Eagles

A clunker for Clayton Thorson, strong night for D-line in report card for Eagles' preseason finale

A clunker for Clayton Thorson, strong night for D-line in report card for Eagles' preseason finale

The good news is the Eagles’ defense held the Jets to six points in the fourth and final exhibition game of 2019 on Thursday night. The better news is the preseason has concluded.

The bad news is the Eagles’ offense scored zero points. Didn’t even get a field goal try.

The overwhelming majority of these guys won’t be on the Eagles’ roster come Saturday, so we can probably cut them a little bit of slack. That being said, we’ve got a report card to fill out, and at least in one phase, it wasn’t pretty.

Quarterback

Clayton Thorson: 12/26, 84 YDS, INT

Early on, it didn’t look like Thorson was getting much help, which is sort of the nature of these preseason finales. Yet, as the rookie’s confidence waned, so too did his performance. Thorson took some hits and threw to some blanketed receivers. He also missed a bunch of opens targets and made a poor decision with the pick. Looking like the practice squad is in his future.

Grade: D

Running backs

Wendell Smallwood: 7 ATT, 23 YDS

It probably doesn’t matter, but Smallwood’s fumble killed the Eagles’ only decent drive — though he did log the backfield’s only gain over three yards. Not much running room in general, but too much dancing from the Josh Adams and Boston Scotts of the world.

Grade: D

Wide receivers and tight ends

Marken Michel: 2 REC, 30 YDS

Were the receivers not open or was the quarterback not able to get them the ball? Little of column A, little of column B. The highlights were a 15-yard reverse by Greg Ward and a diving, one-handed catch by tight end Alex Ellis, which gained five yards on 3rd-and-forever.

Grade: C-

Offensive line

Not great, but certainly not the Eagles’ biggest problem. For what it’s worth, the unit only surrendered five quarterback hits and two sacks, even if Thorson did not have to move in the pocket on occasion. Then again, there’s a reason backs carries 15 times for 22 yards.

Grade: C-

Defensive line

Kevin Wilkins: 7 TKL, 4 TFL

Can’t say enough about Daeshon Hall’s preseason, and he led the way again with three quarterback hits, a sack and a forced fumble. Plenty of strong performances here, though — especially Wilkins, now no longer just the guy who carried the starting D-linemen’s pads after practices.

Grade: A

Linebackers

Alex Singleton: 12 TKL, QBH

Singleton and T.J. Edwards combined for 22 tackles and were generally solid or better, even if they made few splash plays between them. Chris Worley also showed nice awareness on an interception — granted, it was more of a poor throw/decision/busted play than anything.

Grade: B+

Defensive backs

Josh Hawkins: 6 TKL, INT

The Eagles’ secondary had a rough preseason, particularly its young cornerbacks, so it was nice to see Hawkins get a pick and make some nice tackles. Jets quarterbacks still completed 76.3 percent of their passes for 6.6 yards per attempt, which seems high for a preseason finale.

Grade: C+

Special teams

Alex Singleton: 2 TKL

Coverage was excellent all around, but Singleton stood out, perhaps making his case for a roster spot. Cameron Johnston’s job was never in question, but dropping five of six punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line is impressive nonetheless.

Grade: A-

Coaching

No Carson Wentz. No starters at all. Nothing to talk about.

Grade: N/A



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Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton is keeping everyone smiling with new video series

Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton is keeping everyone smiling with new video series

If you’re avid on Eagles social media, chances are you’ve come across their biggest Eagles fan. That fan is none other than Giovanni Hamilton. 

Giovanni has been stealing hearts of Eagles fans for quite some time with his reaction videos to the team combined with an abundance of positivity, but he has definitely stepped up his game during the offseason. 

Recently, he started a video series breaking down some of his favorite fun facts that are located within the team media guide given out at the start of the season. He was gifted it and wanted to share his new knowledge with the rest of his followers. 

He has already covered some of his favorite players, but don’t fret. If you missed them, they’re below! 

The first video that kicked off his fun series was about his hero, Carson Wentz. There was too much information to pack into a quick post on Twitter, so he had to upload the whole thing to YouTube. What a way to start things off! 

Jalen Mills has always been a favorite for Giovanni. Ever notice how his hair was green in the past? He was inspired by Mills to dye it so he can match the Eagles’ safety. 

Earlier this week, he decided to focus on Zach Ertz in what was probably his most successful video yet. 

Success meaning the tight end himself saw and shared the video with his own message to Giovanni. 

Next, he completed a fun facts video on Jason Kelce. Not only did we learn Kelce’s love for another sport but his passion for Christmas music as well. 

Kelce, if you’re seeing this — make sure to let Giovanni know what your favorite Christmas song is … it’s safe to say we’re all curious about it now. 

Most recently, he went on to talk about the only Dallas that Philadelphia fans like — that’s right, Dallas, Goedert. 

“He just wants to help make this strange time we’re in better for people and hopes to put a smile on their face,” said Shannon, Giovanni’s mom.

The positivity of this series has been doing just that — adding smiles to every Eagles fan who has come across these wonderful videos. 

If you want to stay up to date with Giovanni’s series, you can follow him here

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2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles secure an elite receiver

Eagles plan at safety in 2020 is even cheaper than we first thought

Eagles plan at safety in 2020 is even cheaper than we first thought

We finally have the details on Rodney McLeod’s two-year contract with the Eagles and it’s much less lucrative than we were first led to believe. 

Initially reported as a $12 million deal, McLeod’s two-year deal is worth just $8.65 million, according to a league source. But it also includes $7.8 million in guaranteed money. So you can count on McLeod being with the Eagles through the 2021 season. 

Now that we have full contract details for McLeod, Jalen Mills and Will Parks, we can see that the Eagles are going to have the entire safety position for a very reasonable price in 2020. Will the experiment work? We’ll find out later this year. 

But it is a cost-effective plan. In 2020, all three combine for a cap hit of $7,134,375 million. To put that into perspective, had the Eagles picked up Malcolm Jenkins’ option (if he were willing to play on it), Jenkins would have counted as a $10.887 million cap hit by himself in 2020. 

(By the way, Jenkins this offseason got a four-year deal with the Saints that might turn into a two-year deal.)

According to Spotrac, the Eagles used over $17 million in cap space at safety in 2019, the second-highest total in the league. They will be much lower on that list in 2020. 

Let’s take a look at each individual Eagles deal: 

Rodney McLeod

The Eagles used one of their favorite tricks with the McLeod deal and it’s one they already used earlier this offseason when they signed Javon Hargrave.

Technically, McLeod’s deal is for five years, but the final three years will void automatically (and are included only) for salary cap purposes. The shortest version of this is that the Eagles can spread out the salary cap hit from his $3 million signing bonus over five years instead of two, saving cap space each season. 

McLeod has base salaries of $1.05 million and $3.75 million over the next two seasons. 

Here are McLeod’s cap hits over the next three seasons: 

2020: $1.65 million 
2021: $5.2 million 
2022: $1.8 million 

Remember, in 2022, he won’t be on the team anymore (at least not with this contract) so that money is just left over dead cap money (prorated salary bonus money) the team wanted to push off its books for the next two seasons. 

So in total, McLeod’s two-year deal is worth $8.65 million with $7.8 million guaranteed. But he also has the chance to earn up to $1.7 million in incentives. 

Jalen Mills 

Mills is back with the Eagles in a new hybrid safety/corner position on a one-year deal worth $4 million, but he has the potential to earn another $1 million in incentives. So this could end up being worth a total of $5 million. 

Mills has a base salary of $2 million and got a signing bonus of $2 million, so both count against the cap this year:

2020: $4 million 

His cap hit in 2020 is the highest of the three safeties, but McLeod has a higher one coming in 2021. 

Mills’ deal guaranteed just $2 million and he got that in the form of his signing bonus. His base salary this season isn’t guaranteed, so the Eagles could theoretically cut him to save $2 million but they didn’t sign him to cut him. 

Will Parks 

The newcomer of the group, Parks signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Eagles. He has a $1M fully guaranteed base salary, a $375K signing bonus and $125K in per-game roster bonuses. 

It’s a little tricker to figure out Parks’ salary cap figure for 2020 so stick with me here. For per-game roster bonus money, the cap figure is calculated based on the amount of games Parks played last season, which was 14. So the full $125K would could toward the cap if he played a full season in 2019 — but because he didn’t, we count just $109,375. This doesn’t mean Parks earns any less money; it’s just for cap purposes. 

So we add the base salary, signing bonus money and per-game roster bonus cap hit for a grand total of … 

2020: $1,484,375

It’s a very team-friendly deal for Parks, who is coming off his rookie contract and has some potential. We know McLeod will be with the Eagles in 2021 and it seems like Mills and Parks will get a chance to earn a contract to join him. 

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