Jenkins Addresses Tackling Questions

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Malcolm Jenkins
flatly admitted during his first session with the local media that tackling is an area of his game that needs work. That’s not the most comforting thing to hear for a lick-loving, safety-starved fan base with visions of 2012 still dancing in their heads.

Pro Football Focus charged Jenkins with 16 missed tackles in 2013, fifth-most among safeties. He ranked 62nd out of 67 safeties in tackling efficiency. His numbers overall have dipped over the past few seasons. He had a career high 12 passes defensed in 2010 to go with two interceptions (one which went for a touchdown), a sack, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries en route to a second-team All-Pro selection. He has recorded just three interceptions since then and hasn’t quite reached the same level of play in the three seasons since.

Why? Read more »

Wake-Up Call: On the Safety Front

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Some safety-related  free-agency activity to catch you up on:

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 »

Eagles Showing Interest In Michael Johnson

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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 »

The Thinking Behind the Manziel Visit

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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 »

Cooper And the Value Question

Riley Cooper

Riley Cooper. Photo | Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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 »

Wake-Up Call: Symbolism In the Peters Signing

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Part of it is just that Jason Peters is a freak.

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 »

Cooper Reportedly Agrees To Terms; Maclin In Works

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The Eagles are finishing the month with a bang.

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 »

Report: Eagles, Cooper Close To Deal

Eagles WR Riley Cooper scores touchdown against Chargers
The Eagles and wide receiver Riley Cooper are reportedly closing in on a new deal.

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 »

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