In case you missed the weekend notes, click here.
We’ll keep this post open and updated throughout the day Monday. As always, feel free to chime in with your own thoughts and share links in the comments section. Read more »
– TJ Ward is drawing interest from about 11 teams across the league, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Broncos, Jets and Lions have all been linked to the 27-year-old safety. Cabot mentions the Eagles as another team that might be on the list, citing the Oregon ties that Ward and Chip Kelly share.
They could very well be interested — but at what price point? Read more »
The unofficial start to the free agency period begins at noon Saturday when clubs are able to enter into contract negotiations with pending free agents. While deals can’t be executed until March 11 at 4 p.m., many will be structured over the coming hours.
With the time nearly upon us, here’s what we’re hearing on the outside linebacker front:
– The Eagles are showing some interest in Cincinnati free agent Michael Johnson.
The 27-year-old played defensive end in the Bengals’ 4-3 scheme but multiple teams are looking at him as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Read more »
Peter King mentioned in his Monday Morning Quarterback column that the Eagles were one of the teams that met with quarterback Johnny Manziel at the combine. Howie Roseman was asked to explain that decision on Thursday.
“We do interviews for a wide variety of reasons at a wide variety of positions,” said Roseman, who did not confirm that a meeting with Manziel took place. “We get 60 formal interviews at the combine, we get 30 players we’re allowed to bring in here.
“We’re trying to get as much background as possible on as many guys as possible. You never know when opportunity is going to come to get a player. It may be now in the draft, it may be in free agency, it may be via trade. Read more »
The question when it comes to Riley Cooper and the receiver position at large is about resource allocation.
DeSean Jackson is slated to make $10 million this season. The other receivers currently on the roster are eating up close to $7 million worth of salary (though a big chunk of that can be shed if they release or restructure Jason Avant). The front office is working on signing Jeremy Maclin. They have invested significantly in the tight end position and will likely be using a good deal of “12 personnel,” which means one less receiver on the field. And as we know, the draft is stacked with quality wideouts.
There is good money already tied up in the position, only so many snaps to go around and a wealth of young, inexpensive options to be had come May 8. Given all these factors, and the glaring needs in other areas of the roster, why give Cooper a five-year, $25 million contract with $10 million guaranteed?
Howie Roseman explained it this way: Read more »
He’s 32, yes, and he is not too far removed from a double Achilles rupture. Normally, that’s not the type of player you hand a lucrative four-year extension to. But Peters is not normal. He is an athletic phenomenon; a five-time All-Pro rabbit in a bear suit with the makings of a Hall-of-Fame resume.
“This is a unique situation when you are talking about Jason Peters and his level of excellence, his level of play,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “It’s hard to turn on the tape and look at him as a 31-year-old offensive tackle. You look at him and you see him dominate players. He still has upside in his body because of the things that we’re doing and the scheme that we’re in…For us, this is about the player. Jason Peters has defied all odds, and he’s a unique player.”
The fact that the Eagles were willing to hand a 10-year vet $20 million of guaranteed coin speaks mostly to how rare a specimen Peters is.
There is more to the story, though. Read more »
After inking left tackle Jason Peters to a four-year extension Wednesday, the attention now turns to the receiver position. Riley Cooper has agreed to a four-year deal to stay in Philadelphia, according to Geoff Mosher. The 6-3, 222-pound wideout enjoyed a breakout season in Year One under Chip Kelly with 47 catches for 835 yards and eight scores while averaging 17.8 yards per catch.
The Eagles are looking to bring Jeremy Maclin back as well. The two sides are working on an agreement, according to a league source, though there was no deal as of Wednesday night. Read more »
According to Jeff McLane, talks have heated up between the Eagles and Cooper’s representatives and an agreement could be struck over the next few days. The report adds that the Eagles are expected to sign Jeremy Maclin as well, most likely to a one-year prove-it deal.
Cooper posted career highs in catches (47), yards (835) and touchdowns (8) under Chip Kelly while averaging 17.8 yards per catch. He contributed as a blocker in the run game as well, which is a must in Kelly’s system. Read more »
Kelly told reporters at the beginning of the offseason that he would not be delving into the contract side of things, and it appears he is staying true to his word. The lines were a little more gray under Andy Reid, who had final say over personnel decisions and by the end of his tenure was sitting in on some of the negotiations.
That’s not to say that Kelly wasn’t influential in the decision to lock up the All-Pro. He has been a big fan of the big man from the start.
“Coach is a very up-front guy,” said Howie Roseman with a smile, “so the first time he saw him move, it was an expletive-filled energy. It’s not very often that you see a 325-330 pound guy move like that and play with that kind of power. This is a unique football player.” Read more »
According to a league source, the guaranteed money will run into the third year of the deal, with a “small portion” of the 2016 money being guaranteed.
The All-Pro left tackle was in the final year of deal he signed with the Eagles after being acquired from the Bills back in 2009, which was scheduled to pay him a base salary of $9.65 million. That figure will stay the same under the terms of the new deal, per a CSN Philly report. The Eagles will get about $2 million in cap relief this year as a result of the deal, according to Adam Caplan.
The two sides had been having light talks but really began to dig their heels in over the last two weeks, we’re told.
“There aren’t many people cut from the same cloth as Jason Peters,” said Chip Kelly. “To be able to bounce back from two Achilles injuries and return to an All-Pro level speaks not only to his incredible athleticism, but proves just how hard he works at his game. Having him at left tackle provides a lot of comfort to our quarterback and to our entire offense. He’s a guy that many players look up to in our locker room.”
Read more »