Eagles

This is why the Eagles didn't trade Nick Foles

This is why the Eagles didn't trade Nick Foles

This is why the Eagles didn’t trade Nick Foles. 

This exact scenario. 

Because a few months ago, it had to look enticing. Foles was coming off winning the Super Bowl MVP and his value was at an all-time high. Not to mention, if all went to plan, he was going to start the season on the bench. 

But the Eagles didn’t trade Foles. Instead, they actually gave him a raise. 

And although Howie Roseman on Saturday wouldn’t admit Carson Wentz’s status had anything to do with not trading Foles, that seems hard to believe. Roseman said it was more about putting a ton of stock into the QB position, which is probably partly true too. But the Eagles simply couldn’t afford to go into the 2018 season without Wentz or Foles. 

But they didn’t trade Foles, so they won’t have to. 

Foles is going to start Week 1 as Wentz continues to rehab from a torn ACL and LCL, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. And because Roseman avoided the temptation to flip Foles, the Eagles are uniquely positioned — perhaps more than any other team in the league — to get by without an MVP candidate for the first week or two. 

You might remember what Roseman said about Foles back at the owners meetings in the spring: 

He’s still on the team because he’s an incredibly valuable member of the Philadelphia Eagles. When you talk about that position and what’s gone on, you’ve see it in the free agent market, you’ve seen it in the trade market. We’re in the business of making sure we get the right value for the player. What our value is for a player is going to stick. We make those decisions before we get into the time period where you can make moves, not just on Nick but on other players on our team. We feel very confident about what his value is to our football team and really to the rest of the league. There’s obviously interest in Nick Foles because Nick Foles has been tremendously effective in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform.

Yup. He was right. 

To me, it always seemed unlikely the Eagles would trade Foles before they were 100 percent sure Wentz would be ready for the opener. That patient approach has now set up the Eagles to cash in on their insurance policy instead of being left dead in the water days before the opener. 

Of course, having Foles doesn’t make up for not having Wentz, who should have won the league MVP award last year. Wentz is just a special player and there’s a reason the Eagles never wavered from the position that he’s their franchise QB, even as Foles was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. 

We’re still not sure if Wentz wasn’t cleared and that’s the reason he’s not playing or if he was cleared and the Eagles are using extreme caution. If it’s the first reason … of course he shouldn’t play. If it’s the second … I wouldn’t really understand. If Wentz is cleared by the docs, I think he should be playing. 

Either way, without Wentz in the lineup, the Eagles’ decision to hold on to Foles this offseason proved to be a wise one. 

They knew his value and, because of that, they might be able to get by without their franchise QB for a little while. 

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NFL Free Agency: Eagles could face Jadeveon Clowney next year on NFC East rival

NFL Free Agency: Eagles could face Jadeveon Clowney next year on NFC East rival

Jadeveon Clowney is Public Enemy No. 1 for Eagles fans right now, after his dirty hit in the Wild Card round injured Carson Wentz and ended the Birds' playoff hopes.

Can you imagine facing Clowney twice in 2020? That might end up a reality, according to a report from none other than ESPN's Josina Anderson, another villain from the Wentz hit fallout.

Anderson reports that Clowney is opening to returning to the Seahawks in 2020, but is also open to other opportunities, and could be courted by an Eagles rival:

Ignoring the football implications for now - Clowney, antics aside, is good at football - let's think instead about the absolute mayhem that would meet Clowney when the Giants visited The Linc.

It would probably be... a lot. For a fanbase willing to boo its own guys, that's nothing compared to the wrath Philly fans unleash when they feel they've been wronged by a player, justified or not. Just ask Sidney Crosby how his last decade-plus of visits to this side of the state have been, without anything nearly as malicious on his rap sheet.

The entire organization was angry about the play, from guys like Jason Peters in the hours after the hit to Howie Roseman talking about its lingering effects just this week (see story), which means we'd likely see a fired-up team take the field in that first Giants game, especially if it happened to be at home, emotions swirling in the South Philly winds.

Roseman encapsulated most fans' feelings when he spoke at the NFL Combine on Wednesday:

We thought that was a foul. We’re sick to our stomach about the way our season ended for our team and Carson in particular. (...) Doug’s sick. Jeffery’s sick about it. Our whole organization is sick about it. We’re there, we have a home playoff game, eight plays in? Come on.

Luckily for Eagles fans seeking to voice their frustration, even if Clowney goes back to Seattle, he'll still visit the Linc next year. But it would be doubly satisfying to beat him while he plays for a division rival.

Can you imagine the roar of the crowd as Wentz spins out of a Clowney sack attempt, rolls to his right, and rifles a pass to Dallas Goedert to go up by two scores? The Linc might not survive.

We'll see what happens.

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Eagles doing homework on top WRs in draft, but can they find the right one?

Eagles doing homework on top WRs in draft, but can they find the right one?

INDIANAPOLIS — The Eagles’ biggest need this offseason happens to line up with the biggest area of strength in the NFL Draft. 

It seems too easy, right? 

There’s a reason why just about every mock draft has the Eagles taking a receiver with the 21st pick and while there’s no guarantee they go that way, the thought process checks out. 

And as the Eagles are in Indianapolis for the annual scouting combine, they are doing their homework on the top receivers in this class. As of Tuesday, players like Henry Ruggs III and Justin Jefferson had already met with the Eagles and guys like Tee Higgins and KJ Hamler were expecting their meetings with the Birds the following day. 

The Eagles will have plenty of options at receiver in April when it comes to the draft. NFL Network analyst and former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah raved about this class of receivers last week, saying he thinks there are 27 receivers worthy of grades in the top three rounds.

While it seems like everyone throughout the league is raving about how great this receiver class is, Howie Roseman on Tuesday played coy. 

“We don’t have all the information,” Roseman said. “I think we look at all these positions as we go here, the medical’s a big part of it, the interviews are a big part of it. How they learn. The testing is a part of it, so you throw that all together. 

“We’ve been in a position where there’s a bunch of guys we like and maybe they’re a medical reject or something happens off the field as we dig as we go through the process. And then all of a sudden, we think we have 12 guys that we like and we’re at 8. Let’s see where all the information comes in and we’ll see where we’re at.”

Maybe Roseman is downplaying how good this class is because he’s been burned before by statements about the greatness of a position class. Remember in 2017, when he called the running back class “historic” and then the Eagles ended up with Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round? 

That’s not the only time the Eagles have gone into a draft heavy at a certain position and not come out with a top guy. And Roseman even cautioned against going into a draft preoccupied with the idea of needing to get a player at a position just because of how good the class is supposed to be. 

“I don’t think it’s a mistake not taking guys early in the strength of that draft, because what happens is, guys at other positions fall to you, because of that, and that gives you an opportunity to still get value,” he said. 

Fair enough, but the Eagles need a receiver and this class is full of them … maybe don’t overthink it. 

The Eagles’ recent history picking receivers won’t exactly instill a lot of confidence. After all, the reason they need to find receivers this offseason is in part because they’ve struggled to draft them. 

But the Eagles shouldn’t be thinking about their past failures drafting receivers. Learn from those mistakes? Sure. But they have a real opportunity to find a playmaker in April. 

Before testing, it seems like the top three receivers in the class are Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs III. Then there might be a bit of a drop-off to guys like Tee Higgins, Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk. And Laviska Shenault is talented but has significant injury concerns, which might scare the Eagles off. And then there’s another drop-off to players in the second round. 

Here’s how NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks ranks the top five at the position: 

1. Jerry Jeudy 

2. CeeDee Lamb

3. Henry Ruggs III

4. Laviska Shenault 

5. Tee Higgins

The player most Eagles fans seem to be enthralled with is Ruggs and for good reason. Despite his smaller stature (5-11, 188), Ruggs is an absolute burner. The Eagles need speed and Ruggs has it. 

His goal for the 40-yard dash is a lofty one. 

“I’m trying to hit the lowest ever,” Ruggs said. “So 4.22 or lower.”

If Ruggs runs a 4.22, you can kiss any hope of him being available at 21 good-bye. Heck, that’s probably a pipe dream already. 

But after having just five draft picks in 2018 and 2019, the Eagles expect to have 10 picks in April. Plenty of ammunition to trade up for a player they deem worthy. 

“So if there is a guy that we thought was an incredibly highly valued, and we could go up and go get him,” Roseman said, “we couldn’t take that off the table.”

In April, the Eagles will have their opportunity to draft a big-time receiver to give Carson Wentz a much-needed weapon for the next several years. Now, they just have to figure out which one. 

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