Eagles

Hey, Eagles backup QBs have actually fared well over the years

Hey, Eagles backup QBs have actually fared well over the years

They've been here before. An awful lot.

Eagles backup quarterbacks have actually fared extremely well over the years when forced into action because of injuries or other reasons.

This is a unique situation since Carson Wentz was having an MVP season and the Eagles are in position to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC as early as next weekend.

But in the NFL, quarterbacks get hurt. It's a fact of life. And over the last 20 years, it hasn't been the end of the world when it's happened to the Eagles.

In fact, four of the last six times the Eagles reached the playoffs, their postseason quarterback was not their opening day quarterback.

Let's take a look!
 
1996
Rodney Peete had gone 9-3 and led the Eagles to a playoff win the year before after Randall Cunningham was benched. But after starting out the 1996 season 3-2, Peete suffered a knee injury against the Cowboys and was lost for the season.
 
The backup was Ty Detmer, and he went 7-4 in relief of Peete and led the Eagles to the playoffs, although he got benched in that rainy 14-0 wild-card loss to the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
 
2002
The Eagles were 7-3 when Donovan McNabb hurt his ankle against the Cardinals at the Vet. He threw four touchdown passes while hobbling around, and after the game, he learned that what he believed was a sprained ankle was actually broken.
 
Enter backup Koy Detmer, who gave the Eagles a big lead in San Francisco before getting hurt himself. That forced the Eagles to use No. 3 quarterback A.J. Feeley, who finished off the 49ers win and then went 4-1 in his first five pro starts. McNabb returned for the playoffs, but there wouldn't have been any playoffs if it hadn't been for Feeley.
 
2005
Mike McMahon on the other hand? That one did not go so well. A year after their Super Bowl trip, the Eagles were already struggling at 4-5 when McNabb's season ended with a sports hernia.
 
McMahon was the backup that year and he won just two of seven starts as the McNabb-T.O. drama swirled around the franchise.
 
2006
McNabb tore his ACL against the Titans in mid-November and was lost for the season. Jeff Garcia lost his first start as an Eagle, to the Colts at the RCA Dome, before winning the last five and leading the Eagles to the NFC East title.
 
Garcia then became the first quarterback other than McNabb to win a playoff game since Peete in 1995 when he beat the Giants at the Linc.

2007
McNabb missed parts of three games during the disappointing 2007 season with an ankle injury, but this time Feeley was unable to recall the magic of 2002. Although he beat the Dolphins in relief, he lost starts to the Seahawks and Patriots before McNabb returned.
 
2009
Kevin Kolb replaced McNabb for two midseason games and played very well, going 1-1 but showing enough that the Eagles were comfortable trading McNabb to the Redskins that offseason.
 
2010
Kolb was the opening day starter, but he didn't even make it to halftime. Michael Vick replaced him and went 8-3 in 11 starts and led the Eagles to the playoffs.
 
2011
In 2011 it was Vince Young's turn to serve as the backup, and he won just one of three starts when Vick was hurt.
 
2012
Nick Foles was a rookie in 2012, and when Vick suffered a concussion, Foles replaced him. He won only one of six starts, but he actually played well, completing 61 percent of his passes with more TDs than INTs.
 
2013
A year later, Vick suffered a hamstring injury against the Giants in early October. Foles responded with a Pro Bowl season, with 27 TDs and just two INTs — the best TD-INT ratio in NFL history.
 
2014
Foles opened the 2014 season as the starter but broke his collarbone in a game against the Texans and missed the rest of the season. Mark Sanchez went 4-4, and the Eagles finished 10-6 but missed the playoffs.
 
2016
Sam Bradford didn't get hurt in 2016 but he did get traded, and Wentz, No. 3 a week before the regular season, was promoted to No. 1 and responded with an auspicious rookie season, going 7-9 but giving everybody a hint of what was to come.
 
2017
Which brings us to this year. Wentz was having a remarkable season until he hurt his knee in Los Angeles Sunday. Foles replaced him and with plenty of help from the defense rallied the Eagles to a 43-35 win. Moving forward, it appears Foles will be the Eagles' quarterback the rest of the season and postseason.

Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

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Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

The Eagles are scheduled to have a pretty boring Day 2 of the draft this year. Because after they pick at No. 32, they don’t have another selection until the 31st pick of the fourth round. 

That means 98 players will be taken between the Eagles’ first and second picks. And they’ll have to watch other teams pick that entire Friday (Rounds 2-3) without them … unless they make a move. 

“We’re not looking at it like we’re sitting out on Friday,” Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman said. “We’re going through our draft process looking at every scenario. When we get to Friday, we get to Friday.” 

Even if the Eagles don’t make a move, they’ll be plenty busy on Saturday, the final day of the draft. They have two fourth-round picks and one pick in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. 

Eagles personnel head Joe Douglas showed up to his media availability with a stat ready to go to illustrate the importance of Day 3. 

“We’re excited that we have five picks on Saturday,” Douglas said. “When you look at the Super Bowl, there’s 22 starters that were third-round picks or lower. Of those 22, 18 of them were fourth-round picks or lower. So 18 starters in the Super Bowl this year were fourth-round picks or lower, including six of them that were undrafted free agents. We choose to keep the glass half full.” 

Douglas is right on all those stats — 22 of 44 starters in the Super Bowl were drafted in the third or lower and 18 of them would be considered Day 3 picks. Not bad. 

Here’s how the Super Bowl starters broke down by round: 1-10, 2-12, 3-4, 4-4, 5-3, 6-3, 7-2, UDFA-6. 

The Eagles accounted for seven of the 18 players who were drafted in the fourth round or later, so the Patriots were the ones who found even more value late in drafts. And of those seven, just three were original Eagles — Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jason Kelce and Jalen Mills. 

Of the six undrafted players who started in the Super Bowl, two were from the Eagles — LeGarrette Blount and Rodney McLeod. Neither was an original Eagle, but the Birds also relied heavily on running back Corey Clement, who was an undrafted rookie last season. 

With a dearth of high draft picks, it would make sense if the Eagles attack the undrafted market following the draft, but Douglas thinks it won’t be as easy as many might think. 

“You would think because we’re coming off a Super Bowl, we don’t have a second or third round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft,” Douglas said. “But my experience coming off a Super Bowl, it’s sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster because agents and players have a perceived notion that it’s going to be that much tougher to make the team. I think that’s going to be a challenge. I think that’s going to be a challenge for us and we know it and we’re going to attack it.”

The Eagles in recent years have shown a willingness to pony up significant money to entice undrafted players to sign with them and if Douglas is right, they might need to do it again to land some this year. 

Either way, the Eagles know how important Day 3 and beyond can be. So when they’re bored on Day 2, they don’t plan on losing focus. 

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

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Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

The Eagles gave Nick Foles a little raise on Friday, reworking the Super Bowl MVP’s contract, a league source confirmed. 

Basically, the Eagles are rewarding Foles after he helped the franchise win its first-ever Super Bowl a few months ago. 

Foles, 29, is still entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, but the new deal also includes a mutual option for the 2019 season, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The mutual option will still allow Foles the possibility to test the free agent market next season, but could leave the door open to a possible return beyond this upcoming season. 

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network first reported the revised contract, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and “several millions in incentives if he’s the starter and hits various benchmarks,” according to Rapoport. 

That part makes a ton of sense. If for some reason Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in 2018 or if he goes down again, Foles will have a chance to earn what might be closer to starter money. 

Foles was set to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $7.6 million on the contract before Friday’s renegotiation. 

Wentz and Foles grew very close last season — third-string QB Nate Sudfeld too — and have both been very selfless in a situation that would be awkward for many others in the league. But both have been incredibly selfless throughout the entire process. Just this week, Wentz admitted he had to fight jealousy but was truly happy for his teammate and friend, who became the Super Bowl hero (see story)

Earlier on Friday, Foles tweeted out this photo with his wife and daughter from the NovaCare Complex. That’s a $2 million smile.