Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘Backs Are Where It’s At

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

INDIANAPOLIS — Before setting off on a two-hour, 45-minute voyage of a conference call with reporters this week, Mike Mayock took 30 seconds to provide an overview of the draft class that is set to descend on Indy for the Scouting Combine.

“I think [it’s] particularly deep at running back,” he said. “Although it might not be quite as deep at wide receiver as a year ago, it’s still going to be a very good wide receiver class. Correspondingly, it’s going to be very thin at quarterback and safety. And I think the rest of the positions are solid.”

Mayock certainly isn’t the only analyst/scout that is high on this running back class. The buzz isn’t quite as loud as it was for the historic wide receiver crop last year, but it’s at a pretty good hum.
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Eagles Offseason Outlook: Running Back

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Throughout the next two weeks, we’ll take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason. We have covered the quarterbacks and wide receivers so far. Now it’s onto the running backs.

STATE OF THE ROSTER

With this group, the offseason focus is on LeSean McCoy’s contract. The 26-year-old tailback carries a cap hit of $11.95M in 2015, according to Over The Cap. Only Adrian Peterson has a higher number among running backs.

The Eagles will have to decide what to do with McCoy: have him play 2015 on his current deal, ask him to restructure his contract or part ways with him. I think the third option is ridiculous, but more on that in the next section. Read more »

McCoy And the Running Back Market

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Jeremy Maclin called the idea that the Eagles have to choose between him and LeSean McCoy “crazy”, and in one respect, he’s right.

The Eagles are estimated to have about $20 million in salary cap space heading into the 2015 league year. Some money will get gobbled up — Maclin has to get paid, the 2012 draft class is up for new contracts and they need to allocate some dollars to free agency — but it’s not like they’re strapped. This front office is one of the best at manipulating the cap, and there are ways of freeing up money in other areas (via restructuring, pay cuts etc.) if need be. It doesn’t have to be McCoy.

It’s more about how this team wants to proceed as it maps out its financial future. Read more »

Jeremy Maclin Talks Contract

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Yesterday, LeSean McCoy discussed his contract situation while making the rounds at Radio Row. Today, it was Jeremy Maclin‘s turn.

Maclin, who is still not under contract for 2015, was asked if he expects to continue his career in Philadelphia.

“Yeah. I’ve always said that,” Maclin said, via NJ.com. “But at the same time you have to understand what is going on.” Read more »

Notes: On Gamble, McCoy And the Power Structure

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Tom Gamble has a new home.

The former Eagles vice president of player personnel is back in San Francisco as a senior personnel executive with the 49ers, the team announced.

“Tom is one of the most experienced, knowledgeable and respected personnel men in the business,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “He played an instrumental role in our personnel department from 2005-2012 and is well versed in our system having played a role in its development. Read more »

McCoy On Mariota: ‘We Want To Win Now’

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

During a recent appearance on NFL Network, LeSean McCoy was asked what’d be going through his head if the Eagles mortgaged their future to trade up and land QB Marcus Mariota.

“I’m not sure,” McCoy said. “Because the thing is, we want to win now. I think we have the right players in the locker room to win. Knowing how coach [Chip] Kelly thinks, he wants to win at all costs. So, you never know. He’s a good quarterback, but I think we have a good quarterback with Nick [Foles]. That’s something that we have to wait and see. That’s not my call. I think every situation is different. Some of those other teams like the Redskins, they gave up everything to get RG3. And if things don’t work out like you plan, then what? Who is to blame? There are a lot of questions going into those types of situations where you want to give up a whole draft for just one player.” Read more »

McCoy Grabs Foles’ Back

Photo Credit Kelley L. Cox - USA Today

Photo Credit Kelley L. Cox – USA Today

Nick Foles received a vote of confidence from a key member of the offense Friday amid speculation that the Eagles might be moving in a different direction at quarterback.

LeSean McCoy, during an appearance on the NFL Network, was asked if Foles can be “the guy” for Chip Kelly‘s offense.

“I think so. I like Nick,” said McCoy. “The person and the player that everybody thought he was, he is. There were a lot of injuries this year — Nick obviously got injured. He gets all the blame and he shouldn’t. I think Nick is a good quarterback, he is the leader of this team, and things just didn’t work out for him this year due to injury. But we’ve got his back.” Read more »

McCoy To Sit Out Pro Bowl

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy will not play in the Pro Bowl due to injury, according to the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.  McCoy sustained a left knee injury in the fourth quarter in the regular-season finale against the Giants and did not return.

“He asked to go back in on the last series, so from a severity standpoint, I don’t think it’s very severe,” said Chip Kelly immediately following the game.

The decision to sit out the Pro Bowl is likely a precautionary measure. Read more »

An Eagles Slant To the Wild Card Round

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Like many of you, I spent the weekend watching four playoff games and fell into the habit of viewing many things through an Eagles lens.

Keeping that in mind, here are five thoughts, along with a flurry of observations. Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Giants, the Day After

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Note: Because Chip Kelly is addressing reporters early Monday morning (8:30 a.m.) and we’ll have news from the players as they clean out their lockers, this is an abbreviated version (now updated!).

***

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — With 4:40 left in the fourth quarter and the Eagles backed up deep in their own territory, LeSean McCoy took a handoff to the left and was tackled after a 4-yard gain.

He hit the turf at MetLife Stadium, landed awkwardly, and the game was stopped as Eagles medical personnel helped McCoy to the sideline. He turned out to be fine, and Chip Kelly said afterwards that McCoy could have even gone back into the game. But after an Eli Manning interception virtually secured an Eagles victory, there was no need for him to return.

At that point, as he watched the final seconds of the 2014 season tick off the clock, McCoy said he wasn’t thinking much about his future. But afterwards, at his locker, the 26-year-old fielded multiple questions about whether he’d return in 2015.

“I don’t know how they think,” McCoy said. “I just know that as a player, they know what I can do, what I’m willing to do. They know what type of production I’m gonna bring, so we’ll see. I really can’t control it. I can’t. [Drew] Rosenhaus can’t. The only thing I just think is honesty, that’s all. It’s hard to get in this business, but just honesty. We’ve got great people upstairs, from Howie [Roseman] to Coach Kelly and Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie for sure. So I’m just waiting to see how it plays out. I’d be lying if I said it never flashed in my mind cause it happened to Jacc [DeSean Jackson] off his best year, so you never know. But then he went somewhere and got paid.” Read more »

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