Wake-Up Call: How Eagles’ Moves Affect Draft Plans

NCAA Football: Tennessee Tech at Oregon

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 »

Kelly’s Influence Felt Behind the Scenes

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

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 »

Wake-Up Call: Symbolism In the Peters Signing

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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 »

Notes On the Peters Signing

LeSean McCoy running Jason Peters run block against Chargers
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 »

Eagles, Peters Agree To Five-Year Deal

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders
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.”
Read more »

Kelly Finishes 4th For Coach Of the Year

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly did a fantastic job turning the Eagles around from 4-12 bottom-dwellers in the NFC East to 10-6 division champs. But that wasn’t enough to earn him Coach of the Year honors.

Instead, Ron Rivera took home the award after helping lead the Panthers to a 12-4 mark in the NFC South. Andy Reid finished second, Bill Belichick was third, and Kelly was fourth, per the Associated Press. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Are the Eagles a Young Team?

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Following the Eagles’ playoff loss to the Saints, Jeffrey Lurie was asked what needs to happen for his team to take the next step.

After noting that getting off to a better start would help in the future, he said: “This year we had a young team, and they were just finding out how good they were.”

But how young were the Eagles compared to the other 31 teams? Read more »

Cap Expert Weighs In On Eagles

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
There are plenty of financial-related questions surrounding the Eagles right now. What kind of market will they be up against when it comes to free-agent receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper? Which players are most likely to be cap casualties? Will any veterans be asked to take a pay cut? For answers, we called on former agent/salary cap expert Joel Corry to make sense of it all. Read more »

More Honors For McCoy, Mathis, Peters

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Evan Mathis may not have been voted into the Pro Bowl, but he is getting plenty of recognition elsewhere this offseason. The standout guard was named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press earlier this month. On Monday, he was selected to the Pro Football Writers of America All-NFL team.

LeSean McCoy was also named to the All-NFL team, and Jason Peters made the All-NFC team.

While McCoy and Peters were both tabbed to represent the Eagles in the Pro Bowl (Peters has since opted out), the 32-year-old Mathis was named a second alternate along with DeSean Jackson. (Nick Foles, a first alternate, will be playing in Hawaii). Mathis has been cleaning up otherwise. He recently was given the Bruce Matthews Award by Pro Football Focus, which goes to the top offensive lineman in the league. Read more »

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