Eagles

Carson Wentz is the big winner in DeSean Jackson trade

Carson Wentz is the big winner in DeSean Jackson trade

We all know how happy DeSean Jackson is to be coming back to Philadelphia. I’m thinking his phone battery probably died during his celebration that went on for hours after the news broke. He reposted congratulatatory messages, posted old photos of him in an Eagles jersey and shot video of his Madden stats after he clearly traded himself back to the Eagles in an attempt to catch up to real life. 

In that Madden game, as you might have guessed, DeSean showed off that he caught 12 passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns. But he also showed Carson Wentz’s stats: 404 yards and five touchdowns. Not bad. 

Which brings us to this point: The only person who was probably as happy as DeSean on Monday had to be Wentz. 

First, he found out he’s getting his Hall of Fame left tackle back. Then he found out he’s getting a deep threat, the likes of which he’s never had before. 

Yeah, pretty much, Carson. Just throw it deep. 

Because Jackson isn’t just a good deep threat; he’s one of the best deep threats in NFL history. 

And even at 32-years-old, he’s still gives the exact element the Eagles have been so desperately missing from their offense. 

Since the Eagles drafted DeSean in 2008, he leads the NFL with 40 catches of 50-plus yards. The next closest player in that span (Mike Wallace) has just 26. Even if you just counted DeSean’s 24 touchdown catches of 50-plus yards, he would still be second in the league. 

Now, of course, Jackson is 32 and there’s some risk involved. He’s a receiver whose whole career has been based around speed. (He has more than that, by the way; he’s one of the best deep-ball trackers in NFL history.) 

So how much does Jackson have left? It’s a valid question. 

But based on what he did in 2018, there’s reason to think he still has more to give. 

• In 12 games in 2018, Jackson caught 41 passes for 774 yards and four touchdowns.

• He led the NFL in average yards per reception (18.9) for the fourth time in his career. He also did it in 2010, 2014 and 2016, which means he has done it in all three stops. 

• Jackson caught three 50-yard passes in 2018. The Eagles had just seven. 

• Jackson caught five 40-yard passes in 2018. The Eagles had just nine. 

And according to the NFL’s Next Gen stats, Jackson was second in the NFL in targeted air yards (19.1) in the league 2018. The NFL explains TAY: “This stat indicates how far down the field they are being targeted on average.” The closest Eagles on the list were Alshon Jeffery (10.8) and Nelson Agholor (10.5). 

So while Agholor has become a deep threat of sorts, it’s not in the same way as Jackson. 

Really, the best pure outside deep threat Wentz has had since he’s been in Philadelphia was Torrey Smith. And even Smith wasn’t very good in 2017, catching just six passes of 20-plus yards. Wallace was supposed to be that deep threat in 2018, but he got injured early and missed most of the season. 

Remember DGB and Bryce Treggs? Well … now Wentz has DeSean Jackson. He’s come a long way. 

And even though some think Wentz didn’t get the ball down field as much as Nick Foles in 2018, that’s not true (see story). Wentz actually averaged more yards per attempt and now he’ll have someone to help him even more down the field. 

Eventually, Wentz is going to get that mega contract extension and he’s going to outlast Jackson in Philly by many years. But for at least the next few seasons, these two could become lethal together.

I’m guessing Wentz has a big ol’ smile on his face right now. And maybe he already traded for DeSean in Madden too. 

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10 Josh McCown stats you won't believe

10 Josh McCown stats you won't believe

Josh McCown has been around so long he's completed passes to over 100 receivers, played with a running back who's been in the Hall of Fame for nine years and once stood on the visiting sideline at ... the Vet?

The newest Eagle is one of the oldest quarterbacks in NFL history. 

McCown, 40 years and 44 days old, has now been with 11 NFL teams in a career spanning 18 years.

Here's a look at McCown by the Numbers!

1. If McCown throws a pass, he’ll be the oldest player in Eagles history to ever throw a pass in a regular-season game. Currently the oldest is Sam Baker, who was a kicker but was 39 years old when he threw one pass in the 1968 season — a 58-yard touchdown to safety John Mallory against Dallas at the Cotton Bowl in 1968. The oldest Eagles QB to throw a pass was Roman Gabriel, who was 37 when he threw three passes in 1977 — his final NFL season.

2. McCown is now the only active player from the 2002 draft. Julius Peppers played last year but retired after the season. The last Eagle from the 2002 draft who was active was Raheem Brock, their seventh-round pick that year. The Philly native never signed with the Eagles and wound up playing 10 NFL seasons.

3. The last quarterback from the 2002 draft who was active was David Carr, who retired after the 2012 season.

4. Only 18 NFL stadiums have been around longer than McCown. His career is older than Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the Linc, among others.

5. McCown has had a 300-yard game for six different teams, tied with Ryan Fitzpatrick for most in NFL history. McCown has thrown for 300 yards for the Cards, Raiders, Bears, Buccaneers, Browns and Jets.

6. McCown is the 7th-oldest player in NFL history to throw for 450 or more yards in a game. On Oct. 11, 2015, at the age of 36 years and 99 days, he threw for 457 yards for the Browns in a 33-30 win over the Ravens in Baltimore. The only older QBs to throw for 450 yards in NFL history are Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady  and Vinny Testaverde.

7. And this one from NBC Eagles producer Dave Zangaro: The youngest Eagles player, Nate Herbig, was 4 years old when McCown made his NFL debut for the Cards against the Chiefs on Dec. 1, 2002.

8.  McCown is the oldest active player in the NFL with a career rushing average of at least 4.5 yards per carry. Darren Sproles is second-oldest.

9. McCown has completed passes to 105 different receivers in his career, including Alshon Jeffery, Larry Fitzgerald, Emmit Smith, Will Tye, Johnnie Lee Higgins and Josh McCown.

10.
If McCown gets into a regular-season game with the Eagles, he’ll be the fourth 40-year-old in franchise history. The others are punter Sean Landeta, who was 43 when he finished his career with the Eagles in 2005; punter Lee Johnson, who was 41 in 2002; and Baker, who was 40 in 1969.

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Eagles are signing veteran Josh McCown out of retirement as insurance

Eagles are signing veteran Josh McCown out of retirement as insurance

Updated: 5:08 p.m.

The Eagles are basically taking out a new insurance policy. 

With injuries at the QB position, the Eagles have signed veteran Josh McCown out of retirement. 

According to a league source, McCown’s deal includes $2 million fully guaranteed and could be worth up to $5.4 million, as ESPN first reported. The Eagles paid him enough to lure him out of retirement. 

To make room for McCown, the Eagles released WR Braxton Miller.

McCown announced his retirement in June, but his stay away from the NFL was short-lived. 

With Nate Sudfeld set to miss the beginning of the season with a fractured wrist and after Cody Kessler suffered a concussion early in Thursday night’s preseason game, the Eagles needed to sign another quarterback to back up Carson Wentz. This signing is bad news for Kessler, who might have been able to secure a roster spot with a solid preseason. It might also change the outlook for rookie fifth-round pick Clayton Thorson, who might not be on the roster at the start of the season. 

Over the last few seasons, the Eagles have been committed to putting resources into the quarterback position. That hasn’t changed. Sudfeld will still return this season and the Eagles are still high on him, but they also added a quality veteran who will at the very least hold down the backup position until Sudfeld returns and then possibly after. 

As much as the Eagles like Sudfeld, he has 25 career passing attempts. McCown has 76 career starts. Sudfeld has upside, but McCown is a proven commodity in the NFL. 

McCown is expected to be at practice on Sunday at the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles begin preparations to face the Ravens for two practice days and in Thursday’s preseason game. 

After entering the NFL in 2002, McCown has started 76 career games. The Eagles will be his 11th NFL team and this will be his 17th NFL season. And at 40, McCown will be the Eagles’ oldest player, taking that title from Jason Peters. He’ll also be the fifth-oldest player in the league in the 2019 season. 

McCown last played for the Jets in 2017-18. In his long career, McCown has completed 60.2 percent of his passes with 98 touchdowns and 82 interceptions and a passer rating of 79.7. 

The Eagles are hoping to never see McCown play this season. If Wentz stays healthy, they’ll never have to use this new insurance policy. But since Nate Sudfeld will be out until possibly October with a fractured left wrist, the Eagles will at least go into the season with a competent backup. 

Miller, 26, joined the Eagles’ practice squad last September and remained there for the rest of the season, signing a futures deal after the season was over. Miller was a third-round pick back in 2016, but the Texans cut him after just two seasons. Still, it had to be a little disappointing for the Eagles to not get more out of him this spring and summer. Miller was clearly behind Mack Hollins, Greg Ward, Marken Michel and Charles Johnson on the depth chart, so while he’s a recognizable name, his release shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

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