Eagles

Thoughts and Eagles questions from NFL Combine

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Thoughts and Eagles questions from NFL Combine

The 2018 NFL Combine has now come and gone. After spending last week in Indianapolis, here are some of my takeaways, Eagles-related and beyond.

Foles' future
MMQB's Peter King reports the Eagles have a “respectable” offer for Nick Foles on the table. How does King define respectable? Only he knows. The Eagles got a first- and fourth-rounder for Sam Bradford two years ago. But that was one week before the season and the Vikings were desperate after Teddy Bridgewater’s injury. A first-round pick and more is where the Birds will likely start with a Foles asking price. But the question is whether the Birds' brass would be willing to move Foles for, say, second and third-rounders since it doesn't have either in this year’s draft?

No more Nigel?
When asked about free agent Nigel Bradham, who played so well last season, Howie Roseman did not go out of his way to praise the linebacker. He can’t tip his hand publicly, but Roseman was willing to show others some verbal love. You can pay only so many people. But with Jordan Hicks' injury history, one would think Bradham would be a priority for Roseman and the Eagles. Maybe not.

It will be interesting to see if Mychal Kendricks can play at the same high level as last season if he is not moved this offseason.   

Beast of Burton
Trey Burton is going to get paid. And the odds are it won’t be here in Philly. Burton is highly regarded around the league and there are enough teams in need of tight end help that he will get an offer too rich for the Eagles' blood.

What to do at No. 32?
The Birds have an obvious need at linebacker and could use depth at offensive line. But when you don’t pick until last in the first round, the best course of action is to leave your options open to the best available player. So don’t be shocked if a very good player falls and the Eagles take him at a position that may not scream immediate need.         

Hear him roar
Not Eagles-related, but in no upset whatsoever, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley stole the show at the combine. He dominated the drills and at the podium. The kid is a flat-out beast. If this was 20 years ago, he would likely be a lock to go first overall to the Browns. And that scenario could be a boost to the Eagles. Running backs are viewed as disposable these days compared to quarterbacks but he will still go in the top five. Easily.

Shaq’s statement
Lastly, UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin lost his hand when he was 4 due to a congenital disease. All he did was run the fastest 40-yard dash of any of the linebackers at the combine, posting a 4.38. He then put up 20 reps on the 225-pound bench press while using a prosthetic hand. He personifies over-achievement and his attitude and perseverance are what make sports great. He will make any team that gets him better.

The Giants are in disarray (so are the Redskins and Cowboys)

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The Giants are in disarray (so are the Redskins and Cowboys)

While we await confirmation Nick Foles will become an unrestricted free agent (more on that here and here), let’s check in with the rest of the NFC East. Good news, Eagles fans — the club may not get anything in return for their Super Bowl-winning quarterback, but their offseason is still off to a better start than their division rivals’.

The Giants are a mess

The headlines have not been kind to the organization over the past week. Odell Beckham Jr.? Possibly on the move. Landon Collins? As good as gone. And the Giants still don’t know what they’re doing about a quarterback for 2019.

The mere possibility the Giants could trade their best player and one of the top receivers in the NFL should be concerning to any QB who might take the job. Beckham was reportedly on the block last season too, and the organization ultimately decided not to pull the trigger, yet league insider Jay Glazer boldly predicted a swap is coming this offseason. The key word there is predicts, not reports, but Glazer is connected and wouldn’t throw that out there on a whim.

While Beckham’s fate is unclear, Collins seems certain his time in New York is over. The three-time Pro Bowl selection cleaned out his locker on Wednesday, then took to social media so there was no mistaking how the action relates to his impending free agency.

The Giants appear poised to get weaker on defense, perhaps on both sides of the ball, yet ideally would find a signal caller to replace Eli Manning. Sounds like their front office has a great sales pitch!

But Colin Cowherd says Ciara wants to live in New York, so I’m sure the Seahawks plan on shipping Russell Wilson — a top-10 franchise quarterback — over to the Giants any day now.

Washington, also a mess

Similar to the Giants, Washington needs a quarterback and may lose a key cog on defense.

It was no secret Alex Smith would miss 2019 with an injury, and general manager Doug Williams more or less confirmed the club is searching for a solution. I believe Washington has a better team, more aggressive management and thus is a more likely landing spot for Foles than New York, so this a situation to monitor in free agency. For now, the offense is in a bind.

Washington is not expected to use the franchise tag on Preston Smith, either. The 26-year-old outside linebacker is headed toward free agency with 24.5 sacks in four NFL seasons.

The Cowboys are a mess, too

Jason Garrett is officially a lame-duck head coach in the final year of his contract. Nobody knows who will be calling the plays for the Cowboys offense in 2019 — Garrett or new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who was the team’s backup quarterback less than two years ago — but the staff in place led the best players in the conference to seven points in the Pro Bowl in January. What could possibly go wrong?

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Would Giants really let Landon Collins become a free agent?

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Would Giants really let Landon Collins become a free agent?

Landon Collins is arguably the Giants’ best defensive player and he’s just 25 years old. 

So would the Giants really let him walk? 

It would be hard to believe, but apparently, this happened today: 

After that tweet, Paul Schwartz from the New York Post reported Collins had, in fact, not cleaned out his locker. 

Well, who would know if Collins cleaned out his locker today? Collins might have an idea. 

It certainly seems like the situation between player and team has reached a boiling point of sorts. 

A few days ago, I wrote the Giants simply couldn’t afford to let Collins walk, so if they couldn’t reach a long-term deal, they would need to slap a franchise tag on him. And it seems very possible the source of this contention could be over the chance the Giants slap a franchise tag on Collins. 

Here’s what NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo had to say about the situation: 

That all seems to make sense. According to other recent reports before today, there wasn’t much movement between Collins and the Giants on contract talks. Collins has made it clear he doesn’t want to be franchise tagged, which could set up a situation where the Giants tag him (the safety tag will be about $12 million in 2019) and there’s a standoff. 

Collins has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons and was an All-Pro in 2016. 

I still think the Giants really can’t afford to let Collins leave. He’s too good and too young and they’d miss him too much. In my list of the top pending free agents from the division, I ranked Collins behind just DeMarcus Lawrence and Nick Foles (see story)

If Collins does end up as a free agent, that’s great news for the Eagles because while they probably wouldn’t be in the market for his services, at least he’d likely be leaving the division. 

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