Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Players Just Want Transparency’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

What strikes you is how casually they greet the alleged corruption.

Congressional investigators recently released a 91-page report supporting the claim that the NFL inappropriately attempted to influence a sports-related study on brain disease by the National Institutes of Health. After committing an “unrestricted” $30 million donation to the NIH, the NFL apparently balked when a $16 million grant was given for research efforts to be led by neurodegenerative disease expert Dr. Robert Stern, who has been critical of the league in the past, and attempted to redirect funds to grant applicants with league ties.

“No conversations [with the NFLPA] yet. I think everyone is waiting to get a little more information,” said Eagles player rep Malcolm Jenkins. “But I also don’t  feel like anyone is caught by surprise. I feel like we’ve felt like that was the case the entire time anyway.”

That what was the case?

“That the NFL wasn’t being 100 percent [in respect to] their findings of the investigations on concussions… I’m going to speak for myself, but I don’t think players really have the confidence in the league to do the right thing — or completely the right thing — when it comes to player safety.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Johnson Welcomes ‘Better’ Offseason Approach

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Like Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews, Lane Johnson said he also traveled to Oklahoma to spend time with Sam Bradford this offseason – though his visit was more of the rocking chair and lemonade variety.

“No, I did a lot of sitting,” he said when a reporter jokingly asked if he was out there running routes for the quarterback. “I had to rest this offseason. I was tired.”

Johnson skipped the MMA training during the break (though he may spend a month there later in the offseason, he said) and pulled back on the weight lifting so that the body could heal. The 25-year-old dealt with knee and ankle injuries (at a minimum) over the course of the season. With 44 starts and three NFL seasons now under his belt, he is feeling it more than he once did and taking his cues from other veteran linemen on how to properly recover in-between seasons.

“You’re not working out, lifting, you feel like you’re not up to any good. But I felt it was necessary to get the body back right,” said Johnson.

Particularly after three seasons working under Chip Kelly. Read more »

Kiper: Jack Conklin Would Be Upgrade For Eagles

Jack Conklin. (USA Today Sports Images)

Jack Conklin. (USA Today Sports Images)

During a 75-minute conference call with reporters Monday morning, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said he believes the Eagles need to focus on building their offensive line, and that Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin could be a good fit at No. 13 in this year’s draft.

“I think, in terms of offensive line, I think that’s the [Eagles’] big need area, the big problem they have right now and going into this year, is solidifying the guys up front for the quarterback, whoever that may be,” Kiper said. 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 »

Why Sam Bradford May Reject Multi-Year Deals

Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Since the end of the regular season, one idea has picked up some steam: the Eagles should use the franchise tag on Sam Bradford, and then trade him to another team.

This theory, according to Joel Corry, a former agent and current contracts/salary cap expert for CBS Sports, is very unlikely to materialize. Corry quickly dismissed the concept because he believes teams would balk at paying Bradford whatever his market value is in addition to sending a draft pick or other compensation to the Eagles.

Instead, Corry thinks Bradford may test the waters in free agency and take a short-term contract. Read more »

Locker Room Round-Up: Johnson On Peters’ Remarks

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Jason Peters pushed back hard when asked if the time is now for him to transition from tackle to guard.

“No, no. I can still play tackle. I’m the best we got,” he said following the game Sunday. “Who are they going to put there? Who is better than me in this locker room? Nobody. Who can they draft better than me? Nobody. Who can they pick up better than me? Nobody.”

Those comments were presented to Lane Johnson during locker cleanouts Monday. 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 »

Jenkins: ‘Lane [Johnson] Reads Too Many Articles’

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

After Lane Johnson said yesterday that the tension between Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman trickled down to the locker room, Malcolm Jenkins fired back today.

“I think Lane reads too many articles,” Jenkins said. “For whatever anybody in the front office has going on, it should never bother anybody in the locker room. That’s not something that we ever saw or dealt with, so if he felt it, that’s probably because he’s reading too many of those articles.”

Jenkins also talked extensively about whether Kelly was “unapproachable,” which Johnson said was how some players may have felt. Read more »

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