Eagles mailbag — Celek situation, bust to contributor, biggest need

Eagles mailbag — Celek situation, bust to contributor, biggest need

I know you're still celebrating the Eagles' Super Bowl win. There's a good chance you haven't even gone a day without wearing Super Bowl champion gear.

The NFL world hasn't stopped though. 

You guys gave me so many good questions this week, we split them all up into several posts this week. Let's start here: 

This is an interesting question. I guess we have to first figure out which guys even qualify as a "bust" or could become busts. Just two guys remain from the 2015 draft class and they're Agholor and Jordan Hicks. Neither of them count. From the 2016 class, Isaac Seumalo and Wendell Smallwood could possibly fit. And even though it's really unfair to call anyone from the 2017 class a bust, Donnel Pumphrey and Shelton Gibson might count. 

If I had to pick one right now, I actually wouldn't say Seumalo even though he was a third-round pick. With the line returning as a whole unit, I don't think there's going to be much opportunity for him and I didn't like what many deemed as a lack of confidence. Sure, Agholor got out of that, but it's troubling. 

The guy I'd pick is Gibson, who had an absolutely terrible spring and most of the summer and was inactive for the first part of the 2017 season. Gibson had trouble catching the ball as a rookie, which is obviously a problem but it's a problem he can fix. What he does have is speed and that just can't be taught. With Torrey Smith likely gone this year, Gibson should have a chance to fill the void as a deep threat. 

I think he has that potential. Halapoulivaati Vaitai did a fine job filling in for Jason Peters this year and he's come so far from that first terrible game against Washington and Ryan Kerrigan. 

The thing I've noticed about Big V during his two years in the league is that confidence is really important for him. That's why we've seen, at times, him get much better as games go on. That's why after he strung a few good games together, he wasn't a concern anymore. He has all the physical tools to be a good tackle in this league for a long time and with the right coaching, he can be an answer at one of those spots. 

It's a really tough situation with Brent Celek, because this is Celek we're talking about. He should go down in the books as an all-time Eagle. But there's a problem. 

There's just no way the Eagles can bring him back on his current deal, with a $5 million cap hit. Can't do it. They really need the $4 million in cap space it would save. And really, they don't need Celek back at all. The Eagles are probably hoping he wants to retire. Tough situation. 

Based on the way the Eagles want to build their team, offensive line is always going to be a need. Considering they needed to add Will Beatty of the street as a depth piece in this season, yeah, they could probably stand to add some depth at tackle and it wouldn't hurt to add interior help too, although Chance Warmack is a decent backup. 

The other two positions I think worth a look are linebacker and defensive tackle. I know the Eagles have Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan locked up, but Beau Allen is about to be a free agent, which leaves former undrafted player Destiny Vaeao as the top backup. And at linebacker, Jordan Hicks' injury history makes him a big question mark and Nigel Bradham is set to be a free agent. If the Eagles don't bring Bradham back, that could be a big problem. 

Thank Carson Wentz (and 1 other thing) for landing Mike Wallace

Thank Carson Wentz (and 1 other thing) for landing Mike Wallace

During the 2016 season, Mike Wallace thought his Baltimore Ravens were going to steamroll the Eagles, who had a first-year head coach and first-year quarterback. 

He was wrong. 

Sure, the Ravens were able to sneak away with a 27-26 win back on Dec. 18, 2016, but Wallace watched up close as the gutsy Carson Wentz had the Eagles one two-point conversion at the end of the game away from walking out of Baltimore with a win. 

A year and a half later, when Wallace was testing free agency, the veteran receiver thought back to that game and thought to himself, “I want to play with that guy.” 

So how responsible is Wentz for Wallace’s landing in Philly? 

“Ninety-nine percent. Ninety-nine,” Wallace said at his introductory press conference on Friday afternoon after signing a one-year contract. “The other percent was the rest of the team. I’m impressed by the way he plays football, the way he moves in the pocket, the way he throws the football and his competitiveness. You can see it.”

Wallace, 31, continued to watch Wentz during the 2017 season, when the second-year quarterback was seemingly on his way to an MVP award before a serious knee injury landed him on injured reserve.  

Having been through changing teams before, Wallace said the most difficult part for him is learning the new quarterback. He hopes this process won’t take exceedingly long, but he and Wentz might be at a disadvantage. Wentz is still recovering from a torn ACL and LCL and might not be ready until the season opener, if that. 

“You can just work on that watching film and things like that, but until he gets out there, there’s no real way to simulate it,” Wallace said. “I think he’s a great young quarterback who’s fired up. Whatever extra reps we need to try to get up to speed, I’m all for it.”

Wentz is, of course, a part of the big reason Wallace decided to join the Eagles. Wallace has played nine seasons in the NFL with four different teams. He’s made money, but he hasn’t been able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. That’s what he wants. 

On Friday, Wallace said he turned down more money to join the Eagles. 

“I had options but I just wanted the best chance,” Wallace said. “I feel like this is my best opportunity to make a run. This is my 10th year. Can’t play this game forever. You don’t want to come out feeling empty. I want to get a ring.”

Wallace had been a free agent twice before this offseason and he admitted, that when he was younger, free agency was about money. He signed a five-year, $60 million deal in 2013 to join the Dolphins. 

But now, Wallace said, his family is secure. He’s made a lot of money in the NFL to make sure those close to him are well off. Now, he’s allowing himself to make a decision that benefits him. 

“I didn’t try to come into this game to leave empty-handed,” he said. “I had to secure the bag and I did that. Now it’s time to secure a ring.”

Warrant issued for Michael Bennett's arrest

Warrant issued for Michael Bennett's arrest

Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett has been indicted for a felony charge in Harris County, Texas, the Harris County district attorney's office announced on Friday afternoon.

Because of the indictment, a warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest. According to the release, prosecutors are working with Bennett's lawyers to coordinate a surrender.

Bennett is being charged with "injury to the elderly, included intentionally and knowingly, causing bodily injury to a person 65 years or older." The penalty for the charge is up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The felony charge is for injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic woman who was working at NRG Stadium last year during Super Bowl LI, when Bennett was there to watch his brother Martellus play in the game. The Patriots played the Falcons in Super Bowl LI in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017.  

Bennett, 32, allegedly "shoved his way on to the field" during the postgame celebration, when the elderly worker told him to use a different way for field access. Instead, the district attorney's office said, Bennett pushed through workers, including the elderly disabled woman.

Neither the Eagles nor the Seahawks knew about the incident, a league source told NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn. Bennett has been an Eagle officially for just over a week.

During a news conference on Friday afternoon, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo asked Bennett to turn himself in as quickly as possible, calling Bennett "morally bankrupt" and entitled. Acevedo said there is no video of the incident, but there is a police officer eye-witness.

Acevedo said Bennett forcibly opened locked doors to get onto the field and then pushed his way past three workers. One was a male, one was a 28-year-old female and one was a 66-year-old female, who sustained a sprained shoulder. The 66-year-old female is a paraplegic and the force of being pushed back in her motorized wheelchair is what injured her. Acevedo said the woman needed medication prescribed to her because of the alleged assault.

According to Acevedo, Bennett said, "Ya'll must know who I am, and I could own this motherf-----. I'm going on the field whether you like it or not," as he pushed past the women.

A police officer, called "Officer Morgan" by Acevedo, the same one who saw the alleged incident, then tried to stop Bennett, but Bennett disregarded him, saying "f--- you." The officer then decided to tend to the woman instead of pursuing the suspect, as he thought Bennett no longer posed a threat.

The extended time between the incident and the indictment was explained by Acevedo as a lack of resources. He said the department decided to handle cases that put citizens in danger. This was pushed to the back burner. He also said it was exceedingly difficult to get in touch with Bennett.

"Mr. Bennett may think because he's an NFL player and because some time passed he may have thought rules don't apply to him," Acevedo said. "No. 2 he doesn't have to respect the dignity of a paraplegic woman trying to earn a living. He may believe he doesn't have to answer to a police officer trying to detain him, but I'm here to say I'm very proud of the fact our department took this case as seriously as we should have."

The Eagles released the following statement on Friday afternoon:

"We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time."

The Eagles officially traded for Bennett on March 14. They sent receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick to Seattle for Bennett and a seventh-rounder.