Eagles

Figuring out if a Jordan Howard trade would make sense for Eagles

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Figuring out if a Jordan Howard trade would make sense for Eagles

For over a year now, we’ve heard whispers about the Bears possibly wanting to trade Jordan Howard and it doesn’t look like that’s going away. 

The latest comes from ESPN’s Adam Schefter: 

Hmm. It’s fair to wonder if the Eagles are one of those teams. 

After all, the Eagles are in the market to make improvements at the running back position and Howard has rushed for over 3,300 yards during his first three NFL seasons. 

The obvious connection here is Joe Douglas. The Eagles’ VP of player personnel was the Bears’ director of college scouting for one season in 2015, the same year they were scouting Howard before drafting him in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. Since his arrival, Douglas’ fingerprints have been all over the Eagles’ roster.

It’s even possible the Eagles were gearing up to take Howard out of Indiana when he went in the fifth round in 2016. But he went three spots before the Birds took Wendell Smallwood out of West Virginia. 

The problem with Howard is he’s a more one-dimensional player than the Eagles generally seem to want. He has never caught more than 29 balls in a year and isn’t exactly a super elusive runner. It seems like that’s at least part of the reason his time in Chicago might be coming to an end (see story)

Howard is cheap for now. His base salary for 2019 is just over $2 million. That’s the good part. The bad part is that 2019 is the final year of his rookie contract, so he’s cost-controlled for just one more season. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent after this upcoming season. So how much would the Eagles be willing to give up to get one cheap year of Howard? 

Another positive: If the Eagles were to trade for a running back, it wouldn’t count as a free agent pickup and wouldn’t hurt their return if they want to play the compensatory pick game. 

And we have seen the Eagles’ willingness to trade for a running back before. During the 2017 season, they traded a fourth-round pick for a year and a half of Jay Ajayi. He was a big part of the Super Bowl team, but played just four games in 2018 before he tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season. 

The Bears will likely be looking for a draft pick in return for Howard and the Eagles have eight of them in April. Maybe they’d be better off drafting one in a mid-round (sort of like where Howard went in 2016) instead of trading for a running back with three years under his belt. There are really two ways to look at it. 

At the very least, there are some reasons to think the Eagles are at least a little interested in making a move for Howard. At least enough to make a phone call. 

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John Hightower patterns his game after 1 particular NFL star receiver

John Hightower patterns his game after 1 particular NFL star receiver

If there’s one NFL receiver Eagles 5th-round pick John Hightower patterns his game after it’s Stefon Diggs. 

Throughout the last few months, I’ve heard Hightower say that several times, both before and after he got drafted. But on a Zoom call last week, I got a chance to ask Hightower a question. 

Why Diggs? 

“Stefon Diggs’ routes are phenomenal,” Hightower said. “He makes great cuts, he catches the ball very well. He’s an intelligent player.” 

Fair enough. 

While Diggs has never been a Pro Bowler, he has become one of the best and most consistent receivers in the NFL, known for his route-running and technique. 

Like Hightower, Diggs was a 5th-round pick. Diggs came out of Maryland in the 5th round in 2015, made an immediate impact as a rookie and put together five really impressive seasons in Minnesota before getting traded to the Bills this offseason. 

Take a look at the comparison between Diggs coming out in 2015 and Hightower this season: 

Aside from their physical similarities and getting drafted in the same round, Hightower and Diggs both grew up in the same area, in the DMV.

Diggs is from Gaithersburg, Maryland, and went to Our Lady of Good Counsel and Hightower is from Landover and went to Riverdale Baptist. 

“It’s really good to see that,” Hightower said of watching a guy from his area make it the way Diggs has. “Obviously someone from the area making it to the place the Stefon Diggs made it to. Pretty much growing up everybody knew Stefon Diggs was going to be who he is today. It was great to see him from high school to college and then now in the league to still do what he’s been doing.”

Hightower hopes to continue following Diggs’ path. 

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Eagles bringing back receiver Marcus Green

Eagles bringing back receiver Marcus Green

The Eagles are bringing back wide receiver Marcus Green, who spent last season on their practice squad, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

Green, 23, was among four Eagles released a week and a half ago. And now he’s coming back. NFL Network first reported the news.   

Green (5-8, 191) was a Falcons 6th-round pick out of Louisiana-Monroe last year. After he was waived at final cuts, Green joined the Eagles in early September and spent the entire 2019 season on the Birds’ practice squad. 

In four years at Louisiana-Monroe, Green caught 202 passes for 2,698 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also had 51 rushing attempts for 492 yards (9.6) and 1 touchdown. He also returned kicks and punts in college. He’s less of a pure receiver and more of a playmaker. 

With Green back, the Eagles have a full roster at 80, although that includes Brandon Brooks and Alshon Jeffery who are both on Active/PUP and are not healthy enough to practice. That 80 does not include Matt Leo who has an International exemption. 

Still, the Eagles are at the 80-man limit to keep them from going split-squad at practices. The Eagles are still in the Acclimatization Period of their collectively bargained training camp. They won’t hold non-padded practices until Aug. 12 and the first padded practice won’t be until Aug. 17. 

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