Le'Veon Bell trade rumors: Why Steelers RB doesn't make sense for Eagles

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Le'Veon Bell trade rumors: Why Steelers RB doesn't make sense for Eagles

Le’Veon Bell has been arguably the most productive running back in the NFL since he entered the league.

Since Bell’s rookie season in 2013, only LeSean McCoy had more all-purpose yards heading into this season. 

The Steelers' star back would like to be paid accordingly and has held out the first three games of the season. Pittsburgh seems unwilling to pay the two-time All-Pro and ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Steelers are now listening to offers for the 26-year-old back.

Paging Howie Roseman, am I right?!

While Roseman has been more than willing to make trades — and the Eagles are certainly in the business of adding talent to aid their Super Bowl defense — this just doesn’t seem like the right move for the Eagles.

Bell wants to be paid and he wants big money — think Todd Gurley’s $21.95 million guaranteed and $14 million annual contract value. The Eagles currently have just $5,305,588, per Over the Cap. On top of that, the Eagles are projected to be $20,062,232 over the cap heading into 2019. 

And don’t forget about Carson Wentz’s looming extension. There’s a good chance Carson Wentz will wind up being the highest-paid player in the NFL by the year 2020. It’s hard to envision a scenario where they can sign Bell to a long-term deal and still have money left over for Wentz.

So while adding a back like Bell would make the Eagles’ offense an absolute juggernaut, it just doesn’t make sense given Bell’s desire for a long-term deal.

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Eagles defensive end Chris Long announces retirement

Eagles defensive end Chris Long announces retirement

After a few months of contemplation, Eagles defensive end Chris Long has made his decision.

He’s calling it a career.

The 34-year-old announced his official retirement from the NFL on Saturday night and he did it, of course, on Twitter.

Not long after his official announcement, the Eagles congratulated Long, who became a fan favorite in Philly during the two years he played here.

Back in 2008, Long was the Rams’ No. 2 pick in the draft out of Virginia. He played his first eight years in St. Louis, before winning a Super Bowl in 2016 with the Patriots and then winning again in 2017 with the Eagles. He reached legend status in Philly during that Super Bowl run for helping create the dog mask phenomenon and for then rocking out during the parade down Broad Street.

And it was Long who pressured Case Keenum to throw that pick-6 to Patrick Robinson in the NFC Championship Game. In two seasons in Philly, he had 11 1/2 sacks and forced six fumbles.

In his 11 years in the NFL, Long piled up a clean 70 sacks to go along with 15 forced fumbles.

The Eagles will miss Long on the field and off it. Aside from being a highly productive player in his two seasons with the Eagles, Long was also a very highly respected member of the locker room. He was a favorite among teammates and his sense of humor — he created a Nick Foles shrine last year — was infectious at the NovaCare Complex. (The funniest part of the Foles shrine was watching Long’s mischievous smile as he watched a bunch of reporters gobble it up.)

Long had a long and productive football career, but, really, his legacy will be the work he’s done off it. That work is not finished.

Long was named the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year for his charitable efforts through the Chris Long Foundation. He clearly deserved the honor.

He’s given away his salary, raised millions for educational initiatives in cities across the country and, through his Waterboys initiative, has provided access to clean water for communities in East Africa for years.

While his teammates and coaches will be happy for Long, his departure does leave the Eagles a little light at defensive end. To his credit, Long told the Eagles to plan as if he wouldn’t be back. Long wasn’t interested in returning for a reduced role, which the Eagles told him he would have in 2019.

Without Long, the Eagles have Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat and Shareef Miller, Daeshon Hall and Joe Ostman as their defensive ends. Malik Jackson, signed this offseason, will play on third downs as a defensive tackle, taking stress off the ends, but the Eagles will still miss Long, who had been a third-down specialist during his time with the Eagles.

Last season, the Eagles entered the year with Long and Michael Bennett as their top rotational defensive ends. That was incredible depth they won’t have this season unless they make another move.

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Eagles mailbag: Corey Clement’s role, picking an UDFA to make the team

Eagles mailbag: Corey Clement’s role, picking an UDFA to make the team

You know the deal. 

I asked for mailbag questions and you guys delivered enough to fill a few different posts. Thank you for helping me do my job; your checks are in the mail. 

Part 1 is here.

Here’s Part 2: 

Did you just sneak in a fantasy football question? I’ll allow it. 

I think people probably already know I’m really high on Sanders, but I’m going to go with Howard here. In his three NFL seasons, Howard has 24 touchdowns; just five NFL players have more in that span. I’m also going to guess that when the Eagles get around the goal line, they’re going to feel more comfortable handing the rock to the vet over the rookie. One of the few knocks against Sanders coming out of college was that he fumbled. He can shed that reputation in the NFL, but giving the ball to the more sure-handed veteran makes sense. 

A few names come to mind: LB T.J. Edwards or perhaps one of the undrafted guards (Ryan Bates, Nate Herbig or Sua Opeta) or maybe even return man DeAndre Thompkins from Penn State. It’s kind of early to guess this right now before seeing them on the field at OTAs, but I’ll go with Edwards and reserve the right to change that pick after actually seeing a few practices. 

If Chris Long doesn’t come back, I’m with you on this being a little concerning. Going into last season, the Eagles’ top two reserve DEs were Michael Bennett and Long. This year, their top backups are Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat.  

The one guy still available who makes sense to me is Derrick Morgan. He’s 30 now and wouldn’t be expensive after having just a half a sack last season. But he’d be a decent addition and has played end in a 4-3 before. For the record, the Eagles should try to get Long to return. He’s their best option if they can convince him. 

Sure. Doug Pederson was asked about this before Wiz came back and mentioned that Halapoulivaati Vaitai was going to get some cross-training inside at guard. He’s the one that makes sense. You don’t want to put too much on Mailata’s plate and let’s let Dillard acclimate to the NFL first. Vaitai would actually make a pretty decent guard. It might be a good way to prolong his career. I was talking to my coworker Barrett Brooks about Big V the other day and he agrees that a move to guard makes plenty of sense. 

Clement has a shot to be the Eagles’ third-down running back this season, which is crazy because he really wasn’t a pass-catcher in college. But since coming to the NFL, he’s definitely shown that ability. 

Jordan Howard is likely going to be a first- and second-down guy and while Miles Sanders will eventually become a three-down feature back, it’s tough to trust a rookie in pass protection situations. That’s where Clement comes in. 

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