Eagles

Eagles Mailbag: Top needs, Golden Tate, missing Super Bowl team

Eagles Mailbag: Top needs, Golden Tate, missing Super Bowl team

We’ve made it to the end of the week and the bottom of the mailbag barrel. 

On Wednesday, we answered your questions about Carson Wentz/Nick Foles, Sidney Jones and the defensive line (see story)

On Thursday, we answered your questions about Jordan Mailata, Brandon Graham and running backs (see story)

And today, we’ll finish out the mailbags. Thanks for all your great questions. If I didn’t get to yours, we’ll do more mailbags throughout the offseason. 

Earlier this offseason, I listed my top five Eagles needs for this offseason and didn’t even list cornerback. Here they are:

DE: If Brandon Graham is gone, the Eagles need to replace him. But even if he’s back, the Eagles need to get younger at that spot. This is a draft full of defensive line talent. 

OT: Even if Jason Peters is back, he’s 37 and the Eagles need to find his replacement. Maybe it’s Jordan Mailata, but it’s too early to know that for sure. 

DT: The spot next to Fletcher Cox in 2018 was a mess. Tim Jernigan won’t be back without a restructure, so maybe they simply draft someone to line up next to Cox. 

RB: This position was kind of a mess thanks to injuries in 2018. They need a feature back and bringing back Jay Ajayi isn’t enough for me. 

WR: I’ll admit receiver isn’t high on the list, but they need a field stretcher. That was supposed to be Mike Wallace in 2018. 

https://twitter.com/lyfe_muzik/status/1087729428963184643

It’s not completely impossible, but I don’t think it would be wise for a few reasons. The most obvious one is the Eagles never truly realized how to utilize Tate this past season because he and Agholor play the same position. If they had figured out how to make it work, maybe. But the other part of this is financial. Alshon Jeffery’s cap hit for 2019 is over $14 million. If Agholor plays this upcoming season on his fifth-year option, he’s another $9-plus million. Can the Eagles really justify paying Tate what it would take to keep him and paying between $27-30 million for three players at one position? I don’t see it. 

I agree with you that McLeod’s cap hit is too high for this upcoming season, especially as he comes off an ACL tear. His hit is over $9.3 million and the Eagles could save over $5 million cap space by cutting him. I think it would be beneficial for both sides to find some common ground and work on a cheaper deal. It would keep McLeod on a team to prove he’s truly healthy and it would help the Eagles out from a cap standpoint. 

The Birds missed him on the field in 2018, but the emergence of Avonte Maddox as a possible replacement might make him more expendable. Although, I think the Eagles ought to try to keep McLeod first. 

I like this question; good job. I’ll go with Beau Allen and Patrick Robinson and that’s not to say I fault the Eagles for letting either of them go. 

But the DT spot next to Fletcher Cox gave the Eagles nothing for most of the year and they really could have used Allen. Destiny Vaeao began the season as the starter and he’s gone. Haloti Ngata came on late, but was injured throughout the year and wasn’t great. Treyvon Hester is a playoff special teams hero but didn’t do much defensively. If the Eagles had Allen, they would have just plugged him into that DT spot and they wouldn’t have missed Tim Jernigan nearly as much. 

The other one I’ll name is Patrick Robinson. I know P-Rob got hurt in New Orleans, but we don’t know if that would’ve happened here. What we do know was that until the Eagles got Cre’Von LeBlanc in there, that nickel corner spot was a mess. Remember Dexter McDougle? Yeah, that really happened this year.

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Eagles promote Alex Singleton from practice squad to 53-man roster

Eagles promote Alex Singleton from practice squad to 53-man roster

Alex Singleton decided to sign with the Eagles’ practice squad instead of returning to the CFL because he knew it would give him a better chance to achieve his main goal.

Playing in the NFL.

Singleton is one huge step closer to that goal.

Singleton, a two-time CFL All-Star, signed to the Eagles’ 53-man roster Wednesday evening, taking the roster spot left open when the team released starter Zach Brown.

After a terrific training camp and preseason, the 25-year-old Singleton was released as part of the Eagles’ final roster cut-down to 53 on Aug. 30.

He signed to the Eagles’ practice squad two days later, earning $8,000 per week. The promotion to the 53 increases his weekly salary to $29,264 per week.

Earlier in the day, head coach Doug Pederson was vague about why the team released Brown, but he did say it would allow the team to “get some young guys on the roster, give T.J. Edwards an opportunity, Duke Riley gets an opportunity. We’ll keep working those guys in.”

Brown is an undrafted rookie from Wisconsin. Riley came in the Johnathan Cyprien trade. Singleton has been with the team since signing a reserve/future contract on Jan. 8.

With Brown gone and Nigel Bradham looking like he will miss the Cowboys game with an ankle injury, the Eagles won’t have a linebacker older than 25 on the field Sunday night.

Singleton, Riley and Kamu Grugier-Hill are 25, Nate Gerry is 24 and Edwards is 23.

Singleton has never played in an NFL game. He spent time in camp with the Seahawks, Patriots and Vikings in 2015 before heading to Canada and playing for the Calgary Stampeders from 2016 through 2018. 

The Eagles filled Singleton’s spot on the practice squad by adding center Keegan Render, who was with the Eagles this offseason.

Render signed on May 9 and was released on Aug. 30. Render, 6-4, 305 pounds, is an undrafted rookie out of Iowa.

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After ‘shocker’ of a cut, Eagles LB group is a reminder of volatility in the NFL

After ‘shocker’ of a cut, Eagles LB group is a reminder of volatility in the NFL

At one point on Tuesday afternoon, Nigel Bradham limped past an empty locker stall where Zach Brown’s nameplate had already been replaced by a generic one that says “Philadelphia Eagles.” 

How’s that for a reminder of how quickly things can change in the NFL? 

“It’s a crazy league,” Kamu Grugier-Hill said. “You know how the business is. Guys come in and out, injuries happen. It’s our job to always be ready and answer the bell.”

Bradham is “day to day” with an ankle injury suffered against the Vikings, while Brown was released on Monday, just a day after he played 58 snaps. 

In one day, Brown went from being a starter to out of a job. 

A few of his now former teammates on Wednesday said that they were surprised by Brown’s release, but at the same time, understand the volatility of life in the NFL. 

“It’s a shocker,” said Nate Gerry, who became good friends with Brown. “But, like I said, s— happens.” 

Grugier-Hill said he found out about Brown like everyone else, when the news hit the internet. 

Sometimes, that’s just life in the NFL. 

“I think at all times, I have learned this is how the business works,” T.J. Edwards said. “You never know what’s going to happen and you have to be prepared at all times to fill a role or do whatever you have to do to show your worth.”

Like Jim Schwartz the day before, head coach Doug Pederson didn’t want to delve into the specifics of why the Eagles cut a starting linebacker six weeks into the season, but did agree with Schwartz that the Eagles need more production from their linebacker group. 

While Pederson said Brown’s comments about Kirk Cousins didn’t have anything to do with his release, Pederson was less clear when asked if the move was strictly based on on-field reasons. 

“Obviously we're based on performance,” Pederson said. “I'm not going to get into a lot of the whys as to why we did it, but we need more production there and so we made a change.”

Without Brown and possibly without Bradham this weekend, the Eagles’ linebacker group could have a much different look when it takes the field against the Cowboys on Sunday night. The good news is that Grugier-Hill says he’s starting to feel like himself after recovering from an MCL sprain in the summer. 

Grugier-Hill along with Gerry and rookie Edwards will likely get most of the playing time. Duke Riley is in the mix as well and Alex Singleton has been called up from the practice squad

But the Eagles could very well be in a situation this Sunday where the two linebackers who have played the most for them this season aren’t on the field. 

“It’s part of the business. People come, people go,” Gerry said. “The week’s gonna go on, no one’s gonna feel sorry for you. You’re just gonna have to pick up where you left off and you have to get better each week.” 

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