Eagles

Why Richard Sherman feels white QBs like Wentz speaking up about racism is important

Why Richard Sherman feels white QBs like Wentz speaking up about racism is important

Last Thursday, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz posted a message online speaking out against institutional racism in the United States after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis last Monday night by a police officer in an incident caught on camera. The officer kneeled on his neck for an extended period of time while Floyd was handcuffed.

Wentz speaking up - saying that "institutional racism in this country breaks my heart and needs to stop" - was an unusual move for the quarterback, who normally avoided discussing anything societal during his first four seasons with the Eagles.

But his decision to break that trend was felt around Philadelphia and nationally, and a number of other white players, including the Eagles' Zach Ertz, echoed his sentiments in the following days.

And Wentz's message apparently earned him some serious respect from veteran San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sherman spoke with Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer over the weekend, and had good things to say:

First, Eagles QB Carson Wentz said something. Then Bengals QB Joe Burrow said something. So too did Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence and new Cowboys QB Andy Dalton. All those guys are white, and all could’ve kept quiet in the face of something like this, like quarterbacks routinely have in the past. But they didn’t.

As to the importance of that, I didn’t even have to ask Sherman to go there. He went on his own, volunteering his feelings on the gravity of their words.

'I’m impressed with the white QBs speaking up because those are voices that carry different weight than the black voices for some people,' Sherman said. 'Which means the people who refuse to listen to a black athlete’s perspective will hear the same thing said from a white athlete, but receive the message much differently. So it’s awesome that more people are speaking out, because in sports, you really have a love and appreciation for your fellow man, regardless of race.

'And I think that’s what makes sports and teams so special, because a lot of the stereotypes are torn down. You really get to know one another, not judge based off nonsense.'

On the football field, Sherman and Wentz have faced off just once since Wentz entered the league in 2016, a 26-15 Seahawks win in Week 10 of Wentz's rookie year. Sherman intercepted Wentz in the third quarter.

But off the field, it seems the two have plenty of common ground in the fight for justice and equality.

The Eagles and 49ers are scheduled to play on Oct. 4, the Sunday Night Football game for Week 4, this season.

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Madden 21 ratings: Jalen Reagor, 2020 rookies receive first-ever overall ratings

Madden 21 ratings: Jalen Reagor, 2020 rookies receive first-ever overall ratings

EA Sports released ratings for the 2020 rookie class's offensive skill players this week, and Eagles fans should be pretty happy with where their guys landed, with only a few gripes.

First-round pick Jalen Reagor is a 73 overall, coming in as the fifth-ranked wideout. He's one point behind Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who was selected one spot behind Reagor and who will likely be compared to Reagor for at least the length of their respective rookie contracts.

Second-round pick Jalen Hurts, the selection that had (and maybe still has?) Eagles fans scratching their heads, is a 68 overall. He's Madden's fifth-ranked quarterback in the 2020 class, just two points behind Chargers first round pick Justin Herbert and three points behind Packers first round pick Jordan Love.

Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow both lead the way with 76 overall ratings.

Diving a bit deeper, I think Reagor's 79 catch rating is low, as is his 62 strength rating, and Hurts' 65 awareness is a bit rough. But otherwise, things feel about right.

Here's a breakdown of individual skill ratings for Reagor, Hurts, wide receiver John Hightower, and wide receiver Quez Watkins:

Jalen Reagor: 73

Speed: 93
Acceleration: 92
Strength: 62
Agility: 94
Awareness: 67
Catch: 79
Break Tackle: 75
Jump: 94

Jalen Hurts: 68

Speed: 86
Acceleration: 89
Strength: 72
Agility: 88
Awareness: 65
Throw Power: 84
Break Tackle: 75
Jump: 86

John Hightower: 68

Speed: 92
Acceleration: 89
Strength: 49
Agility: 85
Awareness: 65
Catch: 81
Break Tackle: 69
Jump: 90

Quez Watkins: 65

Speed: 94
Acceleration: 90
Strength: 41
Agility: 86
Awareness: 61
Catch: 80
Break Tackle: 74
Jump: 87

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NFL rumors: Everson Griffen seems interested in joining an NFC East contender

NFL rumors: Everson Griffen seems interested in joining an NFC East contender

Veteran pass rusher Everson Griffen had another solid year with the Vikings in 2019, making his fourth career Pro Bowl in his 10th season in Minnesota.

But heading into his second decade in the league, Griffen remains a free agent - and a possible Eagles target as Howie Roseman looks to bolster the pass rush.

And it's starting to sound like the interest goes both ways.

After a weekend of possible Jadeveon Clowney rumblings, Griffen took to Twitter on Sunday evening to tweet for the first time in two weeks. He responded to a tweet comparing himself to Clowney, and linking Griffen to... the Eagles.

Griffen's response was pretty telling:

Hmm.

A guy like Griffen, who's only tweeted 1,200 times in 10 years, chooses his tweets wisely, so this feels like a pretty clear message to GMs across the league, Roseman included.

The Eagles have been linked to Clowney, Griffen, and Yannick Ngakoue all offseason as they try to turn their defense into a unit that can straight up steal some games in 2020.

Jim Schwartz's defense tied for 13th in the league in sacks with 43 in 2019, a step up from 16th in 2018 but techincally a step down in volume from 44 in 2018.

Griffen rattled off 8.0 sacks in 2019, which would've been good for second on the Eagles, and has picked up at least 8.0 sacks in every season during which he's started at least 75% of his team's games.

Griffen, who turns 33 in December, is substantially older than Clowney and Ngakoue, but he's proven for years to be a reliable pass rusher who gets results. Plus, his age could bring the price down considerably, always a perk for Roseman.

It'll be interesting to see how things shake out, but it seems a partnership here would work.

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