September 12, 2016 |
When the Eagles announced the trade of cornerback Eric Rowe last week, coach Doug Pederson said the team wanted to give Rowe a chance to play. The obvious implication was that it sure wouldn't happen here for the converted safety taken in the second round of the draft two years ago. Pederson was a little nicer about it, but what he said wasn't much different from what Buddy Ryan said when bidding farewell to a player. "We're going to let him get on with his life's work," the coach would say, an indication Ryan didn't necessarily think that included the game of professional football.
August 26, 2016 |
When Howie Roseman emerged from his year in solitary, he could have come blinking back into the light in either of two ways - as a cautious general manager looking for stability in an unstable profession or as a once-burned gambler no longer afraid of fire. It didn't take very long to determine in which direction Roseman had been bent while he was off in a library corner doing doctoral work on what it takes to win in the NFL. He hit the ground on the move when reinstated and the movement hasn't slowed in eight months.
June 10, 2016 |
Doug Pederson was never in a position to skip offseason workouts or attempt to force a trade or hold out for a new contract, but it's likely he wanted to at one time or another, and, at the least, shared locker rooms with players that were able to take those stances without repercussions. Would he have preferred for Sam Bradford, Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles to attend all of his first offseason as Eagles coach? Is Riley Cooper looking for a job outside the fast food industry? But Pederson never said as much publicly, never questioned their desires, and never instigated a showdown even though the Eagles had leverage in each circumstance.
June 3, 2016 |
Jordan Matthews was the Eagles receiver with the lowest percentage of dropped passes last season, which, given his competition for that distinction, is a bit like being the least aromatic elephant in the circus. Pretty much, they all stunk. Still, it was better to be Matthews, who, according to sportingcharts.com, had just five drops in 128 targeted passes. Defining a drop isn't that easy, but guys like Riley Cooper, Nelson Agholor, and Josh Huff nearly doubled Matthews' percentage, so it's a reasonable measure to adopt.
May 5, 2016 |
Nelson Agholor was one of the least productive wide receivers in the NFL last season. No receiver with as many routes run averaged fewer yards. And only eight receivers with as many targets had a worse DYAR ranking (defense-adjusted yards above replacement), as calculated by the advanced statistics website Football Outsiders. There will be more on that information later, but even if numbers were taken out of the equation, Agholor's season wouldn't score high on the eyeball exam.
March 25, 2016 |
The Eagles reached a one-year deal with former Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle on Wednesday, adding more depth - and a potential starter - to their wide receiver corps. Randle, 24, will sign a contract worth $1.025 million, with $500,000 guaranteed. With incentives, it could be worth more than $3 million. One of the most productive wide receivers on the market, Randle started the last two seasons for the Giants. He finished with 57 catches for 797 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015, and he had 71 catches for 938 yards and three scores in 2014.
March 20, 2016 |
The Eagles were the only team in the NFL that didn't have an "outside" receiver with more than 50 targeted passes last season. Most teams had two. Some had three. The Eagles, for various reasons, didn't have a consistent threat outside the numbers or downfield. Only two of four regulars from last season remain on the roster. Riley Cooper was released last month and Miles Austin was mercifully cut with five games left in 2015. Nelson Agholor and Josh Huff return, as expected, but neither was drafted by new coach Doug Pederson or returning general manager Howie Roseman, per se, so their futures aren't as clear as if Chip Kelly had stayed.
March 18, 2016 |
JUST ABOUT the only pressing need Howie Roseman didn't address in the first week of NFL free agency was his team's inexperienced wide receiving corps. The Eagles' de facto general manager checked off that box Wednesday with the signing of former Ram and Raven Chris Givens to a 1-year contract worth $840,000, including an $80,000 signing bonus, a league source said. The source said $100,000 of Givens' base is guaranteed. Givens, 26, has played four seasons in the league, which might not sound like much, but puts him at the top of the Eagles' ensemble, now that Riley Cooper is gone.
March 4, 2016 |
TO MOST of us, it's a long-forgotten play; a brief moment of ecstasy in a season of misery and disappointment. But it jumped off the screen at Eagles coach Doug Pederson when he reviewed the tape of his new team's crash-and-burn 7-9 season. It was the Eagles' 33-27, Week 9 win over the host Cowboys. A crossing route by slot receiver Jordan Matthews in overtime. A perfect in-stride pass from Sam Bradford. A 41-yard walkoff touchdown catch-and-run. And then the rain came. Bradford got hurt the following week and missed two games.
February 10, 2016 |
IT SEEMED likely to happen at some point this offseason, regardless, given Riley Cooper's lack of production relative to his salary-cap charge, but it happened Monday, the first day of the 2016 waiver period. That didn't feel like a coincidence. The Eagles, continuing their efforts to change course in the wake of dismissing head coach Chip Kelly, released Cooper, who would have counted $5.3 million against their cap in 2016. They incur a $2.4 million charge by cutting ties, so they gain $2.9 million in cap room.