May 3, 2015 |
It had been 13 years since the Eagles drafted a cornerback as high as they did when Eric Rowe was chosen in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday night. And in the time since they chose Lito Sheppard in the 2002 first round, the league has changed significantly. Sheppard was generously listed at 5-foot-10, 194 pounds. Rowe is 6-1, 205 pounds. Sheppard, a two-time Pro Bowler, was a successful pick for then-coach Andy Reid, but he probably wouldn't be considered a first-round prospect in today's NFL, and certainly not by Chip Kelly.
December 28, 2014 |
The Eagles listed Bradley Fletcher as questionable for Sunday's game against the New York Giants, but what is without question is that the cornerback will not return next season. He may not be the only starter from the Eagles' beleaguered secondary headed for an exit. Safety Nate Allen's contract will also expire in the offseason. Cornerback Cary Williams has one year left on his deal, but all of his salary for 2015 isn't guaranteed. The Eagles could opt to move on from both their outside cornerbacks as they did two offseasons ago when Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie weren't brought back.
April 3, 2014 |
IF A PICTURE is worth a thousand words, then a living, breathing example is the equivalent of a dictionary. Since 2006, recently retired NFL cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has taken high-achieving but at-risk high school students from underprivileged areas on tours of colleges across America, through his Asomugha College Tours for Scholars (ACTS) program. And while he has had incredible success, with each of the more than 130 participants going on to pursue higher education, each new session of the annual program is like starting from scratch.
March 17, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - If you want to know why the Eagles didn't sign high-priced, possible future Hall of Fame players such as Darrelle Revis, DeMarcus Ware, and Jairus Byrd, the answer was on the field last season. Chip Kelly has a system, and within the confines of the NFL salary cap, he and general manager Howie Roseman have spent the last two offseasons spearheading an effort to fill structured needs. Do Kelly and Roseman consider Revis, Ware, and Byrd great players? You bet they do. Do they think the three players would reach their full potential within the confines of the Eagles' defensive scheme?
March 13, 2014 |
AS WE ALL pretend to be happy/sad/ecstatic/outraged about the Eagles' latest free-agent signing, it might be time to acknowledge that while Malcolm Jenkins is easier to spell than Nnamdi Asomugha, his future is no easier to divine. The truth happens from September to January. The truth wears pads. And all of the happy/sad/ecstatic/outraged reaction in the world does not alter that reality. His resumé suggests he is an improvement over the dearly departed Patrick Chung. Jenkins is known as a leader-type, and as someone who takes the work of his charitable foundation seriously.
March 10, 2014 |
The Eagles begin free agency in a familiar position: with money to spend and with holes to fill. The Eagles don't want to build their team in March, but financial flexibility and an aggressive approach is how the team signed Jevon Kearse and acquired Terrell Owens in 2004. It was also the impetus to get Nnamdi Asomugha and Jason Babin to headline their ill-fated 2011 free-agent class. General manager Howie Roseman insists that the Eagles will not approach the offseason thinking they're a player or two away from title contention.
March 7, 2014 |
ON THE SURFACE, it seems like a marriage made in free-agency heaven. The Eagles, as you may have heard, need a ball-hawking cover safety. And as luck would have it, Jairus Byrd, one of the league's very best ball-hawking cover safeties, is expected to be available on Tuesday when the 2014 free-agent signing period commences. Byrd, 27, wants ridiculous money. He's reportedly looking for a deal that will pay him in excess of $9 million a year. But the Eagles have more than enough salary-cap room - $24.1 million - to accommodate him. Chip Kelly also knows the guy pretty well.
March 5, 2014 |
THE CAUTIOUS route the Eagles were expected to steer through free agency might have gotten jolted off course yesterday. It was easier for general manager Howie Roseman to talk about not overpaying and looking for midlevel value back when it seemed the top two safeties on the market, Buffalo's Jairus Byrd and Cleveland's T.J. Ward, would either be tagged or signed by their current teams. That was the buzz when the NFL convened for the scouting combine a few weeks back, and it seemed the most likely outcome almost right up to the point when it failed to happen, with the deadline for franchise and transition tagging passing at 4 p.m. yesterday.
February 22, 2014 |
INDIANAPOLIS - The Eagles remain haunted by their 2011 free-agent spending spree, when they handed out big contracts with little return. They took a more tempered approach the last two seasons. Even when pursuing free agents to help rebuild the roster last winter, the Eagles did not hand out burdensome contracts. General manager Howie Roseman, however, said the team is still willing to spend big money as it did with Nnamdi Asomugha and Jevon Kearse if the player's talent, age, position, scheme fit, and makeup all match what the team desires.
January 31, 2014 |
HOLLIS THOMAS played defensive tackle for the Eagles at 300 pounds, so sticks and stones wouldn't put a dent in him. Words? Spitballs off a battleship! So, go ahead and call him a sore loser. Tell him he's up to his eyeballs in sour grapes when he yelps about Super Bowl XXXIX, Patriots 24, Eagles 21. "Sore loser?" Thomas barks angrily. "We got cheated! It's not sour grapes. We got cheated!" Ten years later, time wounds all heels, and Thomas can't hide his disdain for Bill Belichick, the grumpy coach of the Patriots.