Eagles

What are the Eagles' plans for Golden Tate beyond this year?

What are the Eagles' plans for Golden Tate beyond this year?

Now that Golden Tate is an Eagle, the biggest question is will he remain an Eagle.

The Eagles have a main rotation of four healthy wide receivers — Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews and Tate, with Mike Wallace languishing on injured reserve. And then some young, unproven kids like Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson and DeAndre Carter.

Of the five key guys, only Jeffery is guaranteed to be here in 2019, which means the Eagles will have the opportunity to shape the wide receiver corps any way they want this offseason without having to worry about dead money under the cap.

Wallace is earning just over $1.9 million this year. He didn’t catch a pass before getting hurt in Week 2, and he turns 33 during the summer. Hard to imagine he’ll be back.

Matthews is earning minimum wage — $790,000 pro-rated over 15 weeks, which is $697,058. He’ll get more than minimum next year, but he’s a role player. A good one but a role player. Considering his connection on and off the field with Carson Wentz and the way he’s played, I’d expect him back as a No. 3 or No. 4 wide out. Cheap.

Which leaves Tate and Agholor in the market for long-term deals and not a whole lot of money to pay them.

The Eagles last spring excercised Agholor’s fifth-year option from his rookie deal, which would pay him somewhere between $9 and $9 ½ million next year. But that doesn’t become guaranteed until the first day of the 2019 league year, which will be March 14. It would be unusual to cut a player after exercising his option year, but can be done with no cap hit.

If it means cutting Agholor to keep Tate, would you do it?

Tate is finishing a five-year, $31 million deal, that makes him the 38th-highest-paid receiver in the league. He’s outplayed that with four straight 90-catch seasons and is pace for a fifth.

I love Agholor. Love everything about him. I love the mental toughness he showed powering through his nightmarish 2016 season and love the way he showed up in the Super Bowl.

But Tate over the last four years has nearly doubled Agholor’s production. Let’s take a look:

                  Games        Rec.  Yards         TDs

Agholor     52               162    1,788         12

Tate           55               317    3,410           18

Even since the start of last year, since Agholor’s renaissance, the numbers still favor Tate, just not by as much:

                  Games        Rec.  Yards         TDs

Agholor     24               103    1,140           9

Tate           23               136    1,520            8

If you can only keep one and you can afford him, you keep Tate.

But can you keep everybody?

Tate will probably be seeking a deal in the $8 million range. The Eagles already have Jeffery under contract with cap numbers of $14.73 million next year and $15.98 million in 2020 and 2021.

Can they keep Jeffery, Tate and Agholor? That’s something around $32 million just on three wide receivers. Only one NFL team spent that much on receivers this year.

But there are ways.

The Eagles can clear out a ton of cap space by cutting ties with Nick Foles and Rodney McLeod and restructuring a few deals. But they have other needs. Other areas where they’ll need to spend. And limited resources under what will likely be about a $190 million cap.

Then there’s the small detail of a quarterback who’s going to get a deal north of $100 million soon.

The Eagles could sign Agholor to a long-term deal and spread out the cap hit, but I’m not sure they’re ready to make a long-term commitment to him. If they were, would they have dealt for Tate?

Then again, Agholor is only 25 and headed into his fifth season. When was Tate’s first big year? When he was 25 and in his fifth season. I still think Nelly’s going to be a star. I hope it’s here.

The Eagles have exclusive negotiating rights with Tate until free agency starts, and you know Howie is going to be up nights figuring this out.

And when you step away and forget the numbers for a second, there’s this: Unless Tate struggles these next two months, I can’t imagine Roseman letting him walk.

He’s a top-10 guy over the past five years, and the Eagles just don’t let that type of guy slip through their fingers.

Howie will find a way. He always does.

Eagles WRs 2018 Contracts

Salary Cap Figure

Mike Wallace: $915,000/$4,000,000
Alshon Jeffery: $1,000,000/$3,975,000
Nelson Agholor: $1,713,732/$2,990,374
**Markus Wheaton:  —/$920,000
Jordan Matthews: $790,000/$697,000
Shelton Gibson: $555,000/$626,192
Mack Hollins: $555,000/$543,797
DeAndre Carter: $460,765/$460,765
**Kamar Aiken : —/$259,412  
*Dorren Miller: $129,200/$129,200
*Braxton Miller: $121,600/$121,600
**Bryce Treggs: — /$63,115
**Rashard Davis: —/$51, 980
**Greg Ward: —/$21,564
**Dominque Williams:  —/$8,440
**Marquess Wilson: —/$6,880

* : On practice squad
** : Not on roster.

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Eagles Injury Update: Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor, Kamu Grugier-Hill miss practice again

Eagles Injury Update: Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor, Kamu Grugier-Hill miss practice again

For the second straight day, the Eagles were without three key players at practice. 

Derek Barnett (ankle), Kamu Grugier-Hill (concussion) and Nelson Agholor (knee) all missed Friday’s session after also missing Thursday. 

It’s rare for players to miss the first two practice days of the week and play that weekend. 

Barnett, it seemed, hurt his ankle during the loss to the Dolphins but was able to finish the game, playing 50 snaps. This season, Barnett is second on the team in sacks with 4 1/2 and has played more snaps (78 percent) than any other defensive lineman. 

The only other defensive players to play more than him this season are Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. 

If Barnett can’t play on Monday, it’s likely Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat will see more playing time and perhaps Genard Avery will see a few more snaps. Maybe even Daeshon Hall or Shareef Miller might get to play a bit. 

Agholor has been dealing with his knee injury since the Patriots game. He missed the game against Seattle, but returned last week to play 63 snaps against the Dolphins. Last week, Agholor was limited in practice the first two days of the week and was not given a game status. 

If Agholor can’t play, Greg Ward could perhaps have a bigger role on Monday night. 

Meanwhile, Grugier-Hill didn’t report concussion symptoms until Thursday and was then placed into the NFL’s concussion protocol. Based on the timing of all that, it seems like a long shot that he’ll be able to play on Monday night. 

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Jerry Jones was BIG cranky on radio interview day after Cowboys' Week 14 loss to Bears

Jerry Jones was BIG cranky on radio interview day after Cowboys' Week 14 loss to Bears

The one bit of solace Eagles fans can take from the 2019 season so far is that it’s been a complete disaster for the Cowboys too. 

On Friday morning, the day after the Cowboys lost to the Bears to fall to 6-7, a cranky Jerry Jones joined 105.3 The Fan in Dallas for his weekly spot and the station had to briefly drop his call after two consecutive swear words in the interview. 

But Jones came out of the gate cranky. 

The Cowboys’ owner and GM was asked if he had any answers for the way the team is playing right now and his answer was short: 

“We’re not playing very well.”

Are you embarrassed? 

That was the question that set him off a little bit.  

Hey, get your damn act together yourself. OK? Now, we’re going to have a good visit this morning but settle down just a little bit. We’ve got a lot to go over, now go on with your question. But I’m going to give you the answers I want to give you this morning. And I don’t like your attitude to come in. I’ve been traveling all night and I don’t have the patience to jack with you today.

A little later, Jones was asked if he understands why there are so many questions about head coach Jason Garrett. 

Here was his answer with the swear word at the end. 

Of course I understand why they come up. Our fans are interested. They’re frustrated that we’re not playing better and I understand that and I know. That goes with the territory. And I fully expect to have those questions and I know that if you really think about it, if I did have answers as to different directions regarding talent … if I did, I would not share them right now. Because, first of all, if you’ve got other teams’ talent in mind, that’s tampering. Even if you had something in mind, unless they’re not involved in the National Football League right now and that wouldn’t be smart if they were involved other places. So we want to do a good job here, I want to do a good job with you guys but there’s a whole bunch of time where I have to bulls--- the hell out of you.

One of the hosts then said he totally understood that. 

To which, Jones replied: “Do you understand bulls---?” 

That was when the radio station’s system took over and dropped the call with the Cowboys owner. The program director explained that they had to hit the dump button twice in a short span of time and the system is designed to then kill all sound but the hosts. 

A bit later, Jones rejoined the program. 

“I had been talking the whole time,” Jones said. 

Strange interview, but definitely worth the listen. 

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