Eagles expecting boisterous Josh Norman to shadow Alshon Jeffery

Eagles expecting boisterous Josh Norman to shadow Alshon Jeffery

Alshon Jeffery is every bit as quiet as Josh Norman is loud and boisterous. 

So there's a good chance Washington's brash cornerback will start to talk trash on Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field. There's also a good chance Jeffery will simply shrug his shoulders and jog back to the huddle seemingly unfazed.

Trash-talking isn't Jeffery's thing. It's Norman's bread and butter. 

Jeffery and Norman faced off last year on Christmas Eve in Chicago when Jeffery was still with the Bears. Norman traveled and lined up against Jeffery on every snap. On Wednesday, Jeffery said he couldn't recall if Norman talked trash in that game. 

But with Norman's track record, there's a pretty darn good chance he did. And there's also a pretty good chance Jeffery shrugged his shoulders and jogged back to the huddle. 

"I just go out and just play football," Jeffery said on Wednesday afternoon. "I let my game do the talking. All that other stuff will take care of itself."

The two will battle again this week as the Eagles open their season in Washington against a division foe. While Washington's head coach Jay Gruden said the team hasn't yet decided if Norman will travel to cover Jeffery throughout the game, the Eagles aren't going to buy that type of indecision. They're preparing as if Norman will spend his afternoon in Jeffery's grill. After all, Gruden didn't commit to traveling Norman but did hint that way. 

"We know what kind of threat [Jeffery] is," Gruden said.  

Recently, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson went back and watched every one of Jeffery's targets in Chicago from the last couple of seasons. That included last year's game against Norman, when Jeffery caught five of 10 targets for 92 yards. 

"I just wanted to go back and, No. 1, see him against Josh Norman," Pederson said. "I think it's important to see how he played, good or bad. How did Josh play him? I think you can learn a lot from that. And then just watch the type of routes he was running. There's good and bad on the film. It's not all the positives; it's not a highlight film, by no means. It's the good and the bad. Alshon won his share and Josh won his share. It's a good battle. I think those two have a lot of respect for each other and it's great competition. I just wanted to see how he handled a little pressure in those situations."

Jeffery said he doesn't get more amped up or even care who covers him, but he does seem impressed with Norman as a cornerback. He compared him to his teammate in Chicago, two-time Pro Bowler Charles "Peanut" Tillman because of the way Norman makes plays on the ball. 

Norman can be an aggressive player — is there a way to take advantage of that?  

Well, Jeffery said he and Eagles receivers coach Mike Groh, who was also with him in Chicago, would work every day with Tillman. Those lessons taught Jeffery how to play against a player like that, who is always trying to punch the football out. 

"Figuring out ways to catch the ball and keep the defenders from breaking up the ball," Jeffery said. 

Jeffery enters this season on a one-year deal with something to prove. After two straight 1,000-yard seasons in 2013 and 2014, he had just 807 receiving yards in 2015 and just 821 in a 12-game season in 2016. He's hoping to regain form after teaming up with Carson Wentz in Philly. 

The Eagles used Jeffery sparingly in this preseason and even in training camp, when Jeffery suffered a shoulder injury and was then held out even after he healed thanks to a decision by Pederson. 

Eagles fans haven't gotten to see much of Jeffery so far, so Sunday will be an exciting day. 

"I definitely encountered it. Everyone is telling me how excited they are to see me play," Jeffery said. "At the same time, I'm excited myself. I can't wait to see what I'm going to do out there myself. Sunday is going to take care of itself. We're just going to go out there and play our ball."

Jeffery is one of a few new additions to the Eagles' offense, along with Torrey Smith and running back LeGarrette Blount. With a healthy offensive line and a more experienced Wentz, expectations for the offense have risen in 2017. 

"Hopefully we go out there and we score a lot of points," Jeffery said. "That's all I expect. As long as we get the win, that's all that matters."

Torrey Smith says Carson Wentz is going to get PAID

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Torrey Smith says Carson Wentz is going to get PAID

We all know just how good Carson Wentz is. Heck, the entire NFL knows just how good Wentz is after the Eagles' QB put together a remarkable season with 3,296 passing yards and 33 TD tosses ... in just 13 games.

But we and the entire league also know what that means: Wentz is going to get a lot more zeros added to his paycheck soon.

Wideout Torrey Smith, recently traded by the Eagles to the Panthers, knows full well what Wentz's worth is and isn't shy to talk about it, as he did at his charity basketball event in Maryland on Saturday evening.

"When Carson's time comes, they're going to need a Brinks truck the size of this arena," Smith, who caught 33 balls for 692 yards and two TDs from Wentz last season, told ESPN's Jamison Hensley while noting the Eagles are taking full advantage of Wentz's discounted rookie deal right now.

Wentz is in the middle of a four-year, $26.6 million deal signed after he was drafted No. 2 overall in 2016. The deal expires after the 2019 season, but obviously Howie Roseman and crew know this all is looming. And they also know recent QB contract numbers have continued to skyrocket.

San Francisco recently made Jimmy Garrapollo, he of seven career starts but also of five straight wins to end last season after his trade from New England, the richest QB in league history with a five-year, $137.5 million deal. Detroit gave Matthew Stafford a five-year, $135 million deal prior to last season, a few months after Oakland gave Derek Carr a five-year, $125 million extension. Those three are the top-paid QBs in the league.

Long story short: With the way Wentz has performed with 7,049 passing yards and 49 TDs in 29 career starts, he's going to get PAID.

And Roseman's acts of salary cap magic are going to have to continue because Wentz is going to get paid sooner than later, and the whole league knows it.

Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

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Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

One day after being released from the Eagles, Vinny Curry has reportedly already found a new home.

The defensive end is heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year deal worth up to $27 million, with an $11.5 million injury guarantee, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine.

After signing him to a five-year, $47.25 million extension in 2016, the Eagles moved on from Curry and his scheduled $11 million cap hit on Friday. The transaction saved the Eagles $5 million in cap space, with $6 million in dead money.

While Curry, 29, had the best season of his career in 2017, his production still didn't match his high cap number and he became more expendable after the Eagles acquired Pro Bowler Michael Bennett from the Seahawks.

Curry will join former Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen in Tampa Bay. Allen signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Buccaneers earlier in the week.