Eagles mailbag

Eagles Mailbag: Dividing the pie, RBs in draft, Doug Pederson on injury report

Eagles Mailbag: Dividing the pie, RBs in draft, Doug Pederson on injury report

I knocked out the first group of your questions in Friday's mailbag

Let’s not waste time today: 

As far as problems go, count this one as a good one to have. While in Phoenix last month at the owners meetings, I wrote about this in depth and that was before the trade to get Jordan Howard.

Now, the Eagles have Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Howard. And one football. It’ll be up to Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz to spread the ball around. If the Eagles are winning, everyone will buy in and the egos will be kept in check. The problem might come if things aren’t going well and certain players feel they are being underutilized. But the Eagles shouldn’t complain about a surplus of guys who deserve the ball. 

It’s still a draft need, just much less pressing now. If I’m weighing this with importance of position, it’s behind defensive line and offensive line, but ahead of linebacker. I still don’t think the Eagles value that position as much as some fans do. 

1. DL
2. OL
3. RB
4. LB
5. S

Remember, Howard has just one year left on his rookie contract and will be a free agent after the season. So trading for him shouldn’t drastically change the Eagles’ plan in the draft. If there’s a RB in the second round and the Eagles have him ranked as their top player on the board, they should take him and not think twice about Howard. 

1. Josh Jacobs
2. David Montgomery
3. Miles Sanders 

The thing all these guys have in common is their futures as true, three-down backs because of their ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. The Eagles don’t seem to care about the do-it-all nature of some running backs, as evidenced by some of their recent moves. But if I were using a first- or second-round pick on a running back, I would need to know they have the ceiling to be an every-down back. All three of these guys will be gone by the end of the second round. 

As Pederson would say, this is a lower-body injury. The Eagles' head coach had surgery on his ankle to prevent an Achilles tear. Basically, he had a bone spur that was rubbing into his tendon and they had to shave it down to make sure the Achilles didn’t rupture. He’s stuck with that walking boot for a total of 10 weeks, but said he’ll be fine for OTAs. He better make sure to stay out of the way, though. As much as Pederson wants to be involved, he might need to take a little step back to keep out of harm’s way. 

I have! A few years ago at the Eagles' media field goal challenge. I didn’t win, but that wasn’t my goal. My goal was to not make too much of a fool of myself and … mission accomplished. I made my first really short field goal, but missed the next one in a respectable manner. I left the NovaCare Complex that day with my dignity intact.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles Mailbag: Wentz's next deal, Trout footballs, Pump's chances

Eagles Mailbag: Wentz's next deal, Trout footballs, Pump's chances

It’s a gloomy Friday in Philly, but I’m trying to have a little fun. 

I asked you guys for some questions on Twitter and asked that they be fun ones. Some of you obliged. As always, thank you. 

Here’s the first bunch: 

Here’s what I came up with: 5 years, $159 million, $100 million guaranteed, $45 million signing bonus. 

Now, I’ll show my work. This contract would give Wentz an APY of $31.8 million, the second-highest APY in the league behind Aaron Rodgers ($33.5M) and ahead of Matt Ryan ($30M). I think there’s a chance the signing bonus is slightly lower to allow for an option bonus somewhere in that contract. The Eagles have used team options a lot in recent contracts and it might not be a terrible idea to have a kill switch on this deal, especially considering Wentz’s injury history. 

Here’s a look at Rodgers’ and Ryan’s most recent deals: 

Rodgers: 4-year extension, $134M, $98.2M guaranteed, $57M signing bonus 

Ryan: 5-year extension, $150M, $100M guaranteed, $46.5M signing bonus

Either way, he’s going to be in that ballpark with Rodgers and Ryan. You can argue Wentz doesn’t deserve to be based on his body of work, but he’s going to get paid a huge sum of money and the salary cap rises each year. The current CBA is also scheduled to run out after the 2020 season, which could change everything and even possibly lead to an uncapped 2021. 

I know some folks have wondered if Wentz will take some sort of hometown discount like Tom Brady has for years. It’s just unfair to ask him to do that and would really be frowned upon by the NFLPA. When these kinds of deals are made, they set the market for other players. If the Seahawks redo Russell Wilson’s deal before Wentz, it could potentially reset the market again. 

I was bummed to hear the news about the AAF, but I have to be honest: I wasn’t watching it all that closely. I just thought it would be nice for there to be some sort of developmental league. 

The Browns are signing QB Garrett Gilbert, who was the one guy who came to mind first. Former Eagle De’Vante Bausby also reportedly found a home with the Broncos. 

Charles Johnson from Orlando put up some really impressive stats while catching the ball from Gilbert. He had 45 catches for 687 yards and five touchdowns. He’s a former seventh-round pick who bounced around several NFL teams since 2013. The problem here is he’s already 30. Rashad Ross, another receiver, would have made some sense, but he signed with Carolina. 

Maybe former third-round pick Damontre Moore. The pass rusher fizzled in the NFL but looked good with San Diego. Some character concerns with him but he’s still just 26 and for a test drive, might not be a bad option. 

It’s gotta be 1/2 a football, right? To be truthful, I was never a fan of giving Trout all those balls. Find a kid instead. How many damn footballs does the guy need. I’m still all for Trout’s still showing up at games and sitting in his front-row seats (no problem affording them now), but they can definitely stop giving him souvenirs. 

Yeah, Pump really is a forgotten guy. Let’s start with the first part. You’d have to be right that he’s sixth and the Eagles have six on their roster: Jordan Howard, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, Boston Scott and Pumphrey. I don’t like his chances. But I also think they're non-zero. There was actually a point last training camp when he looked much better and was even a possibility for that last spot on the depth chart, but then he got hurt. 

The problem is that I also think the Eagles will draft a running back this year, which would put him at seventh on the depth chart. That would be a huge jump and a lot of things would need to happen. But, for me, the only locks for the roster are Howard, Clement and possibly a draft pick. Is it completely incomprehensible that Pumphrey beats out Adams, Smallwood and Scott? No. It’s just unlikely based on what we’ve seen so far. He could give them the element of a pass-catcher, but Clement can do that and so can Scott, who is already ahead of him on the depth chart. 

I’ll give Pump a six percent chance to make the roster. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles Mailbag: Faith in Nate Sudfeld, Vinny Curry signing, spreading it around

Eagles Mailbag: Faith in Nate Sudfeld, Vinny Curry signing, spreading it around

The offseason marches on with your questions. 

I already answered your first bunch, including questions on Sidney Jones, Jay Ajayi and running backs in the draft. Now, it’s time for Part 2 of 3. 

Let’s get to it: 

I got a few questions about Nate Sudfeld this week and I certainly understand why. He’s now the Eagles’ backup quarterback and Carson Wentz has finished the last two seasons on the shelf. I think there are legitimate reasons for concern. From the time the Eagles got Sudfeld, I thought he was a possible QB2. The problem here is that he is unproven; we haven’t seen much of him outside of summer practices and minimal game action. It’s somewhat of a gamble for a team with Super Bowl aspirations to go into a season with an unproven backup, especially because of Wentz’s injury history. 

But, to be clear, I like what I’ve seen from Sudfeld. He seems to be pretty athletic and has a big arm. The Eagles have shown how much they like him at every turn. This is one of those situations where I’m skeptical, but just kind of trust their evaluation. 

I don’t think the Curry signing affects Long’s decision as much as it tells us the Eagles are preparing for the possibility Long isn’t back. You have to remember, Curry can play inside and outside, so he might not take as many reps from Long as you think. We’ll see what happens soon with the draft. Long has said he doesn’t want to return as just a locker room guy and a high draft pick would take even more playing time away from him. The Eagles should hope he returns, though. Even at his age, he’s still a productive pass rusher. 

This is one of the big ideas I want to ask Doug Pederson about next week at the owners meetings. The Eagles now have a bunch of different pass catching options. They have a really talented trio of receivers to go along with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Even though Goedert is a really impressive young player, it’s hard to imagine he would be left out at times. The Eagles didn’t trade for DeSean Jackson to sit him on the bench and they aren’t pay Nelson Agholor over $9 million this season to be a spectator. And Alshon Jeffery is going to play. 

It’s a good problem to have, but Pederson needs to figure out a way to get everyone involved. It might be a nightmare for fantasy football owners, though, because I think the game plan will change based on the matchups from week to week. Some weeks they’ll go heavy 11 personnel, but I wouldn’t rule out heavy 12 personnel with Ertz and Goedert on the field sometimes too. 

I don’t. I do agree that running back and linebacker are their two most pressing needs, but I just wouldn’t use a top pick on a linebacker. Maybe they’ll surprise me, but I think it’s much more likely they leave the first two days of the draft with a running back instead of a linebacker. I still believe the Eagles will use No. 25 on a lineman (offense or defense) and will then look at running back with one of their second-round picks. I think they use a Day 3 pick on a linebacker unless they really think they found tremendous value. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles