Eagles

NFL free agency 2019: A comprehensive look at Eagles' quarterbacks

NFL free agency 2019: A comprehensive look at Eagles' quarterbacks

Reuben Frank, Dave Zangaro and Andrew Kulp bring back the 2019 edition of Stay or Go, trying to figure out the future of the Eagles. 

We start off with the quarterback position: 

Carson Wentz 

Roob: Not only will he be back, but there’s also no doubt in my mind he’ll be back at an elite level. If Wentz can do what he did this year — 70 percent, 21 TDs, 7 INTs — with a knee that wasn’t at full strength and a broken back, there’s no reason to expect anything less than his 2017 Pro Bowl form with a healthy offseason. I expect greatness from Wentz in 2019.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: I know some fans wanted the Eagles to change paths, but Wentz is their guy. They identified him, moved up to get him and then started him right away. They have never wavered. I still think he’s going to be an MVP in this league. Even if they don’t pay him this offseason, they’re going to at some point. 

Verdict: Stays 

Kulp: Doug Pederson already came right out and said, “Carson is the quarterback going forward,” and for the record, it’s the right call. If a down year is a 69.6 completion percentage, 7.7 yards per pass attempt and 21 touchdowns, can’t wait to see what Wentz has in store for 2019 when he’s actually healthy.

Verdict: Stays

Nick Foles

Roob: I know there’s a growing school of thought that says Foles will decide to stay in Philly and back up Wentz instead of going to a bad team where he has no chance of winning. But I just don’t see it. He’s in his prime. He’s a competitor. He wants to play. He says all the time, “I want to lead a team.” He’ll get that opportunity somewhere in 2019.

Verdict: Goes

Dave: If it was anyone else, I’d say there was a zero percent chance he’d be back. I’ll admit with Foles it’s more than that. But I still can’t see how he comes back next season. It seems like he knows it too. Either he leaves as a free agent or he gets traded to a place he’s comfortable going after playing this chess match with the Eagles. See ya, Nick. 

Verdict: Goes

Kulp: Don’t envision a scenario where Foles returns as a backup. He’ll get the opportunity to start someplace — either Jacksonville or Washington would be my guess — plus the Eagles are up against the salary cap. I wasn’t exactly blown away by his performance this season anyway, so no quarterback controversy here. As far as what happens, Foles opts out and becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Verdict: Goes

Nate Sudfeld

Roob: I think we got a pretty good idea how much the Eagles like Sudfeld when they went into the postseason in both 2017 and 2018 with Sudfeld as the No. 2. If they didn’t trust him, he wouldn’t have been a backup quarterback in a Super Bowl. The Eagles have too many other needs to invest in a costly veteran backup QB.

Verdict: Stays

Dave: He’s a restricted free agent, so the Eagles can make sure he doesn’t go anywhere. They’ll either use an original-round tender or a second-round tender if they think there’s a market for him. Either way, the Eagles like Sudfeld and he’s not going anywhere.

Verdict: Stays

Kulp: The Eagles have been grooming Sudfeld for the backup role the past two seasons. No doubt there will be “competition” in the form of an inexpensive veteran and/or rookie(s), but Sudfeld should be carried by his familiarity with the offense. A restricted free agent with 25 career pass attempts, I don’t anticipate him receiving an offer sheet from another team, either.

Verdict: Stays 

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Doug Pederson hoping to mix new face Jay Ajayi into Eagles' running attack

Doug Pederson hoping to mix new face Jay Ajayi into Eagles' running attack

Doug Pederson said he hopes to get recently re-acquired running back Jay Ajayi more involved in the offense as the Eagles head into the stretch run.

Ajayi has eight carries for 25 yards and a 3.1 average in two games since returning to the Eagles following a year layoff. 

A Pro Bowler in 2016 with the Dolphins and a stud down the stretch during the Super Bowl season, Ajayi suffered a torn ACL in Week 5 last year and didn’t play from Oct. 7, 2018, until Nov. 24, 2019, when he made his 2019 debut against the Seahawks.

Ajayi didn't have OTAs or a training camp and didn't even practice until the Wednesday before the Seattle game. 

It's a process with him, but we understand who he is and the injury that he's coming off of, so we're careful with that,” Pederson said. “But at the same time, he's a bigger, powerful guy that we can use in spots.

With Jordan Howard missing the last three games with nerve damage in his shoulder, rookie Miles Sanders has essentially been the entire running attack. But the Eagles are so hesitant to increase his workload significantly that it’s created a situation in which the Eagles just haven’t run the ball very much during their three-game losing streak because they haven’t had a viable second option.

During these last three games, Sanders has 40 carries, Ajayi eight and Boston Scott seven.

This is the first time the Eagles have leaned this heavily on one back in a three-game stretch since 2012. 

During a late-season three-game stretch in which LeSean McCoy was hurt, Bryce Brown got 52 carries and Dion Lewis had four.

The Eagles ran 45 percent of the time in the nine games Howard played and 31 percent since he got hurt. They’re 0-3 without him.

Miles has done a great job,” Pederson said Saturday. “I’d love to get Jay a few more touches and get Boston in the mix so we're not obviously wearing Miles down here this last month of the season.

The current stretch is the first in franchise history that the Eagles have thrown at least 40 times and run the ball 23 or fewer times in three straight games.

Howard hasn’t played since before the bye week and is out for the Eagles’ game Monday night against the Giants. 

Pederson said earlier in the week he doesn’t expect this to be a season-ending injury, but will Howard be able to pick up where he left off after such a long layoff even if he does return?

The Eagles began the season with Howard, Sanders, Corey Clement and Darren Sproles in what looked to be a deep running back rotation. 

Sanders is the only one of that group left. Can Ajayi make a difference after such a long layoff? Sounds like Pederson wants to find out.

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Eagles Injury Update: Latest on Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard

Eagles Injury Update: Latest on Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard

Updated: 3:39 p.m.

Derek Barnett and Nelson Agholor will likely be game-time decisions for Monday Night Football, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said on Saturday morning. 

Barnett (ankle) and Agholor (knee) both missed all three days of practice this week and are listed as questionable.

Meanwhile, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol. He was just placed in protocol on Thursday and won't play Monday night. 

And Jordan Howard (shoulder) has still not been cleared for contact; he can’t play until he is and that’s not happening before Monday. He's officially questionable. 

Lane Johnson also missed practice on Friday and Saturday for a non-injury reason but is expected to play on Monday. 

If Agholor is unable to play, the Eagles would be left with just three healthy receivers on the roster: Alshon Jeffery, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. 

“We’re very comfortable, obviously, with the guys we have,” Pederson said. “So if it’s three, it’s three. We brought up [Josh Perkins] a week ago to help us there, so it’s an addition there. We go and we go play. We’ll discuss those over the next couple of days leading up to the game. If we have to make a decision we will. We feel good with the guys we have in that receiver role.” 

If the Eagles do decide to make a roster move, they have three wide receivers on their practice squad: Robert Davis, Marcus Green and Marken Michel. 

While Agholor had his knee injury before last week’s game, Barnett got hurt during the loss in Miami, but was still able to play through the injury and play 50 snaps. Barnett has played the third-most defensive snaps on the team this year, so losing him for this game wouldn’t be insignificant. 

If Barnett can’t play, expect Josh Sweat and Vinny Curry to get more reps. After that, Genard Avery, Daeshon Hall and even Shareef Miller could see a few snaps. 

For the Giants: 

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