Eagles

Snap counts: How much did Derek Barnett play in his debut?

Snap counts: How much did Derek Barnett play in his debut?

In his first NFL game, the Eagles already trust first-round pick Derek Barnett to be a third-down specialist of sorts. 

In Sunday afternoon's 30-17 win over Washington, Barnett played 26 of 63 possible snaps (41 percent), with a bulk of that work coming on third downs. There were many third downs when Jim Schwartz seemed happy to have Barnett and Chris Long at end with Brandon Graham sliding in at tackle. 

Barnett played a decent amount but struggled against All-Pro Trent Williams (see story). Welcome to the NFL. 

Graham led the way in snaps for the Eagles' defensive ends, although several of his snaps came inside on third downs. He had 43 snaps (68 percent). Next up was Vinny Curry (37 snaps, 59 percent) and Long (26 snaps, 41 percent). The Eagles had four defensive ends up on Sunday; Steven Means was inactive. It's possible at some points in the season, the Eagles will go with a five-man rotation at DE. 

Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jordan Hicks, Jalen Mills and Nigel Bradham played all 63 snaps on Sunday. That's nothing new for Jenkins; he's missed just eight snaps in three years with the Eagles and missed just one in 2016. 

Ronald Darby played only 18 snaps before leaving the game with a dislocated right ankle. That meant Patrick Robinson played 52 and Jaylen Watkins, safety in title only, got 15 snaps at corner. 

Mychal Kendricks played 23 snaps (37 percent). He's still the odd man out in the Eagles' nickel package. 

On offense, Nelson Agholor played just 42 snaps (62 percent) on Sunday, but he certainly made the most of it. He had career highs in catches (six) and yards (86) to go along with the longest touchdown of his career (58 yards). Most of last season, Agholor was relied on as a starter, playing for most of games and not producing at all. Big change for him as the team's third option. 

Alshon Jeffery (60 snaps of 68) barely left the field, while Torrey Smith played 48 snaps (71 percent). 

Carson Wentz and his offensive line, sans Jason Peters, played all 68 snaps. Peters played 31 snaps before shutting it down with a groin injury. Peters after the game said he's fine and doesn't expect to miss any more time. In his absence, Halapoulivaati Vaitai played 45 snaps (66 percent), although some of them came as an extra tackle/tight end while Peters was still in the game. After Peters exited, Big V took over at left tackle. 

Darren Sproles led the way for running backs with 33 snaps, followed by LeGarrette Blount (23) and Wendell Smallwood (15). None of them had much success on the ground and the Eagles had just 24 rushing attempts compared to 39 passes. Corey Clement played on special teams but didn't get on the field on offense. 

Rookie Mack Hollins played just five offensive snaps in his NFL debut. Marcus Johnson played seven. 

Here's a full look at Eagles snap counts from Sunday: 

Offense
Isaac Seumalo - 68 snaps (100 percent)
Brandon Brooks - 68 (100)
Lane Johnson - 68 (100)
Jason Kelce - 68 (100)
Carson Wentz - 68 (100)
Zach Ertz - 60 (88)
Alshon Jeffery - 60 (88)
Torrey Smith - 48 (71)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai - 45 (66)
Nelson Agholor - 42 (62)
Darren Sproles - 33 (49)
Jason Peters - 31 (46)
Brent Celek - 25 (37)
LeGarrette Blount - 23 (34)
Wendell Smallwood - 15 (22)
Trey Burton - 14 (21)
Marcus Johnson - 7 (10)
Mack Hollins - 5 (7)

Defense
Malcolm Jenkins - 63 snaps (100 percent)
Rodney McLeod - 63 (100)
Jordan Hicks - 63 (100)
Jalen Mills - 63 (100)
Nigel Bradham - 63 (100)
Patrick Robinson - 52 (83)
Brandon Graham - 43 (68)
Fletcher Cox - 43 (68)
Tim Jernigan - 40 (63)
Vinny Curry - 37 (59)
Derek Barnett - 26 (41)
Chris Long - 26 (41)
Beau Allen - 25 (40)
Mychal Kendricks - 23 (37)
Corey Graham - 18 (29)
Ronald Darby - 18 (29)
Jaylen Watkins - 15 (24)
Destiny Vaeao - 12 (19) 

Eric Rowe tracker
We'll keep an eye on Rowe in New England all season. If he plays more than 50 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps this season, that 2018 fourth-round pick the Eagles got in exchange for him will turn into a third-rounder. 

On Thursday night, Rowe played 37 of 69 defensive snaps β€” 54 percent. So far, so good. 

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

ap-trey-burton-eagles.jpg
AP Images

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.