Jeff Lurie refuses to reveal season expectations for Eagles

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Jeff Lurie refuses to reveal season expectations for Eagles

It was a simple question.

With a surprising answer.

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie was asked Thursday whether he expects this 2017 team to reach the playoffs, something no Eagles team has done since 2013.

But despite a potential franchise quarterback entering his second year, despite offseason acquisitions like Torrey Smith, Alshon Jeffery, Tim Jernigan and first-round pick Derek Barnett, and despite a roster that's so healthy all 53 guys practiced this week, Lurie refused to say he has postseason expectations for the 2017 Eagles.

"Oh, I think so much happens in a given season that you can never say that," he said. "I mean, I've never in 23 years, even coming off all those multiple NFC Championship games and NFC East titles and all that, I've never come out and said, ‘We're obviously a playoff team.’ It just doesn't work that way in the NFL.

"Look at last year. What was Atlanta's record going into the season and what was Dallas' record going into the season last year (4-12 in 2015)? I think Dallas became the No. 1 seed. What was Atlanta, 6-10, going into last year (actually 8-8)? And with Matty Ice (Matt Ryan), who is a very good quarterback.

"We'd be sitting here talking about, ‘How can you have Matty Ice and be 6-10?’ [Then] they developed one hell of a team. It's sort of foolhardy to make any predictions, whatsoever."

The Eagles have reached the playoffs in 12 of the 23 seasons Lurie has owned the team but only twice in the last six years — 2010 and 2013. 

Since 1994, when Lurie bought the Eagles from Norman Braman, only the Patriots (18 times), Packers (18), Colts (16) and Steelers (15) have reached the playoffs more than the Eagles, and only those four teams plus the Ravens, Broncos, Seahawks and 49ers have won more playoff games.

Yet the Eagles are one of only 12 teams that haven't reached the postseason the last three years and also one of 12 that hasn't won a postseason game the last eight years.

Lurie recognizes they're still not completely finished cleaning up the mess left by Chip Kelly, so they may not win one this season. 

But they should be close.

"I think I love the blueprint we have. I think that we are headed in a terrific direction," Lurie said. "Look, I think, honestly, you're dealing with a team that's a pretty young team. You have some veterans at select positions like punter, things like that, and left tackle. But basically a young team that has re-signed a lot of players, a lot of the core players, [and the] ability to acquire future players will evolve and have a great opportunity there to do that.

"The key is that we have the opportunity to compete strongly now, and that's what I expect. I expect us to compete strongly. We're in the second year of a very potentially special, young quarterback. We don't even know that yet.

"I see us as a team with an excellent blueprint, great opportunity, terrific direction, but we're in Year 2 of the plan."

The Eagles last won a championship in 1960. Since then, 19 other franchises have won at least one.

"Thirty-one teams are going to be disappointed," Lurie said. "That's the way it works in this league. We all have the same goal: 32 teams want to win the Super Bowl, one will. If you talk to any of the 31 of us, we're going to say we're disappointed. That's the way the NFL works."

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

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Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

The Eagles gave Nick Foles a little raise on Friday, reworking the Super Bowl MVP’s contract, a league source confirmed. 

Basically, the Eagles are rewarding Foles after he helped the franchise win its first-ever Super Bowl a few months ago. 

Foles, 29, is still entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, but the new deal also includes a mutual option for the 2019 season, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The mutual option will still allow Foles the possibility to test the free agent market next season, but could leave the door open to a possible return beyond this upcoming season. 

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network first reported the revised contract, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and “several millions in incentives if he’s the starter and hits various benchmarks,” according to Rapoport. 

That part makes a ton of sense. If for some reason Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in 2018 or if he goes down again, Foles will have a chance to earn what might be closer to starter money. 

Foles was set to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $7.6 million on the contract before Friday’s renegotiation. 

Wentz and Foles grew very close last season — third-string QB Nate Sudfeld too — and have both been very selfless in a situation that would be awkward for many others in the league. But both have been incredibly selfless throughout the entire process. Just this week, Wentz admitted he had to fight jealousy but was truly happy for his teammate and friend, who became the Super Bowl hero (see story)

Earlier on Friday, Foles tweeted out this photo with his wife and daughter from the NovaCare Complex. That’s a $2 million smile. 

Eagles well-represented on list of top NFL sellers

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Eagles well-represented on list of top NFL sellers

It turns out winning the Super Bowl is pretty good for business. 

The NFLPA on Friday released its top 50 player sales list from March 1-Feb. 28 and the Eagles were the most represented team on the list, with five players ranking in the top 50. 

3. Carson Wentz 
17. Zach Ertz
22. Nick Foles
43. Alshon Jeffery
45. Jay Ajayi 

This list is a combined total of all officially licensed merchandise, not just jerseys. It shouldn’t be surprising that Wentz is near the top of this list, behind just Tom Brady (1) and Dak Prescott (2). Even though he was injured late in the year, he was having an MVP season before going down and is obviously the Eagles’ quarterback of the future. 

But Foles making the list at 22? That’s pretty impressive. Remember, for most of the 2017 season, Foles was just a backup on a two-year deal. He had to make a heckuva comeback once he took over for an injured Wentz and led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship. Foles returned to the top 50 list after two years off of it. 

Weirdly, Foles sold more drinkware product from Wincraft than any other player — 10 times more than any other player!

And there are likely a lot of Eagles fans walking around the city with players on their legs. Five of the top 10 sellers of Strideline socks were Eagles: Foles, Wentz, Chris Long, Ajayi and Jeffery. 

Only Brady and Odell Beckham Jr. sold more in Fathead decals than Wentz. 

Here’s the top 10: 

1. Brady
2. Prescott
3. Wentz
4. Ezekiel Elliott
5. Antonio Brown
6. Aaron Rodgers
7. Beckham Jr. 
8. Russell Wilson
9. Rob Gronkowski
10. Derek Carr