Eagles

President Donald Trump reignites NFL national anthem feud

President Donald Trump reignites NFL national anthem feud

President Donald Trump is once again lashing out at football players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.

Trump claimed on Twitter Friday that "most of them are unable to define" what they're demonstrating against.

Instead, Trump tweets players should "Be happy, be cool!"

Numerous player demonstrations took place during the national anthem at several early NFL preseason games Thursday night, including the Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins. With the support of Chris Long, Jenkins raised his fist during the anthem, as he did last season (see story)

Many other Eagles players made their mission clear with pregame shirts, citing statistics figures on voter registration and percentages of prison populations (see story).

Players have been protesting police killings of black men, social injustice and racism.

Trump writes from his New Jersey golf resort that players "make a fortune doing what they love" and that those who refuse to stand "proudly" for the anthem should be suspended without pay.

Trump has told associates that he believes the anthem issue is a winning one that riles up his base.

Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: Cody Ford

Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: Cody Ford

The top interior offensive line prospect in this year’s draft, Ford is an intriguing prospect who hasn’t played very much football, although he did block for two pretty good QBs at Oklahoma in Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield.

Ford is seen as a guard in the NFL, at least to start off, and that’s where he played early in his college career, but he is athletic enough that when injury forced him to move to right tackle this past fall, he earned third-team All-America honors.

Ford, who stands 6-foot-4, 330 pounds, only started 21 games in college, only seven at guard. So he’s a raw prospect with a tremendous amount of upside. But with his natural power, athleticism and intelligence there’s no reason he can’t be a productive NFL starter immediately at guard.

Current roster at G: A ton of question marks. Brandon Brooks is one of the NFL’s best but is coming off Achilles surgery and nobody knows when he’ll be ready to play. Stefen Wisniewski, who started 27 games at guard for the Eagles the last three years, is gone. Isaac Seumalo has started 15 games in three years but remains something of a mystery. And there’s really nobody else, although Matt Pryor, a sixth-rounder last year, will get a look in camp.

How he would fit: If the Eagles drafted Ford, he’d be their starting left guard by the end of the day.

Eagles history at G in draft: The Eagles drafted guards in the first round in 1996 and 2004, and both became Pro Bowlers — Jermane Mayberry and Shawn Andrews. Andrews was a two-time first-team All-Pro but for a variety of reasons never really played after his 25th birthday. The only guard the Eagles have taken in the first round since Andrews was a 26-year-old ice hockey player who was more interested in being a fireman than playing football. Seumalo is the only center-guard they’ve taken in the first five rounds of the last seven drafts.

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Other options at 25 

Donovan McNabb weighs in on Carson Wentz's durability and expectations with Eagles

Donovan McNabb weighs in on Carson Wentz's durability and expectations with Eagles

Everyone has an opinion on Carson Wentz, even the former franchise quarterback of the Eagles, Donovan McNabb. 

This morning, 5 was on CBS Sports Radio with Zach Gelb and spewed his take on Wentz, one that doesn’t offer the new franchise quarterback much of a leash. 

Here’s what he said on the topic: 

I think in the next two years or so, he needs to find a way to get out of the second round of the playoffs. What Nick Foles was able to do, take them to a Super Bowl and then possibly take them back to the NFC Championship proves that, hey, some people can get into that offense and be very successful. [Wentz] hasn’t been healthy. He hasn’t really proven to me, besides the year before he got hurt, in his first year, of really the MVP candidate. He needs to get back to that mode. 

I think, personally, if he can’t get out of the second round in the next two, maybe three, years, but really two years, to be honest with you. If he can’t get out of the second round, they should look to possibly draft another quarterback because you just don’t know about his durability. Staying healthy is very key in this league. The team only goes as far as their quarterback takes them. And they put so many eggs in the basket with Carson Wentz and he has to prove that in the next two years. 

Well, the first thing here is that we should correct McNabb. The year Wentz got hurt was his MVP-caliber season. Had he played those last three games, he probably would have won the award. No harm done. Moving on. 

Now, let’s get to the gist of McNabb’s point. He has Wentz on a very short leash. If Wentz can’t get to an NFC Championship game in two years, they should move on, according to McNabb.  

I get part of what McNabb is saying even though he didn’t really say it. The Eagles are clearly in win-now mode; their window to win Super Bowls is open right now and they need Wentz to play well for that to happen. But to say he needs to get out of the second round because “you don’t know about his durability” doesn’t really make much sense. Sure, if he’s healthy, he’ll probably be good and the Eagles will find success. Is McNabb’s point that if Wentz isn’t healthy, they should move on? Well, that’s a salient one, I suppose. 

Here’s the thing, though. The idea that the Eagles should just draft another quarterback is a hard proposition. Franchise QBs don’t grow on trees. It’s why the Eagles were so aggressive to trade up in 2016…because they identified Wentz as that guy. And it seems unlikely the Eagles are going to stink if Wentz is on the field. So, then we’re talking about a pretty big jump up in the draft to get another elite quarterback. 

Maybe McNabb didn’t put too much thought into this answer. Because getting into the NFC Championship Game in two years seems like a pretty arbitrary goal. What if Wentz plays well in the playoffs and the Eagles lose close games in the divisional round in back-to-back years? Still moving on? Yeah, probably not. 

And we didn’t even talk about the contract. The Eagles have seemed pretty on-board with getting an extension done with Wentz this offseason or next. If that happens, you can forget about them moving on. Then they’ll be locked in with Wentz for better or for worse.

McNabb was also asked about some other stuff pertaining to the Eagles and around the league. Listen if you want: 

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