Eagles

DeSean Jackson on Julio Jones: 'Can I get more big plays than he can?'

DeSean Jackson on Julio Jones: 'Can I get more big plays than he can?'

There’s not many people who can do what DeSean Jackson does.

One of them will be on the same field this weekend.

DeSean Jackson has had five 1,000-yard seasons, Julio Jones has had six. DeSean has over 10,000 yards. Julio has a few hundred more. DeSean has had 37 100-yard games. Julio has had 49.  

Two of the NFL’s most dynamic wide receivers will be on display Sunday night in prime-time when the Eagles face the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Obviously, Julio is one of the best in the league, we all know that,” Jackson said. “He’s done some miraculous things. The numbers speak for themselves. Any time you play against another team that has a big-time receiver (you ask), ‘Can I get more big plays than he can? Or can Alshon or Nelly, someone on our side.’

In his first game in an Eagles uniform since Chip Kelly banished him after the 2013 season, Jackson caught two long touchdown passes from Carson Wentz and finished 8-for-154 in the Eagles’ win over the Redskins.

Jones, who’s played three fewer seasons than Jackson, was just 6-for-31 in the Falcons’ opening-day loss to the Vikings in Minneapolis.

We know what we’re going up against and I think our defense knows as well, and I think the Atlanta defense knows who they’re going up against too,” Jackson said. “We feel confident in ourselves.

It was quite a return to Philly for Jackson, who became the third-oldest player in NFL history – and the oldest in 50 years -- with two 50-yard TD catches in the same game.

At 32, Jackson became the oldest Eagle with a 150-yard game since 34-year-old Pete Retzlaff had 204 yards against the Redskins in 1965.

He’s literally as fast as ever.

How does he do it?

I remember when I was a rookie, I worked out with Jerry Rice, and he always told me, ‘Take less hits, you’ll play a longer time,’ so I just try to take the (fewest) hits as possible,” Jackson said. “Just the hard work, dedication. Just taking care of my body. (Understanding) the tribulations throughout the season, throughout the offseason. Just staying in shape. Just doing everything I need to do to continue to stay at a high level.

Jackson keeps moving up all the all-time lists, and if he can put together a couple healthy seasons with Wentz the numbers they can put up together are kind of scary.

Say whatever you want about D-Jack, he knows how to take care of himself, he takes offseason conditioning very seriously and because of it he’s been able to play longer than most wide receivers.

Unless Pierre Garçon makes a comeback, Jackson has outlasted every other receiver who entered the league in 2008 or earlier with the exception of ageless Larry Fitzgerald.

“Just preparing mentally,” he said. “Just being one of those guys who’s been in the league a long time and just knowing what it’s going to take to play at a high level and just get the best out of your opportunity every time you get one. You get so few opportunities in this game to make plays so every time you set foot on that field make the most of that opportunity.”

This won’t be Jackson’s first time playing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened last year, replacing the Georgia Dome.

Jackson had 4-for-77 from Jameis Winston playing for Tampa last October in a 34-29 loss to the Falcons.

Definitely gets very loud in there,” he said. “One of the cooler stadiums I’ve played in, being indoors, being in Atlanta, Falcons a good team. I know they’re cranked up. They obviously lost on the road last week, but it’s their first home game, so we know a lot will be riding on this game.

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DeMarco Murray bidding against Josh Harris for the Mets? It could happen

DeMarco Murray bidding against Josh Harris for the Mets? It could happen

It’s nice to see that some of that $9 million the Eagles paid DeMarco Murray is going to good use.

Murray, a free agent disaster after the Eagles signed him to a five-year, $40 million contract in March 2015, emerged Monday as part of a consortium led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez that is trying to buy the Mets, according to the New York Post.

That’s not the only Philly connection to the impending Mets sale. Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the 76ers and Devils, have also bid about $1.7 billion for the ballclub, according to the Post.

Which raises the bizarre possibility that a group led by the owner of the 76ers could wind up bidding a group including a former Eagles running back for ownership of one of the Phillies’ biggest rivals.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, younger brother of Jason; former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher; and long-time Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas are also among the so-called J-Rod investment group trying to buy the team from the Wilpon family.

Murray earned just over $9 million for his one year with the Eagles — $1 million in base salary, a $5 million signing bonus and a $3 million roster bonus, along with $16,609 in various incentives.

According to Spotrac, Murray earned a total of $25,715,703 in his seven-year career with the Cowboys, Eagles and Titans that ended in 2017, with only $3.6 million of that coming from the Cowboys and more than $13 million from two years with the Titans.

Thomas earned $122.85 million in his 11-year career that ended in 2017, Urlacher earned $80.18 million in 12 seasons before retiring in 2012 and Kelce has already earned $40.11 million in four seasons.

After leading the NFL in rushing and making first-team all-pro in 2014, Murray had a miserable season in Philadelphia, averaging 3.6 yards per carry and rushing for only 702 yards — more than 1,100 fewer than the year before.

He had one carry longer than 30 yards all year, and that was a 54-yarder against the Giants on the final day of the season after Chip Kelly had been fired and replaced by interim coach Pat Shurmur.

Soon after being restored to general manager, Howie Roseman traded Murray and a 4th-round pick to the Titans for a higher 4th-round pick that wound up going to the Browns as part of the deal that gave the Eagles the second pick in the 2016 draft.

Murray spent 2019 as running backs coach at Arizona and was hired in January as running backs coach at Oklahoma, his alma mater.

The Wilpon family has been losing somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million per year. The Mets have only had three winning seasons since 2009 and haven’t won a playoff series since 2015.

FoxBusiness’s Charles Gasparino reported that the top bid of $2 billion came from investor Steve Cohen.

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NFL agents vote Eagles' Howie Roseman smartest general manager in the league

NFL agents vote Eagles' Howie Roseman smartest general manager in the league

NFL agents carry a sneaky amount of power across the league, but they often choose to avoid talking publicly about their day-to-day work.

So when The Athletic polled 30 agents from across the league this week on a whole host of topics, from COVID-19 to Cam Newton, I tuned in - and one question in particular caught my eyes:

"14. Among general managers or front-office leaders, who is the smartest?"

General managers juggle plenty of things throughout the year, one being a spiderweb of relationships with a number of player agents. (A failure to get on the same page with agents was one of the main critiques of former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie!) So if agents think highly of a certain guy, it's obviously a good sign for the whole organization.

So the answers should have Eagles fans feeling pretty good.

Howie Roseman finished in the No. 1 spot, receiving five votes. He landed one vote ahead of New England's Bill Belichick, and two votes ahead of Colts general manager Chris Ballard.

Here are a couple specific quotes about Roseman's acumen, from the agents themselves:

"He knows how to put teams together. And he's working with a limited amount in terms of the cap. He knows how to maneuver and get players that he feels like will fit the scheme even if he doesn’t have to pay them top dollar. He's very smart in terms of chess moves. I'm not a huge fan. I will say that, as well. But he knows what he's doing in terms of putting things together."

"If I was gonna go into the lab and build a GM, it's a guy that can deal with the media, a guy that knows personnel and a guy that knows money. Those are the three things. Howie Roseman is a guy who I think is very good with the media from what I can tell. I know that he knows the money game very well. And I've known him for 15-18 years and he's worked incredibly hard to learn football and how to evaluate to the point now where he's really good. I give him a lot of credit that he can handle all three parts of the job."

That's the kind of evaluation you pin to the fridge. Good stuff.

This echoes what we heard earlier this year from Browns general manager Andrew Berry, a former Eagles front office member, who had nothing but amazing things to say about Roseman:

"With Howie, I've said it before: I think he's the best general manager, currently, in the sport. Very well-rounded skillset. I've taken a lot from in him, in terms of my approach to free agency, trades, general aggression with roster building, contract management, and then just overall people management and philosophy."

Roseman brought Philadelphia its first Super Bowl, kept Carson Wentz around on a team-friendly deal, and generally keeps the Eagles in good standing with the salary cap.

Keep doing what you do, Howie.

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