Eagles

Eagles Stay or Go — Is this the year Kendricks is moved?

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Eagles Stay or Go — Is this the year Kendricks is moved?

Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro continue our series examining the future of the world champion Eagles.

Jason Kelce
Roob: In the span of a year, Kelce has gone from a favorite whipping boy of fans to All-Pro center and legendary Super Bowl parade spokesman. Safe to say Kelce isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Give him credit for addressing his technique issues during the offseason and getting back to the point where he was one of the best centers in the NFL. Kelce was massive this year. 

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: Remember when a bunch of fans wanted to run Kelce out of town? Not anymore. Now he's an All-Pro center at the top of his game. Kelce has been with the Eagles since 2011 and he is just now coming off his best NFL season. And he's still under contract through the 2020 season. If there are still any fans who don't like him, there's a really good chance Kelce doesn't bleeping care. 

Verdict: STAYS

Mychal Kendricks
Roob: 
Whoever knows with Kendricks? Every year we expect the Eagles to get rid of him, and every year he's back. Kendricks had one heck of a bounce-back season this year and even though the big plays weren't really there, he played his most consistent brand of football from opening day through the Super Bowl. Kendricks has been here longer than everybody but Brent Celek, Jason Peters, Brandon Graham and Kelce, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't return for his seventh season in an Eagles uniform.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: There was a time last winter when Kendricks requested a trade out of Philadelphia. Good thing the Eagles didn't give him what he wanted. Because once Jordan Hicks went down with an Achilles tear, the Eagles really relied on Nigel Bradham and Kendricks to keep the defense together. During his six years with the Eagles, Kendricks has had a pretty wild career. He was a second-round pick who started strong, got a huge deal, struggled, played less, wanted out, and now is a Super Bowl champion. Thanks to the contract extension he signed before the 2016 season, Kendricks is set to have a really high cap hit of $7.6 million this season and it rises to $8.6 million next year. It's just hard to imagine the Eagles moving on without another plan. 

Verdict: STAYS

D.J. Killings
Roob: 
The Eagles like Killings enough that they gave him a significant pay raise when another team tried to snatch him off their practice squad. But where does he fit in? With Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, there isn't really room for another young corner. But Killings knows the defense and Jim Schwartz likes him. He has decent size and can run. If the Eagles get banged up at corner, he's a guy who could fill in right away.

Verdict: GOES

Dave: Killings, who has about the best name ever for a defensive back, joined the Eagles' practice squad in October and stayed the rest of the way. The team brought him back on their 90-man roster already this offseason. I honestly don't know much about the former UCF corner, but I do know the cornerback position is pretty full. 

Verdict: GOES

Mic'd up Mike Trout shouts out Eagles during All-Star Game, will try to make season opener

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Mic'd up Mike Trout shouts out Eagles during All-Star Game, will try to make season opener

Who's a bigger Philly sports fan than Mike Trout?

While mic'd up during the second inning of the All-Star Game Tuesday night, Trout was congratulated by Joe Buck for the Eagles' Super Bowl win and Trout beamed instantly.

He even shouted out Zach Ertz and Carson Wentz by name, hoping they were watching.

Trout's Angels are actually off the night of the Eagles' season opener, Sept. 6 against the Falcons.

Would he be able to make it to the game? 

Asked Monday by NBC 10 Eagles producer Rob Kuestner, Trout said he hasn't decided yet but will try to swing it.

It would be a tough arrangement because the Angels are in Texas the night before and in Chicago the night after. But we're talking here about a season-ticket holding superfan to whom money is no object. Seems like a night he'd have a tough time missing.

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These criticisms of Alshon Jeffery should make you laugh

These criticisms of Alshon Jeffery should make you laugh

There was an interesting series of tweets regarding Alshon Jeffery Tuesday morning from Chris Raybon, who hosts a gambling show called “I’ll Take That Bet” on ESPN+ and also writes often about fantasy sports.

Raybon’s general point was that Jeffery has underachieved the last few years, that he's not a true No. 1 receiver and that his numbers have declined since his four-game suspension in 2016 for a positive PED test.

Raybon’s tweets were all factually accurate, but they bothered me. For a few reasons.

First of all, Raybon tweeted that Jeffery has gone 30 straight games without a 100-yard game.

Then he tweeted that Jeffery hasn’t had a 100-yard game since his PED suspension.

And he pointed out correctly that Jeffery’s catches and yards have gone down each year over the last three seasons, although his notion that Jeffery’s nine touchdowns last year “masked” a decline in production is kind of bizarre. Isn’t scoring touchdowns the whole idea of playing football?

The first most basic error Raybon makes is equating 100-yard games to success. Since when do we measure a receiver’s value by 100-yard games? 

Eagles receivers had a total of three 100-yard games all last year — Zach Ertz vs. the Bears, Nelson Agholor vs. the Seahawks and Torrey Smith vs. the Rams.

That really held the team back, didn't it.

It’s called being balanced.

The Eagles still had the No. 3 scoring offense in the NFL, went 13-3 and won a Super Bowl. They had one QB make the Pro Bowl and another one named Super Bowl MVP. I would argue that the lack of 100-yard receivers made the Eagles more unpredictable, more dangerous, more difficult to defend. 

If you want to make the point that it doesn’t make sense to draft any Eagles receiver in fantasy because the Eagles are so balanced offensively, that’s fine.

But trying to make a case that Jeffery underachieved or is overpaid or overrated because his yards were spread out fairly evenly throughout the season instead of in groups of 100 yards is just silly.

The fact that Jeffery didn’t have any 100-yard games is irrelevant. That was never the goal. Including the postseason, he had 60 or more yards nine times, and only 11 wide receivers league-wide had more games with 60 or more yards. 

I’d rather have a guy catch 60 yards week in and week out than have 100 here and nine there. And if we're simply measuring fantasy value, how do you argue with 12 touchdowns — nine in the regular season and three more in the playoffs?

Only DeAndre Hopkins had more (13).

But here’s what really bothered me. 

None of Raybon’s tweets addressed Jeffery’s terrific production in the postseason.

Playing with a torn rotator cuff injury that required offseason surgery, Jeffery had 12 catches for 219 yards and three touchdowns in wins over the Falcons, Vikings and Patriots.

Only 11 other players in NFL history have had 200 receiving yards and three TDs in a postseason playing for a Super Bowl champion. Guys like Rice, Fitz, Swann and Boldin.

In 19 games, Jeffery had 69 catches, 1,008 yards and 12 TDs.

Here's a list of players in Eagles history with 60 catches, 1,000 yards and 12 TDs in a season: McDonald, Carmichael, Quick, Owens, Jeffery.

Guess they all stink.

Jeffery was such a big-play guy in the postseason. He had a 53-yard touchdown catch against the Vikings. You know what other receivers have had 50-yard TD catches against the Vikings’ vaunted defense the last two years?

Yeah. Nobody.

He had 73 yards in the Super Bowl, for crying out loud, including a high-flying miracle 34-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles the lead in the first quarter and pretty much showed the world that the Patriots were in for a battle in Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

You know what other receivers have had TD catches longer than 30 yards against the Patriots in the playoffs the last four years?

Yeah. Nobody.

Jeffery last year had 18 first-down catches on third down in the regular season, and only eight receivers in the league had more. He had four more in the playoffs.

If you’re looking for a guy to clean up in fantasy football with meaningless stats, stay away from Jeffery.

If you’re looking for big catches at big moments, if you’re looking for an unselfish team leader who never complained when the ball didn’t come his way, if you’re looking for a champion, Jeffery's your guy.

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