Hear from ESPN’s NFL insider.
Free agency officially begins in one week and NFL insider Adam Schefter had some interesting things to say about the Philadelphia Eagles during his weekly Wednesday appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s Morning Show with Marc Farzetta, Tra Thomas, and Bob Cooney.
LE’VEON BELL TO PHILLY?
With Howie Roseman clearing up at least $19.2 million in cap space this week, some are wondering if the Eagles are gearing up to pursue the top free agent running back on the market: Le’Veon Bell. Schefter made it sound like Philly isn’t the front-runner for his services, however:
COONEY: Le’Veon Bell’s name has come up an awful lot here in Philadelphia. Our wonder is this, of the team that have kind of been listed as favorites: is he just going to go where the money is? Or do you think he’s picking a team — obviously, he’s going to get paid — is picking a team that’s a viable candidate for a Super Bowl?
SCHEFTER: You have to see who steps forward. There’s been rumblings in the background that Philadelphia could have some interest, there’s lurking. I don’t know how real it is or isn’t. The one thing I know about the Eagles is: they’re always investigating everybody. There’s nobody out there that gets released that they don’t make a call on and say “Hey, wheat’s the deal? What’s the number? What’s it going to take to get done?” Now, how interested they are? Who knows, because they’re going to do that with everybody. It’s their job. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the wise thing to do because you never know when you’re going to find a bargain. I’d be surprised if he wound up there. That’s not where I’m looking for him to end up, Le’Veon Bell, but stranger things have happened and sometimes you get to free agency and the market changes and shifts and all of a sudden you think you might get more somewhere else and you don’t. And then you take less somewhere else. I guess Philly is lurking in the background there. It would mean other things have fallen through. But I wouldn’t put them at the top of the list for the most likely landing spots for Le’Veon Bell.
The Eagles have been rumored to be interested in Bell dating back to September 2018. Bell is actively being recruited to Philly by Eagles players — and even Bryce Harper — on Twitter. It’s hard to totally dismiss the possibility of him moving to the east side of Pennsylvania.
It just seems like Bell is going to cost more than what the Eagles are normally comfortable investing in the running back position. The only way I see Bell coming to Philly is if the Eagles get him on some contract that’s similar to their Alshon Jeffery signing in 2017. No one thought Jeffery was going to take a one-year deal in free agency that offseason. Maybe the Eagles can get Bell at a price that’s more affordable than expected if his market get weird.
HOW THE NICK FOLES TRADE MARKET FELL APART
Nothing too new here but this line from Schefter stood out to me: “if the Flacco trade never comes out, I think there’s a decent chance that Philly is able to trade Foles.”
Curse you, Ravens and Broncos.
FARZETTA: Nick Foles, lot of rumors about what happens when in free agency it opens on March 13th that he’ll head to Jacksonville. Still the most likely scenario for Nicky Six?
SCHEFTER: Yeah, well, listen. First of all, let me say this. I was of the mind that they’d be able to get something back for him, I really was. I was very adamant on that. Listen, they were very determined to do that, as evidenced by the fact that they picked up his option. Okay? So, I know that they didn’t tag him. And that they’re being good sports about it in the end. But let’s also be real about this, they didn’t have a lot of options. Once Denver traded what’s thought to be a fourth-round pick to Baltimore for Joe Flacco, number one, how many other teams needed a veteran quarterback? Number two, how many teams were interested in a veteran quarterback? And was that team going to be willing to give up more than that — more than what Denver gave up for Flacco — to the Eagles? And so, [once] the answer on all those fronts came back negative, it changed the dynamic of the equation, and it changed the dynamic of the equation from the time that Philadelphia did pick up the option, because it really thought and hoped it was going to be able to trade him. In the time that he paid back the $2 million to the time where they had to put the franchise tag on him, I mean, why are you picking up the option if you’re just going to let him go?
FARZETTA: I think it was a last ditch effort, right? That’s basically what it came down to to try to make something happen?
SCHEFTER: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
FARZETTA: Oh, you don’t think so?
SCHEFTER: Listen, they picked up the option before Flacco was traded. So they picked up the option that they were really trying to move him.
FARZETTA: Oh, sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
SCHEFTER: And then, the next week, Denver traded for Flacco, and that’s when the dynamics on that trade really shifted. Because it took a team like Denver — who studied Foles and had some interest in Foles — out of the equation. It left Jacksonville as really the lone, viable suitor. Like, if the Flacco trade never comes out, I think there’s a decent chance that Philly is able to trade Foles. Because basically Denver might have had some interest, Jacksonville might have been worried about that. And then once Denver fills its’ need, what other teams are looking for a veteran? Washington can’t afford trades at that salary. Miami’s going young and rebuilding. They’re not trading him to the Giants. So where’s he going? Give me a landing spot.
NICK FOLES’ NEXT TEAM
The Daily News and ESPN are both reporting that Foles is expected to sign with the Jaguars in free agency next week. Some other outlets have suggested that expectation could be premature. There’s also been some buzz about the Giants being interested in Foles. Schefter downplayed the possibility of BDN staying in the NFC East, though.
FARZETTA: Now, when it comes to the New York Giants, there’s some talk about whether or not they’ll move on from Eli. If you had to put a percentage on Nick Foles going to the Giants, what percentage would you put on that?
SCHEFTER: I don’t know percentages. Look, I think the story that originated in the Philly paper [Daily News by Les Bowen] is 100% true, in that, I think Foles is expected to wind up in Jacksonville. So, I don’t think he’s going to wind up with the Giants. I think the Giants like him, I think the Giants would have some interest in him, but again, you have to pay him, you’ve got to compensate him, you have Eli. The Giants are going to draft a quarterback somewhere. And with all those factors together, it just doesn’t work out for him to go to the Giants at this time.
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