Eagles to reportedly sign former All-Pro DT

Eagles to reportedly sign former All-Pro DT

The Eagles have found some depth for the interior of their defensive line.

Five-time Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata plans on signing with the Eagles on a one-year deal when free agency kicks off on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

While the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett said the deal isn’t yet done, it appears that the Eagles are getting a big piece (literally) of their free agent puzzle.

Ngata, 34, is past his prime, when he helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII and when he went to five straight Pro Bowls, but the big defensive tackle will offer the Eagles depth once Beau Allen departs in free agency. Allen is expected to land elsewhere with a sizable contract. He sent out a farewell message to the Eagles on Instagram early Tuesday afternoon. With Allen’s expected departure, defensive tackle depth was sneakily a big need for the Eagles.

Had Allen walked and the Eagles not replaced him, their top backup DT would have been Destiny Vaeao, who was undrafted a couple years ago. Instead, they picked up a big name who might still have something left in the tank, especially in the Eagles’ rotation.

At 6-foot-4, 340 pounds, Ngata has played as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense and then as a defensive tackle in the Lions’ 4-3 defense. He’s been able to move very well during his 12-year career even at his enormous size.

While he played just five games for the Lions last season, his impact was clear. With Ngata in the lineup, the Lions gave up just 74.6 rushing yards per game. Without him in the final 11 games, that number ballooned to 129.7. There were other factors that went into it, but Ngata is good against the run, and he’ll be added to the NFL’s best run defense from 2017.

After turning 34 in January, Ngata will be the Eagles’ second-oldest player behind 36-year-old Jason Peters when the DT signs Wednesday. Bringing in another aging veteran on a one-year deal follows the path the Eagles set last year. They are trying to win this year but aren’t tying themselves to an older player long-term.

While he comes with a bigger name, at this point in his career, Ngata won’t demand a huge salary. That’s good news for the cap-strapped Eagles.

In 2017, Ngata played just five games for the Lions before a torn biceps landed him on IR. He played three seasons in Detroit after playing the first nine years of his career in Baltimore.

The Joe Douglas influence on this deal is again easy to see. Douglas, the Eagles vice president of player personnel, was with the Ravens from 2000-2015. Ngata is just the latest former Ravens player — Torrey Smith, Tim Jernigan, Corey Graham, Dannell Ellerbe — to come to the Eagles.

In 2018, the Eagles will likely start Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan at defensive tackle, but Ngata will be the top backup. They will also have Michael Bennett, Brandon Graham and (maybe) Vinny Curry as defensive ends with the ability to play inside on passing downs. That’s not even including other key players Chris Long and Derek Barnett.

The Eagles, who already had one of the scarier defensive lines in the NFL, just added another huge depth piece.

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.

10 random Mike Wallace stats

10 random Mike Wallace stats

In Mike Wallace, the Eagles are getting a veteran wide receiver who’s now playing for his fifth team in the last seven years.
Wallace has put up fairly consistent numbers since the Steelers drafted him out of Mississippi in the third round in 2009.
And we all know what a veteran wide receiver means. Lots of stats!
So let’s get to know Mike Wallace with 10 Random Mike Wallace Stats That You Didn’t Know (And I Didn’t Either Until I Looked them Up!):
• Since entering the NFL in 2009, Wallace ranks ninth in the NFL with 8,072 receiving yards, behind only former teammate Antonio Brown (9,910), Larry Fitzgerald (9,570), Calvin Johnson (9,532), Brandon Marshall (9,316), Julio Jones (9,054), Demaryius Thomas (8,653), DeSean Jackson (8,575) and A.J. Green (8,213).
• Wallace’s 57 touchdown catches since 2009 are seventh-most in the NFL during that span by a wide receiver.

• With a 95-yard touchdown catch from Ben Roethlisberger against the Cardinals in 2011 and a 95-yarder from Joe Flacco against the Steelers in 2016, Wallace is one of just three players in NFL history with two career TD receptions of 95 or more yards.

The others are Gaynell Tinsley of the Chicago Cardinals, who caught a 97-yarder from Pat Coffee in 1937 and a 98-yarder from Doug Russell in 1938, and Pennsauken’s John Taylor, who caught a 95-yarder from Joe Montana in 1989 and a 97-yarder from Steve Young in 1991.
• Similarly, Wallace’s four career TDs of 80 yards or more — the two listed above plus catches of 81 and 82 from Roethlisberger in 2011 and 2012 — are fifth-most in NFL history behind Derrick Alexander, Lance Alworth, Bobby Hayes and Jerry Rice, who all have five.
• Wallace has had at least 725 receiving yards in eight of his nine seasons in the NFL. Since 2009, only Fitzgerald has had 725 or more yards more often than Wallace.
• Wallace’s career rushing average of 7.1 yards per carry is fifth-highest among active players (with 32 or more attempts), behind Cordarrelle Patterson (10.3), Tyreek Hill (8.0), Deshaun Watson (7.5) and Ted Ginn (7.1).
• Wallace had nine catches for the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV against the Packers after the 2010 season. That’s tied with several players (including Nelson Agholor) for eighth-most in Super Bowl history by a wide receiver.
• Since he entered the league in 2009, Wallace has 43 receptions of 40 yards or more, second-most in the NFL during that span behind only former Eagle DeSean Jackson, who has 56. Those 43 passes were thrown by five quarterbacks (Roethlisberger 23, Flacco 9, Ryan Tannehill 7, Charlie Batch 3 and former Eagle Dennis Dixon 1).
• During the same span, Wallace has 19 TD catches of 40 yards or more, again second-most in the league during that span to Jackson’s 26.
• In 2010, Wallace caught 60 passes for 1,257 yards, and his 20.95 average was sixth-highest in NFL history and highest in the last 33 years by a player with 60 or more receptions. Since 1965, only Hall of Famer and one-time Eagle James Lofton has had a higher average (21.95 in 1984).