Eagles

Eagles' Jalen Mills has had enough 'screaming and shouting at the TV'

Eagles' Jalen Mills has had enough 'screaming and shouting at the TV'

It had been 354 days. 

A few days short of a year since Jalen Mills took his white No. 31 practice jersey off the hanger, donned shoulder pads, put on his helmet and played football.

Imagine not being able to do what you love for a year?

On Wednesday, for the first time since the Eagles-Jaguars game in London last October, Mills was out there on the field with his teammates. It was only a practice and not a game — yet — but it was a huge step for the fourth-year cornerback.

It was hard, for sure,” Mills said. “I’ve played this game all my life, I’ve never had this long an injury when I’m off the field. It was hard. I was out there [at practice], high-fiving everybody, trying to bring the energy.

Mills left the Jaguars game at Wembley with a sore foot that didn't seem like a huge deal at the time.

But he missed the rest of the season, rehabbed all offseason, spent the last month and a half on the PUP list, and on Wednesday he was finally eligible to practice.

Mills has never shared what the nature of the injury was. It really doesn't matter anymore.

Went good,” he said. “It’s the first day of school. Couple things I’ve got to sharpen up on, did a little bit after practice with Jenks (Malcolm Jenkins) and Coach (Cory) Undlin, but felt good. … I don’t feel any [pain]. I’m excited as hell.

What now?

The Eagles have a 21-day window starting Wednesday during which they can either shut him down for the year or activate him onto the 53-man roster. 

Mills made it clear what his perference is.

I’m aiming for Sunday,” he said. “It’s Coach’s call if I’m playing and how much I’m playing, but my mindset is always that I’m going to play. … At this point right now the mindset is playing the whole game.

That’s not going to happen. Even if Mills is activated and plays Sunday in Dallas, he’s not going to play a ton of snaps.

But he can help.

He hasn’t been totally healthy since the Super Bowl season or early last year — he won’t say — but when he’s on he’s a very good red-zone corner and considering the Eagles’ cornerback play of late, it can’t hurt getting him on the field ASAP.

Just being an addition to the secondary, being the competitor I am, knowing that I feel like I can make certain plays out there to help this team win, to help the secondary play better

Mills said he’s been running regularly with strength and conditioning coach Josh Hingst, and he said his conditioning was fine during practice.

But he knows there’s no way to prepare for football without playing football.

There’s no simulation for it,” he said. “You just gotta go out there and do it. You can run as many 110s, as many sprints as you want. At the end of the day, football conditioning’s football conditioning.

After playing 42 of a possible 43 games from the start of his rookie year through last October, he’s missed 16 games in a row.

Mills said the most challenging part of the last year has been game day, which he usually spends “screaming and shouting at the TV.”

That’s exactly the same thing most Eagles fans have been doing lately while watching the Eagles’ cornerbacks.

How much help Mills can provide remains to be seen. But for this team? Right now? 

Having a healthy, confident veteran who started on a Super Bowl team can only be a positive.

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DeMarco Murray bidding against Josh Harris for the Mets? It could happen

DeMarco Murray bidding against Josh Harris for the Mets? It could happen

It’s nice to see that some of that $9 million the Eagles paid DeMarco Murray is going to good use.

Murray, a free agent disaster after the Eagles signed him to a five-year, $40 million contract in March 2015, emerged Monday as part of a consortium led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez that is trying to buy the Mets, according to the New York Post.

That’s not the only Philly connection to the impending Mets sale. Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the 76ers and Devils, have also bid about $1.7 billion for the ballclub, according to the Post.

Which raises the bizarre possibility that a group led by the owner of the 76ers could wind up bidding a group including a former Eagles running back for ownership of one of the Phillies’ biggest rivals.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, younger brother of Jason; former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher; and long-time Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas are also among the so-called J-Rod investment group trying to buy the team from the Wilpon family.

Murray earned just over $9 million for his one year with the Eagles — $1 million in base salary, a $5 million signing bonus and a $3 million roster bonus, along with $16,609 in various incentives.

According to Spotrac, Murray earned a total of $25,715,703 in his seven-year career with the Cowboys, Eagles and Titans that ended in 2017, with only $3.6 million of that coming from the Cowboys and more than $13 million from two years with the Titans.

Thomas earned $122.85 million in his 11-year career that ended in 2017, Urlacher earned $80.18 million in 12 seasons before retiring in 2012 and Kelce has already earned $40.11 million in four seasons.

After leading the NFL in rushing and making first-team all-pro in 2014, Murray had a miserable season in Philadelphia, averaging 3.6 yards per carry and rushing for only 702 yards — more than 1,100 fewer than the year before.

He had one carry longer than 30 yards all year, and that was a 54-yarder against the Giants on the final day of the season after Chip Kelly had been fired and replaced by interim coach Pat Shurmur.

Soon after being restored to general manager, Howie Roseman traded Murray and a 4th-round pick to the Titans for a higher 4th-round pick that wound up going to the Browns as part of the deal that gave the Eagles the second pick in the 2016 draft.

Murray spent 2019 as running backs coach at Arizona and was hired in January as running backs coach at Oklahoma, his alma mater.

The Wilpon family has been losing somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million per year. The Mets have only had three winning seasons since 2009 and haven’t won a playoff series since 2015.

FoxBusiness’s Charles Gasparino reported that the top bid of $2 billion came from investor Steve Cohen.

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NFL agents vote Eagles' Howie Roseman smartest general manager in the league

NFL agents vote Eagles' Howie Roseman smartest general manager in the league

NFL agents carry a sneaky amount of power across the league, but they often choose to avoid talking publicly about their day-to-day work.

So when The Athletic polled 30 agents from across the league this week on a whole host of topics, from COVID-19 to Cam Newton, I tuned in - and one question in particular caught my eyes:

"14. Among general managers or front-office leaders, who is the smartest?"

General managers juggle plenty of things throughout the year, one being a spiderweb of relationships with a number of player agents. (A failure to get on the same page with agents was one of the main critiques of former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie!) So if agents think highly of a certain guy, it's obviously a good sign for the whole organization.

So the answers should have Eagles fans feeling pretty good.

Howie Roseman finished in the No. 1 spot, receiving five votes. He landed one vote ahead of New England's Bill Belichick, and two votes ahead of Colts general manager Chris Ballard.

Here are a couple specific quotes about Roseman's acumen, from the agents themselves:

"He knows how to put teams together. And he's working with a limited amount in terms of the cap. He knows how to maneuver and get players that he feels like will fit the scheme even if he doesn’t have to pay them top dollar. He's very smart in terms of chess moves. I'm not a huge fan. I will say that, as well. But he knows what he's doing in terms of putting things together."

"If I was gonna go into the lab and build a GM, it's a guy that can deal with the media, a guy that knows personnel and a guy that knows money. Those are the three things. Howie Roseman is a guy who I think is very good with the media from what I can tell. I know that he knows the money game very well. And I've known him for 15-18 years and he's worked incredibly hard to learn football and how to evaluate to the point now where he's really good. I give him a lot of credit that he can handle all three parts of the job."

That's the kind of evaluation you pin to the fridge. Good stuff.

This echoes what we heard earlier this year from Browns general manager Andrew Berry, a former Eagles front office member, who had nothing but amazing things to say about Roseman:

"With Howie, I've said it before: I think he's the best general manager, currently, in the sport. Very well-rounded skillset. I've taken a lot from in him, in terms of my approach to free agency, trades, general aggression with roster building, contract management, and then just overall people management and philosophy."

Roseman brought Philadelphia its first Super Bowl, kept Carson Wentz around on a team-friendly deal, and generally keeps the Eagles in good standing with the salary cap.

Keep doing what you do, Howie.

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