With free agency set to kick off three weeks from today, one thing seems certain: It’s going to be fascinating to see how the market plays out for Riley Cooper.
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
Here’s this week’s roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles. Read more »
The Eagles have eight players that are set to become unrestricted free agents: Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Michael Vick, Nate Allen, Donnie Jones, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson and Clifton Geathers.
Some weekend links to pass along before the divisional round begins… Read more »
Jeremy Maclin‘s rehab is coming along well, he says. He is running now. The next step is being able to move side-to-side. He believes he’ll be able to participate in OTAs this spring. The question is: for what team?
Maclin is set to become a free agent. He has had preliminary discussions with the Eagles about his situation, but it’s no guarantee that he is back.
The 25-year-old was in line for a pretty nice pay day before tearing the ACL in his right knee during practice back in June. He planned on boosting his value by putting up big numbers in 2013 under Chip Kelly. Instead he has to build his value back up, and conceded that he might have to take a one-year prove-it deal depending on how the market shapes up.
“I’m a realist so I understand that’s a possibility,” he said. “Me and my agent, me and my team will kind of get together and talk about what’s best for me and what’s best for the whole situation and just go from there.” Read more »