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The NFL reportedly banked on the Phillies making MLB postseason, and it looks like that backfired

The NFL reportedly banked on the Phillies making MLB postseason, and it looks like that backfired

In a tight NL Wild Card race, the Philadelphia Phillies are on the outside with no view of the inside. Thanks to a 4-1 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday afternoon, the Phillies were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

And based on how the NFL constructed the Philadelphia Eagles' first part of their schedule, where they're on the road for Weeks 5-7, it appears they assumed the Phillies would be in postseason contention.

According to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, who joined the Nationals Talk podcast, Bryce Harper-mania might have caused the NFL to re-jigger the Eagles schedule.

"If you look at the Philadelphia Eagles schedule, they go on the road the next three weeks and the reason the NFL did that is because of Bryce Harper-mania," Salisbury explained. "They anticipated that the Phillies were gonna be playing October baseball after that Bryce Harper, after that big winter. And they're not, so overall a disappointing season for the Phillies not going to play in October but a good season for Bryce Harper."

MORE: Re-live the grand slam that helped the Nats to the postseason

But Philadelphia hasn't soured on Harper, despite a rocky start.

"Off the field, he's created a buzz. The fans really love him, he's kind of been from a media standpoint great to deal with," Salisbury said. "He does a great job connecting with the fans, you know comes out every night, gives them a big bow, throws balls into the stands into the upper deck. Every kid in Philadelphia wants Bryce Harper to throw them a ball. So I think from a marketing PR standpoint, you know home runs, he's created a buzz about the team."

One way he's created that buzz is because he "roots for the Sixer's, roots for the Eagles," Salisbury noted. Harper is a noted Vegas Golden Knights fan, and rocked a jersey during their Stanley Cup run in 2018 against the Capitals.

Eventually, Bryce wants to be embraced by Philly fans like Allen Iverson, Bobby Clark, and Julius Erving were. But there's only one way to get there.

"Ultimately to be embraced like those guys in this city, like Iverson, he's gotta win," Salisbury stated. 

While his new hometown fans have embraced him, he's angered opposing fans when he steps up to the plate.

"He gets booed in every stadium, he comes to the plate every night to chants of 'over-rated, over-rated,' and I think he gets a little bit of fuel out of that, I don't think it makes him nervous," Salisbury said. 

That fuel might have hampered him early in the season when he was trying to do too much.

"He missed a lot of fastballs early in the season," Sailsbury explained. "I do think there's a difference between being nervous and pressing. Wanting to prove to a new community you're worth $330 million, wanting to put your best foot forward early, make a good showing. Yeah I do think he was trying to do too much too early." 

The Phillies might expect even more from him during the next season after they've flamed out of the Wild Card race.

"I think they need a better season," Salisbury said. "They need more from Bryce Harper, they need more consistency from Realmuto early, they probably could use another bat, they probably could use two starting pitchers and help in the bullpen. There's quite a few holes on this team, but you know I still think ownership is ready to get back out there and mix it up again this winter."


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DeSean Jackson to auction cleats honoring late rapper Nipsey Hussle

DeSean Jackson to auction cleats honoring late rapper Nipsey Hussle

On the field, DeSean Jackson's first Sunday of the NFL season was a successful one. Rejoining his former team in the Eagles and going against another former team in the Redskins, the veteran caught eight passes for 154 and two scores while exposing Washington in multiple ways.

Off the field, Jackson is continuing to make his impact felt.

Prior to Sunday's game, Jackson sported customized cleats pregame honoring the late Nipsey Hussle. Hussle, a prominent rapper who grew up in the same Los Angeles neighborhood as the receiver, was killed in March.

But, Jackson's determination to honor someone near to his heart isn't stopping there. Jackson will be wearing the custom cleats each game, and plans to auction off each pair and have the proceeds go toward the Nipsey Hussle family foundation. He will also donate money of his own, pledging to match the amount raised by the cleats.

Jackson may once again be a rival of the Redskins, but this act of kindness and love is something everyone can get behind.


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Eagles sign Carson Wentz to lucrative four-year, $128 million extention

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Eagles sign Carson Wentz to lucrative four-year, $128 million extention

Carson Wentz just got PAID.

The Eagles gave Wentz a four-year, $128 million contract extension Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. $107 million of the deal is guaranteed. 

The Wentz extension continues the Eagles' trend of locking up key players long-term. However, this deal certainly comes with some risk. 

Wentz has missed significant time to injury recently, most notably tearing his ACL at the end of the 2017 season, watching from the sidelines as Nick Foles led Philadelphia to a Super Bowl title. He also missed five games last year, sustaining a back injury near the end of the season. 

Wentz has proven he can play close to an MVP level when healthy and clicking. But his health, as the last two seasons have shown, is a major question. 

And in the greater context of the NFC East, the Eagles locked up Wentz long-term, Dak Prescott is likely next with the Cowboys, and the Redskins and Giants drafted their QBs of the future in Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones, respectively. For now, the QB situation in the division looks quite clear.