Eagles

How Eagles' Super Bowl could affect other teams in town

How Eagles' Super Bowl could affect other teams in town

It took only until the end of Eagles Postgame Live Sunday night/Monday morning for the question of the Eagles repeating as Super Bowl champions to make an appearance. 

It's a reasonable thought. 

Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz and the Eagles' young nucleus would appear to give them a chance to compete for the Lombardi Trophy for several seasons to come. 

But what might be more interesting is how the Eagles' first Super Bowl title impacts the other three Philadelphia pro teams.

In the build-up and afterglow of the Eagles' dethroning the Patriots, the Phillies, Flyers and 76ers all said and did the right things to show their support. But make no mistake: There is only so much oxygen in the Philadelphia sporting landscape and the Eagles are currently consuming more of it than ever before. 

So how do the other teams react? Does this Eagles win inspire a greater sense of action among three franchises that are currently at different stages of significant rebuilds?

The Sixers would appear to be the closest of the non-Eagles franchises to competing for a title, thanks to the dynamic duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. That being said, it's hard to envision anything the Eagles have accomplished affecting the Sixers' mindset. This is an organization, from lottery manipulation to injury updates, that marches to its own beat in every conceivable way. 

Historically, the Flyers have always been willing to sacrifice the future to improve their chances in the present. But the Ron Hextall era has been marked by a swift departure from that approach. Measured development and careful salary cap management have ruled this day for the Orange and Black. Perhaps the Flyers will feel the need to keep up with the championship Joneses. But the smart money is on Hextall staying the course at all costs.

So that brings us to the Phillies. At the behest of managing partner John Middleton, the local baseball club has undergone an analytically-inclined rebuild that hopes to develop a homegrown core capable of duplicating the success of the Rollins-Utley-Howard-Hamels era. To be fair, the Phillies have dipped their toes back into the deep-end of the free-agent waters this season by inking Carlos Santana this offseason. Generally speaking, however, steady improvement from within has been the priority.

The wild-card here is Middleton's famed competitiveness. Telling Ryan Howard that he wants his bleeping trophy back immediately following the 2009 World Series loss to the Yankees is Exhibit A in that regard. The Phillies' managing partner is also a native son who attended the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. So he knows the significance of what was accomplished Sunday night. He also saw the buzz the Phillies generated in this town from 2007-11 when postseason berths were a way of life.

So does Middleton utilize his vast financial resources to expedite his team's path to contention, not just in Major League Baseball but also on the Philly sports scene? It will be interesting to see.

The Eagles were always the most popular kid in school. Now they're the valedictorian too. And that should have everyone else in the class feeling pretty envious.

Eagles might lose backup defensive back

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Eagles might lose backup defensive back

Jaylen Watkins' time in Philadelphia might just be coming to an end. 

The Eagles don't plan to tender Watkins, who is a restricted free agent, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Watkins, 26, played a decent role with the Eagles in 2017. He came into the summer as a safety, but when the team needed him at corner, he began to fill in there. He offered them a backup at multiple spots. 

So why won't the Eagles tender him? 

Well, if the Eagles did place a tender on Watkins, it would have been an original-round tender. He was drafted in the fourth round back in 2014. So teams could have negotiated with Watkins as a RFA but if the Eagles didn't match the offer sheet, they'd get back a fourth-round pick. Sounds great, except for one thing. 

The problem with the original-round tender is that it would bring back Watkins on a one-year deal worth just over $1.9 million. That's a projection after last year's number was just under $1.8 million. 

Watkins proved to be a valuable backup for the Eagles in 2017, but $1.9 million is probably just a little too pricey, especially as the Eagles are sitting around $9 million over the cap and have to trim that number down. 

And the Birds should have plenty of younger depth at corner in 2018. 

Not tendering Watkins doesn't necessarily mean he won't be back. What it does mean is he'll be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts on March 14. He will be able to negotiate with any team freely, but that will also include the Eagles, who might be willing to bring him back for a lesser price. 

Darren Sproles doesn't look ready to retire

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Darren Sproles doesn't look ready to retire

Darren Sproles seems well on his way to a full recovery.

Just five months after tearing his ACL and breaking his forearm, Sproles posted this video in his Instagram story.

The 12-year veteran back and return specialist has been saying that he's not quite ready to retire. 

"I don't have to play next year, but I'm leaning towards coming back," Sproles said back in December. "I can't end like this."

The Eagles will have an interesting decision to make regarding Sproles who will be a free agent this offseason along with veteran LeGarrette Blount. With Jay Ajayi locked in for 2018 and the emergence of undrafted back Corey Clement, the Super Bowl champions face some tough choices.