Eagles

Eagles should steer clear of Antonio Brown

Eagles should steer clear of Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown appears hell-bent on forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, which naturally will prompt the usual “Should the Eagles trade for [insert wide receiver’s name]” discussions. Guarantee you, somebody, somewhere is suggesting the Eagles send Jalen Mills and a third-round draft pick to the Steelers right now.

Don’t count on the Steelers parting with Brown so easily, because anything less than a one is far too little to pay for the most prolific pass catcher of the last six years, and because the club will not be so willing to cave to an egomaniacal diva’s every whim. Yet, at a certain point, holding on to a disgruntled superstar probably does the franchise more harm than good, making a move here increasingly likely (though it should be noted, Brown’s contract makes it difficult for the Steelers to trade him).

So, let’s just jump out in front of this today: No, the Eagles should not be in the market for Antonio Brown.

Sure, Brown’s talent is undeniable. Since 2013, he’s averaged 114 catches, 1,524 yards and 11 touchdowns per season. We’re talking Jerry Rice levels of production.

With Randy Moss-Terrell Owens levels of headaches. If Brown is unhappy in Pittsburgh, a perennial Super Bowl contender with a Hall of Fame quarterback under center, what makes anybody believe he isn't bringing that bad attitude with him?

Brown is somebody who will make noise if he isn’t getting the ball as much as he thinks he should. He’s not above skipping meetings or practices to show his displeasure. Teammates described behavior that reportedly made Brown a healthy Week 17 scratch as “embarrassing” and “the worst I’ve seen.” And in addition to the selfish behaviors that have taken place in front of cameras, on social media and behind the scenes, there’s a growing pile of legal troubles off the field, too, including a domestic incident the NFL is looking into.

Can you imagine somebody like this in the Eagles’ locker room, which players frequently described as a family-like atmosphere over the past two years?

Perhaps it’s fortunate the Eagles couldn’t easily afford Brown, anyway. Forget whatever the cost of swinging the trade — the club is up against the salary cap, and his current $12.6 million base salary for 2019 would be hard to swallow. Then it's only a matter of time until he wants a new contract.

Brown turns 31 in July, and though he remains one of the most productive receivers in the league, his numbers have dipped some since his bonkers 2013-15 seasons. We’re not talking about somebody whose best days are still ahead.

Nor is receiver one of the Eagles’ biggest needs. Alshon Jeffery is a superstar. Zach Ertz is a tight end posting receiver-level production. Nelson Agholor is a fine supporting player and Dallas Goedert could have a bigger role in the offense next season. It wouldn’t hurt to add talent here, just not at the expense of $12 million and a bunch of draft picks, and certainly not for a malcontent in his 30s.

You probably don’t need to worry about the Eagles going after Brown, and all the evidence indicates they shouldn’t.

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Erase Jay Gruden's name from your Eagles coaching wish list

Erase Jay Gruden's name from your Eagles coaching wish list

Another of the most qualified remaining candidates for the Eagles’ offensive coordinator vacancy is off the board.

Jay Gruden, recently fired after six mediocre years as the Redskins’ head coach, is close to joining the Jaguars to fill their offensive coordinator vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Assuming the deal is completed, Gruden will become the Jaguars’ third offensive coordinator in three years. He replaces former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, fired last week after just one year in Jacksonville. DeFilippo replaced Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired and spent this past year in the same position with the Packers. DeFilippo was recently hired by Matt Nagy as QBs coach of the Bears.

Ten teams were in the market for an offensive coordinator when the regular season ended.

Of those 10, the Eagles are one of only two still hanging a "Help Wanted" sign on their front door. 

The other is the Vikings, whose offensive coordinator this past year, Kevin Stefanski, was named last week as head coach of the Browns.

Gruden, whose older brother John was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator under Ray Rhodes from 1995 through 1997 and is now head coach of the Raiders, spent 2011 through 2013 as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator before replacing Mike Shanahan as head coach of the Redskins in 2014.

His teams went 38-57 in six years and reached the playoffs only once, losing a wild-card game to the Packers in 2015.

In Jacksonville, Gruden will presumably be working with 2017 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, who was the Jaguars’ opening-day quarterback this past year but was hurt much of the season and then benched later in the year for rookie Gardner Minshew.

It’s not known whether the Eagles had any formal interest in Gruden, but he was certainly one of the most intriguing remaining candidates for the opening.

The Eagles fired Mike Groh 12 days ago after two years as offensive coordinator one day after head coach Doug Pederson said both would remain on his staff.

Among the candidates the Eagles have been linked with who are now expected to remain in their current position are Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, Ravens QBs coach James Urban (who spent three years as Bengals WRs coach under Jay Gruden) and USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.

Other qualified candidates who are off the board include Chan Gailey, hired as Dolphins offensive coordinator; LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady, who was hired by the Panthers; Joe Moorhead, who was hired Tuesday as Oregon’s offensive coordinator; and former Eagles offensive coordinator and recently fired Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, who was hired as OC of the Broncos.

Earlier Tuesday, we outlined some of the top remaining candidates, including current Eagles position coaches Duce Staley and Press Taylor.

The Eagles also remain without a wide receivers coach, a secondary coach and a defensive line coach. The team fired receivers coach Carson Walch and d-line coach Phillip Daniels, and secondary coach Cory Undlin accepted the defensive coordinator position with the Lions.

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Here's a sneak peak of the 2020 NFL Draft venue ... and it's 100% Las Vegas

Here's a sneak peak of the 2020 NFL Draft venue ... and it's 100% Las Vegas

The blueprint for the 2020 NFL Draft venue has been revealed and it's just what you would expect it to be in Las Vegas.

The draft has become quite a production in recent years, but this has to top all previous attempts if it's executed the way they're saying.

Reportedly, players will be transported to the stage by a boat. Which could be an epic moment for the draftees ... but could also add a significant amount of time to the already long night of events.

The red carpet stage has a more traditional look when it comes to a draft setting, but since it's Vegas, it's go big or go home.

There are currently mixed opinions about it all, but here are some of the funniest:

 

 

 


The draft will be held from April 23-25 where the Eagles currently hold the 21st overall pick.

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