Who are the biggest bargains on the Eagles' roster?

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Who are the biggest bargains on the Eagles' roster?

To even think about competing for big-ticket free agents, paying a quarterback $30 million a year or keeping your own best players, NFL teams must have bargain-basement guys on the roster as well.
The more productive players a team has with reasonable contracts, the more flexibility that team has to be competitive at the top of its salary scale.
That’s why the NFL draft — or better yet the undrafted player scrap heap — is the lifeblood of every elite football team. The more draft picks you’re able to hit on, the more guys you have on your roster making relatively little money but still contributing.
And the more money is available for you to go after expensive guys.
Eventually, those players will need to get bigger contracts — generally after their third or fourth NFL season. But by then the hope is you have another wave of young bargain-basement guys under contract to replace them or provide cap space to keep them.
Let’s take a look — in alphabetical order — at some of the biggest salary cap bargains currently on the Eagles’ roster. Salary cap positional rankings come from Spotrac. And remember, they don't include unsigned players and draft picks, so all those rankings will be much lower by this fall.

Josh Adams

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$570,000             $570,000                 $525,000                       2019

2019 Salary Cap Rank among RBs: 89th

Say what you want about the Eagles getting away from Adams in the postseason — he played just one snap — the bottom line is during the second half of the season when the Eagles began winning games, Adams was their leading rusher. From Week 8 through Week 17, he was one of only 15 backs in the NFL with at least 100 carries and a 4.3 average. He was the leading rusher on a playoff team, and he’s making minimum wage. The Eagles hold his rights through 2021.

Rasul Douglas

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$670,000             $846,572                 $794,010                      2020

2019 Salary Cap Rank among CBs: 85th

Probably the Eagles’ most improved player over the second half of last year. Douglas went from riding the bench to making a pretty good case that he has to be a starting cornerback in 2019. He had a team-high three INTs last year in limited duty after picking off two passes as a rookie. The Eagles have him on his rookie deal for two more years.

Corey Clement

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$645,000             $648,334                 $558,333                   2019

2019 Salary Cap Rank among RBs: 66th

You can’t beat an undrafted rookie on a minimum-wage deal who’s already been a Super Bowl hero. Clement got hurt last year but he’s the only back on the roster that’s proven as both a runner and receiver, and he should play a significant role on offense moving forward. Clement is signed through 2019 but the Eagles hold his rights through 2020.

Dallas Goedert   

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$735,649            $1, 278,243             $1,406,068                   2021

2019 Salary Cap Rank among TEs: 36th

Even playing behind Zach Ertz, Goedert last year was one of just 13 NFL tight ends with 30 catches, 300 yards and four TDs. That’s pretty good production for a backup — especially one who is the 36th-highest-paid tight end in the league and under Eagles control for three more years.

Kamu Grugier-Hill

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$720,000             $720,000                 $610,089                     2019

2019 Salary Cap Rank among LBs: 116th

Kamu was one of the Eagles’ bigger surprises last year as a first-time starter. He dispelled the notion that he can only be a special teamer in the NFL, starting 10 games and providing unspectacular but solid play at linebacker. The Eagles still have Grugier-Hill on the four-year, sixth-round rookie deal he signed with the Patriots in 2016.

Cameron Johnston      

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$570,000             $577,500                 $532,500                     2019

2019 Salary Cap Rank among Punters: 24th

The Eagles took a risk going with an unknown, untested punter to replace record-setting (but pricier) Donnie Jones. But Johnston responded with the best punting season in Eagles history. His 48.2 average was 23rd-highest in NFL history, and his 42.7 net is a franchise record. Considering there are 14 punters who average at least $1.4 million per year, Johnston is a bargain. And the Eagles have his rights through 2021.

Cre’Von LeBlanc

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$720,000             $720,000                 $675,000                   2019*

2019 Salary Cap Rank among CBs: 99th

One of four defensive backs on this list, LeBlanc, who had been released by three teams, blossomed late in the season, giving the Eagles solid playmaking out of the slot. His acrobatic interception of Drew Brees in the playoffs was a real statement early in that game, that this was a different Eagles team than the one the Saints blew out two months earlier. He’s signed through 2019 but belongs to the Eagles through 2021.

Avonte Maddox

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$570,000             $726,478                 $771,479                     2021

2019 Salary Cap Rank among CBs: 96th

Maddox was a real find in the fourth round as a versatile, productive combo safety-corner, and that fourth-round rookie contract means several years of cheap labor for the Eagles, who get a solid starter at a bargain-basement price.

Tre’ Sullivan

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$570,000             $570,000                  $525,000                    2019*

2019 Salary Cap Rank among Ss: 113th

The final d-back on the list, Sullivan is another one who the Eagles found on the street who improved so much during the season that by the playoffs he was a key component of an ever-changing secondary. Sullivan is under contract through 2019 but the Eagles hold his rights through 2021.

Carson Wentz

2019 Base      2019 Cap Figure      Avg. Salary          Signed Through
$720,000            $8,487,927              $6,669,085                   2019

2019 Salary Cap Rank among QBs: 24th

How is a $6.7 million average salary a bargain? Because there are 23 quarterbacks who are earning more than Carson Wentz. At some point, the Eagles will give Wentz a deal in the $30 million-per-year ballpark, but until that happens his cheap-o rookie QB deal gives the Eagles flexibility to add crucial parts around him so once he does sign that max deal the Eagles have a team capable of challenging for a championship.

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NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are my games to watch for in Week 15 of the NFL season:

Bears at Packers — Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
The Bears are growling again. They have three straight wins and are playing like a playoff team. The only problem is their many stumbles along the way have them at just 7-6, and currently the No. 8 seed in the NFC playoff pitcure. They travel to Green Bay with revenge on their minds, still remembering the season-opening loss to the Packers. That the Packers are 10-3 — currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC — is amazing in itself. Defensively, they stop either the run or the pass but never both in a game. Offensively, they don’t score a lot of points and rarely win impressively, but the bottom line is more times than not they have found a way to win. First-year head coach Matt LeFleur has his squad believing in his system. The Pack will rack up their 11th W at Lambeau.

Texans at Titans — Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

One team is exciting by land, the other by air. Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gives defenses fits weekly. Tennessee RB Derrick Henry is a battering ram. These two are currently tied for the lead in the AFC South but after getting blasted by Denver last week, Houston is still in control based on best win percentage in division games. The Titans are currently the No. 7 seed. Since QB Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota after Week 6, the Titans have won six of their last seven and four in a row. Houston has the capability of rising up for big games with wins over the Patriots and Chiefs, but the Titans are hot, and I’m going with the hot team at home. Side note: They'll meet again Week 17.

Vikings at Chargers — Sunday, 4:05 p.m. on CBS

The only thing the Chargers have left to play for is pride and the Vikings are jockeying for better seeding and a possible division title. Under Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have not fared well when traveling west, sporting a 1-6 record in road games played in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. Two of the Chargers' five wins have come against the NFC North. The Vikings' defense is starting to jell again and they’ll need cohesiveness on D because Philip RIvers' offense can light it up at any given moment. The Vikings know what’s at stake — it wont be easy, but they’ll find a way to get the job done.

Rams at Cowboys — Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Don’t look now, but the Rams are starting to play like the team that represented the NFC in last season’s Super Bowl. They’ve won three in a row with the offense functioning like a well-oiled machine and the defense making plays. As for Dallas, fans are calling for heads to roll, starting with head coach Jason Garrett. They’ve lost three straight and haven’t beaten a quality opponent all season. With that said, they somehow still control the NFC East. They have the the talent all over the field, yet don’t have the wins to show for it. What should have been a promising season will be a disaster if they don’t find a way to rebound and make the playoffs. Sorry, Dallas, until you prove otherwise, you’re just not ram tough enough to win this one.

Bills at Steelers — Sunday, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Just when it looked like Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would have to endure his first losing season in Pittsburgh, his squad has risen from the ashes. A team that was 1-4 at one point is now 8-5, riding a three-game winning streak, and currently the sixth seed in the AFC. What’s even more impressive is that Tomlin is using his third QB of the season. Rookie free agent Devlin “Duck” Hodges has been on the winning side on all three of his starts. The defense has tightened the loose gaps and is playing 'Burgh ball. The Bills have been writing an incredible story of their own. They are currently the fifth seed and just one game behind New England in the AFC East. Buffalo is striving for its first 10-win season since 1999. It will also be Buffalo’s first Sunday night appearance in 12 years. Two good defenses in this one. Two teams hoping to move one step closer to solidifying a playoff spot. This one has the makings of a brass knuckles brawl with the Steelers delivering the final knockout blow.

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Here comes wide receiver Robert Davis … to save the day?

Here comes wide receiver Robert Davis … to save the day?

He’s big, he’s fast, he’s strong. 

Can he play? Who knows? I guess we’ll find out on Sunday. 

Meet Robert Davis. He’s the 6-foot-3, 210-pound receiver who once ran a 4.44 at the combine and tested through the roof. He’s also the receiver whom the Eagles called up from their practice squad earlier this week after even more injuries at the position. 

It’s probably unfair to expect a 24-year-old receiver with four career games and one career catch under his belt to suddenly cure all the Eagles’ ails at wide receiver. But here we are.  

I tweeted that video on Thursday and most of the responses were hilarious. Some were tongue-in-cheek, like suggesting that since he caught a ball the Eagles should sign him a long-term deal. But some were genuine — in that, hey, here’s a guy with an impressive frame and possibly some untapped potential. Heck, it’s gotten so bad at receiver, he’ll surely help, right? 

Last week’s 23-17 win over the Giants should be remembered as the practice squad game because three guys — Boston Scott, Josh Perkins and Greg Ward Jr. — all played a big part of the victory and all three were on the practice squad less than two months earlier. 

So … on one hand, Davis uses that as encouragement. Hey, if they can do it, so can I. 

On the other hand, maybe there are now some unfair and unrealistic expectations on just how big of an impact Davis will be able to have in his first game with the Eagles. 

“We’re all competitors,” Davis said. “That’s why we’re in the NFL. Seeing [Ward] go out there and have success, I want to go out there and have success, too.”

The Redskins saw that potential in Davis when they drafted him in the sixth round out of Georgia State back in 2017. It’s pretty easy to see why they used a pick on him. 

Despite his athleticism, Davis split time between the 53-man roster and the practice squad as a rookie and then broke his leg in 2018. Davis came back in 2019 but didn’t play much and eventually got cut. He’s been with the Eagles since he signed to the practice squad on Oct. 7. 

This weekend, Davis will play his first game as an Eagle and it’ll come against his former team in Washington. He’s as excited about that as Eagles fans are about seeing him play. 

And if you want to get even more over-hyped about Davis, here’s what his former Redskins and current Eagles teammate Nate Sudfeld said about him last month: 

He’s a freak of nature. He’s got muscles on top of muscles. Definitely looks the part of a big, freak wide receiver, and he plays big. He’s got speed, really good at running routes, he’s smart. He’s got a bright future, definitely.

Maybe Davis will just have a short stay on the Eagles’ active roster. Maybe he won’t even be able to make an impact. But, for now, it’s fun for fans to dream about finding another diamond in in the practice squad. 

After his call-up, Davis took over a real locker stall at the NovaCare Complex, moving up from the pop-up variety. While he’s listed as Robert on the roster, his nameplate said Rob. 

What does he prefer? 

“My mom named me Robert,” he said. “I go by Rob for my homeboys.”

You can decide what to call him after watching Sunday’s game.  

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