Eagles

Tom Brady the GOAT but beatable, Malcolm Jenkins says

Tom Brady the GOAT but beatable, Malcolm Jenkins says

The Eagles didn’t celebrate their NFC Championship win for very long. By the time the players hit the locker room, they were already looking ahead to their Super Bowl LII matchup against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

No surprise, the Eagles aren’t in awe of Brady, no matter how many world titles he’s won.

“He’s definitely the greatest quarterback of all-time, but that doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said after the Eagles’ 38-7 win over the Vikings. “We have a destination that we’re getting to no matter who’s in front of us.

“We have somewhere to go. We’re not worried about what’s in front of us. We’re going to run through whoever it is.”

Brady and the Patriots will be gunning for their sixth Super Bowl championship when the teams collide in Minneapolis on Feb. 4. They can also win their third in four years for the second time, and it will be their eighth trip to the big game in 17 seasons. Their level of success is truly unparalleled in NFL history.

Yet, if Jenkins and his teammates are lacking a healthy fear of the Patriots — even relishing the opportunity to play the reigning champs — that’s simply because the Eagles feel they belong on this stage.

“I think we match up well,” Jenkins said. “They have a real good scheme where they isolate people, but if there’s any defense out there that can match up with every single person, I think it’s this defense, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Jenkins played a major role in the last meeting between the Eagles and Patriots. The Pro Bowl safety had a 99-interception return for a touchdown — one of two Brady turnovers — in a 35-28 victory back during the 2015 regular season.

The Patriots wouldn’t go on to win the Super Bowl that year, coming up short in the conference title game instead, but were again defending champions at the time. The Eagles weren’t scared then, and they certainly aren’t scared now.

They’re not merely willing to stand up to the bully in the schoolyard. It almost sounds as if the Eagles are trying to pick the fight.

“Pretty boy Tom Brady,” Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson said. “He's the best quarterback of all-time, so nothing I'd like to do more than dethrone that guy.”

It’s going to take more than tough talk to knock off the greatest quarterback and dynasty in NFL history. Then again, the Eagles have faced as many or more challenges than perhaps any team to ever reach the big game.

If the Eagles were able to persevere all the way to this point, overcoming rampant skepticism and countless injuries, defeating the Patriots in the Super Bowl shouldn’t seem improbable at all.

“All of the adversity we faced early in the season — we were on the road three out of the first four games, had all these injuries early — all of that prepared for us this time to where anything can happen out there, and this team is going to be unfazed,” Jenkins said.

“Everything that we’ve done throughout this whole year has prepared us to be at this moment. We’re more confident than ever that we’re not just going to the Super Bowl to feel good about making it.

“We’re going to win, and that’s everybody’s mentality on this team.”

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

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AP Images

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

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USA Today Images

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. 

Re-work/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 re-work 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 -- we explore it more herehttp://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/eagles/stay-or-go-super-bowl-mvp-nick-foles. 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.