Eagles

Sidney Jones missing practice with lower-body soreness

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Sidney Jones missing practice with lower-body soreness

When the Eagles began their mandatory minicamp Tuesday, there was a notable absence. 

Well, not an absence, but Sidney Jones wasn’t participating. The Eagles’ second-year cornerback, who is facing high expectations, has been dealing with lower-body soreness, according to head coach Doug Pederson Wednesday. He missed the end of OTAs and is now missing minicamp time. 

The important part is that Pederson said this soreness is unrelated to Jones’ surgically-repaired Achilles tendon that dropped him out of the first round and into the Eagles’ lap at No. 43 in last year’s draft. 

“We’re taking precautions,” Pederson said. “Again, this is not the time we’re going to push anybody. Not going to put anybody out there that’s nicked up, banged up. Want to make sure everybody is ready to go for training camp.”

So what does this missed time mean for Jones? 

Well, it’s not good news. There are certainly high expectations for the very talented and young corner. Before this “soreness,” Jones was getting some reps as the team’s nickel corner. Plenty of other guys have worked with the first team there too, including De’Vante Bausby, Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby. It’s one of the position battles that’s going to be important to watch in the summer. That position wasn’t decided last year until the Birds traded for Darby and slid Patrick Robinson into the slot, where he thrived enough to get a contract in New Orleans. 

Jones, 22, would be an obvious choice to win that job this year. If nothing else, it would make sense for him to at least see the field in the nickel package in some capacity. If that is outside, it could mean sliding Mills inside on passing downs. 

Either way, Jones is supremely talented, a guy the Eagles originally targeted with their first-round pick a year ago. So it would be obvious that they’d want to get him on the field over a relatively unknown player like Bausby. But Bausby isn’t making this easy. 

Bausby, 25, was signed to the Eagles’ practice squad last September. At the time, the theory was that he was a spy. He had previously spent time with the Chiefs and the Eagles were about to play them. But it’s clear now that the Eagles actually like Bausby. This spring, Bausby has been great and is separating himself in the slot. 

Is that enough to eventually keep Jones off the field? Probably not. But it can’t help to have him on the sideline. 

More from Eagles minicamp

• Michael Bennett explains OTAs absence after 1st Eagles practice

• Despite being held back, Darren Sproles flashes vintage self

• Fletcher Cox wants to be Defensive Player of Year — can he?

• After ring ceremony, Eagles will be done celebrating Super Bowl

• Duce Staley confirms Eagles will have a lead running back

Unapologetic Donovan McNabb addresses his Carson Wentz comments, Lane Johnson, relationship with fans

Unapologetic Donovan McNabb addresses his Carson Wentz comments, Lane Johnson, relationship with fans

Donovan McNabb is not backing down. 

After garnering headlines over the last few days for his comments about Carson Wentz , which didn’t sit well with Lane Johnson, McNabb was on 94WIP Tuesday afternoon with Jon Marks and Ike Reese. 

McNabb didn’t back down from his comments at all during the interview that was at times combative and yet still full of McNabb’s trademark laughter. 

“Do I need to apologize for anything?” McNabb said. “Absolutely not. Should I say anything toward it? There’s no need to say anything about the situation, really, to be honest. 

“And then I know you probably want to go into active players that are playing and their comments. I don’t play Twitter war games with kids. I said what I said. They understood what I said. Move on and do your job.” 

Here are a few more notes of interest that came out of the interview: 

Soften up on Wentz? 
It was proposed to McNabb that he could perhaps be more positive in his analysis of Wentz, given that McNabb himself is a former franchise quarterback. McNabb defended himself and said he was simply giving his opinion. McNabb understands most people don’t have a problem with the message, that it’s the messenger — it’s just that 5 doesn’t seem to care. 

Hey Jealously
At least McNabb seems to understand part of the perception of him in this town. 

“See, what they always want to attribute me to when I say anything about the Eagles is about envy and jealously. I’m not jealous about anything. I’ve played the game, I’ve moved on. I got another life.”

Relationship with the team
Reese, McNabb’s former teammate, asked McNabb about his relationship with the organization. 

“I have no problem with the Philadelphia Eagles. My relationship with the Philadelphia Eagles is the same as was when I played. I was excited about being drafted there in 1999. I enjoyed my tenure there as the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, everything we accomplished as a team. I was very excited about it and one that I would never regret or try to change by any means because it made us, as individuals, who we are as people. I have no ill-will toward the Philadelphia Eagles. I was excited for them when they won the Super Bowl. I was excited when I put a tweet out, meeting Nick Foles and happy for Nick Foles. I mean, I took a photo with Carson Wentz. My son took a photo with Carson Wentz. I have no problem with any of them. For them to try to make it like I have a bad relationship with the Philadelphia Eagles or Carson Wentz, it’s just a cover up to aid in the dislike in who I am or whatever I say.”

Relationship with Wentz 
Reese asked McNabb if he has any type of mentor-type relationship with Wentz: 

“I reached out to Carson and talked to Carson on many occasions, when he got hurt, when he came back, this whole little deal with the locker room saying he’s arrogant or selfish or he’s not a team guy. I’ve been a part of that. I talked to him. This is the thing people don’t realize about what I do. I know what Carson is going through. I reached out to him, but I don’t make that public. I don’t think that’s something that needs to be put out there. That’s between me and him.” 

Back and forth with Lane
Marks attempted to play comments from Johnson’s appearance on WIP earlier in the week and McNabb cut him off and said there was no need. 

“There’s no need for me to respond to any of that. I told you. I don’t play Twitter war games with kids. I’m not going back and forth. One thing that people don’t realize is being a former player, there’s a relationship and a bond there. These young guys, some guys don’t get it. It’s not like I’m going personal at Carson. I have no issues. Now he wants to make his comments and I’m not going to go personal with him. There is no battle back and forth of who is going to get the last word. I don’t play that game.” 

Relationship with fans
McNabb said he has no problem with Eagles fans and he appreciates those who supported him during his time in Philly. He understands not everyone has the same opinion and he’s OK with that. 

The whole interview is about 15 minutes. Check it out here: 

 

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Eagles’ Chris Long even more unsure of football future

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Eagles’ Chris Long even more unsure of football future

As the 2019 NFL draft nears, one of the Eagles most veteran players still hasn’t made a decision about his football future. 

We’ve known that 34-year-old Chris Long has been pondering retirement for a while now, but here’s what he said to the USA Today’s Jarrett Bell after a Players Coalition town hall meeting at George Mason University Arlington: 

“In March, I really wanted to play. Now, I don’t know.” 

Bell theorizes that Long is contemplating taking a pay cut, which he insinuates could be the reason for Long’s indecision. This seems unlikely to me. In March, the Eagles reportedly pushed back Long’s $2 million roster bonus until after the draft because, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Long felt uncomfortable taking it with an uncertain future. 

And Long is the guy who once gave away his entire year’s salary, so to think money is the reason he might not return just doesn’t quite add up. 

Long confirmed his decision has nothing to do with money: 

It seems far more likely Long is — as he’s said plenty of times before — making a football decision. He has said he doesn’t want to be a “locker room guy” and wants to be a contributing player. Based on his 2018 season, he still has plenty productivity left in him. 

This offseason, even though the Eagles traded Michael Bennett, they re-signed Brandon Graham and brought back Vinny Curry. Perhaps even more importantly, they signed defensive tackle Malik Jackson, who could take away third-down snaps from Long. In the last couple years, the Eagles have slid Graham or Curry inside on passing downs, but Jackson has the ability to be a three-down player next to Fletcher Cox. 

It made sense that the roster bonus was pushed back until after the draft because if the Eagles use a first- or second-round pick on a defensive end, they’re probably going to want to get that player snaps in Year 1, which would then minimize Long’s role. 

"I’m pretty undecided, but from the looks of things they’re going to make it hard for me in my favorite city,” Long said to USA Today. “We’ll see.”

Bell took that to mean something about his contract, but if I had to venture a guess, I think it probably means more about the roster. If he returns, Long is set to have a cap hit of $5.6 million in 2019, which seems like a relatively fair price. The Eagles have $24.975 million in cap space, according to the most recent public report from the NFLPA, so it’s not like they desperately need to create space. 

The Eagles begin OTAs in May, but Long said he definitely doesn’t feel like going to OTAs. They’re voluntary anyway and the Eagles have brought back players like Darren Sproles and Corey Graham well after the spring workouts. They’d likely be fine doing the same for Long if he decides he wants to come back. 

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