Eagles

5-10 Jets reward GM Maccagnan, head coach Bowles

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5-10 Jets reward GM Maccagnan, head coach Bowles

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets are choosing stability over a shake-up.

The team announced Friday it has extended the contracts of general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles, keeping the pair for at least the next three seasons through 2020.

The extensions are for two years each, according to a person with direct knowledge of the contracts. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.

"During their time here, they have worked together to help the organization build a foundation on which to grow," acting owner and CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement. "They are identifying, developing, and getting productivity out of our players.

"I believe we are headed in the right direction" (see full story).

Cowboys: Smith, Scandrick placed on IR
FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are putting left tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Orlando Scandrick on injured reserve before the season finale at Philadelphia.

Smith sprained his right knee in a win at Oakland two weeks ago and came out after one series in last week's loss to Seattle, which eliminated the Cowboys from playoff contention. Scandrick sustained small bone fractures in his back against Washington and missed three games.

Dallas filled the open roster spots Friday by promoting offensive tackle Kadeem Edwards and receiver Lance Lenoir from the practice squad.

It was a difficult season with injuries for Smith, who made his fifth straight Pro Bowl. He missed two games and sat out practice frequently while dealing with back, hip and groin issues.

After missing just one game in his first five years, Smith has been out all or most of seven games the past two years.

Patriots: Harrison finished discussing Steelers
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- James Harrison is happy to be with Patriots. He's done talking about his departure from the Steelers.

The 39-year-old linebacker would not say what factored into his decision to leave and would not address the critical comments by some former teammates since his release by Pittsburgh last week.

"I like to compete," he said Friday. "That's my main reason to go out and play the game."

Harrison said he didn't receive any other offers after he was released, and he's ready to contribute as needed with the Patriots. New England hosts the Jets on Sunday, needing a win or Steelers loss to clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

"I'm going to go out there whenever they ask," Harrison said (see full story).

NFL: Jaguars’ Ngakoue fined over $30K
NEW YORK -- Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has been fined $30,387 by the NFL for making physical contact with a game official during a loss to San Francisco last Sunday.

Ngakoue was assessed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he bumped referee Jeff Triplette while shouting at 49ers running back Matt Breida as officials were trying to separate Breida and Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

San Francisco's Cassius Marsh was also docked $18,231 on Friday for roughing the passer, as was the Los Angeles Chargers' Joey Bosa. The Chargers' Rayshawn Jenkins was fined $9,115 for unnecessary roughness during a punt against the New York Jets.

Atlanta cornerback Desmond Trufant was fined $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct after he threw a punch at New Orleans' Michael Thomas but missed.

Also docked $9,115 were Dallas' Geoff Swaim (illegal crackback block) and Houston's Jadeveon Clowney (facemask).

How Eagles could shut down Vikings' receiving duo

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How Eagles could shut down Vikings' receiving duo

When you think about the best wide receivers in the NFL today, names like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins come to mind and rightfully so, but the Minnesota Vikings have a pair of wideouts who have given opposing secondaries fits.

This season, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have been the perfect complement to each other. Thielen finished the regular season with 91 receptions (eighth-best in the league), 1276 yards (fifth-best) and his 20 catches for 20 or more yards tied for fifth-best overall. As for Diggs, he finished with 64 receptions for 849 yards.

Together, Thielen and Diggs accounted for 54 percent of the Vikings' receiving yards this season. They also combined for 12 touchdowns. In the Vikes' miraculous playoff win over the New Orleans Saints, they accounted for 66 percent of the passing game. They have been the safety valves for Case Keenum all season long.

Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has the rare luxury of lining up either one of them on the inside or outside on any given play. Both are excellent route runners — whether it's doing deep or intermediate routes or crossing routes, and both are excellent blockers.

So how should Jim Schwartz defend against these two? Some believe help over the top on Thielen and playing single coverage on Diggs is the way to go. We may see that concept occasionally in the NFC Championship Game but I have a feeling Schwartz will come up with some variation we have not seen before. The Eagles are not going to completely shut these two down, but their damage can be minimized. Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson and the other DBs will put in a full day’s work shadowing these two.

Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

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Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

As the Eagles practiced on Thursday afternoon, just a few days before hosting the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field, vice president of football operations Howie Roseman stood next to owner Jeff Lurie and watched the team he created. 

Of the 53 members on the Eagles' roster heading into this championship game, 25 weren't on the active roster last season. Roseman had a very busy offseason, molding the Eagles into a Super Bowl contender. 

For his efforts, the 42-year-old Roseman, who began with the Eagles as an intern in 2000, has been named the NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. 

Roseman helped turn over a roster that went 7-9 last season into a team that went 13-3, earning the first-overall seed in the NFC. He built the team with enough depth to survive major injuries to Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, Chris Maragos and Caleb Sturgis. 

Never afraid to make a trade, Roseman came back from his time away from football operations more aggressive than ever. He claims his year away from GM duties while Chip Kelly took over was both humbling and eye-opening. 

For this season, Roseman traded 25 spots in the third round to bring in veteran defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, traded away Jordan Matthews and a pick to bring in cornerback Ronald Darby and pulled the trigger on a midseason move to bring in Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi. 

In free agency, he signed Alshon Jeffery, Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, Nick Foles, Patrick Robinson and Chance Warmack. He brought in several of those players on one-year prove-it deals, and for the most part, the team has gotten more than their money's worth out of them. 

He also helped hire VP of player personnel Joe Douglas to revamp the scouting department. That hire of a top personnel man was one of the conditions when Lurie reinstated Roseman to power following Kelly's dismissal. 

Roseman and Douglas spearheaded drafting a class that included Derek Barnett in the first round, an injured Sidney Jones in the second and some other contributors in the next five rounds. 

Aside from just bringing players in, Roseman has been able to manipulate the salary cap better than anyone in the league. It's been a strength of his since his arrival in Philly, so that should be no surprise. 

You could actually argue that Roseman's 2016 was more impressive. That's when he laid the groundwork for this playoff season by moving up and drafting Carson Wentz. But 2017 is when it all came together.