Eagles

With Manny Machado in town, how would Eagles players woo a free agent?

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With Manny Machado in town, how would Eagles players woo a free agent?

Just before the Eagles got to practice in the bubble Thursday afternoon, the biggest Philly sports story of the day was happening not far from them. 

By now, you’ve probably already seen the video of Manny Machado entering Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies try to woo him to join their team through free agency. They greeted him with a smile, put his image on the big screen and even allowed an electrician to accost him for a photograph (see story).

So with that story on my mind, I went into the Eagles’ locker room Thursday afternoon with one question: 

If you were an owner and you were trying to woo a player to come play for your team, what would you do?

Josh Adams 

“Philly is a great city in terms of like tourism and things you can do. Definitely take them to the Rocky steps, everybody loves that stuff. Take them out to eat, everybody likes food. Who doesn’t like to eat? And just show them the city because it’s a beautiful place when you get to look at it, really.” 

Nate Gerry 

“Well, obviously, it depends on the person. I heard the Yankees took him and his wife out for dinner or something. Man, what would I do? I’m the owner? I’d probably bring him to my Christmas party, especially this time of the year. I’d bring him to the Christmas party, bring the whole team, show him how we get down. That’s probably what I would do.” 

Chris Long 

“If I was the owner of a team? Pay him. If I lived in Philly, probably take him to an Eagles game, they’d sit in the suite. … There’s some things that I probably wouldn’t say in an interview. (Laughter) I’d probably take him to an Eagles game and then everything after that is … between the owner and the player.” 

Deiondre’ Hall

“Oh Lord, for me, it’s food. Quality food. Wine and dine me. If I was trying to get somebody, I’d take them out to a nice meal or something. Let them know they can get they number, depending on who they were. You get your own parking spot, other than that, I don’t know.” 

D.J. Alexander 

“Pay him. I mean, I don’t know. Ask Kamu (Grugier-Hill) the same question you just asked me. He’ll say something stupid.” 

Grugier-Hill: “Honestly, you just gotta pay him. Take him to an Eagles game!” 

Alexander: “Buy him a boat, buy him a private jet?”

Dallas Goedert 

“Show him the money! Give him the money! Give him a fat contract, man. That’s all I got. S—, that’s all you can do.” 

Nigel Bradham

“It’s free agency, right? What’s legal, what can I not (do)? I can get him here.” 

Grugier-Hill: (butting in with a smile) “I can get him here, just know he’ll be here the next day.” 

Bradham: “And it’s baseball, so they’re throwing crazy numbers out there. It doesn’t matter. I don’t know … that’s tough.” 

Lane Johnson

“I’d think about holding the biggest party, try to make it like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for him. Everlasting paradise. I think money talks, to be honest with you. I think money says a lot. Three hundred million is an awful lot.”

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Will Fletcher Cox be a Hall of Famer?

Will Fletcher Cox be a Hall of Famer?

This is our first in a series of stories looking at the Hall of Fame chances of current or recent Eagles who are still active in the NFL.

Today: Fletcher Cox
Saturday, July 20: Zach Ertz
Sunday, July 21: DeSean Jackson
Monday, July 22: Jason Kelce
Tuesday, July 23: LeSean McCoy
Wednesday, July 24: Jason Peters
Thursday, July 25: Darren Sproles

Numbers: Has 44 ½ sacks in 109 career games, ninth-most among active NFL defensive tackles.

Postseason numbers: Cox had one sack during the 2017 Super Bowl run but had six quarterback hits in the three playoff games.

Honors: Cox has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last four years and this past season was a first-team all-pro for the first time.

Favorite stat: Cox is only the ninth Eagle in franchise history to make four Pro Bowls before his 29th birthday and the first defensive lineman to do it since Reggie White.

Records and rankings

• Cox is sixth in franchise history in sacks. This past season he passed Andy Harmon (39 ½) for the most sacks in Eagles history by an interior lineman.

• Cox’s 10 ½ sacks last year are third-most in Eagles history by a defensive lineman, behind only Harmon in both 1993 (11 ½) and 1995 (11.0).

• This past season he became only the second player the Eagles have drafted since 1992 with double-digit sacks in a season. The other is Trent Cole.

Cox is one of only four defensive linemen to make the Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons. The others are defensive tackles Geno Atkins of the Bengals, Jurrell Casey of the Titans and Aaron Donald of the Rams.

• Only seven Eagles in history have longer streaks of Pro Bowls than Cox: White (7), Pete Pihos (6) and Chuck Bednarik, Donovan McNabb, Tommy McDonald, Mike Quick and Troy Vincent (5 each). White is the only defensive lineman in Eagles history who was picked to more Pro Bowls.

Analysis 

Cox is at the same point now that Jason Peters was in his prime. He’s so dominating that he’s going to make the Pro Bowl every year that he’s healthy.

Cox is in his prime right now and let’s conservatively give him three more Pro Bowls. That would give him seven in his career, and taking a look at the 15 tackles in NFL history who made seven Pro Bowls, 13 of the 14 who are eligible have already been enshrined in Canton.

He’s already won a Super Bowl, made four Pro Bowls, been an all-pro and piled up 44 ½ sacks, and he’s only 28 and still getting better. And the Hall of Fame voters probably won’t consider it, but Cox is a beast against the run, as good a run stopper as we’ve seen in an Eagles uniform.

The biggest thing working against Cox is Aaron Donald, who is the best tackle in the game. Donald already has 59 ½ sacks in just five years, including 20 ½ last year. If the voters look back 10 years from now they may conclude that Donald was the elite defensive tackle of this generation and hold that against Cox.
 
But Cox is on his way to becoming an all-timer in his own right, and if he keeps stringing together Pro Bowl seasons and adds a couple more all-pro first-team honors it’s going to be impossible to keep him out of Canton.

Verdict: Will be a Hall of Famer.

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Is the 2019 Eagles roster the best we’ve seen under Doug Pederson?

Is the 2019 Eagles roster the best we’ve seen under Doug Pederson?

Over the last two years, the Eagles have been one of the top teams in the NFL, winning Super Bowl LII and then getting into the second round of the playoffs last year. They have 26 wins in the last two seasons, behind just the Patriots with 29. 

And the Eagles fully expect to compete for a championship this season. Based on the roster Howie Roseman put together, this team should be in the mix to win Super Bowl LIV in Miami. 

So before the team broke for summer, Doug Pederson was asked a pretty simple question: Is this the best roster the Eagles have had since he became head coach? 

From a talent-wise (standpoint), you know, yeah, I mean, I would say that it's pretty good. I would say that, you know, from a skill position on offense (standpoint), it's probably the best we've had going into my fourth season. 

“From a depth standpoint, as I mentioned earlier, I think it's equivalent to what we had going into the 2017 season. 

“But listen, all that can change in a heartbeat, as we know. This is a violent sport, violent game … and I'm not going to sit here and make predictions and put our team in a box that way, but we still have to go coach and play games, obviously. But on paper, it appears that way.

Pederson is right. On paper, you can certainly argue that this is the best roster he’s had. 

But he’s also right that injuries can change everything. That was the special thing about the 2017 season: despite injuries to many key players, the Eagles continued to roll. If Pederson is correct, that the depth on this roster equals the depth on the 2017 roster, that’s pretty damn important. 

Pederson also undersold how good his skill position players are this season by using the word “probably” before saying they’re the best he’s had. They are the most talented group he’s had. Period. And this collection of receivers should be the best in Eagles’ history. 

Let’s take a closer look at the top skill position players heading into all four seasons under Pederson: 

2016: Carson Wentz, Chase Daniel, Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner, Wendell Smallwood, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Josh Huff, Dorial Green-Beckham, Bryce Treggs, Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton 

2017: Wentz, Nick Foles, LeGarrette Blount, Sproles, Smallwood, Corey Clement, Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Agholor, Mack Hollins, Marcus Johnson, Shelton Gibson, Ertz, Celek, Burton 

2018: Wentz, Foles, Nate Sudfeld, Jay Ajayi, Sproles, Clement, Smallwood, Jeffery, Agholor, Wallace, Gibson, DeAndre Carter, Ertz, Goedert, Rodgers 

2019: Wentz, Sudfeld, Clayton Thorson, Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Clement, Jeffery, Agholor, DeSean Jackson, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Ertz, Goedert, Rodgers 

I’d take the 2019 group without hesitation. 

It’s also important to note that those skill position players can only do their jobs if the offensive line in front of them is good and — more importantly for this team — healthy. The Eagles have some questions about health on their OL, but if that unit is solid, with these skill guys, this offense could be dynamic. 

Of course, talent alone doesn’t win. The Eagles know that. But talent is a pretty good place to start. And this roster is full of it.

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