Eagles

Howie Roseman explains what happened at NFL trade deadline for Eagles

Howie Roseman explains what happened at NFL trade deadline for Eagles

Howie Roseman began his year-end press conference by admitting the Eagles need an infusion of youth to the roster, so his explanation about why the Eagles didn’t pull off a blockbuster trade before the deadline was pretty predictable. 

They weren’t going to mortgage the future. 

Roseman seemed downright giddy on Wednesday over the promise of having 10 draft picks this year and, in hindsight, the fact that he wasn’t willing to part with multiple premium picks during the season isn’t that shocking. 

We were trying to be measured. You're talking about really good players. It would be silly for us to not get involved in those discussions, but there also has to be a walk-away number.

Specifically, Roseman was asked about two players: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick and CB Jalen Ramsey. Both were traded during the 2019 season. 

We can kind of read between the lines and figure out when Roseman was talking about each player. 

Minkah Fitzpatrick: It was back in September when the Steelers traded a first-round pick to the Dolphins (along with a later-round pick swap) for the then-22-year-old defensive back. Fitzpatrick went to Pittsburgh and immediately had an impact. He had five interceptions in 14 games with the Steelers — more than any Eagle has had in a season since 2016. 

So why didn’t the Eagles pull the trigger on a move for a 22-year-old defensive back who would have filled an obvious need now and in the future? 

“There's a lot of factors that go into trades, including for the other team: They [are] trying to project what the team they are trading with is getting,” Roseman said. “So if you have the same offer from two people, and you think one team going forward may have a different record than the other, that's going to factor into the equation. We weren't trying to sit on our hands on either of those two things, but you also have to be prepared to walk away.”

So let’s read between the lines here: At the time the Steelers made the trade, they were 0-2 and had just lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season. So ask yourself this question: If you were Miami, which first-round pick would you have preferred at that point? 

Ultimately, the Dolphins made the right choice but it was a little closer than we expected. Miami ended up with the 18th pick from the Steelers, while the Eagles will pick at 21. So there’s a good chance the Eagles would’ve happily traded away the 21st pick for Fitzpatrick but that wouldn’t have been enough. The Dolphins likely wanted Philly to sweeten the deal and the Eagles just decided to walk away. 

Jalen Ramsey: In October, the Jaguars traded the then-24-year-old cornerback to the Rams for two first-round picks and a fourth. 

That’s a crazy price tag but you could make the case that it would have been worth it for the Eagles, who have struggled to find a lockdown corner for the last decade. Ramsey didn’t have as much success in LA as Fitzpatrick did in Pittsburgh but he’s still a great player. 

“Well, I would say to our fans and our organization, I'm always aggressive,” Roseman said. “At the same time, in calm times you have to set a level that you're comfortable with.”

Reading between the lines here, Roseman is basically saying, Sure, we would have loved to have a player like Ramsey but that price was just way too high.

Genard Avery: While the Eagles didn’t make a real blockbuster trade before the deadline, they did make a move. They shipped a fourth-round pick to Cleveland for second-year pass rusher Genard Avery. 

Roseman’s message about this move was pretty simple: Please don’t try to evaluate it yet. 

Sure, the Eagles traded a third-round pick the year before for Golden Tate but that was supposed to pay off immediately (it really didn’t), while Avery is more of a long-term project. 

“I think they are two different examples,” Roseman said. “I think Golden was more of a win-now kind of move. When we acquired Genard, we knew that to get the best of him would take an offseason.”

After the trade, Avery played just 33 snaps in eight games and was a healthy scratch in the playoff game. So early returns don’t look great. But he’s under contract for two more seasons, so maybe the Eagles can still make it work. Roseman said they understood they wouldn’t see the best from Avery until he had an offseason here.

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Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Rodney McLeod explains biggest lessons learned from Malcolm Jenkins

Four years ago, when Rodney McLeod became a free agent for the first time in his NFL career, one of the reasons he wanted to join the Eagles was for the chance to play next to Malcolm Jenkins. 

And for the last four years, he did. The two formed a safety tandem that played 49 regular season games and four playoff games, including Super Bowl LII, together. 

But now Jenkins is back in New Orleans with the Saints and the Eagles are preparing to play without him for the first time since 2013. Meanwhile, McLeod signed a two-year deal to return to Philly. 

On a conference call with reporters on Thursday, McLeod said he learned a lot from Jenkins over the past four seasons. 

What were some of those lessons? 

Just as a competitor,” McLeod said. “And then the ability to get the most out of guys, whether it’s on the defensive side or from an entire team standpoint. I think as a leader, that’s your kind of job. How can you get guys to play at the highest level and get the most out of your players. I think he was one of the best at doing that and understanding everyone … I learned a lot from him. 

“Not just on the field but off the field, the way he handled himself and what he did in the community for the city. I’ll always admire him. It’s hard to match. But like I said, his legacy will live on. The Saints are getting a good guy. Now, us as Eagles, playing with a new group of guys and we’re ready to move forward.

There’s no question that the Eagles are going to miss Jenkins’ contributions on the field. They will use some combination of Jalen Mills and Will Parks to replace him at that position and that won’t be easy. 

But the Eagles will also miss the leadership Jenkins brought to the locker room. He wasn’t just the leader of the secondary or even just the defense; Jenkins was oftentimes the key leader for the entire team. That’s hard to replace too. 

It’s not that McLeod, 29, hasn’t been a leader during his first four years in Philly. But now that role might need to expand and will become more important with the absence of Jenkins. 

“I think it’s important for me to be myself and be who I’ve always been,” McLeod said. “And that’s a guy that leads by his actions and leads by example. I think if you ask a lot of guys on the team, that’s what they’ll tell you most. Actions sometimes speak louder than words. I think there will be times for me to speak up when needed. When my teammates need me most, I’ll be ready to do that.”

For the most part, McLeod has been the quieter of the two safeties and Jim Schwartz has previously called him the calming presence in the defensive backfield.

But McLeod can speak up too. 

It’s really just about finding a balance between his two sides and putting the lessons from Jenkins into practice in 2020. 

“Myself, being a leader on this team for some time, will of course be asked to step up as well as other guys from a defensive standpoint and on the team,” McLeod said. “I think we’re prepared for that. And guys will be willing to step up to the plate and accept the challenge. Myself first and foremost.”

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Carson Wentz’s 3rd annual AO1 softball game canceled

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AO1 Foundation

Carson Wentz’s 3rd annual AO1 softball game canceled

Carson Wentz’s AO1 Foundation has canceled its 2020 softball game that was scheduled for May 8 at Citizens Bank Park. 

The foundation says the game will return in 2021. 

The AO1 Foundation said the following in a statement: 

“We canceled the game because we are taking the COVID-19 situation very seriously. We were looking forward to an event that brings the Philadelphia community together to have fun and help others, but the health and safety of our supporters is of utmost importance to us.”

All purchased tickets will be refunded. Expect it to take 5-7 business days for that credit to appear in accounts. If there are questions about the refund process, the AO1 Foundation asks you contact the Phillies at tickets@phillies.com. 

In the first two years, this softball game has raised $1.35 million for the AO1 Foundation, which launched in 2017. Last May, there were 15,000 fans at Citizens Bank Park. 

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