A blessing in disguise for Eagles' defense?

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A blessing in disguise for Eagles' defense?

The Eagles' defense finally developed a sense of urgency Sunday afternoon. 

It came later than it should have. 

It sure seemed like the Eagles didn't really play with that urgency until Eli Manning and the Giants came out and scored on their first three possessions. All three drives were at least 75 yards long and gave them a 20-7 lead in the second quarter. After those first three drives that gave the Giants 20 points, they scored just nine the rest of the way. 

"It shouldn't take that," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said Tuesday. "It shouldn't take giving up three straight touchdowns to get that urgency. We needed to come out with more fire. If we're disappointed in anything, let's be disappointed in that."

Schwartz told a brief story Tuesday about a coach whose team lost in the Super Bowl after rolling through the season. That coach — who went unnamed by Schwartz — regretted not being in more close games throughout the season because when it finally got in a close game when it really counted, his team wasn't ready. The Eagles have now been in a few close ones. 

The story came from Schwartz after he was asked how to fix the matter of a lack of urgency. He seemed to think these types of games will be able to correct the issue. 

"I think you learn from what's happened with it," he said. "I think when you have success as a team, sometimes you, I don't want to say take it for granted, but you become accustomed to winning. You become accustomed to games not being close."

But the Giants did put up 29 points on the Eagles on Sunday while gaining 504 yards. That was the highest total yards the Eagles have given up since Schwartz took over as defensive coordinator. 

It wasn't pretty. 

But that was Schwartz's other main point Tuesday. He didn't care about how ugly it was. The goal was to win the game; they won the game. 

"The whole point is, find a way to get the win," Schwartz said. "Style points, fantasy football points, and everything else, that's secondary to it. Yeah, we want to play better. We want to give up fewer points. We want to take less defensive penalties. Every step along the way."

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

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Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

The Eagles gave Nick Foles a little raise on Friday, reworking the Super Bowl MVP’s contract, a league source confirmed. 

Basically, the Eagles are rewarding Foles after he helped the franchise win its first-ever Super Bowl a few months ago. 

Foles, 29, is still entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, but the new deal also includes a mutual option for the 2019 season, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The mutual option will still allow Foles the possibility to test the free agent market next season, but could leave the door open to a possible return beyond this upcoming season. 

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network first reported the revised contract, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and “several millions in incentives if he’s the starter and hits various benchmarks,” according to Rapoport. 

That part makes a ton of sense. If for some reason Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in 2018 or if he goes down again, Foles will have a chance to earn what might be closer to starter money. 

Foles was set to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $7.6 million on the contract before Friday’s renegotiation. 

Wentz and Foles grew very close last season — third-string QB Nate Sudfeld too — and have both been very selfless in a situation that would be awkward for many others in the league. But both have been incredibly selfless throughout the entire process. Just this week, Wentz admitted he had to fight jealousy but was truly happy for his teammate and friend, who became the Super Bowl hero (see story)

Earlier on Friday, Foles tweeted out this photo with his wife and daughter from the NovaCare Complex. That’s a $2 million smile. 

Eagles well-represented on list of top NFL sellers

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Eagles well-represented on list of top NFL sellers

It turns out winning the Super Bowl is pretty good for business. 

The NFLPA on Friday released its top 50 player sales list from March 1-Feb. 28 and the Eagles were the most represented team on the list, with five players ranking in the top 50. 

3. Carson Wentz 
17. Zach Ertz
22. Nick Foles
43. Alshon Jeffery
45. Jay Ajayi 

This list is a combined total of all officially licensed merchandise, not just jerseys. It shouldn’t be surprising that Wentz is near the top of this list, behind just Tom Brady (1) and Dak Prescott (2). Even though he was injured late in the year, he was having an MVP season before going down and is obviously the Eagles’ quarterback of the future. 

But Foles making the list at 22? That’s pretty impressive. Remember, for most of the 2017 season, Foles was just a backup on a two-year deal. He had to make a heckuva comeback once he took over for an injured Wentz and led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship. Foles returned to the top 50 list after two years off of it. 

Weirdly, Foles sold more drinkware product from Wincraft than any other player — 10 times more than any other player!

And there are likely a lot of Eagles fans walking around the city with players on their legs. Five of the top 10 sellers of Strideline socks were Eagles: Foles, Wentz, Chris Long, Ajayi and Jeffery. 

Only Brady and Odell Beckham Jr. sold more in Fathead decals than Wentz. 

Here’s the top 10: 

1. Brady
2. Prescott
3. Wentz
4. Ezekiel Elliott
5. Antonio Brown
6. Aaron Rodgers
7. Beckham Jr. 
8. Russell Wilson
9. Rob Gronkowski
10. Derek Carr