Eagles Wake-Up Call: Notes From the Senior Bowl

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

MOBILE, AL — Some notes and observations to pass along as I refuel my minivan:

— The wheels are in motion to hire a new personnel head. We’re hearing that the search is ramping up here in Mobile with the hopes of getting someone in place around the time of the Super Bowl.

Chances are, the Eagles will be after someone with significant experience in the personnel evaluation area. (Former Browns vice president of player personnel Morocco Brown, former Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik and Packers senior personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith are among those who could warrant a look.) The level of the candidate’s qualifications will help determine just how much power is offered, though there is likely a ceiling regardless given that the hammer is expected to remain in the hands of Howie Roseman.

Though the Eagles will talk to a healthy amount of candidates, the process is unlikely to drag on. We should have some answers soon.

— Asked where the strength of this draft lies, Doug Pederson first mentioned offensive line and said there was talent at quarterback and in the secondary. That would fit some of their potential needs well.

— While they certainly weren’t alone, it looked like the staff had plenty of eyes on Carson Wentz at Wednesday’s practice and were set to meet with him at night. They’re doing their homework on Wentz, and why not? He appears to be the best QB of the bunch here, and you might as well make the most of your exposure to him.

Wentz will leave with a bunch of buzz surrounding him and could very well end up going high but it’s worth noting that he is not receiving unanimous praise here. One evaluator we spoke with thought he was holding onto the ball too long and believed he might be overwhelmed by NFL competition, at least initially. Others had a higher opinion.

— The Temple trio of DB Tavon Young, linebacker Tyler Matakevich and DT Matt Ioannidis appears to be holding its own so far. Young has had a couple pass break-ups, including a nice one along the sidelines during Wednesday’s practice.

— Elsewhere on the Philly front, there was an Eagles scout hanging around 6-9 Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman after practice. The Lansdowne native, who was kicked off Penn State’s football team and both flashed and frustrated during his college career, will have to convince NFL decision-makers that he is a sound investment.

“I definitely want to show people that I’m a good person and my past doesn’t define me,” he said.

“[My past] made me into the man I am today. That’s why people love me. I don’t have no bad people around me, all good vibes and I’m here today so that shows for itself.”

Oakman  grew up an Eagles fan and said it would be a blessing if he wound up on his hometown team.

“[Growing up in Philly] gave me my power, it gave me my inner beast,” he said. “The people I was raised around, the neighborhood I grew up in, it gave me my fight.”


Doug Pederson talks about his new defensive line coach and the quarterback situation.

Joel Corry on how it might play out with Bradford, Fletcher Cox and more.

Josh on a key question facing Pederson.


Jimmy Kempski on a possible offensive lineman to keep an eye on:

Reuben Frank with some more details on the Zach Ertz contract.

Ertz’s contract is technically a five-year extension that starts in 2017, which means it’s a six-year deal worth $44,538,590, including the previously reported $42.5 million in new money from 2017 through 2021.

The deal also includes $21 in guaranteed components, including an $8 million signing bonus.

This is a classic Howie Roseman contract, fairly cap friendly for the Eagles — especially in the first two years — but offering a huge payday and a lifetime of guaranteed money for Ertz.

Like virtually all similar deals Roseman did in his first tenure as general manager, the guaranteed money is split up among a modest signing bonus that creates a manageable pro-rated cap portion, and the big base salaries don’t kick in until the third year of the contract.

Ertz’s $1,138,527 base salay in 2016 is guaranteed, his entire $4 million base salary in 2017 is guaranteed and $7,861,473 of his $8 million base in 2018 is guaranteed.


Practices roll on here in Mobile.