasn’t influential in the decision to lock up the All-Pro. He has been a big fan of the big man from the start.
“Coach is a very up-front guy,” said Howie Roseman with a smile, “so the first time he saw him move, it was an expletive-filled energy. It’s not very often that you see a 325-330 pound guy move like that and play with that kind of power. This is a unique football player.” Read more »
The Eagles and Jason Peters have come to terms on a new five-year deal that runs through 2018. The contract is worth a reported $51.3 million with $19.55 guaranteed.
According to a league source, the guaranteed money will run into the third year of the deal, with a “small portion” of the 2016 money being guaranteed.
The All-Pro left tackle was in the final year of deal he signed with the Eagles after being acquired from the Bills back in 2009, which was scheduled to pay him a base salary of $9.65 million. That figure will stay the same under the terms of the new deal, per a CSN Philly report. The Eagles will get about $2 million in cap relief this year as a result of the deal, according to Adam Caplan.
The two sides had been having light talks but really began to dig their heels in over the last two weeks, we’re told.
“There aren’t many people cut from the same cloth as Jason Peters,” said Chip Kelly. “To be able to bounce back from two Achilles injuries and return to an All-Pro level speaks not only to his incredible athleticism, but proves just how hard he works at his game. Having him at left tackle provides a lot of comfort to our quarterback and to our entire offense. He’s a guy that many players look up to in our locker room.”
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