Eagles

Eagle Eye Podcast: Donovan being Donovan; it's draft week!

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Eagle Eye Podcast: Donovan being Donovan; it's draft week!

On this edition of Eagle Eye, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to Donovan McNabb's latest comments on Carson Wentz. It's surprising how unaware McNabb continues to be.

It's draft week! The guys do a mock draft roundup trying to predict what the Eagles will do with the first pick. Also, who were some of the best and worst draft picks in team history?

0:30 - It's draft week!
3:00 - Donovan McNabb speaks out again.
9:00 - How will McNabb be remembered in the future?
16:00 - Any chance he makes the Hall of Fame?
20:00 - First-round mock draft roundup.
23:00 - Roob unfollows someone on Twitter.
33:00 - Latest session with Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas.
41:00 - Underrated great team draft picks.
47:00 - Draft picks that didn't quite work out.

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Carson Wentz reportedly without limitations when Eagles begin OTAs tomorrow

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Carson Wentz reportedly without limitations when Eagles begin OTAs tomorrow

A bit of good news for the Eagles as they prepare to get back on the field as a team for OTAs on Tuesday. 

They’re going to have QB1. 

Just a week and a half ago, head coach Doug Pederson refused to say whether or not Wentz would be practicing at OTAs, but did say he was encouraged by the quarterback’s progress. 

It seemed like a good sign that Wentz was scheduled to speak to reporters on the opening day of OTAs. Turns out, that was right. We’ll hear from Wentz tomorrow. 

Back in mid-April, Wentz said his goal was to be ready for OTAs, but revealed that the stress fracture in his back was not yet full healed. If he’s going to be back on the field tomorrow, you can bet the Eagles wouldn’t let him out there unless that back was 100 percent. They certainly wouldn’t rush him. 

We first learned of Wentz’s stress fracture on Dec. 14, but it seems likely he had been dealing with it long before then. In mid-December, Pederson said the injury was expected to heal in three months, but it took a little longer than that. 

If Wentz is truly healthy and will be able to take most — or all — of the Eagles’ snaps this spring and summer, it’ll be a big boost for the franchise quarterback, who missed the first two games of 2018 as he recovered from a torn ACL and LCL. After the 2018 season was over, Wentz said he never got back all the explosion in his left knee. He knew it would take longer than one season. He’s never been able to determine if the knee injury led to the stress fracture in his back. 

The injury-prone label is something that bothers Wentz but he won’t be able to shed it until he proves he can stay on the field. He played a full season as a rookie in 2016, but missed the playoff runs in 2017 and 2018 as Nick Foles led the Eagles both times. Now, Foles is gone and it’s Wentz’s show. 

While Wentz is entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract, the Eagles have already exercised his fifth-year option in 2020 as a backup plan. There’s a very real chance Wentz and the Eagles work out a long-term deal this offseason. His being healthy could push that along. 

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Contract details show which undrafted rookies Eagles value the most

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Contract details show which undrafted rookies Eagles value the most

Which undrafted rookies do the Eagles value the most?

By taking a look at the specifics of their contracts, we can get a sense of what the Eagles think of this year's batch of undrafted free agents.

The Eagles gave out more than half a million dollars in guaranteed money to their undrafted rookie class, including $80,000 or more in guaranteed money to four of their undrafted players -- two offensive linemen, a receiver and a linebacker.

The post-draft free-for-all as teams try to sign the most promising undrafted players is wild, and the more guaranteed money teams are willing to pay the better chance they have to land the best guys.

You can tell which undrafted players a team values the most by the size of their bonus and guaranteed money. The more money they get, the better chance they have to make the team.

In theory.

The money paid to undrafted rookies does count against the rookie wage scale, so teams can't go nuts with undrafted rookie contracts. Plus, since most of these players aren't going to make the roster, teams aren't going to give them too much in signing bonus money because that money does count against the cap.

But who knows -- maybe by paying a little more you get a Quintin Mikell, a Jason Peters, a Rodney McLeod.

So it’s a tricky balancing act. You can only get the top guys by paying competitively. But it's risky to pay then too much.

That said, here’s a look at the contracts for the 11 rookie undrafted free agents the Eagles signed after the draft.

All 11 undrafted rookies get minimum base salaries on three-year contracts, with the Eagles controlling their rights for four years. For this year’s rookie class, minimum wage is $495,000 this year, $585,000 next year and $675,000 next year.

So these are technically three-year deals worth a minimum of $1.755 million, plus their signing bonuses.

In the event players get cut, those base salaries are irrelevant for cap purposes. All that matters is the guaranteed money.

All 11 of these rookies got a signing bonus — ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 — and 10 of the 11 got a portion of their 2019 base salary guaranteed. That money is theirs no matter what happens.

Those two components combine for the guaranteed portion of these contracts. The cap number is simply the signing bonus divided by three added to the base salary for each year.

Here’s a look at the guaranteed money in descending order for each of the 11 undrafted rookies the Eagles signed:

T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin
$12,500 SB, $75,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $87,500 guaranteed

Nate Herbig, OL, Stanford
$12,500 SB, $75,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $87,500 guaranteed

DeAndre Thompkins, WR, Penn State
$10,000 SB, $75,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $85,000 guaranteed

Sua Opeta, OL, Weber State
$25,000 SB, $55,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $80,000 guaranteed

Kevin Wilkins, DE, Rutgers
$10,000 SB, $35,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $45,000 guaranteed

Ryan Bates, OL, Penn State
$5,000 SB, $35,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $40,000 guaranteed

Joseph Alfieri, LB, Stanford
$7,500 SB, $30,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $37,500 guaranteed

Anthony Rush, DT, Alabama-Birmingham
$5,000 SB, $25,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $30,000 guaranteed

Jamalcolm Liggins, CB, Dickinson State
$1,500 SB, $25,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $26,500 guaranteed

Nico Evans, RB, Wyoming
$2,000 SB, $10,000 of 2019 base guaranteed, $12,000 guaranteed

Keegan Render, OL, Iowa
$5,000 SB, $5,000 guaranteed

Interesting to note that the Eagles have already released Evans, who received $12,000 in guaranteed money.

He signed on May 9 and was released on May 13 along with former AAF quarterback and pro bowler Luis Perez to make room for veterans Stefen Wisniewski and Cody Kessler.

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