Eagles Wake-Up Call: Barwin And the Defensive End Rotation

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

There were two key differences  between 2014 and 2015 from a pass-rushing perspective, says Connor Barwin.

In ’14, the Eagles played with the lead more — particularly over the first 12 games when they shot out to a 9-3 mark and Barwin racked up 12.5 of his career-high 14.5 sacks. Last season, there were fewer opportunities to just pin the ears back.

The other was depth. The Eagles enjoyed a nice rotation at outside linebacker two seasons ago with Brandon Graham successfully rotating in with Barwin and Trent Cole. This past year, not so much.  Where Graham played 499 snaps (43 percent) in the next-man-in role in ’14, Marcus Smith was in for 127 (10.5 percent) largely unproductive snaps, per Football Outsiders.

“If anything, the last year, we just didn’t have a great guy to rotate with me and Brandon Graham,” Barwin told Alex Marvez and Bill Polian during an appearance on SiriusXM Radio. “And that was a problem. Hopefully this year, moving to a 4-3, we’ll have that with Vinny [Curry] — because Vinny can play first and second down at defensive end.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Defensive Line Outlook

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

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 endsoffensive linemen and safeties. Now, it’s on to the defensive line.

STATE OF THE ROSTER

Asked during an appearance on Daniel Jeremiah’s Move the Sticks podcast to pick one defensive lineman he’d choose to build a defense around, Jim Schwartz offered a response that revealed a little bit about his overall philosophy. Read more »

Eagles Sign Najee Goode To One-Year Deal

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles announced Wednesday the signing of linebacker Najee Goode to a one-year deal.

Details of the deal were not disclosed.

After missing the 2014 season with a pectoral injury, Goode was a special teams contributor during the 2015 season, including scoring a 24-yard touchdown on the Chris Maragos-blocked punt in the Eagles’ 35-28 win over the Patriots. It was the second-longest punt return touchdown in team history.

Read more »

Adam Schefter: Fletcher Cox Isn’t Going Anywhere

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz both joined Anthony Gargano on 97.5 the Fanatic on Wednesday to discuss the Eagles.

Schwartz talked about his defensive philosophy and plans at length, while Schefter touched on the Birds’ upcoming offseason and their plans for handling free agency.

Of everything discussed, two points from Schefter stuck out as key holding points for the Eagles going forward.

For one, Schefter said that Fletcher Cox isn’t going anywhere.

“He’s not going anywhere, they’ll never allow him to leave,” Schefter said.

Read more »

Vinny Curry: ‘Fletcher [Cox] Is Gonna Be Here’

Vinny Curry. (USA Today Sports)

Vinny Curry. (USA Today Sports)

Vinny Curry grew up in Neptune, N.J. with Eagles jerseys and pictures along the walls of his home. He wanted to be like Ricky Watters, so when he started playing football at 8-years-old, he played running back.

Soon after, he switched to defense. The position change proved to be a wise move, as 19 years later, he’s now under contract with the Eagles for five more years to remain on the defensive line.

“I really can’t see myself playing for nowhere else,” Curry said on Wednesday. “At the end of the day, I bleed green. That’s just what it is.” Read more »

Eagles Sign Vinny Curry To Five-Year Deal

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

The Eagles and Vinny Curry have agreed to a five-year deal worth $47.25 million, with $23 million guaranteed.

NFL Network’s Albert Breer was the first person to report the deal. Birds 24/7’s Tim McManus has since confirmed that Curry has signed the deal.

Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Why the Eagles Are Being Aggressive

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

You wonder if Fletcher Cox would have been locked up months ago if not for the short-lived Chip Kelly power grab.

Howie Roseman comes from the Joe Banner school of financial management that teaches to sign your core players early. The logic is sound: the money arrow is always pointing up in the NFL. The more dollars that come in, the higher the cap. As the cap grows, so too does the cost of the individual deals. If you have identified someone that you want to keep around long-term, it’s best to strike as soon as possible while leverage is still on your side and before the price spikes.

Cox became eligible for an extension at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Since then, Ndamukong Suh inked a six-year deal that contains a shade under $60 million in guarantees and averages out to about $19 million per year; Cox has elevated his game while marching a step closer to the end of his deal; and the cap jumped $10 million, with another $10 million bump (if not greater) expected to be announced in March for the ’16 season.

Some league insiders believe Cox will command somewhere around $16-18 million per season now, if not higher. Assuming the 25-year-old was willing to play ball last season, the Eagles lost a significant amount of money by waiting.

That (somewhat extreme) example helps explain why Roseman has been so aggressive to start this offseason. Read more »

Why Sam Bradford May Reject Multi-Year Deals

Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Since the end of the regular season, one idea has picked up some steam: the Eagles should use the franchise tag on Sam Bradford, and then trade him to another team.

This theory, according to Joel Corry, a former agent and current contracts/salary cap expert for CBS Sports, is very unlikely to materialize. Corry quickly dismissed the concept because he believes teams would balk at paying Bradford whatever his market value is in addition to sending a draft pick or other compensation to the Eagles.

Instead, Corry thinks Bradford may test the waters in free agency and take a short-term contract. Read more »

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