Eagles

Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: Devin Bush

Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: Devin Bush

If there was any question whether Devin Bush was an elite inside linebacker prospect before the combine, he answered it with a 4.43 in Indianapolis. That was faster than all but one running back.

Bush, a Michigan junior, was a two-year starter for Jim Harbaugh, recording 19 tackles for loss and 10 sacks the last two years. He’s a little small at 5-11, 234, but in the current NFL, his skill as a pass defender should make him an immediate starter.

Bush is a sideline-to-sideline type of player who doesn’t take snaps off and can play on all three downs. The NFL is certainly in Bush’s genes. His dad, also Devin Bush, was a Falcons first-round pick and spent 1995 through 2002 with the Falcons, Rams and Browns.

Current roster at ILB: With Jordan Hicks gone, the Eagles are thin overall at linebacker and in particular on the inside, and although Nigel Bradham can play there, the Eagles may prefer to keep him outside, especially if they land an inside backer in the draft. Paul Worrilow has started 52 games on the inside but is coming off a serious injury and hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2015.

How he would fit: Bush would instantly become the Eagles’ starting middle linebacker, with Bradham outside and Kamu Gruger-Hill presumably back to his role as the third 'backer and special teamer.

Eagles history at LB in draft: There really isn’t much Eagles history at LB in the draft. It’s been 40 years since the Eagles took a linebacker in the first round — Jerry Robinson at No. 21 in 1979 — and it’s been nearly half a century since they took one in the first 20 picks — that was Steve Zabel at No. 6 in 1970. They are the only NFL team that hasn’t taken a linebacker in the first round since 1980. The Eagles have actually taken only one LB in the first two rounds the last decade — Mychal Kendricks in 2012.

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Other options at 25 

Eagles get open roster spot for training camp after Tyreek Durwell's surprise retirement

Eagles get open roster spot for training camp after Tyreek Durwell's surprise retirement

Less than two weeks before the start of training camp, the Eagles suddenly find themselves with an open 90-man roster spot. 

On Monday, offensive tackle Tyreek Burwell announced his retirement from the NFL, via his official Instagram account. 

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Man it’s hard for me to sit here and put this into words but after careful consideration I’ve made the decision to retire from the NFL. This journey has been unbelievable! I’ve been blessed to have been able to play this game since I was 7 years old. Playing in the NFL has been a dream come true and this game has taught and given me so much. I want to thank GOD especially for without you none of this would be possible. I want to thank my fiancé and my family for being my number 1 supporters and my motivation. I also want to thank my friends, teammates, my agency (@mbk_sports ) and everyone that I’ve crossed paths with that has helped me along this journey. Thank you to the Chargers, Colts and Eagles for giving me the opportunity to continue to play the game that I love. I’m excited to see what the rest of this journey brings! ✌🏾 #retired #NFL #thankyouGOD

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For some of you, this begs the question: Who is Tyreek Burwell? 

Well, the Eagles signed him to a futures deal in January and he was with the team this spring, when he wore No. 66. Burwell, 27, previously spent time with the Chargers and Colts and played in 15 NFL games dating back to 2015 when he went undrafted out of Cincinnati. 

Even with that experience, there was very little chance Burwell was going to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster in 2019. 

But Burwell’s decision before training camp will give someone else a chance to prove himself and possibly make the Eagles’ roster this spring. While most roster spots are spoken for, there’s alway a chance for players buried on the depth chart. Just think back to last year when receiver DeAndre Carter joined camp late and still made the Eagles’ 53-man roster. Even player No. 90 has a chance if they play the right position and show up during practices and in the meeting room. 

The Eagles won’t have very long to get a new player signed. The team is scheduled to report in a little over a week on July 24 and the first full practice will be on July 25. 

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Possible trouble brewing in Cowboys land with reports about RB Ezekiel Elliott possibly holding out

Possible trouble brewing in Cowboys land with reports about RB Ezekiel Elliott possibly holding out

Off the field issues aside, Ezekiel Elliott is clearly one of the top running backs in the NFL. The problem for the Cowboys is that he wants to get paid like it.

According to PFT’s Mike Florio, Elliott has “privately said that he will hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract.”

Since the Cowboys report to training camp on July 25, this could be a problem very soon.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! reporter Charles Robinson says Elliott hasn’t made a decision about a holdout yet.

But it’s clearly on Zeke’s mind. And he clearly wants a contract extension.

For a team that still has to pay Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper — both more pressing since they’ll be free agents after the 2019 season — this could be tricky. It’s hard to imagine the Cowboys giving Zeke a big contract before figuring out Dak’s new deal.

Elliott, 23, might have a problem staying out of trouble off the field, but he creates a whole lot of trouble for opposing teams on it. There’s really no denying his talent. In his first three NFL seasons, he has rushed for over 4,000 yards and has over 5,000 in all-purpose yards. Just 11 players in NFL history have more all-purpose yards in their first three seasons.

And because of that success and because he knows the Cowboys will rely heavily on him this season and next, Elliott is trying to maximize his value. He’s trying to get some coin in his pocket now before that value potentially plummets because usage or injury. That part makes sense.

The problem for Elliott is that the Cowboys probably don’t feel highly motivated to pay him just yet. With his fourth contract year in 2019 and his fifth-year option year in 2020, the Cowboys hold his rights for the next two seasons at cap numbers of $7.9 million and $9 million over the next two seasons. Based on his rookie contract AVY, Elliott is the 10th highest-paid running back in football. That’s a steal and based on recent history, no team should be rushing to pay top-tier money for a running back.

Elliott won’t become a free agent until after the 2020 season, so I definitely get why he’s trying to secure his financial future before the Boys run him into the ground over the next two seasons. He doesn’t seem to have a ton of leverage because of how far he is from free agency — he’s not going to sit for two years — but we saw how his suspension sort of wrecked the Cowboys’ entire 2017 season. Now, the Cowboys are coming off a division title and have serious championship hopes this year; if they’re going to be a great team, they’re going to need Zeke to do it.

The Eagles don’t play the Cowboys until Oct. 20 and it would be pretty shocking if Elliott isn’t playing by then. The Birds obviously don’t have a running back as good as Elliott, but they have cost controlled options and they already figured out how to pay their franchise quarterback.

The messier this gets for Zeke and the Cowboys, the better it is for the Eagles and the rest of the NFC East.

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