Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro continue our series examining the future of the world champion Eagles.
Roob: By any definition, Smith had a disappointing regular season, averaging about 27 yards with just two touchdowns, way too many drops and only three games with more than 35 yards. But in the postseason, he averaged 52 yards with one touchdown, no drops and three games with more than 35 yards. Yep, three of Smith's six-best games were in the postseason. I can't imagine any scenario where Smith plays at the $5 million the Eagles owe him. Not with Mack Hollins waiting in the wings. If he'll take a pay cut? Maybe. But my gut feeling is the Eagles move on.
Dave: Smith caught 36 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns last season and kind of provided the deep threat the Eagles wanted. And he is really good at drawing pass interference calls. But he also dropped seven passes this year and some of them were huge. There's also the matter of his contract. In 2018, it's basically a team option for $5 million. Is Smith worth that much? Probably not.
Roob: I don't care how old he is or what injury he's coming off, Darren Sproles should finish his career on his own terms, in an Eagles uniform. Sproles says he wants to play another year, and as long as he's still productive and is willing to accept a hometown discount, I'm all for it. I consider Sproles an all-time great combo player, and the impact he's made just in 49 games in an Eagles uniform is massive. Hope he stays.
Dave: This is a tough one. If Sproles is willing to come back this season and play on a reasonable deal, the Eagles could definitely use him. Corey Clement and Jay Ajayi have the ability to catch out of the backfield, but not like this guy, who is still a matchup nightmare this deep into his career. He's also one of the most respected guys in the locker room. Even though Blount had the better season, you could argue bringing back Sproles would make more sense, especially with his ability as a punt returner. I just think it's more likely he moves on and finds a new home to finish his career.
Roob: Doug Pederson has already said Jake Elliott will be the Eagles' kicker next year and the team will move on from Sturgis, who was actually a pretty consistent kicker in his two years here. He made 84.8 percent of his field goal attempts, third-best in franchise history (behind Cody Parkey and Alex Henery) and was 7 for 11 from 50 yards and out. Only David Akers has made more 50-yarders in an Eagles uniform. It was a good run, but it's Elliott's turn.
Dave: Poor Sturgis had been a pretty good kicker for the Eagles but he became Wally Pipp. He got hurt in the season opener and had to sit back and watch as rookie Elliott became a hero and then stole his job. Sturgis should be healthy now and he's been good in his career, so he should find an opportunity somewhere. But the Eagles' job belongs to Elliott now.