Sorting Through the Receiver Situation

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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 »

Wake-Up Call: Draft Offers Options At Receiver

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

A record 98 underclassmen have declared for the 2014 NFL Draft. Within that wave lies  a group of talented receivers that has enriched the position significantly.

“When you talk about the underclassmen, that’s where the guts of this draft is. Last year was more senior-heavy,” said Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for the Eagles. “This year we’re talking about 9-10 underclass wide receivers that are first, second-round players in my opinion.”

Jeremiah sees seven receivers being selected in the first round, which would be the most since 2004. And they are: Sammy Watkins (junior, Clemson), Mike Evans (redshirt sophomore, Texas A&M), Kelvin Benjamin (redshirt sophomore, Florida State), Marqise Lee (junior, USC), Paul Richardson (redshirt junior, Colorado), Jarvis Landry (junior, LSU) and Davante Adams (redshirt sophomore, Fresno State).

Mel Kiper, incredibly, has nine going in the first round in his latest mock draft. (He projects LSU junior Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Eagles at 22.)

Howie Roseman agrees with the sentiment that this is a strong class of wideouts, and must decide how much — if at all — that will impact some key decisions that are before him.

Read more »

Jets Reportedly Interested In Maclin

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
The Jets are interested in free-agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, according to a report.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes that the Jets “covet” Maclin and view him as a No. 1 receiver when healthy. New York, which had the 31st-ranked passing offense in 2013, is apparently interested in Pittsburgh’s Emmanuel Sanders as well.

Former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhingweg is the Jets’ OC and certainly knows what Maclin is capable of. Put need position + former coach together, and the interest makes perfect sense. (Hence why Kansas City will likely come calling before it’s all said and done.) 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 »

Eagles Must Make A Call On Avant

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The Eagles have a decision to make when it comes to Jason Avant, and will need to make it fairly soon.

Avant has become a fixture in Philadelphia. Selected in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, he has spent the last eight seasons with the Eagles, surviving some lean years and a coaching transition. Only Todd Herremans and Trent Cole have been with the team longer.

Avant proved valuable to Chip Kelly in his first year. He deserves part of the credit for guiding the Eagles past the Riley Cooper situation, and helped set the right tone in the locker room with his work ethic and approach to the game.  On the field, his stats dipped. While several of his teammates enjoyed career years, the 30-year-old had 38 receptions (he was targeted 76 times) for 447 yards. Those are his lowest numbers since 2008. He made strong contributions to the running game with his blocking, but his involvement in the passing game left something to be desired.

The Eagles will have to weigh all of that as they decide how to proceed. Complicating matters is that the veteran wideout is scheduled to receive a $1 million roster bonus, which kicks in the  fifth day of the league year (March 15). Read more »

A Few Notes On Maclin

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A few notes to pass along regarding Jeremy Maclin as the free agency period approaches:

– When Maclin addressed the media a day after the Eagles’ loss to the Saints he informed us that he had started running, and that the next step in the process was to begin working on lateral movement. He has since reached that stage, we’re told. He is rehabbing multiple times a day. Per team policy he can only be at the facility during certain hours. When he is finished there he’ll head home to do more work. The knee is said to be responding well. Read more »

Twitter Mailbag: How Far Away Are They?

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Before we get started: DeSean Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl on Friday. He replaces Andre Johnson, who is not participating because of an unspecified injury, according to the league.

Jackson is the fifth Eagle selected to this year’s Pro Bowl, joining LeSean McCoy, Jason Peters, Nick Foles and Evan Mathis. Peters has opted not to play in the game.

Now onto the mailbag: Read more »

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