What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

What offseason? Here’s what the local and national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell offers up five suggestions for each team in the league. Each of the suggestions for the Eagles is intriguing, especially his take on the running back situation.

5. Don’t move on from DeMarco Murray.

As tempting as it is for the Eagles to cut ties with as many of the mistakes from Kelly’s disastrous season at the personnel helm, and as symbolic as it would be to let Murray follow [Chip] Kelly out the door, dumping their highly paid running back simply doesn’t make sense right now for Philadelphia. They would be on the hook for Murray’s $7 million salary in 2016 and a $2 million payment in 2017, all of which is already guaranteed. It would cost the Eagles $8 million to keep Murray this year and $13 million to release him; even if they designated him as a post-June 1 release, Philly would be left $10 million in dead money on their cap this season.

The only way the Eagles can manufacture a cleaner break from Murray this year would be by trading him, and that seems foolish, given that he’s at the absolute nadir of his value after a disastrous 2015. A change of scenery makes sense on some levels for both parties, but selling low on a player who looked like one of the best running backs in football a year ago seems shortsighted. The Eagles are better off giving Murray a clean slate while seeing how he jibes with the new coaching stuff. If he fails, Philadelphia can move on next year. And if he breaks out, the Eagles will sure be happy that they didn’t dump Murray for a conditional seventh-round pick or some similarly modest return.

Plenty of writers seem to think the Eagles should sign Chase Daniel as a stop-gap quarterback solution. ESPN’s Phil Sheridan isn’t one of them.

The Chiefs have Smith, now 31, starting ahead of Daniel. Daniel has started two games in his three seasons as [Alex] Smith’s backup. He lost a start in 2013 and won one in 2014. He did not start a game in 2015.

If Daniel was a young, up-and-coming talent, it might be appealing to sign him as a free agent. But Daniel is a year older than [Sam] Bradford. He has played less football than Bradford during the last three seasons without tearing his ACL. Daniel is 6-foot, which makes him four inches shorter than Bradford.

That doesn’t mean that Daniel can’t be a good starting quarterback. It just means there is absolutely no evidence that he is a good starting quarterback.

While Daniel would certainly cost a lot less than Bradford, it may be a case where the Eagles would be getting what they pay for.

Sports On Earth’s Jason B. Hirschhorn has a way for each team to save a sizable amount of money. For the Birds, it would mean departing with a respected veteran.

Move: Release linebacker DeMeco Ryans
Estimated cap savings: $3.5 million

During Chip Kelly’s one and only offseason at the controls, he gave 31-year-old linebacker DeMeco Ryans a contract extension. In return, Ryans had his worst season since his missing 10 games in 2010. Still, the team can move on from his contract without absorbing much dead money.

From Tommy Lawlor, a look at the Eagles’ history of quarterback development, including the Andy Reid era, and what to expect from Doug Pederson.

Reid learned about QB play in a couple of key places. He was at BYU when that was a QB factory. Lavell Edwards and Norm Chow knew how to develop QBs. Edwards produced Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Marc Wilson and Ty Detmer. Chow worked with Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer after leaving BYU.

Reid also learned a lot from Mike Holmgren while in Green Bay. Holmgren learned from the master himself, Bill Walsh. Holmgren then taught what he knew to coaches like Steve Mariucci, Marty Mornhinweg, Jon Gruden and Reid.

BYU had a system for teaching and developing QBs. So did Walsh/Holmgren. It wasn’t simply getting a really talented player and putting him on the field. Both groups ran an offensive system that QBs could thrive in. They also taught the QBs how to play. There was a real mixture of X’s and O’s and QB skills. Calling the perfect play doesn’t do you any good if the QB can’t execute it. Just the same, a gifted player needs the right scheme to help maximize his talent.

Reid had good teachers. He took that knowledge and used it to teach his QBs.

An interesting examination into the early contract singings and what it all means from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.

If you have a basic grasp of the way the NFL calendar works and understand that the salary cap is about to jump significantly — not to mention that this is generally a very weak free agent class and that teams will have ample money to throw around — you’d have to question why so many have been completed recently.

Add in the fact that players have such a finite prime of their careers, and the reality that most can’t make anything close to market value until their second contracts with rookies deals so heavily slotted now, and it becomes even more counterintuitive to enter in to any sort of deep negotiations with your current team unless the player had multiple years remaining on his existing contract and/or was being paid like the best of breed.

Yet that has hardly been the case.

Travis Kelce, for instance, recently became a Chief more or less for life. Kelce also might have swallowed hard when he saw that Zach Ertz, who has been far less productive at the tight end spot, got a deal very similar to his. And trust me, the many teams who would have loved to have chatted with Kelce’s reps at the combine, were scratching their heads. For Ertz’s guaranteed money to be as close to Kelce’s tells you all you need to know that both may have been better off playing it out.