The700Level

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.

Joel Embiid expects 90 percent of his tweets to go viral

ap-joel-embiid.jpg

Joel Embiid expects 90 percent of his tweets to go viral

One of the things that I love about Joel Embiid is the fact that it seems like every day we find another reason to love him even more.

Today's entry comes from a profile in GQ magazine in which he talks about plenty of things. But it was one of the first things he was asked about his Twitter account that had me rolling once again.

How do you find out if one of [your tweet] has gone viral, then?

Joel: I think 90 percent of them [will be viral]. That’s the expectation.

Amazing. The thing is, I don't know if he's giving himself enough credit. ONLY 90%????

Oh, and he subscribes to the Jah Rule school of thought: WHO CARES?

"Then I had so much time, too, because I missed that whole year and the second year after, so I didn’t have anything to do," Embiid said. "[I’d] just go on social media and converse with fans, make crazy jokes, and tweet crazy stuff because I don’t care. I say whatever I want to."

His critique of other players' boring Twitter accounts is also incredibly on point:

What do you mean some guys are always tweeting the same thing?

Joel: Bullshit like, “Game Day!” “It’s a great game.” I don’t know. They’re all the same. It’s boring.

Amen.

The whole Q&A is worth any Sixers fan's time just to get to know a little more about Jojo. Be happy he's ours. And pray he stays healthy so he can take his game on the court to the same level as his game off of it.

Eagles-hater Pete Morelli allowed to referee future Birds' games

usa-pete-morelli-nfl.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles-hater Pete Morelli allowed to referee future Birds' games

If you like penalties and hate the Eagles, you clicked on the right story.

Alleged Eagles hater Pete Morelli will be allowed to referee future Birds' games after the league found no signs of bias towards the Eagles. 

How's this for bias? In a Week 6 win over the Panthers, the Eagles were flagged 10 times for 126 yards. Compare that to the Panthers' one penalty for one yard and you see the problem.

But it wasn't the first time Morelli got flag-happy against the Eagles. In Morelli's last 4 Eagles' games — all away from the Linc — his crew has thrown 40 penalties for 396 yards to opponents' eight penalties for 74 yards. I'm not a numbers guy, but something seems off here.

In true Philly sports fashion, the Eagles will now reach the Super Bowl where Morelli and Co. will be waiting to rain yellow on the field, leading to an Andy Reid-led Chiefs' victory where Reid orchestrates an efficient two-minute game-winning drive, perfectly utilizing all three timeouts.