Eagles

Carson Wentz, Eagles prepared for rainy weather vs. 49ers

Carson Wentz, Eagles prepared for rainy weather vs. 49ers

Carson Wentz thought about it but he couldn't really remember the last time he played in a downpour. 

He just knows it's been a long time. 

That's probably going to change on Sunday. According to NBC10, there's a 90 percent chance of rain on Sunday and "some of the rain could be heavy at times." 

The Eagles had a pretty dry schedule all last season and Wentz played most of his college games in the Fargodome at North Dakota State. He's had a few games in light rain but Sunday against the 49ers might offer something completely different. 

"I think [Wentz will] be fine," head coach Doug Pederson said. "I mean, we've just got to make sure we secure the snap, No. 1. And then ball security on handoffs, things of that nature just becomes a little more point of emphasis.

"He hasn't played in a ton of bad weather games because he played in a dome in college. It doesn't bother him, too. He's lived it. He's had to live in the cold or the snow, the wet, the rain. He should be fine."

The Eagles were definitely aware of the weather forecast this week. The quarterbacks spent a day throwing extremely soaked footballs, something they do whenever there is rain in the upcoming game forecast. It's really the only way to prepare for the impending conditions, although Wentz wanted to make sure he doesn't overthink it too much. 

Pederson said the rain won't necessarily change the Eagles' game plan but it might change the way he calls the game once things start rolling on Sunday. Like Wentz, he didn't want to turn the rain into a distraction. 

"I think if you get on [the field] before the game, you kind of get a feel," running back Wendell Smallwood said. "But there's some things you can't control, man. They have rain gloves now. They will help out a lot. I think you've got to be more focused, handoffs, looking the ball in, tucking the ball in. You have to be strong with the ball. You can get away with that when the ball isn't wet but when it's wet, you see a lot of guys putting two hands on the ball. You just have to do what you're already supposed to be doing better."

As a heavy favorite over the winless 49ers β€” anywhere from 12.5 to 14 points β€” the Eagles (6-1) are probably not thrilled to see bad weather in the forecast. It can often be a great equalizer. One of the last times the Eagles were favored by this much was against the Vikings in 2010. You'll remember that as the Joe Webb Game when the unknown quarterback led the Vikings to a win in a rare Tuesday game thanks to a winter storm. 

Anything less than perfect conditions could theoretically help the team that's the big underdog. 

"It don't matter to me if it rains or not," Alshon Jeffery said. "It don't matter to me. I can play in all type of weather."

Jeffery eventually agreed that rainy weather can be an advantage for receivers. After all, at least they know where they're going while the defensive back needs to be reactionary. Still, Wentz will have to get the ball to him and others.  

They're ready for it, but ultimately, there's not much the Eagles can do about the weather. 

"Just pray it doesn't rain," Wentz said. 

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

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Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

Several hours after an NJ.com report surfaced that the Eagles were unlikely to re-sign Trey Burton, the tight end denied it on Twitter.

Replying to a tweet about the report from former Eagles teammate Emmanuel Acho, Burton said he hasn't spoken to anyone.

NJ.com's Matt Lombardo reported Friday that the Eagles made Burton an offer that the soon-to-be-free-agent "didn't consider serious."

"We are fully expecting Trey to sign elsewhere," the source said.

It wouldn't be surprising whatsoever if Burton leaves in free agency. A team will likely pay him starter's money and offer him a chance to start, which he doesn't have here with Zach Ertz firmly entrenched.

The Eagles are over the projected salary cap, and while they could create space in numerous ways, they also have to worry about re-signing key linebacker Nigel Bradham.

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

The Eagles are coming off a thrilling season but there's a lot of work to be done. 

The NFL's new league year begins on March 14 and the Eagles must be under the salary cap by then. The problem is that based on projections, the Eagles are set to be more than $9 million over the cap, according to OverTheCap. So it's time for some maneuvering. 

The good news is that Howie Roseman's specialty has always been finding unique ways to get the Eagles out of cap trouble. There are ways for him to do it again.

Cut Torrey Smith 
Probably the easiest one. Smith was a great teammate and a solid addition to the Eagles' locker room, and he really stepped up his game in the playoffs, but it's probably not enough to bring him back. He just wasn't good enough last season, and cutting him would save the Eagles $5 million in cap room with no dead money. The Birds still have Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, while Mack Hollins is entering Year 2. 

Cut Brent Celek
This one will hurt, but Celek can take away the sting if he decides to walk away as a champion. He's set to have a cap number of $5 million. That's just way too much for what Celek provides these days. By cutting him, the Eagles would save $4 million in cap space. So just between Smith and Celek, the Eagles will almost get back to zero ... but there's other work to do. They'll still need money to sign free agents and draft picks. 

Extend Brandon Graham 
Graham is entering the final year of his contract with a cap number of $8 million. He wants a new contract and deserves one. Good news: An extension would work for both sides. Graham would get more money long term and the Eagles could get his cap number down this season. 

Rework/cut Vinny Curry
Curry is coming off of probably his best season in the NFL but will have an $11 million cap number. That's tough to swallow, especially with Derek Barnett waiting for his chance to start. It seems likely the Eagles will ask Curry to take a pay cut or rework his deal. If not, cutting him would leave $6 million in dead money but would also save $5 million in cap room. 

Trade Mychal Kendricks
If you remember, Kendricks actually wanted a trade last offseason. Good thing that didn't happen. Kendricks ended up being a big part of the Eagles' success in 2017. Depending on what happens with Nigel Bradham in free agency and with Jordan Hicks' Achilles recovery, trading Kendricks might again be an option. A trade would save $4.4 million in cap space. 

Trade Nick Foles 
This is such a tough one β€” we explore it more here. But basically, Foles is a pretty amazing insurance policy until we know when Carson Wentz is going to be ready. If the Eagles do trade Foles, it would save them $5.2 million that they could certainly use. The problem is that by the time they know Wentz's status, free agency will be long gone and that cap space won't help this year. But it could help in 2019.