After a few weeks of voluntary OTA practices, today is the first mandatory session of the entire offseason.
The Eagles’ mandatory minicamp is three days, running through Thursday. Players already reported for physicals.
These practices are still light; they’re not like training camp. Players can’t wear pads, so we’re talking about players in shorts and helmets. And practices can’t be any longer than 2½ hours.
This three-day minicamp is the last time the team will be all together until training camp kicks off in late July.
Here are some storylines to watch:
Oh, hey, Malcolm!
During the voluntary portion of the offseason, Malcolm Jenkins was uncharacteristically absent from the NovaCare Complex because of a purported contract dispute. But he reported for his physical on Monday, according to ESPN.
Had Jenkins skipped this entire minicamp, he could have been fined a total of $88,650. That won’t happen now.
Big Mood! 😤 pic.twitter.com/CpQJBLdit8— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) June 11, 2019
Hopefully we'll hear from Jenkins and find out just how unhappy he might be or we’ll find out if this whole thing was blown way out of proportion.
It’s not that Jenkins is getting peanuts, but he has outplayed his contract that has him ranked as the ninth-highest-paid safety in the league. Jenkins has two years left on his deal. He’ll make $8.1 million in base salary this year and $7.6 million next year.
The rest of the group
Aside from Jenkins, there have been other MIA players this spring, but those guys should definitely be back. Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor, who all missed at least some time this spring, will be back on the field. Peters, Johnson and Jeffery missed all four OTA practices (out of 10 total) open to reporters.
We haven’t gotten a chance to talk to Peters since he re-did his deal to stick around for another year or since the Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in the first round as his eventual replacement. He can be a hard guy to find and he isn’t required to talk to reporters this week, but we’ll see if it happens.
O-line depth chart
With some of the missing veterans back, we’ll get a better sense of depth charts.
During OTAs, the starting OL looked like this: Dillard, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jordan Mailata
It should look like this at minicamp: Peters, Seumalo, Kelce, Big V (?), Johnson
The Eagles have been cross-training Vaitai at guard this spring, but if they have him with the first team (in place of a recovering Brandon Brooks) during this mandatory portion, it’ll tell me they’ve liked what they’ve seen so far and that he really might be a fit as a depth guard and tackle. Stefen Wisniewski, who has started 24 games in three years with the Eagles, was the second-team center for much of OTAs.
Wentz with full weapons
Carson Wentz got paid since the last time we saw him on the practice field. His four-year extension worth $128 million was signed on Thursday. During the four OTA practices we saw this spring, Wentz looked great. We shouldn’t get too carried away, but it’s a good sign as he gets back from that back injury and further away from the knee injury.
In mandatory minicamp, Wentz should have his full complement of weapons and it’s a scary group. All three top receivers will be out there, as well as his top tight ends and hopefully most of his running backs. Miles Sanders has been dealing with a hamstring injury and the Eagles have just been showing patience with him. Corey Clement is still recovering, but should be back by training camp
But if Wentz has everyone, it’s a dangerous group:
WRs: Jeffery, Jackson, Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside
TEs: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert
RBs: Jordan Howard, Sanders
Cornerback battle continues
One of the most intriguing storylines with this Eagles team is in the secondary, specifically at cornerback. The Eagles have six corners they really like and six corners who at least deserve a shot to earn a starting job: Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlanc.
Don’t expect to see Darby or Mills practicing this week, so we’ll likely get more Douglas, Jones and Maddox working with the ones. Jim Schwartz said final determinations aren’t made in the spring, but it’s a bit of a proving ground for all of these prideful corners.
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