Foles' value, Minneapolis takeover and more in Roob's observations

Foles' value, Minneapolis takeover and more in Roob's observations

MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings fans' worst nightmare has begun. The Eagles have arrived in their town, and thousands of their most obnoxious fans are about to join them.

God, I love Philly.

We're a week out from Super Bowl LII now, and here's our Sunday edition of Roob's 10 Random Eagles Super Bowl Observations, coming at you from the shadow of the Mall of America.

1. One of my favorite memories of 2004 in Jacksonville is from the day before the Super Bowl. By Saturday, all the media stuff was over and a few of the beat guys decided to pile into somebody's car, hit the highway, get out of town and escape all the Super Bowl insanity. We wound up at Amelia Island, a quiet golf and tennis resort on the Atlantic Coast an hour north of Jacksonville, about five miles south of the Georgia border. We drove up, parked and started walking around, and the first thing we heard was a group of about 20 people yelling … "E … A … G … L … E … S … EAGLES!!!!!!"

2. Doug Pederson has won more playoff games since 2009 than Andy Reid.

3. Driving around downtown Minneapolis Sunday with NBC Sports Philadelphia Eagles producer Dave Zangaro, we stumbled on workers near U.S. Bank Stadium putting the finishing touches on a giant Super Bowl poster. And there, staring at downtown Minneapolis, were Brandon Graham and Nick Foles. Foles on a wall. That's the moment for me that it all finally seemed real.

4. A couple blocks away, any thought we had that the city of Minneapolis had gotten past the notion that Vikings fans were poorly treated in Philly last weekend was erased when we spotted this sign on the front of a private club called Truth Bar.

5. Can Foles repeat his deep ball accuracy against the Patriots? Get this — the Patriots allowed 18 pass plays of 35 yards or more during the regular season. Only two teams allowed more — the Texans and Giants, with 20 each. Foles is coming off a game in which he hit four passes of 35 yards or more. Look for the Eagles to go deep early and often next Sunday.

6. Imagine if somebody totally off the radar has a huge game out of nowhere and wins MVP? Imagine Mack Hollins up there in front of the world's media accepting the trophy and the car that comes with it after catching two long touchdown passes? Ya never know. With this team? I wouldn't be surprised if someone like Jaylen Watkins, Corey Clement or Trey Burton has a ridiculous huge game out of nowhere and gets the MVP. Odds are, it'll be Tom Brady or Foles, but this team is different. It would be fitting if it's someone off the wall. It would just feel right.

7. Reading about the Pro Bowl while you're at the Super Bowl must be like, I dunno, reading about someone taking a trip to the Poconos while you're walking on the moon?

8. Would you take a first-round pick for Nick Foles? I'm not sure I would. I know it sounds crazy, but what would you rather have had this year — a first-round pick or a trip to Super Bowl LII? I don't know how many other current backup quarterbacks could have done what Foles has done this last month and a half. Barring a catastrophe a week from Sunday, he's going to have strong trade value, and there are going to be teams out there that want him as a starter. He's better than a lot of starters out there. And you figure he's a lock to leave after next season anyway as a free agent so why not take the draft pick or picks now, clear some cap space and give Foles the opportunity he deserves? Makes sense. But what if Carson Wentz gets hurt again and your backup is an untested rookie or a lesser veteran or Nate Sudfeld? Nothing against Sudfeld, but Foles is now a proven Super Bowl quarterback. Are those other guys going to get you where he got you? A first-round pick is tempting. But it's not as easy a call as you might think. Plus there's this — no team is going to trade for Foles unless he agrees to a new contract. Not when he can walk after one year. So he essentially holds all the cards here. If he doesn't want to go, say, to the Browns, he just doesn't agree to sign an extension and the Browns don't make the deal. So he's in a great position. He can stay here and make $7 million and back up Wentz or he can get traded to a team he wants to play for for even more money.

9. You know what's really weird? It was a shorter period of time from the 1960 NFL Championship Game to the Fog Bowl than from the Fog Bowl to now. How is that even possible?

10. You try to get a grasp of just how special all this is to so many people in the Philadelphia area and then you read a tweet that perfectly sums it up.

More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

USA Today Images

More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

The Eagles have given veteran defensive end Chris Long a raise, but according to one report, Long is concerned enough about his playing time with the Eagles that he's mulling his options regarding his future.

What is certain is that at some point before March 15, Long signed a new contract with the Eagles that increases his 2018 base salary from $1 million non-guaranteed to $2½ million fully guaranteed.

However, NFL Network's Michael Silver reported Monday that Long may decide he doesn't want to accept the new contract — which he already signed.

According to Silver, Long is concerned about how many snaps he would get as a third-down rusher following the addition of Pro Bowl pass rusher Michael Bennett.

The Eagles officially acquired Bennett on March 14, although the deal was reported a week earlier. Long's new contract was filed with the NFLPA on March 15, but there is a good chance he agreed to it and signed it before the Bennett acquisition.

Whether or not Long knew Bennett was coming to the Eagles when he signed the restructured deal is unknown. But at some point Long knew about their interest in Bennett and even gave Bennett a "glowing recommendation" when the Eagles asked, according to an interview Long gave to SBNation.  

Long wouldn't appear to have many options. He could retire, in which case he would have to return the $500,000 bonus he received from the Eagles last week.

He could request a trade, which would be bizarre for someone who signed a contract extension just a few days earlier.

Or he could simply play under the terms of the contract restructure and pay increase, which was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia with a source familiar with the renegotiation.

As for the contract itself, including that $500,000 roster bonus — which was also in the previous version of the contract — Long would receive $3 million guaranteed this year instead of $1.5 million non-guaranteed plus $750,000 in easily achieved roster bonuses.

Long had five sacks and forced four fumbles last year as a rotational defensive end. He wound up playing 496 snaps, 10th-most on the defense and only about 10 per game fewer than starter and Pro Bowler Brandon Graham and five per game fewer than starter Vinny Curry, who the Eagles released.

Long, who turns 33 next week, has 63½ career sacks. His 5.0 sacks last year were his most since 2013. He's won back-to-back Super Bowls the last two years with the Eagles and Patriots.

What happens next?

Long has demonstrated that the money is secondary to him. He donated his entire 2017 base salary to charity.

At some point very soon, the Eagles will need him to decide whether he's even going to have a 2018 base salary.

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

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Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

A day after we found out that Brian Dawkins picked Troy Vincent to introduce him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer, Terrell Owens has picked his presenter. 

No surprise: It's not Donovan McNabb.

After alienating many people in the league throughout his tremendous career, Owens picked a name from his early days. Longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart, who was Owens' receivers coach in San Francisco, will introduce T.O. at the 2018 induction. 

In a video released by the Hall of Fame, Owens said Stewart "knew what to get out of me."

Now special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers, Stewart has been an NFL coach for three decades. He began his time in San Francisco in 1996 (Owens' rookie season) as a special teams coach but was their wide receivers coach from 2000-02.

"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am," Owens said. "... To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."

The first season Stewart became the 49ers' receivers coach, Owens went to his first of six Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first of five times in his career. Owens was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in all three of the seasons that Stewart held the position in San Francisco. 

Of course, Owens' growth under Stewart led to his becoming one of the biggest stars in the NFL.

Eventually, Owens forced his way out of San Francisco and got to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Owens had a short and tumultuous two seasons, but was also dynamic on the field and nearly helped them pull off a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. 

Owens averaged 93.5 receiving yards per game during his time in Philadelphia, the highest average in franchise history. It wasn't his play that led to his downfall in Philly. It was his beef with McNabb, along with his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles into a new contract. 

Owens was a divisive personality for his entire career. It's likely the reason it took him three tries to make it into the Hall of Fame. Because his numbers don't lie: He's one of the best receivers of all time.