Eagles

Eagles' RB position in sudden state of disarray with Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles injured

Eagles' RB position in sudden state of disarray with Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles injured

With the Eagles’ running back position suddenly in disarray, it looks like they are turning to Jay Ajayi. 

Ajayi was in the NovaCare Complex building on Friday morning, head coach Doug Pederson confirmed, and then it became more clear why. 

Just before Pederson’s 10:15 a.m. press conference, the Eagles announced that Darren Sproles suffered a torn right hip flexor in practice and is out for the season

And, more importantly, Jordan Howard still hasn’t been cleared for contact from a stinger he suffered late in the Bears game nearly two weeks ago. That’s why he’s been limited in practice this week. He's questionable for Sunday. 

“He’s been cleared to do some sort of individual work in practice, but he hasn’t been cleared for contact yet,” Pederson said. “That’s where he’s at.” 

That means the Eagles’ only healthy running backs on the 53-man roster are Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. Sanders is the only healthy running back from the Eagles’ initial 53-man roster. 

If Howard doesn’t get cleared for contact before Sunday, he obviously won’t play against the Patriots. Howard’s injury has been listed as a shoulder injury. 

Pederson was asked if Howard’s injury is something that could linger. 

“Again, you’re getting into the medical side of it,” he said. “I don’t know much about it other than he just hasn’t been cleared right now for the contact.” 

The move to at least take a look at Ajayi is obviously linked to both of these injuries to Howard and Sproles. The hope here is obviously that Howard’s injury isn’t a long-term one, but signing Ajayi might put that into question. 

Pederson also brought up DeAngelo Henderson, who is on the Eagles’ practice squad, as a possible roster addition before Sunday. It seems like either Henderson or Ajayi will be suiting up for the Eagles on Sunday. 

As for Ajayi? 

“I think he just had breakfast,” Pederson said. “I haven’t seen him yet this morning, so I’ll find out more about him later. We’ve been with our team all morning.”

Ajayi, 26, hasn’t played since tearing his ACL last October, so the Eagles obviously want to see what kind of shape he and that knee are in. 

Sproles played in just six games this year. As the Eagles explained in an unusually detailed statement, Sproles missed games earlier in the season with a quad injury and was then cleared. He played again against the Bears and practiced Monday and Tuesday and reported the injury after Wednesday’s practice. Tests revealed the torn hip flexor muscle.

This could very well be the end of the 36-year-old’s career.

“I’ve learned this over my playing career and coaching in this league that it’s part of the game,” Pederson said. “It’s disappointing in Darren’s situation because of who he is as a person and what he’s meant to this organization, what he’s meant to this team. His leadership, he’s a Hall of Fame specialist in this league, really. I’m disappointed for him, more so than for the team, that he can’t continue.”

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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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