Eagles

Eagles mailbag — Who are 5 best players from Super Bowl team?

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Eagles mailbag — Who are 5 best players from Super Bowl team?

We got to the first few of your questions on Monday (see story), but there are still plenty more to go. 

Let's not waste anymore time: 

The Eagles could certainly stand to pick up an offensive lineman or two during this year's draft, but they're in a great position this year. They have most of their starters coming back this season. And coming off a Super Bowl title, they are in a position in which they really can draft best player available. That's obviously something most teams say every year, but coming off a championship, it's a lot easier to do. Now, they're obviously not going to draft a quarterback and it would be a little surprising if they went with a corner. But there are a bunch of positions they can go after — O-line, defensive tackle, linebacker, receiver. There are a lot of ways they can go. 

This isn't easy to narrow it down to just five, but here's what I came up with: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Fletcher Cox, Malcolm Jenkins and Zach Ertz. 

I had to include both quarterbacks. Wentz was on his way to being the NFL MVP and then Foles went on to win Super Bowl MVP. They don't hoist the Lombardi Trophy without both of them. From there it got a little tougher. I still think Cox is the best non-QB on the team and he raised his level in the playoffs. Jenkins is overlooked way too much. He's so important to the team. I gave Ertz the nod over Alshon Jeffery because Ertz was more consistent and he did score the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. He's also higher on the list of the best tight ends in the league than Jeffery is on the list of best receivers. 

The biggest omissions were Brandon Graham, Jeffery and the offensive linemen. It's hard to pick one of the guys on the line, but you could make an argument for any of the three guys on the right side. 

I actually agree that DL, specifically DT, is an underrated need for the Eagles, especially if Beau Allen leaves in free agency and if Vinny Curry doesn't come back. The problem with signing guys in free agency is that overpaying is the norm and the Eagles already have a ton of money invested in their defensive line. Including Curry, the Eagles have $47.2 million tied up in cap space with just their top six defensive linemen. It's hard to see adding to that number. 

I think they ought to try really hard to bring him back. What Nigel Bradham did last season was huge for the Eagles and it's getting overlooked too much. His filling in as the defensive signal caller once Jordan Hicks went down was huge. He's also super comfortable in Jim Schwartz's system. Bradham is coming off his best season as a pro, so he might be in demand, but I agree that the Eagles really need to bring him back. 

Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity

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Eagles

Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity

Jeff Lurie has turned into Willy Wonka for a good cause. 

The Eagles on Wednesday announced that they’re going to raffle off a Super Bowl ring and all the proceeds will go to the Eagles Autism Challenge, Inc. 

This is pretty cool. 

Click here to donate and enter.  

The coolest part is that the ring the Eagles will give away on Dec. 3 before Monday Night Football against Washington at the Linc, is the real deal ring. The one the players got, with all 219 diamonds and 17 green sapphires. And it'll be personalized. 

The contest is underway and runs through Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m. Fans can enter the contest by making a donation to the Eagles Autism Challenge, starting at $10 for 100 entries. The fan who wins will also get 50-yard line seats to that Dec. 3 game. 

There are also other incentives for fans who submit 2,500 entries or more. 

The Eagles have already done incredible work through their autism challenge, raising over $2.5 million at the inaugural event in May. This is a pretty cool way to raise even more money for a good cause.

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On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

Generally speaking, running backs either begin to decline or hit a wall around the time they turn 30. 

That hasn’t happened to Darren Sproles. 

In fact, today is Sproles’ birthday. He turns 35 and after rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL and a broken forearm, he still hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. That, in itself, is pretty incredible. 

Since it’s Sproles’ birthday, it seems like a good time to look into the elite company he can join this year as a productive 35-plus-year-old in the NFL. 

Sproles will enter the 2018 season with 19,155 all-purpose yards. He’s already eighth in NFL history and has a chance to surpass quite a few names on this list with a productive season. There are just seven players in front of him and five of them are already Hall of Famers: 

Jerry Rice: 23,546
Brian Mitchell: 23,330
Walter Payton: 21,803
Emmit Smith: 21,564
Tim Brown: 19,682
Marshall Faulk: 19,190
Steve Smith Jr.: 19,180

It’s impossible to know just how productive Sproles will be in 2018, especially as he’s coming off a significant knee injury. Last year, he had only two healthy games and he had just 88 all-purpose yards in them, putting him on pace for 704. That would have been significantly lower than his three previous seasons with the Eagles. 

In those three previous seasons, we saw a very slight decline from 1,237 in 2014 to 1,171 in 2015 to 1,108 in 2016. 

But if Sproles can return to form and is able to eclipse 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2018, he’d become just the eighth running back in NFL history to do it at age 35 or older. A search of Pro Football Reference shows the top mark ever for a running back over 35 (must be 35 or older on Dec. 31 of that year) was Herschel Walker’s season in 1997 (1,336). 

If Sproles eclipses that 1,000-yard mark, he’d also become just the second Eagles player (any position) to do it at 35 or older. The only other Eagle to do it was Irving Fryar, who had 1,316 back in 1997 too. 

He’d also move past Smith, Faulk and Brown into fifth all-time in all-purpose yards, becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to surpass the 20,000-yard mark. 

Even in 2016, when he had a down year as a punt returner, Sproles still had 224 punt return yards. If he surpasses the 200-yard mark this season, he’d be just the third player in NFL history to do it at 35 or older. The other three are Michael Lewis (336 in 2007), Leo Lewis (225 in 1991) and Mel Gray (205 in 1996). 

And this year, with the new kickoff rules, there’s a chance the Eagles might use him as a kick returner too. More chances to pile up yards. 

The man himself doesn’t care too much about individual achievements; he’d rather win another Super Bowl. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy tracking his progress. 

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