Eagles

NFL rumors: League considering waiver for fans who want to attend games in 2020

NFL rumors: League considering waiver for fans who want to attend games in 2020

With the first NFL preseason game 43 days away, the league is still scrambling to figure out if fans will be in stadium seats if and when football is played this season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

If fans do find their ways into Lincoln Financial Field later this year, it's possible they'd first have to sign some sort of waiver to shield the Eagles from liability, according to a report Wednesday from The Athletic

It sounds like we could learn more in the coming days and weeks:

The NFL is considering requiring fans attending games this season to sign liability waivers shielding the teams from COVID-19 lawsuits, sources said.  The waiver proposal is likely to be forwarded to clubs by the middle of next week as part of a broad range of league recommended best practices for re-opening stadiums amid the coronavirus pandemic.

What specific language the waiver would include is currently unclear, but it seems fans would complete the waiver electronically before attending games, per The Athletic.

It's unclear if the league has consulted with public health experts on the decision.

The news comes one day after the Eagles sent an email to season ticket holders that had many wondering if the 2020 season will be a fan-less affair at the Linc.

From NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank:

The Eagles previously pushed payments back and also provided season ticket holders with the option of paying in installments or one single payment on July 1.

According to the email, the Eagles will communicate additional information regarding season tickets soon:

'Previously, you had deferred your 2020 season ticket payment to July 1st,' the email read. 'We do not plan to process this payment as scheduled and will communicate additional information regarding the 2020 season following the Fourth of July.'

In early June, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's office issued guidance for professional sports in the state, allowing teams to practice and play in counties that at least reached the yellow reopening phase, as long as the team's league had a COVID-19 safety plan approved the the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Wolf's office said that teams in counties in the green reopening phase are permitted to practice or play with fewer than 250 people on site.

The Eagles averaged 69,783 fans at the Linc during the 2019 season.

The Eagles are scheduled to open the preseason on Aug. 13 in Indianapolis. The first home preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 27 against the Patriots. The regular-season home opener is Sept. 20 against the Rams.

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Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert gets a very bold 2020 prediction from PFF

Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert gets a very bold 2020 prediction from PFF

Pro Football Focus released its ranking of the 15 best tight ends in the NFL on Wednesday, and somehow the decision to place Rob Gronkowski at No. 3 is only the second-boldest move on the list.

The boldest? Placing Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert at No. 6 in the league - and ahead of Zach Ertz.

Wait, what?

Eagles fans know the Birds probably have the league's best tight end duo, and 2020 should be a big year for Goedert. But placing the third-year tight end in front of Ertz, a perennial Pro Bowler coming off the second-best season of his career? Hmm.

Let's go to the list for some explanation:

6. DALLAS GOEDERT

The best tight end on the Eagles’ roster heading into 2020 is not Zach Ertz. Despite the receiving totals pointing pretty clearly to Ertz being the better player in Philadelphia, it’s actually Goedert who graded out as the better receiver in 2019. Goedert’s size and athleticism make him dangerous in one-on-one situations, evident in his receiving grade against single coverage that ranked near the top of the list this past season.

[...]

He just needs more opportunities in a featured role, because the talent is there.

7. ZACH ERTZ

Many would rank Ertz as high as third on this list, so I’ll start this out by explaining a little bit why he comes in at just seventh. Primarily, he isn’t nearly as dynamic as some of these other guys with the ball in his hands.

Sandwiched between Antonio Gates (36 years old at the start of this stretch) and Jason Witten (34 years old) is not where you want to be as one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL in your prime.

It's hard to say these evaluations are far off. I'd venture to guess most Eagles fans, and most football observers, expect Goedert to overtake Ertz as the team's TE1 at some point in the next few years. Goedert is more athletic than Ertz, he's already a well-rounded player, and Ertz isn't getting any younger.

And the criticisms of Ertz - his relative lack of game-breaking athleticism compared to a George Kittle or Travis Kelce, and his constant inability to break tackles - hold true, as they have for years.

But predicting Goedert moving ahead of Ertz this year? That's gutsy! 

I think a lot of folks missed Goedert's sneakily productive season in 2019 - 58 catches, 607 yards, and five touchdowns - and we'll likely see Goedert play even more in 2020. His targets (87) didn't match Ertz's receptions (88) last year, so this might feel like a reach for a one-year change. But the role switch for TE1 and TE2 also might be closer than we think.

And if Goedert does take a big leap in 2020, that might make Howie Roseman think twice about extending Zach Ertz. The veteran tight end, possibly the best in franchise history, said this week he wants to remain an Eagle forever

If Goedert overtakes Ertz in productivity this year, as PFF thinks will happen, Ertz might have to take a discount to stick around in midnight green when his contract is up after the 2021 season.

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Eagle Eye podcast: A closer look at DE after addition of Vinny Curry

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Eagle Eye podcast: A closer look at DE after addition of Vinny Curry

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank, Dave Zangaro and Barrett Brooks react to the addition of Vinny Curry and what it means for the entire defensive end position. 

What about guys like Shareef Miller, Genard Avery and Joe Ostman? 

Jatavis Brown abruptly retired this weekend, which leaves the Eagles really light at the linebacker positions. The guys take a closer look. Jason Kelce and Jason Peters are forming a really interesting duo on the Eagles’ line. 

And Nate Gerry and Lane Johnson are off the Reserve/COVID-19 list. 

  • (2:06) — What the return of Vinny Curry means for Shareef Miller.
  • (16:01) — Jatavis Brown abruptly retires.
  • (25:53) — Eagles lack talented players under 25-years-old.
  • (33:16) — Jason Kelce is learning from Jason Peters.

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