The700Level

Eagles have decisions to make on Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor

usp-torrey-smith-nelson-agholor-baseball-celebration.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles have decisions to make on Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor

The Eagles can create some breathing room under the salary cap in 2018 with a relatively simple move at wide receiver. At the same time, the club also has a decision to make at receiver that could inevitably drive costs up for 2019.

Torrey Smith and Nelson Agholor each played a huge role in delivering the Eagles’ first Super Bowl championship. Now, determinations must be made on their futures with the team.

The question is whether either call is very difficult to make.

First, the Eagles must decide whether to pick up Smith’s option for 2018. The three-year contract the veteran wideout signed last offseason acts more like a series of one-year deals at $5 million apiece. The structure and amount could result in a convenient source of savings.

With the organization seriously up against the cap — currently over the projected spending limit — Smith might be a luxury the Eagles can no longer afford.

Smith posted mediocre regular-season numbers: 36 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns. However, he enjoyed a strong postseason, racking up 13 receptions for 157 yards and one score. Dropped passes were an issue throughout.

While still a dangerous vertical threat, Smith was perhaps underutilized at times with the Eagles. The team also chose a pair of speedy receivers — Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson — in last year’s draft.

As for Agholor, a decision is coming whether or not to pick up the fifth-year, 2019 option on his rookie contract at a projected $9.4 million. The Eagles’ window to accept or decline the option ends May 3.

A first-round pick in 2015, Agholor finally lived up to his promise this season, a breakthrough sparked by his move to the slot. He wound up with 77 receptions for 935 yards and eight touchdowns, including playoffs, eclipsing the combined totals from his first two NFL seasons.

Though $9.4 million may sound steep for a slot receiver with one decent year under his belt, Agholor became a vital cog in the Eagles' offense. Plus, the option is guaranteed only for injury, so the team isn’t necessarily bound to that amount.

More than anything, exercising the option delays Agholor from becoming a free agent by a year, buying the Eagles another season of evaluation.

The fifth-year option is often a precursor to a long-term extension. By 2019, the Eagles should have a better sense of Agholor’s value, and will perhaps be in better position with regards to the cap.

WIDE RECEIVERS BREAKDOWN
*Ages as of Sept. 6, 2018

Torrey Smith
Age: 29
2018 cap hit: $5 million

Eagles quarterbacks didn’t even utilize Smith’s vertical ability all that often. According to Pro Football Focus, the seven-year veteran was targeted 19 times on passes of 20 yards or more, including playoffs. By comparison, Agholor had 18 such targets, while Alshon Jeffery led with 28.

Alshon Jeffery
Age: 28
2018 cap hit: $4.125 million

Brilliant bit of accounting here by Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman to keep Jeffery’s cap hit low in the first year of his contract extension. Four million for a No. 1 receiver is a steal, though that figure will balloon to over $14 million in 2019.

Nelson Agholor
Age: 25
2018 cap hit: $2.983 million

Perhaps Agholor was simply miscast in his previous role. Per PFF, he led all receivers in touchdowns out of the slot, and finished third in yards. Agholor also showed up at OTAs looking bigger and stronger than he had in previous years, or so it seemed. His eight broken tackles were a new personal best.

Mack Hollins
Age: 24
2018 cap hit: $714,000

One of two options to potentially replace Smith, Hollins turned on the burners for a 64-yard touchdown against Washington in Week 7. However, the fourth-round pick was largely used as a possession receiver, finishing his rookie season with 16 receptions for 226 yards.

Shelton Gibson
Age: 24
2018 cap hit: $619,000

Gibson’s only real action on offense came in the meaningless Week 17 tilt with the Cowboys — two receptions, 11 yards. If his hands ever catch up to his feet, he could become a viable deep threat. Work ethic shouldn’t be an issue, as Gibson worked his way from a regular inactive at the beginning of his rookie season to a regular role on special teams.

Dom Williams
Age: 25
2018 Cap Hit: $560,000

Signed to a futures contract in 2017, Williams quietly landed on injured reserve in May with a torn Achilles. He impressed in the previous year’s preseason with the Chargers, catching 10 passes for 132 yards in exhibition games.

Marcus Johnson
Age: 24
2018 Cap Hit: $555,000

Johnson made the 53-man roster off of a strong training camp but lost his role on special teams midway through the season and was inactive the rest of the way. There will be plenty of competition for his roster spot. So far, Rashard Davis, Bryce Treggs, Greg Ward and Marquess Wilson have been signed to futures contracts.

Fan injured by Phillie Phanatic's hot dog cannon during game

Fan injured by Phillie Phanatic's hot dog cannon during game

This is taking food delivery a bit too far.

A woman suffered facial injuries when the Phillie Phanatic fired a hot dog into the crowd with his cannon during Monday night’s game at Citizens Bank Park.

“And then the next thing I know he shot it in our direction, and bam! It hit me like a ton of bricks. My glasses flew,” Kathy McVay, a Plymouth Meeting resident, told 6 ABC’s Sarah Bloomquist about the incident.

McVay said she went to a hospital and underwent a CAT scan to make sure that she didn't suffer a concussion.

“I have a small hematoma in my eye,” McVay said. “And mostly, it's going to get worse before it gets better. It's going to go down the side of my face.”

Per the report, the Phillies did reach out to McVay to apologize and “the Phanatic feels terrible about what happened” (although we’re not exactly sure how he explained that sentiment).

To her credit, McVay understands the ridiculous nature of her injury and is taking it all in stride.

“It gives people a good laugh, and if that makes somebody chuckle, then that's fine,” she said.

Now that people know she’s OK, McVay can bank on people getting a decent laugh out of this one.

Rocky and Adonis return to Philadelphia in new Creed II trailer

creedii.jpg
MGM

Rocky and Adonis return to Philadelphia in new Creed II trailer

The latest chapter in the Rocky Balboa saga is coming to theatres this Thanksgiving and the trailer for it dropped this morning.

Creed II picks up with Michael B. Jordan reprising his role as Apollo Creed's son, Adonis, coming to grips with fighting someone with the last name Drago — clearly a flashback to his father getting killed in the ring at the hands of Russian Ivan Drago.

Sly Stallone returns as the old and wise Rocky Balboa, dropping knowledge bombs instead of left hooks.

At least part of the movie takes place in Philadelphia, with a skyline shot showing up in the trailer. The first Creed movie had plenty of Philly flavor, so we're hoping we'll get a bit more in the sequel.