Blown away, Jeff Lurie says this is for YOU

Blown away, Jeff Lurie says this is for YOU

MINNEAPOLIS — All these years later, the Eagles truly are the gold standard.

Jeff Lurie was right. It just took a little longer than he wanted.

In his 24th season as owner of the Eagles, Lurie finally got to hold the Lombardi Trophy high over his head Sunday night after his Eagles beat the Patriots — a team he once tried to buy — 41-33 in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium (see breakdown).

Lurie said this championship was extra special to him because of how much this team was doubted outside Philadelphia and how much adversity it overcame, including the loss of Carson Wentz (see story).

“When I talked to the team on Friday, the first thing I said was, 'I’m so proud of the men who are part of this,'" Lurie said. 

"This is the most unique and impressive groups of young men, whether it’s the players, the coaches, [the scouting] staff, just incredibly resilient.

"In life today, it’s so polarized. To have people who can actually work together and solve big issues, like how to win a world championship, it’s impressive what caring and trust and camaraderie and high energy and focus and discipline can do, and that’s what this team was all about."

The Eagles have been very competitive during most of Lurie's tenure, reaching the playoffs 13 times in the last 23 years and going 206-160-2 during those 23 seasons, the sixth-best record in the NFL during that span and second best in the NFC.

But all those seasons ended in losses.

This one will end in a parade (see Roob's observations).

“For me, when I picture moments when we were about to win a world championship, I think first of all the generations of fans," Lurie said.

"People want to be buried in Eagles paraphernalia, Eagles uniforms, Eagles flags, and [you think of] all the players who came before, you think about that. In that moment.

"The heart and tears that have gone into it for so long. I’m just so happy for our fans. I have to keep saying that.

“To be able to do that with the adversity that we had, basically doubted the whole season, yet we were the best team in football really wire to wire, it’s a credit to all these people. An incredible group of young men.”

Lurie hasn't always been treated the best by Eagles fans, who saw him in earlier years as just a rich guy from Boston who had deep pockets but didn't know how to win.

The reality is that Lurie has spent an incredible amount of money on free agents over the years, he got the Linc and NovaCare Complex built, and most importantly he saw qualities in Doug Pederson that maybe few others saw, and he built a culture in which someone like Pederson, who preaches teamwork and team-first concepts, could come in and have tremendous success.

Maybe now those fans will see Lurie for what he really is. A good man and exceptional owner, who wanted nothing more than to win a championship for his adopted hometown.

"I'm just so happy for our fans," Lurie said. "It's been something that I live every single day for. When I bought the team, all I wanted was to bring a championship to the most deserving fans in sports."

Dan Snyder is reportedly taking over Washington's draft

USA Today Images

Dan Snyder is reportedly taking over Washington's draft

For months, we’ve been so focused on the Eagles’ plan going into the draft without even thinking about another huge factor that should help them: 

The rest of the division might be an inept mess at the front office level.  

Let’s check in on Washington: 

Oh, really?

So the Eagles have a power structure with a supportive owner in Jeffrey Lurie who has delegated power to a front office with Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas. Both seem to get along great with each other and with head coach Doug Pederson, creating a sound and cohesive environment. 

Meanwhile, the Eagles share a division with two overbearing and meddlesome owners in Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones, not to mention a general manager in New York’s Dave Gentleman, who doesn’t seem to know what the hell he’s doing. 

At least you have to give the Cowboys a little credit. Jones is meddlesome, but they’ve had plenty of good draft picks over the last few years. 

But the Giants have picks No. 6 and 17, while the Skins have No. 15 and might move on up into the top five. Neither of those fanbases should have a high level of confidence those front offices will nail those picks. 

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Eagles' Nelson Agholor reportedly viewed as trade option around NFL

Eagles' Nelson Agholor reportedly viewed as trade option around NFL

Nelson Agholor survived speculation he could be released by the Eagles in March, but that doesn’t mean the club won’t part with the wide receiver in a draft-day trade.

At least, that’s what NFL teams believe might happen. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, front offices around the league view Agholor as a player who could be “available” and wind up on the trade block — if the Eagles take a receiver in the draft.

Rapoport cites Agholor’s guaranteed salary of $9.4 million in 2019 as reason why the Eagles would consider a move.

The possibility for a trade makes sense from several vantage points, including money. The Eagles have quite a bit invested in the position already between Alshon Jeffery, with his $14.7 million cap hit for 2019, and DeSean Jackson, due $12 million over the next two seasons. Agholor is also in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

Acquiring another receiver in the draft, presumably early, creates a logjam for playing time as well, with 2017 draft picks Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson among the prospects still in the mix. Braxton Miller has also earned praise from the organization, while the Eagles recently signed AAF standout Charles Johnson as well.

It’s easy to connect the dots and see how the Eagles could be motivated to deal Agholor, which would create cap space and a roster spot, all while netting an asset before he reaches free agency.

Such a trade would not be without some downside, however.

Agholor only turns 26 in May and is coming off back-to-back 60-reception/700-yard receiving seasons with 12 total touchdowns. He’s a versatile weapon who can work the short and intermediate areas of the field and run with the ball in his hands, but is a threat to take the top off the defense, too.

Perhaps greater than Agholor’s on-field ability — the full potential of which he perhaps hasn’t reached — is his work ethic and presence in the locker room. A former first-round choice himself, this is somebody who has worked to shake the dreaded draft “bust” label, and in the process earned the utmost respect of the Eagles’ coaching staff and front office.

In February, Eagles coach Doug Pederson gushed about Agholor’s attitude while discussing how a mid-season trade for fellow wideout Golden Tate impacted his production.

“Nelson, oh man. Love this guy,” Pederson said. “He’s the first one in and the last one out. He’s a hard worker. Spends time before and after practice. Can’t say enough good things about Nelson Agholor and what he’s brought to the table and what he will continue to bring. I think last year, you look at the amount of guys we had, and then we added Golden (Tate) midseason.

“I’m not going to stand up here and say it didn’t affect Nelson. I think it did. The question was asked earlier about getting everybody the ball. In this league, it’s a challenge … And yet Nelson didn’t complain. He came to work every single day. He put in the time, he put in the work. He was a huge part of what we did … I’m excited, I love working with him.”

If the Eagles ultimately decide to move on from Agholor, it doesn’t sound like a decision that will be made lightly.

It’s impossible to say what the Eagles should do without knowing the return or how the draft will unfold. Agholor is even more valuable than his numbers suggest, though, so one would expect he’d fetch a nice price.

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