Eagles

Howie Roseman explains why Eagles didn’t trade for DeAndre Hopkins

Howie Roseman explains why Eagles didn’t trade for DeAndre Hopkins

When the Arizona Cardinals pulled off what appeared to be the heist of the century, nabbing DeAndre Hopkins from the Cardinals for David Johnson and a second-round pick, Eagles fans had a question for Howie Roseman: 

Hey Howie, ARE YOU AWAKE!?!? 

Because that deal was just too good to be true for the Cardinals. They’re getting arguably the best receiver in the NFL for what seems like an awfully low price. And if you haven’t noticed, the Eagles could certainly use some more … uh … depth at receiver. 

But on a conference call Thursday morning, Roseman indicated that the Texans weren’t offering the Eagles the same deal they offered the Cardinals. 

The Hopkins one, I get that this is a hot-button topic for us,” Roseman said. “I think that, again, we gotta also look at it from the perspective of the other team. What their ask is for us may be different, depending on their valuation of players they get in trades or where draft picks are. So, it's not always apples to apples. 

“I’m not saying that as an excuse, I'm just saying the reality of the situation is there are a lot of trades that we look at where I'll call the GM and say, you know, 'We talked about this. Why would you do it for this?' And they'll say, 'Well, I really like this player' or 'I like where this pick is.' So, I think there's a lot that goes into it and we're not always in control of the results on that.

Just after the trade was executed, I joked that the Eagles didn’t do the move because they didn’t have an aging running back on a high-priced deal. 

Turns out I was kind of right. 

Here’s a reminder of the terms of that trade: 

Texans get: RB David Johnson, 2020 second-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick 

Cardinals get: WR DeAndre Hopkins, 2020 fourth-round pick

You can certainly argue that the Eagles still should have found a way to trade for Hopkins, but we’re not exactly sure what the price would have been for them. And when dealing with an inexperienced GM/coach like Houston’s Bill O’Brien, it’s hard to really figure out what he was thinking. 

But here are the three most likely reasons this trade didn’t happen for the Eagles: 

1. The Texans wanted David Johnson 

While the rest of us see Johnson as an aging running back with diminishing skills who has had just one great season FOUR YEARS AGO, apparently O’Brien sees him as a vital part of the 2020 Texans. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong. But it seems like OB clearly overvalued Johnson, who at least had a comparable salary to Hopkins. 

If the Texans really wanted Johnson, the Eagles didn’t have him. So, theoretically, if Johnson was the prize O’Brien was after, then the asking price for the Eagles would have been much higher. 

2. The Cardinals’ pick was better 

The Eagles didn’t have Johnson and then their 2020 second-round pick wasn’t as valuable as the Cardinals’ pick. The Eagles have No. 53 and the Cardinals traded away No. 40. So it’s easy to say the Eagles could have traded away their second-round pick in the trade, but the Cardinals’ pick was better, so the Eagles would have needed to sweeten the pot. 

3. Hopkins wanted an extension

The issue with Hopkins is that while he’s still just 27, he wants a new contract. The Eagles were willing to trade for Darius Slay and grant his extension request, but Slay was entering the final year of his deal and the commitment was very team friendly. Meanwhile, Hopkins still has THREE years left on his current contract. 

The Eagles will sometimes try to get deals done early to save in the long-term but redoing a deal with three years remaining is a bit excessive and might set a precedent the Eagles don’t want. 

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Eagles' coaches to continue working at home despite NFL policy change

Eagles' coaches to continue working at home despite NFL policy change

In a bit of a surprising move, the Eagles have decided to keep their coaching staff sequestered at home, despite an NFL policy that would allow them to return to work at the NovaCare Complex on Friday.

The NFL is allowing coaches — but not players — to work at team facilities starting Friday, as long as local and state guidelines allow it.

But Doug Pederson is apparently so happy with the way virtual sessions between the coaches and players have gone over the past several weeks that he doesn't see a reason to bring his coaches into the building yet.

"The virtual collaboration over the past three months has proven that the contributions and value of our employees is not dependent upon their physical presence at the facility," the team said in a statement.

Many Eagles assistants don't live in Philadelphia year-round and the new coaches on Pederson's staff haven't had the chance to look for homes yet.

Because players aren't allowed into the complex — other than injured or rehabbing players — it wouldn't really change the way the Eagles are holding virtual OTA sessions.

The current set of offseason workouts is scheduled to end on June 25, and training camp is scheduled to begin about a month later.

The Eagles will be opening the NovaCare Complex and the Linc to a limited number of employees next week.  

"Over the last 12 weeks, our organization has remained connected, united and focused on our preparations for the upcoming season," the Eagles said in an unattributed statement. 

"We have been planning for and will begin a phased approach of gradually returning a limited number of employees to the NovaCare Complex and Lincoln Financial Field beginning Monday in compliance with the state and local guidelines, NFL policies and in consultation with medical experts."

The Eagles closed the NovaCare Complex on March 13 and players and coaches have been meeting virtually since. 

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Drew Brees fumble highlights how much Carson Wentz nailed it

Drew Brees fumble highlights how much Carson Wentz nailed it

As we watch Drew Brees backpedal, apologize and now try to smooth things over with his teammates and his city, one thing is becoming clear. 

Carson Wentz nailed it. The first time. 

Wentz last Friday became one of the first high-profile white athletes in America to speak out about the killing of George Floyd. He stopped short of specifically calling out police brutality but he condemned “institutional racism” and his approach was one of understanding and empathy. It was honest, it was refreshing and it was unifying. 

Then there’s what Brees said. 

Brees in an interview on Wednesday reiterated his response from 2016 about the peaceful protests against police brutality and racial injustice once held by NFL players during the national anthem. Brees said he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.” 

For Brees’s black teammates who have been fighting for racial equality, and for those affected by racial injustice, those words hurt. Not just because Brees completely missed the point of those protests but because of his complete lack of awareness. It hurt more because it came from someone they thought was an ally. 

Malcolm Jenkins on Thursday said he had spoken to Brees but he still posted his emotional responses to those comments. A strained Jenkins choked back tears as he talked about how much the words from Brees pained him. 

One of the big problems for Jenkins was the loss of trust. In an emotionally charged week, during which Jenkins has been trying to effect real change, someone he considered to be an ally, a friend, a brother, completely discounted the cause. 

To Brees’s credit, he did apologize on Thursday morning. While many will argue that his apology fell short in many areas, it’s at least a start to his rebuilding trust in the locker room and in New Orleans, where crowds of protesters on Wednesday chanted “F— Drew Brees!” Some will accept his apology, some will want to see more and some never will. 

For his sake and for the sake of his teammates, I hope the apology wasn’t hollow. I hope Brees learns why his words hurt so many. 

It’s hard to imagine Brees watching those videos of Jenkins and not wanting to rectify the situation. Imagine causing so much pain to someone you’re supposed to care about. 

While plenty of Saints players have spoken out against their quarterback’s words this week, many Eagles players have gained even more respect for their quarterback. DeSean Jackson earlier this week said his white teammates like Wentz, Zach Ertz and Jason Kelce stepped up. In that moment, Wentz wasn’t just a leader of a football team; he was a leader of the community. 

This isn’t about football right now. But eventually, there will be NFL games and it’s fair to wonder how these parallel situations will play out short-term and long-term in their respective cities. One team seems to be weaker because of this and one team seems to be stronger. 

While Brees caused what might be irreparable damage to the brotherhood of his football team and to his legacy in New Orleans, Wentz took a huge step forward as a leader of his locker room and the community. 

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