Report: Lurie overrides decision to allow DeFilippo to interview elsewhere

Report: Lurie overrides decision to allow DeFilippo to interview elsewhere

The Eagles' brass was in Mobile, Alabama, this week, the site where they first fell in love with Carson Wentz in 2016. 

A little less than a year later, owner Jeffrey Lurie used his power to make sure Wentz wouldn't lose the coach who spends the most time with him. 

Last week, ESPN reported that it was Lurie who blocked quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo from interviewing for the Jets' vacant offensive coordinator position. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane, Lurie's decision came after Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman tried to stay true to their word. 

When DeFilippo was hired a year ago, the Eagles told him that they wouldn't block an opportunity for him to move on if an offensive coordinator job came calling. And when the Jets wanted to interview him, Pederson and Roseman allowed the request, according to the Inquirer. 

On Wednesday, when asked about the switch of wide receivers coaches, Roseman said Pederson determines who is on the coaching staff. He repeated that answer when asked about the Eagles blocking DeFilippo from interviewing with the Jets. 

It's unclear if DeFilippo would have even been interested in the Jets' job, but there were other jobs β€” possibly more enticing β€” available this offseason. Before joining the Eagles, DeFilippo was the Browns' offensive coordinator for one season in 2015. 

The original ESPN report detailed the increasing involvement for Lurie in football matters. Roseman on Wednesday downplayed any increased role for the owner, who, for the second straight year, was at the Senior Bowl to watch practice. 

Roseman said Lurie just "loves being around football" and was "asking questions," not giving input on the players the team was scouting. 

In addition to blocking DeFilippo from interviewing elsewhere, the Inquirer also reports Lurie is committed to giving Wentz the weapons he needs this offseason. The Eagles' receiving corps was one of the worst in the league in 2016. 

While Roseman didn't outright say the team will try to find receivers through free agency instead of the draft, he did make sure to mention that aside from in 2014, receivers from college take a while to produce in the NFL. 

The Eagles might not have the cap room to make a significant move for a marquee skill position player right now, but have options to free up some room. Roseman said, "It's our job to make tough decision and make sure that they're not emotional."

Based on recent reports, it's starting to seem like Lurie is becoming an increasing part of that decision-making crew. 

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

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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

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. 

Rework/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 rework 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 β€” we explore it more here. 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.