Howie Roseman acknowledges Eric Rowe trade may have been a mistake

Howie Roseman acknowledges Eric Rowe trade may have been a mistake

It didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now.

And Howie Roseman finally admitted it.

He also acknowledged — though in a roundabout way — that the Eagles may have made a mistake by giving up on Eric Rowe so quickly.

When Roseman was asked earlier this month at a rare media availability about the team’s decision to trade the promising second-round cornerback to the Patriots just a year after drafting him, his answer was that the Eagles were concerned about being able to re-sign him when his contract expired.

Which is after the 2018 season.

“When we sat down and discussed the offer, we really started thinking about the likelihood that we had to sign him to an extension,” Roseman said on Jan. 4.

“We want to build this team with some continuity. We felt at that time that we were not going to sign him to an extension and to be able to get that value for him and possibly add someone who would be here for a longer period of time made sense for where we were.

As we all know, Rowe became a key figure on the Patriots’ defense during the second half of this season and played well during the stretch run.

He played 60 of 69 defensive snaps in the Patriots' win over the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, intercepted Ben Roethlisberger and had a 37-yard return late in the game. He also had four tackles and two pass knockdowns, one in the end zone.

Rowe was just 23 when the Eagles traded him, and now cornerback is one of the team’s two biggest needs going into the offseason.

Roseman appeared on the 94 WIP Morning Show on Monday and brought up Rowe before he was even asked about him.

“You’ve got to give me a chance to correct my answer on Eric Rowe from that press conference because this is what happened,” Roseman said.

“Yesterday my 9-year-old son said, ‘Dad, I didn’t really understand your answer from that press conference.’

“When the 9-year-old boy doesn’t understand the answer it’s probably a problem. I said the reason you didn’t understand was because it wasn’t coherent. It didn’t make any freaking sense.”

Along with Patrick Chung, Dion Lewis and Danny Amendola, Rowe is one of four Eagles castoffs who will face the Falcons in Super Bowl 51 in Houston in two weeks.

So why did the Eagles trade Rowe?

“I think it’s good to just go back to the process,” Roseman said. “So it’s the first week of the season and we get this offer and it’s the Patriots and we’re not sitting there thinking, ‘We’re getting one over on Bill Belichick,’ maybe the best evaluator of defensive backs in the history of the NFL.

“What we were thinking about was where he was on our depth chart. At that time the starting three guys were Nolan (Carroll), Leodis (McKelvin), Ron Brooks. Jalen Mills at that point in camp had beat him out, so he was the fourth guy, and then when we spoke with our coaches, they said that Malcolm (Jenkins) would be the next guy in the slot. So for where we were and what his role was at the time, we thought it was pretty good value.

“For them to give up that kind of pick — a fourth that could be a third — we knew they had a role for him. We knew that there was going to be an opportunity, and we’ve got to do what we think is best for us.”

Roseman on Monday morning didn’t exactly admit the Eagles made a mistake by unloading Rowe at a point when the team was desperate for talented young cornerbacks.

But he came close.

“We probably make 50 decisions a year that are really real decisions that we sit down and make,” he said.

“To say that we don’t go back and think about them and think about whether they were right? That’s part of it, you know? You want to hit as many as you can, but when you’re watching games of other players that you’ve had here, that’s the hard part about doing it.”

At this point in the interview, Roseman jokingly asked WIP Morning Show host Angelo Cataldi for a beer and seemed to hint that being drunk may have helped him get through watching Rowe in the AFC Championship Game.

“That’s why Sundays … that’s why you’ve got to watch some of these games like that,” he said. “It gives you an opportunity to reflect. At the same time, you’ve got to get guys who fit your scheme, that make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles, and I think that’s the most important thing.”

Roseman also addressed the notion that he got rid of Rowe because he was a Chip Kelly draft pick and he wanted to rid the roster of as many Kelly players as possible.

“That’s false,” he said. “We want good players. I don’t care where they came from. …

“I think for us, when you get a guy like (Kelly draft pick) Jordan Hicks and the role he contributes for our football team and what kind of character he has, football character, personal character.

“As many good players as we can get on the Philadelphia Eagles — at the end of the day, we’re responsible for the team and they’re part of our team and it doesn’t matter where they came from.”

Asked about Kelly's getting fired by the 49ers a year after he was fired by the Eagles, Roseman said this: “Never like seeing people lose their jobs in the National Football League. It’s a tough business, no question about it. It’s a tough time of year.”

Healed from knee injury, Corey Clement looks like himself again

Healed from knee injury, Corey Clement looks like himself again

Corey Clement looks like himself again. If you didn’t know the third-year running back tore up his knee last December, watching practice on Monday against the Ravens, you certainly wouldn’t have been able to tell. 

Getting first-team reps for the first time this summer, the 23-year-old running back looked strong, explosive, smooth. Clement looked way less like a guy coming off knee rehab and way more like the guy who carved out a relatively significant offensive role as a rookie in 2017. 

He’s not even wearing that bulky brace anymore. 

“I’m out here naked,” said a smiling Clement, looking down at his bare right knee. “I’m fine.”

And he’s pretty happy to be done with that brace. 

I hate it,” he said with a laugh. “It feels like I got a little guy on my leg. 

“Realizing that if my mobility is fine without it, it’s the mental part I gotta get over. I’m like, ‘I don’t need the brace, I don’t need the brace, I don’t need the brace.’ I have had good practice reps without it and that boosts my morale without it to show I can do it.

While Clement is starting to look like himself to the rest of us, he started to feel like himself during the first week of training camp. That’s when he took a rep and somebody bumped into him and his rehabilitated knee. It’s a physical game, Clement said, so it was nice to get that out of the way. In fact, he wanted it to happen to see how he’d react. It was fine. 

Now, Clement claims there’s nothing to worry about. 

On Monday, Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh was asked if Clement is where he needs to be coming off the injury: 

Well, he's cleared, but he hasn't played a whole lot. I wouldn't say he's where he needs to be because he just needs to get more time out here. We're trying to accelerate that process here with two weeks to go. Trying to catch him up, if that's fair to say. Physically, he feels really good, and we just want to work him back in as quickly as possible.

The Eagles have brought Clement back in steps, ramping up his workload as the summer has progressed. First individual drills, then 7-on-7s, then 11-on-11s. On Monday, he took 11-on-11 reps with the first team against a foreign defense. 

And he’s looked good in all of it. 

This week, Clement said, they actually prepared for the Ravens a bit; they are trying to treat this a little bit like a normal game week. And this is a Ravens team that boasted one of the best overall defenses in the league last season, so it’s a good test. Clement passed the test on Day 1. 

Clement would like to play in Thursday’s third preseason game, but he isn’t sure if he’ll be given the go-ahead. He probably won’t know until Wednesday. 

“I want to play. I want to play football,” Clement said. “Just like B.G. (Brandon Graham) likes playing in preseason, I like playing in preseason. I don’t want to shy away from football. Football’s fun.”

It’s even more fun when you’re back to being yourself.

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Malcolm Jenkins weighs in on NFL's controversial partnership with Jay-Z

Malcolm Jenkins weighs in on NFL's controversial partnership with Jay-Z

Nearly one week after a controversial partnership was struck between the NFL and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins sounded cautiously optimistic about its potential impact.

The twofold agreement somewhat benignly tasks Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation with improving the NFL’s live musical performances such as the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and perhaps more alarmingly tasks the rapper with “amplify(ing) the league’s social justice efforts.”

Critics of the deal — and there are many — view the latter function as anything from a cynical money grab on the part of Jay-Z to a perversion of the social justice ideals that free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled over.

Jenkins, who himself has been on the forefront of the fight for social justice reform, working with officials in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., implied there isn’t yet enough information to pass judgment on the new partnership, noting Jay-Z has a history of involvement in such matters.

We’re all kind of waiting to see kind of what the details are,” said Jenkins after Monday’s practice. “As a player who’s had to negotiate with the league and sit across from billionaires and talk about issues and why they should be important and why the NFL should be highlighting them, I think having somebody like Jay-Z who can add to that conversation — he does these things on a daily basis, has a history of doing those things — helps us as players to have an ally like that, so I’m looking forward to seeing what that turns into.

Of course, Jenkins and those in Kaepernick’s camp haven’t always seen eye to eye. Panthers safety Eric Reid once referred to the Eagles star as a “sellout” during an on-field confrontation, though the two have since mended fences.

It’s perhaps worth noting then that Kaepernick did not name Jenkins in a recent Tweet that some construed as a shot toward the Jay-Z deal.

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