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: A Fit For Jenkins?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Malcolm Jenkins is the perfect example of why scheme fit matters.

The 28-year-old has proven to be one of the top acquisitions of the Chip Kelly era. Though his signing was met with little fanfare (T.J Ward and Jairus Byrd were the two big free-agent safeties that year, you’ll remember), Jenkins came in and brought stability to the position for the first time since Brian Dawkins departed for Denver in 2009. This past season, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the second best safety in the NFL.

Such success makes it easy to forget some of the struggles he had before arriving in Philly.  Back in 2012, the same site had him as the league’s lowest rated safety along with his defensive backfield partner Roman Harper thanks in part to a combined 32 missed tackles. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Corner Question

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

As you look around the Eagles’ defense, there’s clarity at most positions. We know the two starting tackles and three rotating ends; we know the pair of starting safeties; and we have a pretty good idea of who the starting linebackers will be.

But what’s unknown, and likely won’t be settled any time soon, is who will have what roles at cornerback.

“It’s not clear at all, and I think a lot of guys are jockeying for position,” Malcolm Jenkins said. “There’s a lot of depth and a lot of competition, and we’re just waiting to see who emerges from the pack.” Read more »

A Different View From the Inside On Bradford

Jordan Matthews, Sam Bradford

Malcolm Jenkins and Jordan Matthews reminded those gathered around them Tuesday of a fundamental truth about the NFL: it’s a business.

“There’s 52 guys in here that feel like they’re overworked and underpaid. That’s just the reality of it,” said Matthews. “Everybody wants more money. Everybody wants this and that.”

For proof, reporters simply had to shift their eyes down the locker room some to the vacant stall typically occupied by Fletcher Cox. The standout defensive tackle has been missing all offseason as efforts to re-up his contract continue. Darren Sproles, too, has been a no-show, which reportedly has something to do with trade discussions that were held over draft weekend. Yet there has been very little external blowback, particularly compared to the storm that Sam Bradford‘s recent actions created. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: The Eagles’ Defensive Overhaul

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

Malcolm Jenkins couldn’t help but laugh. He was asked if there is anything the Eagles could take from their defensive scheme last year — particularly when they had success in the first half of the season — and apply it to this year, but the safety quickly quieted that notion.

“We threw last year out,” he said.

Outside of the obvious change from Billy Davis’ 3-4 to Jim Schwartz’s 4-3, there will be a number of subtle differences on the defensive side of the ball this season. While last year’s scheme wasn’t very complicated, this year’s system is even simpler. According to Jenkins, the level of complexity significantly varies by position, with defensive line seemingly being the simplest. Read more »

Report: Fletcher Cox Deal Is Close To Being Done

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox is close to signing a long-term deal potentially worth up to $52 million in fully guaranteed money, Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reported. Cole added that the Eagles want to sign him “earlier in this offseason” so he’ll participate in new head coach Doug Pederson’s activities.

Amid his unclear contract situation, Cox is one of two players who is expected to skip the Eagles’ voluntary minicamp this week. Darren Sproles, the other player, will not attend because of a family matter.

Despite his absence, Cox’s teammates appear unfazed. Read more »

Jenkins: Eagles’ ‘Philosophy Change’ Speaks Volumes

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

Not long after the season ended, Malcolm Jenkins reached out to his agent with clear instructions: If the Eagles want me back, I want to sign a long-term deal to stay in Philadelphia past 2016.

“[Jeffrey] Lurie and Howie [Roseman] and Doug [Pederson] really felt like they wanted to start to build around players that they have already in the building,” Jenkins said. “It felt good to me to know that I was on that list of players that they feel like they can start to build around to win a championship.”

The safety, who made his first Pro Bowl last season, said his career has taken off during his two years with the Eagles, which is reflected by his four-year contract extension worth $35 million. Jenkins noted how the Eagles’ interest in retaining him contrasted to his experience with the Saints when they let him walk in free agency after his five-year tenure in New Orleans. Read more »

Eagles Sign Malcolm Jenkins To Five-Year Deal

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)

The Eagles signed Malcolm Jenkins to a four-year contract extension, the team announced Monday afternoon. The Pro Bowl safety, who only had one year left on his old deal, is now under contract through 2020.

The four-year extension is worth $35 million, including $21 million in guarantees, Ian Rapoport reported. The Eagles also created $1.5 million of 2016 salary cap room, according to Joel Corry. Read more »

Eagles Offseason Outlook: Safety

Walter Thurmond

Walter Thurmond. (Photo by Jeff Fusco)

This week we’ll continue to take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason. In the first five installments, we covered the quarterbacks, running backswide receivers, tight ends, and offensive linemen. Now, it’s on to the safeties.

STATE OF THE ROSTER

Despite going into the offseason with perilous uncertainty at the second safety position, the Eagles’ safeties were one of the bright spots on an otherwise disappointing defense.

Read more »

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