Eagles

Eagles FA rumor tracker: Alshon Jeffery leaning toward Eagles

Eagles FA rumor tracker: Alshon Jeffery leaning toward Eagles

The NFL's legal tampering period began at noon on Tuesday, so we're in the thick of it now. (Even though plenty of illegal tampering has been going on for months.)

Free agency starts on Thursday at 4 p.m. and the Eagles have just around $6.19 million in cap space to work with (as of Thursday morning).

3:59 p.m. Thursday -- Top CB staying put

One of the top cornerbacks set to hit the market won't. Along with A.J. Bouye, Dre Kirkpatrick was the top guy on the free agent corner list. 

3:35 p.m. Thursday -- Vikings in on Jeffery 

The Eagles have some more competition to land Alshon Jeffery, who will become a free agent in less than a half hour. 

2:14 p.m. Thursday -- Leaning this way 

The Eagles have Torrey Smith, but a big receiver on the other side would be ideal. And Alshon Jeffery is a big receiver. 

This would take some fancy cap manuevering from Howie Roseman, but that's what he's good at. And Jeffery is the top target on the free agent market. The 27-year-old caught 52 passes for 821 yards and two touchdowns in 2016. He's two years removed from his last 1,000-yard season. 

1:46 p.m. Thursday -- Help on O-line

Stefen Wisniewski was with the Eagles on a one-year deal in 2016. He ended up playing in all 16 games and starting six. But he made it clear throughout the season that he wanted a full-time starting gig. 

So perhaps if Wisniewski can't find that starting job elsewhere, he could be back as a backup or possible replacement for Jason Kelce. 

11:44 a.m. Thursday -- Not done yet 

The Eagles already locked up Torrey Smith, but it looks like they're still looking for more help at receiver. Based on last season, they can use all the help they get. 

Wheaton is a former third-round pick who played just three games in 2016 before his season ended with a shoulder injury. Wheaton's best season came in 2015, when he caught 44 passes for 749 yards and five touchdowns. 

11:15 a.m. Thursday -- Eagles, Colts after Alshon Jeffery

Moments after the Eagles agreed to a three-year deal with speedy WR Torrey Smith, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the Eagles and Colts are making a "strong push" for Alshon Jeffery.

Jeffery is the top wide receiver on the free-agent market and a much different player than Smith. They could complement each other nicely, with Jeffery offering size and red-zone effectiveness and Smith giving Wentz a much-needed deep threat.

10:13 a.m. Thursday -- Let's get weird 

It looks like things are really getting going now. The Eagles have reportedly been talking about a trade for Cooks, but a new suitor has emerged. The Patriots are bringing in Stephon Gilmore, so maybe Butler has become disposable. Either way, another team in the mix for Cooks can't help the Eagles. 

9:32 a.m. Thursday -- Britt to Browns

Remember when Kenny Britt was going to sign with the Eagles? Good times. 

The Browns came into Thursday with $98 million in cap space, so money isn't the problem with them. As of Wednesday, there were reports that Britt was going to be an Eagle. Heck, people even saw him in Atlantic City!

It looks like the Browns didn't have any trouble tossing some money around. 

8:57 a.m. Thursday -- Gilmore to Patriots

The New England Patriots are poised to add one of the top free-agent cornerbacks, Stephon Gilmore. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the former Buffalo Bill is headed to New England, "barring any final snags."

Gilmore's connection to the Eagles would have been defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Gilmore was in Buffalo for Schwartz's only year as the Bills' DC. We've seen that connection bring in players like Nigel Bradham and Ron Brooks. Looks like it wasn't enough to bring in Gilmore. 

8:57 a.m. Thursday -- Bouye leaving Texans

A few years ago, A.J. Bouye was an undrafted free agent from UCF. Now, he's about to break the bank. Although it might not be with the Eagles. 

Staying in the AFC South makes sense for one reason: money. The Jaguars started the day with $73 million cap room. The Titans had $61M and the Colts had $54M. 

8:46 a.m. Thursday -- DeSean to Tampa

So much for the DeSean Jackson reunion. Looks like DeSean is forgoing the trip back to Philly and taking a big pay day in Tampa. 

Now Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and ESPN's Adam Schefter are both reporting that Jackson will sign with the Bucs. Tampa had $58 million in cap space. 

9:15 p.m. -- Britt expected to sign with Eagles; DeSean to Tampa Bay

After losing out on Kenny Stills, the Eagles may have found a different receiver for Carson Wentz. According to Mile High Sports Radio's Benjamin Allbright, Kenny Britt, 28, is expected to sign with the Eagles when free agency begins at 4 p.m. on Thursday. 

Britt, enduring subpar quarterback play with the Rams in 2016, had a career year with 68 catches for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns.

As for former Eagles receivers, DeSean Jackson is reportedly expected to sign with the Bucs Thursday. 

7:02 p.m. -- Stills staying in Miami 

One of the biggest free-agent targets for the Eagles never even became a free agent. So much for getting him as the Eagles' deep threat. It looks like Stills is indeed staying with the Dolphins. 

If you're keeping track at home, Stills, Pierre Garcon, Brandon LaFell and Brandon Marshall are all already reportedly off the market well before the start of free agency. 

3:26 p.m. -- Stills off the market? 

Stills would have been a really good fit with the Eagles. He's still just 24 and is a serious deep threat, something the Eagles need desperately. Of all the receivers set to hit the market, Stills made more sense than most. If this report pans out, it will be interesting to see what kind of deal Stills signs with the Dolphins. Earlier reports talked about him getting over $10 million per season. 

But hold the phone. Stills isn't definitely staying in Miami just yet. 

At least one receiver really is off the market: 

2:11 p.m. -- You don't say

Yeah, this isn't much of a surprise. The Eagles have been trying to trade these guys for a while. Cutting Conor Barwin if he doesn't get traded seems like a realistic possibility. They'd save $7.75 million by cutting him and would have just $600,000 in dead money. 

Last week, Howie Roseman said there wasn't a deadline to make these decisions and the Eagles wouldn't just cut players to cut them. Still, cutting Barwin makes sense. As for Mychal Kendricks, cutting him would save $1.8 million in cap space. If they designate him as a post-June 1 cut, they would save $5 million, but would need to carry his full cap number until June 1. 

1:51 p.m. -- Romo on the move

Obviously, the Eagles aren't going to sign Tony Romo, but he is a huge domino to fall. He will change the free agent market. Suppose he goes to Houston, will they then have enough money to hold on to A.J. Bouye? 

11:17 a.m. -- Bennie's replacement?

Bennie Logan will become a free agent at 4 p.m. on Thursday and because of his price tag, it seems rather likely he won't return. So maybe the Eagles need a replacement. 

Domata Peko is already 32, but for a year or two, he would be a decent fill-in. The Eagles have also started to work on a new deal for Beau Allen, who has been Logan's backup. 

10:41 a.m. -- Eagles after Bouye

For all that talk about the Eagles not trying to sign Band-Aids to fix their cornerback position, it sure seems like they're going after pending Texans 25-year-old free agent Bouye. 

Bouye (pronounced boy-yay) would be just the latest Texans player to join the Eagles after Barwin, DeMeco Ryans, Brandon Brooks, Bryan Braman and others. Now, it looks like Bouye could join the group. 

But not so fast ... 

10:14 a.m. -- That's a lot of money

Like, really, a lot of money. But the 49ers do have $90 million in cap space. 

8:20 a.m. -- Washington in on Poe

This isn't necessarily an Eagles-related report, but it's worth noting. Washington clearly needs help on the D-line and it has seemed like a really strong landing place for Eagles pending free agent Logan. 

"We have some work to do there," Jay Gruden said at the combine about his defensive line. "Without a doubt."

If Washington grabs Dontari Poe, it means they're probably out for Logan. 

8:31 a.m. -- Giants get deeper

The Giants now have Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall. 

The Eagles' corners right now are Jalen Mills, Ron Brooks and C.J. Smith. They're going to need some more help to deal with this division. Luckily, there are options in free agency and even more in the draft. 

Update: Marshall has signed. 

7:16 a.m. -- Still talks about Cooks 

It sounds like the Cooks trade isn't dead yet, but it's possible some other teams will put together better offers for the young receiver. 

Apparently, the Saints want some pass rush help. How would they feel about an aging Barwin with a cap hit of over $8 million in 2017? 

While Kendricks isn't a lineman, he is a linebacker who can blitz. Perhaps he'd be of intrigue to the Saints. 

Maybe the Eagles don't have the firepower to get this deal done, but they're not out of it yet. 

6:14 a.m. -- How much for DeSean? 

Well, it seems like Jackson is going to get paid. 

According to this report, Jackson is expected to have a salary of over $11 million per year. 

It lists the Cowboys, Eagles, Patriots and Bucs in the mix. It appears like Washington is preparing to move on from DeSean. 

NFL Notes: Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended one game for shoving official

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NFL Notes: Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended one game for shoving official

NEW YORK — Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills (see full story). 

Packers place QB Aaron Rodgers on injured reserve
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers placed Aaron Rodgers on injured reserve Friday after the quarterback had surgery on his broken collarbone.

Rodgers would be eligible to return from injured reserve after eight weeks and able to return to practice after six weeks. But coach Mike McCarthy has said that there is no timeline for Rodgers' return, and that the two-time NFL MVP might miss the rest of the season.

"Everything went very well is my understanding talking with (team doctor Pat McKenzie), and he's recovering," McCarthy said Friday morning. The Packers did not practice Friday.

The procedure on Rodgers was done Thursday outside of Green Bay. He was hurt in the first quarter in a 23-10 loss last weekend to the Minnesota Vikings.

Rodgers posted an Instagram message early Friday thanking well-wishers for their "love, support, thoughts and prayers" in a photo of himself in a hospital bed (see full story).

Injured QB Jameis Winston will start against Bills
TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston tested his injured throwing shoulder in practice and will start Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.

Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter made the announcement Friday after the third-year quarterback worked with the first-team offense for the first time since spraining his right shoulder during last week's 38-33 loss at Arizona.

Winston was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday, taking "mental reps" while backup Ryan Fitzpatrick prepared to face the Bills.

"Jameis threw the ball well today," Koetter said following the team's hour-long practice at One Buccaneer Place. "Jameis is our starter. He will be out there."

Winston has made 37 consecutive starts after entering the NFL as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft (see full story). 

Getting over gut-punch loss of Chris Maragos no easy task for Eagles

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Getting over gut-punch loss of Chris Maragos no easy task for Eagles

It was late last Thursday night in Charlotte, well after the celebrating in the locker room subsided and well after most of his teammates had already gotten on the bus to take them to the airport. 

Eagles special teams captain Chris Maragos, with a heavy brace on his right leg, emerged from the visitors' locker room and limped through the cement bowels of Bank of America Stadium. The pissed off look plastered on his face as he left the field after injuring his right knee in the fourth quarter had given way to a look of resignation. He knew. 

Maragos was officially placed on injured reserve Thursday, which means the Eagles will have to continue what they hope will be a magical season without one of their unquestioned leaders. 

"It was rough, man," said fellow special teamer Najee Goode, who collided with Maragos on the play that injured him. "That's my dawg. Chris is a beast. He brings a lot of energy to special teams. But we're going to replace him. He's still going to be there, making sure we do what we need to do." 

If any team is prepared to get over the loss of a player like Maragos it might be these Eagles. They've already survived — thrived, really — after losing Darren Sproles, Ronald Darby, Rodney McLeod, Fletcher Cox, Jordan Hicks, Lane Johnson and Wendell Smallwood for varying lengths of time. 

But like when they lost Sproles for the season, the Eagles are going to miss more than just Maragos' on-field play. He's also the captain of Dave Fipp's excellent special teams' group. Maragos, one of five captains on the team, said at the time he was voted a captain that it meant more to him than any other accomplishment in his career. 

And that's saying a lot. Maragos' story is pretty amazing. He was originally a wide receiver in college until then-Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema saw Maragos track down a DB after an interception and moved him to defense on the spot. Eventually, Maragos worked his way into the NFL as an undrafted free agent and eventually won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks before coming to Philly. 

Early in his time with the Birds, Maragos actually played a significant role on defense. But when the new coaching staff arrived, it was clear his role would be on special teams, so he threw himself back into it. And he's been incredible. 

Last November, Maragos signed a three-year, $6 million extension that goes through the 2019 season and was already off to a good start in 2017. He led the Eagles in special teams snaps with 126 (74 percent) and was tied for the team lead in special teams tackles with six. 

How the heck do you replace that? 

"I don't think you'll ever be able to fill Chris' role," tight end and special teamer Trey Burton said. "He plays such a big role on special teams. He was able to do so much, but we're going to have to do something. Everybody's going to have to step up."

Head coach Doug Pederson said it will be "tough" to replace Maragos, but the team will probably do it with a committee approach at first. That means more Corey Graham and Jaylen Watkins. Even recently signed draft pick Nate Gerry will have a role if he's active. 

Perhaps the bigger loss will be Maragos' leadership. He's one of just five players on the team who has won a Super Bowl, and he's always happy to answer any questions his teammates have — about football or life. 

In his absence, Goode said he and Burton will attempt to fulfill that leadership void as much as possible. 

"It's really tough," Burton said. "That's my best friend. Him not being here, being around as much. It's tough for him too because he's out of the loop on things and doesn't really know. He would love to be here and in meetings and stuff but he's not going to be able to."

While Maragos won't be around for a while, Burton expects him to visit more once he's healed more. And he'll certainly be watching. 

"Heart's heavy, but I lift my eyes," Maragos tweeted Thursday. "I'll miss being out there with my brothers but I promise you this, I'll be back stronger!"

That's good news for 2018, but the Eagles will have to go the rest of the season without him. Maragos apparently had a message for his teammates. 

"He knows injuries happen," Goode said. "We play full speed and that's something that comes with the game. His whole thing — Chris is a great team dude — was that we keep propelling and keep getting better for the future."