This time last year, the Eagles were getting back on the field after a shorter-than-usual offseason. They’d prefer if that were the case again.
In any case, Tuesday will mark the beginning of the start of the 2019 season. These OTAs are voluntary but teams usually get near-perfect attendance. Here are 10 non-rookies with something to prove (see story).
This year, Eagles OTAs are May 21-23, May 28, May 30-31, June 3-6, followed by the mandatory minicamp June 11-13.
Here are some key storylines:
Health of Wentz
The biggest storyline surrounding the Eagles right now is pretty obvious. Carson Wentz will reportedly be without limitations at OTAs. That great news came out Monday. Less than two weeks ago, Doug Pederson didn’t want to say whether or not Wentz would be on the field to start OTAs. Turns out he will be. Now, we need to see how much he'll do.
This time last year, Wentz missed the entirety of spring practices as he recovered from his torn ACL and LCL. This season, he’s getting over a stress fracture in his back that ended his 2018 season early. Wentz has never been able to say definitively if one injury led to the other. In mid-April, Wentz said his goal was to be ready for OTAs, but revealed his back hadn’t completely healed yet.
Another part of the Wentz storyline this offseason is the possibility that the Eagles give him a mega extension before the start of the season. This is the first offseason Wentz is eligible for an extension.
The Jenkins situation
Malcolm Jenkins missed some voluntary workouts this offseason and now he's missing the start of OTAs, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. While we don't know for sure, it's possible this could be contract related.
Jenkins, for the record, is under contact through the 2020 season. He has salaries of $8.1 million and $7.6 million in each of the next two seasons with cap hits of $9.148 and $6.11. Jenkins is the ninth-highest paid safety in the league in terms of AVY.
DeSean Jackson is 32, but he’s still lightning fast and led the NFL in yards per reception last season. This should be the first time him and Wentz get to practice together. It’s been a few years since we’ve gotten to see Jackson’s speed every day, but it will be fun to watch his new teammates see how fast he really is.
Because Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are coming off serious injuries, there should be some extra opportunity for guys like Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, Cre’Von LeBlanc and Avonte Maddox. We’ll get a glimpse at the early stages of a depth chart, but remember: things can change. DeVante Bausby got first-team reps at NCB last spring and then didn’t make the 53-man roster out of training camp.
Linebacker depth chart
We’ll get to see the pecking order for linebackers. We know Nigel Bradham’s spot, but how do Kamu Grugier-Hill, Zach Brown, L.J. Fort and the others factor in? We should get those preliminary answers soon enough.
Running back rotation
Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders have already met, but now they’ll be on the practice field together. The Eagles aren’t going to abandon their running back-by-committee system, but Sanders can earn playing time starting this week.
Other health updates
Don’t expect everyone to participate this week or this spring, but we should get some health updates for guys who were seriously injured last season: Darby, Mills, Rodney McLeod, Brandon Brooks.
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