Carson Wentz ups confidence level for Week 1

Carson Wentz ups confidence level for Week 1

The goal hasn’t changed, but maybe the confidence level has. 

Throughout the offseason, during his rehab, Carson Wentz has maintained that his goal is to be ready for Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season. In mid-April, Wentz said he was happy with his rehab, but was very hesitant to talk about timetables aside from the main goal. 

Appearing on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Monday Morning, Wentz had a pretty positive tone when asked how confident he is about being ready for the Week 1 opener against the Atlanta Falcons. 

“I’m very confident,” Wentz said. “It’s a fluid process, so you never know how it’s going to go. But where we’re at, just trying to do what the doctors say and kind of just take it step by step. There’s the times where you feel great and you want to push it more, but you gotta just stay the course with what the doctors are saying. I feel really good and really confident for Week 1.” 

Wentz, 25, tore his left ACL and LCL on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles. Since the surgery to repair the injury, Wentz has been progressing through his rehab with the goal to be ready for that opener. That means Wentz would return to the football field nine months after the injury. 

When he spoke to reporters last month, Wentz said he didn’t think he needed to play in preseason games, so if he does play in Week 1, it’ll probably be his return to game action. 

While the rehab has been going well, Wentz has been very careful not to push it too much. He’s been working with trainers and doctors to make sure the rehab is slow and steady to avoid the risk of more injury. He said there are times when he feels good that he’s tempted to push more. 

During the last couple months, Wentz has also continued to say that he won’t change his style of play. He recognizes the importance of protecting his body and said he’ll learn how to do that more and more as his career progresses. 

“But overall as an aggressive player, I’m not going to change, so to speak,” he said. “I’m not going to let this slow me down going forward. I truly believe I’ll come back stronger than ever, especially having to miss the playoffs, miss the Super Bowl. As exciting as it was, there’s that little uneasiness inside of me to have to miss those games that I truly believe I’ll be back stronger than ever. I’m not too worried about it going forward.” 

Eagles get open roster spot for training camp after Tyreek Durwell's surprise retirement

Eagles get open roster spot for training camp after Tyreek Durwell's surprise retirement

Less than two weeks before the start of training camp, the Eagles suddenly find themselves with an open 90-man roster spot. 

On Monday, offensive tackle Tyreek Burwell announced his retirement from the NFL, via his official Instagram account. 

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Man it’s hard for me to sit here and put this into words but after careful consideration I’ve made the decision to retire from the NFL. This journey has been unbelievable! I’ve been blessed to have been able to play this game since I was 7 years old. Playing in the NFL has been a dream come true and this game has taught and given me so much. I want to thank GOD especially for without you none of this would be possible. I want to thank my fiancé and my family for being my number 1 supporters and my motivation. I also want to thank my friends, teammates, my agency (@mbk_sports ) and everyone that I’ve crossed paths with that has helped me along this journey. Thank you to the Chargers, Colts and Eagles for giving me the opportunity to continue to play the game that I love. I’m excited to see what the rest of this journey brings! ✌🏾 #retired #NFL #thankyouGOD

A post shared by Tyreek Burwell (@tyreekburwell) on

For some of you, this begs the question: Who is Tyreek Burwell? 

Well, the Eagles signed him to a futures deal in January and he was with the team this spring, when he wore No. 66. Burwell, 27, previously spent time with the Chargers and Colts and played in 15 NFL games dating back to 2015 when he went undrafted out of Cincinnati. 

Even with that experience, there was very little chance Burwell was going to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster in 2019. 

But Burwell’s decision before training camp will give someone else a chance to prove himself and possibly make the Eagles’ roster this spring. While most roster spots are spoken for, there’s alway a chance for players buried on the depth chart. Just think back to last year when receiver DeAndre Carter joined camp late and still made the Eagles’ 53-man roster. Even player No. 90 has a chance if they play the right position and show up during practices and in the meeting room. 

The Eagles won’t have very long to get a new player signed. The team is scheduled to report in a little over a week on July 24 and the first full practice will be on July 25. 

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Possible trouble brewing in Cowboys land with reports about RB Ezekiel Elliott possibly holding out

Possible trouble brewing in Cowboys land with reports about RB Ezekiel Elliott possibly holding out

Off the field issues aside, Ezekiel Elliott is clearly one of the top running backs in the NFL. The problem for the Cowboys is that he wants to get paid like it.

According to PFT’s Mike Florio, Elliott has “privately said that he will hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract.”

Since the Cowboys report to training camp on July 25, this could be a problem very soon.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! reporter Charles Robinson says Elliott hasn’t made a decision about a holdout yet.

But it’s clearly on Zeke’s mind. And he clearly wants a contract extension.

For a team that still has to pay Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper — both more pressing since they’ll be free agents after the 2019 season — this could be tricky. It’s hard to imagine the Cowboys giving Zeke a big contract before figuring out Dak’s new deal.

Elliott, 23, might have a problem staying out of trouble off the field, but he creates a whole lot of trouble for opposing teams on it. There’s really no denying his talent. In his first three NFL seasons, he has rushed for over 4,000 yards and has over 5,000 in all-purpose yards. Just 11 players in NFL history have more all-purpose yards in their first three seasons.

And because of that success and because he knows the Cowboys will rely heavily on him this season and next, Elliott is trying to maximize his value. He’s trying to get some coin in his pocket now before that value potentially plummets because usage or injury. That part makes sense.

The problem for Elliott is that the Cowboys probably don’t feel highly motivated to pay him just yet. With his fourth contract year in 2019 and his fifth-year option year in 2020, the Cowboys hold his rights for the next two seasons at cap numbers of $7.9 million and $9 million over the next two seasons. Based on his rookie contract AVY, Elliott is the 10th highest-paid running back in football. That’s a steal and based on recent history, no team should be rushing to pay top-tier money for a running back.

Elliott won’t become a free agent until after the 2020 season, so I definitely get why he’s trying to secure his financial future before the Boys run him into the ground over the next two seasons. He doesn’t seem to have a ton of leverage because of how far he is from free agency — he’s not going to sit for two years — but we saw how his suspension sort of wrecked the Cowboys’ entire 2017 season. Now, the Cowboys are coming off a division title and have serious championship hopes this year; if they’re going to be a great team, they’re going to need Zeke to do it.

The Eagles don’t play the Cowboys until Oct. 20 and it would be pretty shocking if Elliott isn’t playing by then. The Birds obviously don’t have a running back as good as Elliott, but they have cost controlled options and they already figured out how to pay their franchise quarterback.

The messier this gets for Zeke and the Cowboys, the better it is for the Eagles and the rest of the NFC East.

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