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State of Eagles rumblings after first free-agent period: Malcolm Jenkins, trades, 14th overall

State of Eagles rumblings after first free-agent period: Malcolm Jenkins, trades, 14th overall

With the first part of the NFL's free-agent period winding down, we take a closer look at some of the stories surrounding the Eagles coming out of one of the busiest times.

Was Malcolm Jenkins really offered to the Saints?
The Eagles' free agency honeymoon didn't last long, as Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported Saturday the Eagles offered safety Malcolm Jenkins along with third- and fourth-round picks to the Saints for wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

Jenkins has emerged as a fan favorite, a locker-room leader and one of the best safeties in the NFL since signing with the Eagles in 2014, so needless to say, not everybody was enthusiastic about the idea.
 
We can only speculate as to the veracity of the report, but true or untrue, there is more than one way to interpret this story. Jenkins' name being raised in trade discussions doesn't indicate whether it was the Eagles' idea, nor does it mean they would have pulled the trigger even if the Saints agreed. In exploring a deal for a young talent like Cooks, any number of hypothetical offers could've been floated by either side and used as a template to continue the dialogue.
 
In other words, we don't know the nature of any conversations that took place or how serious they were. Plus, whether Jenkins was on the table is sort of irrelevant now. Cooks was traded to New England, and there aren't likely to be many more players on trade block that would merit Jenkins in return. This whole story is much ado about nothing.

Eagles holding on to Jason Kelce ... for now
While vice president of football operations Howie Roseman maintains he's not shopping center Jason Kelce, there's no reason why the Eagles wouldn't listen to offers.

Stefen Wiskniewski -- re-signed for three years over the weekend -- started five seasons at center for the Jaguars and Raiders, and 2016 third-round draft choice Isaac Seumalo is believed by some to be the future at the position.
 
Ironically, it may not be Wisniewski or Seumalo who make Kelce expendable at all. The addition of Chance Warmack in free agency could create a logjam at guard if he can make a strong push for a starting job, which isn't all that unlikely. Consider this: Warmack and Jonathan Cooper are the only offensive guards taken with a top-10 pick since 1997, and are two of three to be taken that high since 1988. How special does a prospect have to be at that position to go that early? Warmack has disappointed in the NFL with Tennessee, but now he's reunited with Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, his former position coach in college.
 
Brandon Brooks is entrenched at right guard, but the Eagles gave Allen Barbre on the left permission to seek a trade. Seumalo would presumably take Barbre's place, although if Warmack impresses, the job could be his, at which point, moving Seumalo to center makes sense. Should all of that come to pass, Kelce could be on the move in August or September, especially if there's an injury elsewhere.
 
Mychal Kendricks still on the block
While Kelce appears to be staying put for the time being, it also appears the Eagles are only re-doubling their efforts to trade linebacker Mychal Kendricks. Of Kendricks' $4.85 million base salary for 2017, $4.35 million became guaranteed on the second day of the new league year, which would seemingly take cutting him off the table. If the Eagles were going that route, it would be done already.
 
There's no real reason to hang on to Kendricks, though. In today's NFL, there are only two linebackers on the field roughly 75 percent of the time, and Kendricks was the odd man out behind Nigel Bradham and Jordan Hicks. Even when Kendricks was on the field, he was of virtually no consequence for the Eagles (at least not in a positive sense), finishing with 32 tackles, a pass breakup and zero sacks, interceptions or forced fumbles.
 
Kendricks doesn't want to be here, and the Eagles don't really need him but decided to pay him anyway. That would suggest they think there's a willing trade partner out there somewhere. There should be interest, too. He may be of no use to the Eagles at this point, but in three seasons from 2013 to 2015, Kendricks registered 11.0 sacks, 20 pass breakups, 3 interceptions and 6 forced fumbles. He has value, even if it's a fifth-round pick or later.
 
Bennie Logan finds a home
While it's a shame the Eagles lost defensive tackle Bennie Logan to the Chiefs in free agency, the reality is he's no longer a fit here, specifically for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's brand of 4-3 defense. Logan finished 2016 with a career-high 2.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, but his tackles decreased from 55 and 57 the previous two seasons to 24. Tackles for loss declined as well, from 8, then 9, to 5.
 
In Kansas City, Logan returns to a 3-4 alignment, where he'll line up back at nose tackle, replacing Dontari Poe. It's only a one-year contract, but it's the right move for the 27-year-old, who was becoming a Pro Bowl-caliber force in the old scheme. Logan is great at reading the offense and filling a gap, but as a pure attacking pass rusher in Schwartz's system, he wasn't discernibly different from replacement Beau Allen.
 
An upgrade at quarterback, but at what cost?
No matter your thoughts on Nick Foles, at least we know for certain he can play quarterback in the NFL, which is more than can be said for Chase Daniel. Daniel served a purpose last season by mentoring rookie Carson Wentz, but in terms of a backup who can actually fill Wentz's shoes if need be, Foles is the superior option.
 
Yet, it's impossible to escape the feeling the entire backup quarterback situation was bungled from the very beginning. The official explanation as to why the Eagles will absorb up to $7 million in dead money against the salary cap for Daniel in 2017 and pay Foles a minimum of $7 million over the next two years is "circumstances have changed" since Daniel signed. Seeing as the only change was the selection of Wentz, one can infer Daniel was upset he wouldn't have the opportunity to start.
 
Remember when Daniel first arrived and claimed he was competing for the job? Obviously, every player says that, but the contract the Eagles gave Daniel and the depth chart at the time suggests it wasn't totally untrue. And while the Eagles didn't know for sure at the time they would be able to land Wentz, they knew Sam Bradford was under contract, they were going to draft somebody, and Daniel had zero credentials as a starter.
 
There's no telling how valuable Daniel was to Wentz last season. Regardless, what a massive waste of money.
 
Everything is on the table at No. 14 (well, almost)
The Eagles probably aren't going to take a quarterback with the 14th overall selection in the 2017 NFL draft. At any other position, you can make a case there is a need.
 
Jordan Matthews will be joined by Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to form one of the deepest wide receiver corps in the league, but all three could potentially be playing elsewhere next year.

Defensive end Brandon Graham was named second-team All-Pro, and Vinny Curry is set to make a ton of money for the next few years, yet the Eagles were tied with four teams for 16th in sacks last season.

Left tackle Jason Peters is 35 this year. Running back Darren Sproles is 34. Tight end Brent Celek is 32. Kelce is on the trade block, apparently.
 
There is almost no scenario the Eagles shouldn't consider at No. 14, even at positions where the roster might appear to be deep. Yes, cornerback is a disaster and almost certainly the top need because they have not one proven player there. At the same time, running back, receiver, tackle, defensive line and linebacker are all areas where holes exist now or will arise soon, and it wouldn't hurt to address tight end and safety, too.
 
The Eagles have work to do in the upcoming draft, and can't afford to put themselves in a box in the first round. The franchise is on the right track but still needs help everywhere.

Grading the Eagles' 34-24 Week 7 win over the Redskins

Grading the Eagles' 34-24 Week 7 win over the Redskins

Grading the Eagles' 34-24 win over the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.

QUARTERBACK

Carson Wentz: 17/25, 268 YDS, 4 TD, 1 INT

Four drives into this game, Wentz had completed 2 of 7 attempts for 24 yards with two sacks and an interception. On the Eagles' fifth possession, he connected with Mack Hollins on a 64-yard touchdown, and it was almost as if a weight had been lifted. Wentz hardly missed a throw the rest of the way. He also made plays with his legs, rushing for 63 yards. Even his interception on the first series of the game effectively amounted to a long punt on 2nd-and-forever. This kid simply cannot be stopped right now (see 10 observations).

Grade: A-

RUNNING BACKS

Wendell Smallwood: 8 ATT, 25 YDS

You have to appreciate the way Smallwood runs — when he's healthy enough to play. He can explode through a hole and make a man miss, but will doesn't shy away from contact and always fights for extra yards. There simply wasn't much room to run against Washington. LeGarrette Blount didn't fare any better, either, carrying 14 times for 29 yards.

Grade: C+

WIDE RECEIVERS

Mack Hollins: 1 REC, 64 YDS, 1 TD

Hollins' touchdown changed the complexion of the entire game. Up until that moment, the Eagles were trailing 10-3, and the offense was struggling to move the football. Then they scored touchdowns on three straight possessions, going up 24-10 in a matter of roughly eight minutes. Nelson Agholor added four receptions for 45 yards and a score. But what's the deal with Alshon Jeffery? Even against Washington's depleted secondary, he could not get open, catching just two passes for 37 yards on six targets.

Grade: B+

TIGHT ENDS

Zach Ertz: 5 REC, 89 YDS, 1 TD

Another week, another big game for Ertz. I honestly couldn't tell you what kind of night he had blocking, but does it matter when he continues to produce at this level?

Grade: A+

OFFENSIVE LINE

Jason Peters: Exited game in 3rd quarter (knee)

For the second week in a row, the O-line experienced issues early. Lane Johnson in particular looked rusty after missing last week with a concussion — granted, he had his hands full with Ryan Kerrigan. The unit began settling down in pass protection toward the end of the first half, though it never quite got into a groove running the football. Wentz was hit just six times total, but Eagles backs averaged only 2.56 yards per carry. Halapoulivaati Vaitai replaced Peters at left tackle and had a quiet game, which is a good thing of course.

Grade: B-

DEFENSIVE LINE

Derek Barnett: 3 TFL, 2.0 SK

The front four controlled the point of attack all night. That won't necessarily show up in the box score, but Kirk Cousins was under pressure from start to finish. Barnett and Fletcher Cox each registered a sack, while Brandon Graham hit the quarterback's arm mid-throw to force an interception. Meanwhile, the NFL's No. 1 rush defense was at it again, limiting Washington's backs to 54 yards on 14 carries.

Grade: A

LINEBACKERS

Jordan Hicks: Exited game in 1st quarter (ankle)

Hicks went down on the second play of the game, which was especially tough, because the Eagles were already without Mychal Kendricks. The absences showed, as Najee Goode was more like Najee Bad (ahem). Goode failed to pick up an assignment that resulted in a seven-yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson in the second quarter, and generally was a liability in coverage over the middle. Nigel Bradham did what he could recording three tackles, two quarterback hits and a tackle for a loss, but the linebackers were shorthanded, and it showed (see breakdown).

Grade: B-

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Malcolm Jenkins: 10 TKL, 1.0 SK

On paper, Cousins' line looks borderline spectacular, completing 30 of 40 passes for 303 yards with three touchdowns. Then again, most of that production — 203 yards and all three scores — went to tight ends and running backs. The Eagles really didn't allow Washington to do anything significant on the perimeters or deep down the field. Jenkins was all over the field making key stops, and Corey Graham came up with a gift-wrapped interception.

Grade: A

SPECIAL TEAMS

Jake Elliott: 2/3 FG, 4/4 XP

Nothing spectacular. Just another all-around solid special teams performance for the Eagles. Elliott was mostly automatic once again, connecting on field goals of 50 and 42 yards, and only missed from 45 after the outcome was all but decided. Donnie Jones averaged 51.0 yards per punt, with one kick downed inside the opponents' 20. And Kamu Grugier-Hill forced a fumble that Corey Clement very nearly recovered deep in Washington territory. The units were a strength, as usual.

Grade: A-

COACHING

Eagles' record: 6-1

Credit Doug Pederson — he never got away from the run against Washington, even though it clearly wasn't working. His team also never lost its composure despite a rough start against what some would consider an inferior opponent. The Eagles also survived injuries to some of their best players, yet never missed a beat on either side of the ball. This team is for real, in part because so is its head coach. Great job taking care of business at home, even when for awhile there is seemed things might be askew.

Grade: A+

Carson Wentz is a magician and Eagles fans are freaking out

Carson Wentz is a magician and Eagles fans are freaking out

Carson Wentz is the truth.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback didn't exactly shoot out of the gate on Monday Night Football but once he and the Birds offense got going, oh my! His second half was a thing of beauty.

Two plays in particular had football fans at a loss for words.

First, the scramble and touchdown toss to Corey Clement has a "how'd he do that" vibe:

But it was this Houdini-like, Barry Sanders-esque escapability that had the Internet abuzz. Just watch. Over and over.

Former Eagle and elusive dude in his own right Shady McCoy was impressed.

Oh and we haven't even mentioned his TDs to Zach Ertz, Mack Hollins, and Nelson Agholor yet. All pretty, pretty, pret-ty good.

It's safe to say Carson has the city of Philadelphia believing.

Wentz finished the night 17-25 for 268 and 4 TDs. Not to mention his 63 yards rushing. The quarterback of your favorite football team is a stud. Oh and one interception that was basically an incredibly good punt.

The Eagles won by a final of 34-24 and remain the class of the NFC at 6-1.