Eagles

Eagles Mailbag: Trading Nick Foles; will Carson Wentz be ready?

Eagles Mailbag: Trading Nick Foles; will Carson Wentz be ready?

Training camp starts next week!

After a shorter-than-usual offseason, the Eagles will try to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champs in over a decade. 

We answered half of your questions yesterday (see story). The rest today: 

To me, this has always been the most likely scenario if Nick Foles were to ever get traded for a few reasons. The first is that by training camp, the Eagles will have a much better idea of whether or not Carson Wentz is ready to play. They can decide to either keep the insurance policy or trade it away. And you’re right, desperation will raise Foles’ price. 

I remember asking Howie Roseman about this exact possibility back in March. 

“I’d say that’s a possibility of anyone on our team,” Roseman said. “We’re going to do what’s in the best interest of the Eagles. I don’t want to make this about just Nick, but anything that can make us better at any time in the year, we have to look at.”

I think it would have to be a first-rounder. The Eagles already didn’t trade Foles for an early second-rounder this year and if Sam Bradford was worth a first-rounder, the Super Bowl MVP damn-well better be. Now, it’s rare to have a Teddy Bridgewater-type situation arise, but if it does, the Eagles will be waiting by their phones.  

(And side note: I don’t think Foles’ restructured contract changes anything.) 

My gut is that he’s ready for Week 1, but I don’t know. On one hand, it’s a really serious injury. On the other, I was incredibly impressed by how much he was able to do in the spring and how well he did it. 

The one thing I know is this: It won’t be a decision. Either Wentz is cleared and he plays or he isn’t cleared and he doesn’t. There can’t be any thought to resting him if he’s cleared to play. These games are too important and they’re going to need him in every one. 

The Rams improved their roster and should be one of the favorites to win the NFC. The Rams already had a quarterback and some key pieces around him and then they won the offseason. 

The brought in Ndamukong Suh, Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Now, putting a bunch of great players together isn’t enough — remember the Dream Team — but it’s a good start. And the Rams certainly added a lot of talent. 

This is a fair question after Nigel Bradham’s suspension, but the good news for the Eagles is that Bradham’s suspension is just one game. The Eagles should have had more depth but Paul Worrilow went down for the season in the spring on the same day they cut Mychal Kendricks. That leaves the Eagles with a depth problem. 

I think they’ll try to get a better sense of what depth they have during the first week or two of training camp. Let’s see what they have in Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, Corey Nelson, Joe Walker and LaRoy Reynolds. But I’d imagine the Eagles at least have a couple veteran names in mind. Remember, they did add Dannell Ellerbe late last season and I wouldn’t be surprised if they still have a short list of guys who would make sense. 

Hot dogs. Please don’t ask me if they’re a sandwich. 

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Eagles add wide receiver Greg Ward, place Jordan Mailata on IR

Eagles add wide receiver Greg Ward, place Jordan Mailata on IR

With DeSean Jackson out for Sunday and Alshon Jeffery questionable, the Eagles on Saturday signed wide receiver Greg Ward from the practice squad to the active roster.

To make room on the 53-man roster, they placed second-year offensive tackle Jordan Mailata on injured reserve for a second consecutive year with a back injury.

This is Ward’s first time on a 53-man roster, but he’s been in camp with the Eagles the last three summers and gotten better each year.

Ward is mainly a slot receiver, so if he does get on the field on offense Nelson Agholor would be outside. 

Earlier this week, Ward spoke about how he prepares, regardless if he’s going to play or not.

“Honestly, I stay ready every week, because you never know,” he said. “Whenever my name is called, it’s called. If it’s not this week, if it’s not next week, I’m still going to prepare like I’m playing  every single week. It doesn’t really matter to me.”

Once the Eagles practiced Wednesday without adding an outside receiver it seemed like a lock that Ward would get the promotion, because he was able to practice all week and get the same reps whether he was on the 53 or the practice squad.

Without Ward, the Eagles had only three healthy receivers on the roster — Agholor, Mack Hollins and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

Ward, a quarterback at Houston, first joined the Eagles in 2017 and spent the season on the practice squad. He was in camp again in 2018, then spent this past winter in the Alliance of American Football, catching 22 passes for 214 yards in eight games. When the AAF folded, he rejoined the Eagles.

Ward caught six passes for 87 yards and a 38-yard touchdown from Clayton Thorson in the preseason.

He was released with the final roster cutdown and signed to the practice squad as soon as he cleared waivers.

As for Mailata, it was really the smartest move for the Eagles, since the only alternative was releasing a player they didn’t want to release.

Depending on how he’s doing and depending also on other injuries, he would be a candidate to rejoin the 53-man roster after eight weeks on IR.

Mailata, like Ward, has never played in an NFL game.

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Nick Foles, Andre Dillard, Josh Adams in Roob's random points

Nick Foles, Andre Dillard, Josh Adams in Roob's random points

Josh Adams vs. Miles Sanders, Nick Foles’ future, Philly Special, Rodney McLeod and lots more in a must-win edition of 10 random Eagles points! 

1. We’ve spoken so much about the Eagles’ slow starts, and at this point it sure seems like it’s in their heads. They come out early in games and it looks like they’re fighting themselves. They don’t look loose or fluid or relaxed until they’re down 10-0 or 14-0. Then all of a sudden they spring to life. They’re just not the same team in the first quarter and it has to be mental. How else do you explain an NFL-worst 41 first-quarter points and an NFL-high 12 scoreless first quarters since opening day last year? They’ve led after the first quarter just FOUR TIMES in their last 18 games. They’re 4-0 in those games, 6-8 when they haven’t. Since last year began, the Eagles are the seventh-highest scoring team in football after the first quarter. Whatever’s going on, Doug Pederson has to figure it out. 

2. Josh Adams had more than twice as many yards as Miles Sanders on his first 21 career rushing attempts (107 to 53).

3. Watching that Jaguars-Titans game the other night I couldn’t help wonder what’s next for Nick Foles. Maybe he gets healthy, gets his job back later in the season and Gardner Minshew II goes back to the bench. But in three games since Foles got hurt, Minshew has completed 74 percent of his passes with 5 TDs, 1 INT and a 110.6 passer rating. No rookie in history has put up those numbers in his first three starts. He’s 23, and he’s the Jaguars’ future. If he keeps playing like this, Foles may be looking for a new home once again.

4. The Eagles are going to finish playing at 4 p.m. Sunday and get on a plane for Wisconsin about 70 hours later. Thursday night games should not exist.

5. How are the Lions going to attack the Eagles Sunday? Here’s a hint: The Eagles are third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and 30th in passing yards allowed. They’re only the third team in NFL history to allow more than 650 passing yards and fewer than 90 rushing yards through two weeks. Hmmmmm.

6. I wonder how long a leash Doug Pederson will have with Isaac Seumalo. I like the way Seumalo played throughout camp, but Sunday was a catastrophe. Without Stefen Wisniewski waiting in the wings, the options are Big V, who worked at right guard throughout camp, undrafted rookie Nate Herbig and Matt Pryor. May be time to think about moving Jason Peters to left guard with Andre Dillard at left tackle. If you want your five best linemen on the field, that would be the way to go.

7. It’s impossible not to root for Raheem Mostert, who began his career in 2015 as an undrafted rookie running back with the Eagles. He’s since been released by the Eagles, Dolphins, Ravens, Browns, Jets and Bears, and once he finally got a chance to play, last year with the 49ers, he broke his arm. But he is a talent. He’s got 191 yards from scrimmage in the 49ers’ first two games this year – 11th-most by a running back in the NFL -- and his 6.7 career rushing average is highest in NFL history by a running back with at least 50 carries. In his first 30 career games Mostert had 50 yards from scrimmage on 15 touches. In the last seven, he has 460 yards on 58 touches. 

8. Out of all the guys who got hurt last year, missed time in training camp but still made it onto the field by opening day — Ronald Darby, Fletcher Cox, Rodney McLeod, Nigel Bradham and Brandon Brooks — McLeod is the only one who really looks like himself so far.

9. There is no way there are nine better plays in NFL history than the Philly Special. I’m not sure there are any.

10. The Eagles have gone a league-long 35 straight games without a 100-yard rusher:

• Their last one was LeGarrette Blount, who had 136 yards against the Chargers Week 4 of the 2017 season. 

• The 35-game streak is the Eagles’ longest without a 100-yard rusher since a 43-game stretch between Cyril Pinder’s 128 yards against the 49ers at Kezar Stadium on the final day of the 1969 season and Tom Sullivan’s 100-yard game against the Giants at Yankee Stadium in Week 2 of the 1973 season.

• They’ve gone 23 straight home games since Ryan Mathews had 109 yards against the Falcons in 2016.

• The only active player in the NFL who’s had a 100-yard game in an Eagles uniform is LeSean McCoy.

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