Eagles Wake-Up Call: Potential Cap Casualties

Sam Bradford and Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)

Sam Bradford and Ryan Mathews. (Jeff Fusco)

To submit your mailbag question, fill out the form at the bottom of this post or email us.

Looking at the Eagles’ 2017 salary cap, they are last in the league with only $5 million available. Is this fallout from the Kelly era, or are these Roseman contracts? What should we expect to see next year, cuts (Peters, Barwin, etc) or restructures (Bradford, etc)? — Shawn

This is why I think the phrase “contract year” is funny.

You often hear it when a player is on the last year of his contract and he’s set to be a free agent, but the reality of the NFL is many players are in “contract years,” even if they have multiple seasons left on their deal. That’s because they can be cut to save money if they don’t appear to be worth their future cap commitment, which is why I think Shawn’s question is intriguing to consider. Even though many Eagles still have multiple years left on their contracts, several of them could be playing for their futures in Philadelphia this year as they try to avoid being cap casualties in 2017. Read more »

Pederson On Kelce’s Step Back, the Offensive Line

Jason Kelce. (Jeff Fusco)

Jason Kelce. (Jeff Fusco)

Throughout last season, several theories floated around about why Jason Kelce took a step back from his previous Pro Bowl-caliber seasons.

Perhaps an injury was holding him back, or maybe he just benefited from battling defenses in those first two Chip Kelly years that struggled to adjust to the Eagles’ scheme and tempo.

Doug Pederson, however, subscribes to a different theory. Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Robert Griffin III. (USA Today Sports Images)

Robert Griffin III. (USA Today Sports Images)

Here’s what the media are saying as the combine continues and free agency speculation heats up.

Malcolm Jenkins told SiriusXM that the Eagles were “focused on all the wrong things” last season, per Matt Lombardo of NJ.com.

“I think our team was focused on all the wrong things,” Jenkins said during a radio interview on SiriusXM. “I think when you get so caught up sometimes in X’s and O’s, the tempo of your day and getting to all of this stuff, a lot of times you don’t just stop and pay attention to the small things; like, how tight is your locker room?

“I know on defense we were pretty tight. We’d go out every Thursday night for dinner and have fellowship. Our offense wasn’t quite the same. Those things, though, are important. They may sound very, very minute but those are the things you brush over if you’re going through the speed of the season and your routine, you forget about those things.”

Read more »

What the Future Holds For the Eagles’ O-line

Jason Kelce and Jason Peters. (Jeff Fusco)

Jason Kelce and Jason Peters. (Jeff Fusco)

With a decade in the NFL already under his belt, Barrett Brooks could feel his career winding down in Pittsburgh. He played in nearly 100 games in his first six seasons alone, and he didn’t have much left in the tank.

But then Bill Cowher started giving Brooks “maintenance days,” which Brooks says extended his career by two or three seasons. The former offensive lineman expects Doug Pederson to do the same for Jason Peters, which is why he thinks Peters will still be productive.

“[Pederson] knows how to give guys days off, and that’s going to be huge,” Brooks said. “He’s going to give them days and allow them to sit down to rest. Chip [Kelly] wasn’t having that. Chip still made him practice. You can’t have a guy like that.” Read more »

Lane Johnson: ‘I Want To Be Here the Rest Of My Career’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

In 2008, Lane Johnson was playing quarterback at Kilgore College. In 2010, he was working at tight end and then defensive line for Oklahoma. This time three years ago, he was considered a raw projection pick.  And now, he’s the fourth-highest paid tackle in the NFL.

“It’s sinking in now,” said Johnson after signing a five-year contract extension Friday. “I’m very fortunate to be drafted to a great place where I was able to develop and get better every year, and have the right coaches help me with that…I’m fortunate where I’m at and owe a lot of thanks to the people that have helped me along the way.”

Johnson’s new deal contains $35.5 million in guarantees (including a $10 million signing bonus) and is worth up to $63-plus million. The 25-year old believes the Eagles drafted him to eventually play left tackle and feels the contract accounts for that. But there is no rush. Signs are pointing to Jason Peters being back with the club in 2016, which seems to be just fine by Johnson. Read more »

Eagles, Lane Johnson Agree To Deal

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

The Eagles have agreed to a new six-year contract with Lane Johnson, the team announced.

It contains $35.5 million in guarantees and is worth up to $63 million. (Mike Garafolo had the details first.) The deal factors in Johnson’s eventual move to left tackle.

How soon that move comes depends on how the Eagles proceed with Jason Peters.

“I do,” said Doug Pederson, when asked if he thinks Peters can still be a starting left tackle. “I think JP’s got several good years left in him. I think that he does the right things in the offseason to get himself ready to go for another year, and really looking forward to visiting with him, sitting down and talking with him, and number one seeing where he’s at and then motivating him for the future.” Read more »

Jason Peters Talks Chip, Next Head Coach

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — Asked what he wants in his next head coach, Jason Peters evoked the name of Andy Reid.

“He’s like a father figure to all the players. You just kind of didn’t want to let him down so you always played hard for the guy,” he said. “Somebody like him.”

Questions were raised down the stretch this season whether Peters felt inspired to “play hard” for the man who was just shown the door, Chip Kelly. He exited the game against Washington last week once the outcome was decided. Reports surfaced that he pulled himself because he didn’t want to risk further injury for a team not going to the playoffs. Read more »

Eagles Roster Analysis: Offense

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray. (Jeff Fusco)

With Sunday’s game against the Giants meaningless in terms of the 2015 NFL season, we figured it was time to turn our attention to the Eagles’ roster heading into the new year and the offseason, as the team begins looking for its next head coach.

A team’s stable of talent plays quite the role when people like Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman are trying to sell their franchise to prospective head coaches. Let’s talk about how the roster looks on the offensive side of the ball.

(All contract information is via Spotrac, including the 2016 dead cap numbers.) Read more »

Kelly On Peters: ‘I Will Never Question His Toughness’

Chip Kelly. (Jeff Fusco)

Chip Kelly. (Jeff Fusco)

After reports emerged that Jason Peters took himself out of the Eagles’ game against Washington Saturday night, Chip Kelly said today he doesn’t know whether that’s true.

“It wasn’t relayed to me that way. It’s just relayed Jason’s out. I didn’t get into that,” Kelly said. “We were just told he couldn’t go any longer.”

According to multiple reports, Peters, who injured his elbow during the game, took himself out because he “didn’t want the risk of getting hurt for a team that is not going to the playoffs.” Peters played 56 offensive snaps (69 percent), while Dennis Kelly was on the field for the other 25 plays (31 percent). Read more »

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