Eagles

Eagles want to build around Carson Wentz and he can help

Eagles want to build around Carson Wentz and he can help

INDIANAPOLIS -- Not only are the Eagles going to build around Carson Wentz, but they're also going to let him help.

Sure, the Eagles sat down with Wentz after the season to talk about a plan, but his contributions when it comes to actual personnel decisions have likely been exaggerated.

He can help in other ways, though.

Namely, he can just be himself: the talented face of a franchise who other guys want to play with. The Eagles view Wentz as the type of bait that could lure potential free agents to Philly.

"First, in free agency, money does talk. There's no question about it," vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said. "But having a guy that people want to play with, and we've had that before. Having a quarterback that people say, 'I want to play with that guy, I want to build around that guy,' that's huge for you from a recruiting perspective.

"So if things are close or even and people see that there's this opportunity to build chemistry with a guy over a long period of time, we think that will help us as we go and recruit players."

A year ago at the combine in Indy, the Eagles got to sit down and talk with Wentz for an extended period of time. The process of acquiring Wentz began a year ago in Indy too, when Roseman and Dolphins GM Mike Tannenbaum began discussing a trade that moved the Eagles from the 13th pick in the draft to eighth. From there, the Eagles were able to jump up to two in a trade with the Browns.

A lot has changed since then.

Instead of the focus being on finding a franchise quarterback, in 2017 it's all about surrounding that franchise quarterback with talent that can grow with him. On Thursday, a report surfaced that the Eagles are interested in trading for speedy Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

"One of the compelling things when we made the trade, we certainly gave up a lot to go get him," Roseman said of Wentz. "But when you look around our division, when you look around the QBs who were picked in 2004, and we’re going into the 2017 draft, and those teams are still trying to surround that guy.

"That’s exciting when you can say we may have to take it on the chin for a year or two here from a resource perspective. But if we get this right, we can build around him for a really long time."

The Eagles are trying to be realistic about their situation, which has changed the way they view free agency. On Wednesday, Roseman said the team isn't just one player away from a championship. It will take more. That's why splashing in free agency by getting the biggest name with the highest price tag isn't the plan. Instead, the Eagles want younger players, and it's all about Wentz.

Roseman said this is the first time since the organization started over with Donovan McNabb in the early 2000s that they're in this position.

"It’s hard to think of any higher priority than having a QB on your roster," Roseman said. "At this time last year, our starting QB was a free agent. We were picking 13th and we wanted to figure out a long-term answer there."

The Eagles found their answer at quarterback. Now it's all about helping him to fulfill his potential.

Eagles LB Joe Walker named Ed Block Courage Award winner

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Eagles LB Joe Walker named Ed Block Courage Award winner

Eagles linebacker Joe Walker, who missed all of last year with a serious knee injury, has been voted by his teammates this year's Eagles recipient of the prestigious 2017 Ed Block Courage Award. 

Walker joins such hallowed names in Eagles history as Andre Waters, Kevin Turner, Correll Buckhalter, Chad Lewis and Jason Avant in receiving the award, given annually to a player on each team who shows a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage on and off the field.   

Walker, a seventh-round pick out of Oregon in 2016, suffered a knee injury the second week of training camp last summer but bounced back to make the 53-man roster this year and has played in all six games for the 5-1 Eagles.

With Jordan Hicks hurt in the second half Thursday night in Charlotte, Walker played a career-high 13 snaps on defense against the Panthers. He's played 53 special teams snaps this year.

Ed Block was the Colts’ trainer from 1954 through 1977 after earning a Purple Heart in the Army under General Patton in the tank corps in World War II.

The 32 Ed Block Courage Award winners will be honored at the annual Ed Block Courage banquet in Baltimore this spring.

For more information on the program, go to www.EdBlock.org.

Here is a list of all the Eagles’ Ed Block Courage Award winners since the inception of the program in 1984: 
 
2017     Joe Walker
2016     Nolan Carroll
2015     Fletcher Cox
2014     Jeremy Maclin
2013     Jason Kelce
2012     Colt Anderson
2011     Mike Patterson
2010     Jason Avant
2009     Michael Vick
2008     Jon Dorenbos
2007     Montae Reagor
2006     Jerome McDougle
2005     Chad Lewis
2004     Derrick Burgess
2003     Correll Buckhalter
2002     Shawn Barber
2001     Duce Staley & Tommy Brasher
2000     Cecil Martin
1999     Mike Mamula
1998     Bobby Taylor
1997     Rhett Hall
1996     Kevin Turner
1995     Charlie Garner
1994     Fred Barnett
1993     Andre Waters
1992     Jerome Brown
1991     David Alexander
1990     Ron Solt
1989     Mike Quick
1988     Wes Hopkins
1987     Gerry Feehery
1986     Jody Schultz
1985     Ron Jaworski
1984     John Spagnola

Despite raising bar in 2017, Philadelphia won't host 2018 NFL draft

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Despite raising bar in 2017, Philadelphia won't host 2018 NFL draft

The City of Philadelphia did an incredible job hosting the 2017 draft.

And it still wasn't enough to keep the event. 

The NFL announced the 2018 draft will be held in the Dallas Cowboys' home, AT&T Stadium. Dallas — or technically Arlington, Texas — will be the third city to host the draft in three years, following Chicago and Philly. 

It has been rumored for months that Jerry Jones had his city as the favorite to host the next draft. Turns out those rumors were right. 

Good luck topping what Philly did in 2017 though. 

“Philadelphia raised the bar by taking the Draft to another level, and this new opportunity in Dallas will enable us to continue the event’s evolution and grow it even further,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We are grateful to the Dallas Cowboys, the cities of Arlington, Dallas, and Frisco, and the Dallas Sports Commission for their leadership in turning this vision into reality.” 

The 2018 draft will begin on April 26. The NFL's release said the draft site will include the field, stands and outdoor plazas. 

According to the NFL, at the 2017 draft, a record 250,000 fans attended the three-day event along the Ben Franklin Parkway. The estimated economic impact for the city was $94.9 million. 

“The Draft was a family-friendly event for Philadelphians and visitors across the country,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “I thank all of our public and private partners, especially the City employees and first responders, who made this event a success and allowed Philly to shine in the national spotlight once again.”

Aside from the numbers, the draft in Philly was aesthetically pleasing. The television shots from the Parkway were gorgeous and the vibe around the entire event was special. 

Things went so well, NFL senior vice president of events Peter O'Reilly said the draft in Philly was a "resounding success." 

It won't be coming back in 2018, but the next time it does, the city will be ready.