Eagles

Most important Eagles for 2020: Miles Sanders starts off the top 10

Most important Eagles for 2020: Miles Sanders starts off the top 10

Over the next four weeks, we’ll be counting down the 20 most important Eagles for the 2020 season. 

20: Nate Sudfeld 
19. Avonte Maddox
18. Nathan Gerry
17. Dallas Goedert  
16. Derek Barnett
15. Jalen Reagor 
14. Jalen Mills
13. Brandon Brooks
12. Rodney McLeod
11. Javon Hargrave 
10. Miles Sanders 

After a really promising rookie season, the Eagles will be relying heavily on Sanders in 2020. It'll be up to Doug Pederson to figure out how much to use him

It was a really good rookie season for the second-round pick from Penn State. Sanders rushed for 818 yards (4.6) and also caught 50 passes for 509 yards with 6 total touchdowns. Along the way, he amassed 1,327 scrimmage yards, breaking the Eagles’ rookie record. 

Year 2 should be even better for Sanders. 

Early last season, he wasn’t quite ready to be the Eagles starter. He got off to a slow start and the Eagles had Jordan Howard so they had to go with him. And Howard was playing well until he suffered a stinger. That injury might have ended up being a blessing in the long run. Because that’s when Sanders exploded. 

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

Sanders became the Eagles’ starter coming out of the bye week in Week 11 and took his game to a new level. And then in the four-game win streak to end the season, Sanders averaged 112 scrimmage yards per game. 

There’s a reason the Eagles fell in love with Sanders during last year’s draft. He has all the makings of an elite feature back: He’s quick, explosive, shifty, has hands out of the backfield and is a willing blocker. 

In the past, we’ve seen Doug Pederson utilize a running back by committee approach, but I think a lot of that was because he didn’t have a back that was able to carry the full load. That doesn’t mean Boston Scott and Corey Clement and whoever else won’t get any touches; they will. But without Howard, Sanders is the true, no-doubt-about-it No. 1 back and the Eagles are going to ride him this season. 

If Sanders can stay healthy, he should be able to put together a 1,000-yard rushing season and continue to be a huge part of the passing game. 

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 

Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagle Eye podcast: There goes half of the NFL preseason

us_ee_pederson.png
USA Today Images

Eagle Eye podcast: There goes half of the NFL preseason

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast presented by Mercedes Benz of Fort Washington, West Chester and Atlantic City, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to reports about the NFL’s cutting the preseason in half. 

If rosters are reduced before training camp because of COVID-19, which players will be the first to go? The guys try to figure it out. 

And, would Doug Pederson really quarantine a quarterback in 2020, just in case? 

Recapping Nos. 10-5 on our list of most important Eagles. And Roob highlights some of the best and worst running back performances in team history. 

  • (2:03) — The NFL will shorten the preseason from four games to two.
  • (10:06) — Report of the NFL cutting down the size of rosters.
  • (22:22) — The idea of quarantining a quarterback to keep them healthy and available
  • (30:31) — Most important Eagles of 2020, 10-5.
  • (42:17) — The top 10 worst performances ever by Eagles running backs.
     

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 

Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

NFL Rumors: George Kittle's rumored extension price is good news for Eagles

NFL Rumors: George Kittle's rumored extension price is good news for Eagles

Football's tight end position has changed considerably in the last decade. In 2020 we have a ton of game-changing pass catchers at the position.

Which means it's time for tight ends to start getting paid more, and soon.

One of the players leading the tight end revolution has been the Eagles' Zach Ertz, who is under contract through 2021 but will likely want an extension sooner. His next contract (in Philly, or elsewhere) will be influenced by contracts for 49ers tight end George Kittle and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. 

And now, we have some idea of what those deals could look like. 

Kittle has been looking for a huge contract, given his clear value in the passing game, but according to a report this week, it looks like the number will be a bit lower than some estimations.

Per The Athletic:

I recently spoke with someone in the know who said he thought Kittle ultimately would land a contract worth $13 million a year. That’s not the spectacular deal some were envisioning for the 49ers’ indispensable man, but it would still set the pace for all tight ends.

It's not mind-blowing money, but it would mark the richest contract for a tight end in NFL history. Right now, 14 wide receivers have a higher average annual salary higher than $13 million.

Does that mean an Ertz extension will land around the same place? And can the Eagles afford that? Let's investigate.

Here's a quick look at their respective numbers from last season:

Kittle: 85 receptions, 1053 yards, 5 TD

Ertz: 88 receptions, 916 yards, 6 TD

Ertz, who turns 30 this season, has reached three straight Pro Bowls and has been the Eagles' most relaible target during the Carson Wentz era. He's not getting younger, but he's still an elite tight end.

Kittle, who turns 27 this season, has reached two straight Pro Bowls, was named First Team All-Pro in 2019, and was the best receiving threat on a 49ers team that reached the Super Bowl.

The numbers put Ertz right around Kittle's neighborhood, but being three years older - and a potentially reduced role in the Eagles' offense with better wide receivers - could make it hard to argue he deserves an equal deal. 

I'd imagine, if the Eagles want to keep him around, he'll land a little lower than Kittle, but higher than Austin Hooper, who landed a four-year deal averaging $10.5 million earlier this year.

(Considering what Dallas Goedert has shown in his first two seasons, I wouldn't extend Ertz, but that's a conversation for another day.)

In any case, Ertz is still one of the most important members of the 2020 Eagles team, as NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro explained Thursday:

One main reason Ertz has been so important to the Eagles is because they haven’t had consistent play at the receiver position. He’s been the offense’s best and most consistent weapon in the last several seasons. In fact, he’s led the team in receiving for each of the last four years. 

While the Eagles have added some new receivers this offseason, my best guess is that as long as Ertz stays healthy, he’ll lead the team in receptions again in 2020.

And then we'll see what happens.

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles