Friday, March 6, 2015

Final Free Agency Preview

With over $50 million in cap space, and roster holes everywhere, Chip Kelly is sure to max out his phone bill this month. Once the clock strikes midnight, the wheels are in motion for Chip's vision to come to life. Rumors are spreading like wildfire, but the only thing we know for sure is that this is now 100% Chip Kelly's team. And with Chip, we can never truly know what to expect.

Here's a list of free agents who may be playing home games at Lincoln Financial Field this fall.


Jake Locker (6-3, 231lbs, 26 years old)

Locker makes a lot of sense. At the combine, he displayed very good athleticism, running a 4.59 second 40-yard dash. His stint with Tennessee can politely be described as brutal, but there's real talent there. There's also no denying the fact that Locker didn't have many resources around him with the Titans, whether that be coaching or talent.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Under the Radar Players Primed to Compete in 2015

With the season winding down, most fans have shifted their attention towards free agency and the draft. While those two avenues offer ample opportunity to improve the team, it's important to assess internal options as well. Here's a list of four players I'll be keeping my eye on this Spring.

ILB Najee Goode (25 years old, 6-0, 244lbs)

If not for a torn pectoral muscle in Week 1, Goode was set to play a significant role on the 2014 defense. In 2013, Goode filled in for an ailing Mychal Kendricks for the Week 11 match-up with the Redskins and made plays all over the field, finishing with six tackles, one sack, two passes defensed, and he should have added an interception to that stat-line.

He struggles with man coverage against tight ends with a little more wiggle, but he's stout against the run and offers much more athleticism than DeMeco Ryans. From a money perspective, it makes more sense to release Ryans and let Goode battle it out with Travis Long and a rookie for the other starting position. There wasn't a drop off when Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho filled in for Ryans this season, and Goode is a significant upgrade over that limited duo.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Analyzing the Cap

The past 48 hours have been a field day against the dysfunction pouring out of NovaCare's second floor. A new report surfaces every hour about clashing egos and the future demise of the Chip Kelly era. But, for the purpose of this article, let's just assume Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman can be professionals and co-exist, while continuing to build a winning program in Philadelphia.

The salary cap is never an issue in Philadelphia. Joe Banner was always a wizard at creating flexibility and freedom from a money standpoint, and apparently Howie Roseman took great notes. With the cap number increasing again in 2015, and in-house extensions looming, now is a great time to analyze the current cap situation.

To begin with, the NFL hasn't stated exactly what the 2015 cap number will be. The only thing currently known is it will be somewhere between $138.6 million and $141.8 million. For firm estimates, let's go with a $140 million projection.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Free Agency Preview

2015 will be the most pivotal off-season for the Philadelphia Eagles in recent memory. Chip Kelly's early success has heightened expectations throughout the city. This is a very talented football team, but it's also a squad with many holes. The 2014 draft class offered little hope of internal improvement on defense, and with inevitable cuts on the horizon, significant additions are coming.

Free agency will be the first chance to address weaknesses heading into the draft. The philosophy since 2012 seems to be targeting mid-level players to eliminate gaping holes heading into the draft to limit reaches. Let's take a quick look at the state of each position and some potential upgrades that may be found in the free agent market.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cloudy Future for Boykin?

Let me start by saying this: Brandon Boykin is a great player, losing him would be a tremendous blow to the defense.

Now just stick with me here. I think there is legitimate reason to be concerned about his future in Philadelphia based on two issues; opportunity and money.

Let's first look at the issue of opportunity. Chip Kelly has been firm in his stance on keeping Brandon Boykin on the inside. He views outside corner as a completely different position than inside corner, once comparing them with outside and inside linebacker.

At 5-9, Boykin bends every size and length rule in Chip Kelly's toolbox. But Chip is likely comfortable with Boykin manning the slot based on his performance and the size of the average slot WR. The Wes Welker's and Danny Amendola's of the world won't overwhelm Boykin with their size. Is Chip comfortable matching up Boykin against the more physically imposing outside receivers of the NFL? I do not know.

Improving Batting Average in the Draft

Howie Roseman took over a major leadership role in the NFL Draft starting in 2012. A draft class which included Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Nick Foles and Brandon Boykin.

It was the first draft I can remember that didn't include a head-scratcher, i.e. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Curtis Marsh, Danny Watkins.

In 2013, Roseman followed that up with another strong performance, drafting promising players Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Bennie Logan, and Earl Wolff.

On paper, the Eagles 2014 class is earning solid grades, but it's premature to call it a success.

I wanted to delve deeper into Roseman's draft strategy to see if it he hit some lucky home-runs the past couple years or if this draft success is sustainable.

Philadelphia is picky. There's certain boxes each draft pick needs to check before Roseman and Kelly are comfortable pulling the trigger. There will always be exceptions, but it's a reliable rule of thumb.

Level of Competition:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Continuity and Chemistry

The Philadelphia Eagles are the class of the NFC East.

On paper, the New York's secondary looks good.

On paper, the Washington's offense looks more explosive.

On paper, Dallas' defensive line looks ... well ... it just looks awful.

There are two things lacking from Philadelphia's division foes: continuity and chemistry. And those things matter, and matter a lot.

Dallas Cowboys (8-8 in 2013)

Dallas is returning just 15 of 22 starters from 2013, five of the defense's front-seven are new faces. The defense has its third defensive coordinator in three years. Plus, the Dallas Cowboys are relying on a rookie and two players coming off major knee injuries for their primary pass-rush (Demarcus Lawrence, Anthony Spencer, Henry Melton).