Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 2/23/21.
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Inside the Eagles-Colts Negotiations Stalemate and Eventual Carson Wentz Trade - MMQB
When Wentz was at his best, he had a good cop (Pederson), medium cop (Reich) and bad cop (ex-QBs coach John DeFilippo) working with him. After Reich left for Indy and DeFilippo for Minnesota post-Super Bowl, the Eagles promoted Mike Groh to OC, and Groh assumed the bad cop role. He and Wentz clashed and Groh was fired as a result, while Press Taylor, who Wentz was close with, ascended. As a result, perception in the building grew that the Eagles were coddling him, and that Wentz couldn’t handle hard coaching. [...] As for the Eagles’ side of it, being here period, after the ability Wentz flashed his first two years, is not ideal. At all. In any way. And they had to get past that fact to get here—and be honest with themselves that it was probably best for everyone that they split up, and that Wentz’s best shot to resuscitate his career was not going to be in their locker room, with their organization or in the searing media spotlight of their city. Once you do get past that? The Eagles now move forward with Hurts and the sixth pick, and I’m told they will consider taking a quarterback there. Roseman joined the Eagles in 2000, and that year Philly also had the sixth pick. They’ve had a top-10 pick without having to trade up for it just once since then—they picked fourth the year Andy Reid got fired and wound up with Lane Johnson. Suffice it to say, they don’t plan on picking this high again, so they plan on grinding hard on every option with the pick, QBs included.
Eagles player review: Jalen Hurts edition - PhillyVoice
Hurts’ intangibles and his running ability are both very intriguing, and he should be given an opportunity to start in 2021. However, the top four quarterback prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft are all thought to be clearly better passers, and they all have some running ability in their own right. If the Eagles are on the clock at pick No. 6, Hurts’ ability as a passer is probably concerning enough that the Eagles will seriously consider drafting a quarterback.
Eagles mailbag: Will Eagles draft a quarterback at No. 6? - NBCSP
It’s a fair question and I like the idea of rolling with Jalen Hurts this year. But I also think the Eagles will take a long, hard look at the quarterbacks in this year’s draft. If they have any doubts about Hurts being the long-term starter — nothing he did last year proved or disproved that — then they need to seriously look at this crop. And knowing how much the Eagles value the quarterback position, I think it’s definitely fair to say that’s on the table. Another part of this is that they have the No. 6 pick and while their roster doesn’t look strong enough to really compete next year, there’s no guarantee they’ll be back in the top 10 next year. I get what you’re saying, though, because if Hurts isn’t good then the Eagles probably won’t be good either and they’ll have another high pick. But one scary scenario is that Hurts ends up being decent and the Eagles end up being decent. That’s not what they want. The Eagles understand the importance of having a top-notch quarterback and if they think one of these draft picks has the chance to be that, then I wouldn’t be surprised even a little bit if they went in that direction.
Players the Eagles can cut, trade, or restructure to clear cap space in 2021 - BGN
ALSHON JEFFERY and MALIK JACKSON. Cut: $21 million cleared ($14 million in dead money for 2022). The Eagles reportedly restructured contracts for Jeffery and Jackson in an effort to free up more cap space for 2021. Jason Fitzgerald from Over The Cap wrote about the maneuvering in more detail earlier this year. The TL;DR version is the Eagles clear extra space this year but take on more dead money next year. The Eagles have yet to officially announce Jeffery and Jackson as post-June 1 cuts but it’s only a matter of time before it happens. (Note that only two post-June 1 designations can be performed per year.)
A Big Difference - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles need a lot of work. Having a healthy O-line in 2021 will make a big difference, but there are still other issues on offense. As for the defense, the secondary needs a ton of help. LB is a mystery position. The Eagles might be better there than some think. “Might” being the key word. The focus of this piece is young talent. The Eagles still have guys like Cox, Kelce, Johnson, Graham and Slay, but we have no idea if they’ll be here in 2022. Heck, we have to be open to the idea of some of them being question marks for 2021. Age matters. The Eagles must focus on young players.
Nick Sirianni’s first coaching staff with Eagles has boom or bust potential - ESPN
Brian Johnson served as the University of Florida’s quarterbacks coach the past three seasons and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2020, becoming the first African American in team history to hold that title. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask became a Heisman Trophy finalist this past season under his tutelage. Before that, Johnson helped maximize the potential of quarterback Dak Prescott at Mississippi State. Johnson played under Jalen Hurts’ father, Averion, at Baytown Lee High School in Texas, and has known Jalen since he was 4 years old. He later recruited Jalen to play at Mississippi State before Hurts ultimately chose Alabama. The level of trust presumably built over time should be beneficial as the tandem works toward further developing Hurts.
2021 NFL free agency: 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo among 25 potential big-name cap casualties - CBS Sports
Zach Ertz — Ten years from now, Ertz will be a lock to enter the Eagles Hall of Fame. In 2021, he’s darn near a lock to play elsewhere. Philly is already trying to trade him amid its rebuild, but if a nice offer doesn’t come in, he’ll likely request and be granted his release.
Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. Won’t Be Swapping Out His Jersey Number to New Indy QB Carson Wentz - Stampede Blue
According to TMZ Sports, Indianapolis Colts soon-to-be second-year wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. won’t be switching from his current jersey #11 to appease any request from his new starting quarterback Carson Wentz.
Can Carson Wentz be fixed? If so, Colts coach Frank Reich is the one to do it - The Athletic
A bigger problem was that these types of plays were hard to address because Wentz believed he had all the answers. “Carson’s Achilles heel has been his intelligence and stubbornness,” the source said.
G.J. Kinne is New UCF Co-Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach - UCF Knights
G.J. Kinne, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Hawai’i last fall and a former professional quarterback with stints in the National Football League and Canadian Football League, has joined the new UCF football staff under head coach Gus Malzahn as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Kinne previously spent one season each with the Philadelphia Eagles handling offensive special projects in 2019, at Arkansas as an offensive analyst 2018 and at SMU as a graduate assistant coach in 2017. He has worked and played for an impressive list of top offensive play-callers including Doug Pederson, Mike Norvell, Chad Morris, Chip Kelly, Ryan Day and Press Taylor.
Gov. Murphy announces limited number of fans will be allowed at professional games - Big Blue View
The governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, announced Monday on WFAN with Moose an Maggie that beginning on March 1, sports and entertainment venues with more than 5,000 seats can admit people up to 10 percent or 15 percent capacity, meaning that the New York Giants will be able to host fans at MetLife Stadium in the 2021 season.
Tagging Brandon Scherff (again) in the hopes of a long term contract would represent a failure of management (again) - Hogs Haven
Here we are, again, in a familiar position for at least the third straight year: Brandon Scherff has just finished a season with Washington, and he’s not locked up on a long term deal. Sure, we can control his rights for another year going forward, but it will involve overpaying, and hiking his contract demands ridiculously in future years. Why can’t the Washington Football Team seem to learn?
If the Cowboys want to add to strength instead of fixing weakness, then they have to consider Kyle Pitts - Blogging The Boys
Is there such a thing as too much offense in the NFL? It’s an interesting question in a league that has become dominated by pass-happy offenses that have too many weapons for defenses to cover. The recent Super Bowl ran counter to that idea, though, as a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense shut down a top-flight aerial attack from the Kansas City Chiefs. But that game comes with an exception. The Chiefs offensive line was playing with backups in multiple positions and they had to shift guys around just to make it work. One has to wonder if the game would have been different if the Chiefs would have had their regular offensive line. There is a school of thought in business and in personal growth that suggests that you should add to your strengths instead of trying to fix your weaknesses. Our own OCC covered this last year in the run up to the draft when it was suggested that the Cowboys take CeeDee Lamb if available. Could the Cowboys be facing a similar situation in 2021?
NFL moves toward 17 regular-season games, three preseason games - PFT
Last year, the NFL secured the ability to expand the regular season to 17 games. The league is moving closer to officially implementing a 17-game schedule for 2021. Via Mark Maske of the Washington Post, expansion of the regular season is “not yet certain,” but it’s currently believed that the league will adjust the annual 20-game slate from 16 regular-season games and four preseason games to 17 and three. Owners previously had been debating whether to move the preseason to three or to two games. Last year, the NFL had no preseason games, due to the pandemic. This year, the pandemic once again could limit or eliminate the slate of exhibition games. As one source with knowledge of the dynamics recently explained it to PFT, the push to complete new TV deals has more to do with officially expanding the regular season to 17 games and less to do with potentially borrowing against future revenues to increase the 2021 salary cap.
Monday Football Monday #25: Talkin’ Tags + Dak’s Future + a Deshaun to Carolina Scenario? - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney get you all prepped for franchise tag news and updates with thoughts on possible tags around the league, Dak Prescott’s future with the Dallas Cowboys and they debate a possible trade scenario that sends Deshaun Watson to the Panthers!
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