Eagles

Former Pederson hater calls Super Bowl 'horrendous matchup' for Pats

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Former Pederson hater calls Super Bowl 'horrendous matchup' for Pats

Don't you try to get on our good side now, Lombardi.

As the Eagles gear up to play for the Vince Lombardi trophy on Feb. 4 against the Patriots, it appears they've already won the Mike Lombardi trophy.

On his GM Street podcast Sunday night following the Eagles' win, Lombardi said he's picking the Eagles to win the Super Bowl.

"It's a horrendous matchup for the Patriots," said Lombardi, who spent time with New England's front office and coaching staff from 2014 to 2016.

"I'm gonna pick Philadelphia in the Super Bowl come hell or high water. ... I think it's a horrendous matchup for New England, I do. What Jacksonville did in the first half (of the AFC Championship Game), running Kansas City's style of offense, spread the field, force you to play inside and with power, that's been the kryptonite for New England, and that's what Philly does all the time."

Lombardi even went as far as to say the Eagles could be the toughest NFC team the Patriots have faced during Tom Brady's string of Super Bowl appearances.

"Of all the teams they've played in the playoffs, this will be the most complete type of team they've had to play because they're good in all three areas," Lombardi said.

The Patriots know that all too well. In December 2015, in one of Chip Kelly's final games as Eagles head coach, they went up to Foxboro and beat the Patriots, 35-28, scoring touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.

This cast of Eagles characters is different, but six key defensive players from that game β€” Malcolm Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Mychal Kendricks and Beau Allen β€” remain. Don't underestimate the confidence the defense gained in that game.

As for Lombardi, the man is a fountain of knowledge and interesting stories from his decades in the NFL. Week after week, GM Street gives you the kind of insight few other NFL podcasts do. But he took a lot of heat in Philadelphia this season because of his strong preseason criticism of Doug Pederson.

He took all of that back this weekend after watching Pederson call a near-perfect game that constantly put Nick Foles in position to succeed.

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.