What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Here is what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Some Dolphins-related Eagles buzz from the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report puts the odds of the Birds drafting a quarterback in the first four rounds at 52.4 percent:

The chance of Chip Kelly doing just about anything at this point—trading Sam Bradford before he plays a down, blaming Howie Roseman for global warming, producing a 100 percent accurate Final Four bracket he swears he filled out on Christmas Eve, starting a zombie apocalypse with tainted protein shakes—hovers at about 52.5 percent these days.

Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com believes the pressure is on Josh Huff to perform in 2015:

Although he played at Oregon, Huff found that [Chip] Kelly’s offense is different at the NFL level — enough so that it took him time to get comfortable. Over the final 12 games, Huff played between five and 29 offensive plays per game. He wound up playing on 18 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps overall.

Huff was targeted 18 times. He caught a total of eight passes for 98 yards. His longest reception of the season was a 44-yard gain against the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 14.

The departure of Jeremy Maclin will put pressure on other receivers to pick up the slack. Maclin himself did it last year in the wake of DeSean Jackson’s release. This year, Kelly’s decision not to match Kansas City’s offer left the Eagles without a clear No. 1 receiver on the roster.

Chris Burke of SI.com thinks Huff will be the main guy to replace Maclin in 2015:

Assuming Kelly takes the more conventional route, Huff, not [Jordan] Matthews, could be ticketed for Jeremy Maclin’s vacated role in the offense. Matthews has the size advantage (6’3″ to Huff’s 5’11”), but Kelly might prefer to keep Matthews in the slot. If so, Huff could be first up as Maclin’s replacement.

The obvious factor in Huff’s favor: He played for Kelly at Oregon.

Peter King of MMQB lists his reasons why Sam Bradford is in Philadelphia and not Cleveland:

I think I can now say with certainty that The Other Team in the chase for Sam Bradford—as many have inferred—was Cleveland. The Browns would have been willing to part with a first-round pick in either 2015 or 2016 (I do not know which year) for Bradford, but there were two problems: One, the Browns didn’t have a quarterback to give in return, and Philadelphia was willing to fork over Nick Foles. Two, Bradford would not have been willing to sign a new contract this off-season if he were traded to Cleveland, and he is willing to consider an extension in Philadelphia. So the Philly deal was really the only one that made sense for the Rams and for Bradford, in the end.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com is surprised at the price the Eagles paid for Bradford:

The move outlines how highly Bradford was viewed when he came out of Oklahoma. It also stresses the dearth of quality quarterback options available this offseason. The deal is a huge risk for Chip Kelly, but it’s just as risky to enter a season with Mark Sanchez as your starter.

This deal could dramatically alter Kelly’s tenure in Philadelphia. Then again, the same things were written when Pete Carroll gave picks and cash to acquire Charlie Whitehurst or when the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn. Kelly and Carroll know that the best route to finding a franchise quarterback is taking a lot of swings at the plate. Bradford has to be thrilled. If he excels in Kelly’s system, the 2016 free agent could improbably get his second monster NFL contract despite an underwhelming career. When it comes to finances, Bradford could have some of the luckiest timing in NFL history.

Joel Corry of CBS Sports looks at how Kelly handles the salary cap compared to his predecessors:

The Philadelphia Eagles were considered as a team to emulate in salary-cap management, first under Joe Banner’s direction and then with Howie Roseman’s guidance. Emphasis was placed on building through the draft, signing key young players to cap-friendly contract extensions before they approached free agency and using free agency judiciously to fill in holes in the roster. The exception was in 2011, when the Eagles missed the playoffs after signing cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to a five-year, $60 million contract.

Head coach Chip Kelly’s wheeling and dealing since gaining total control of football operations at beginning of the offseason doesn’t appear to have the same long-term vision as his predecessors. The Eagles currently have slightly more than $8.25 million of cap room after rolling over at least $15 million of unused cap space in each of the past three years. Inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks and defensive lineman Fletcher Cox already might have gotten (or been close to) signing contract extensions had Roseman remained in charge. There isn’t quite the same urgency for Cox as with Kendricks, because the team can exercise an option for a fifth year with him since he was the 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft. The change in approach won’t matter to Eagles fans if it results in the team becoming a Super Bowl contender.

Tucker Bagley is a Temple student and an intern at Birds 24/7.
Sheil Kapadia contributed to this roundup.