The Eagles are set to begin their final week of voluntary workouts today and as ever there’s plenty to be keeping an eye on. Here are the main storylines to watch out for over the course of the next few days.
Will Fletcher Cox return?
As it stands, Cox is still holding out in the hopes of being paid the “great player money” that Howie Roseman seemed intent on paying him. He’s yet to show up to a voluntary workout and if his absence continues through the team’s mandatory 3-day minicamp..the birds can fine him $76,580. Unlike Sam Bradford, Cox seems set on making his point crystal clear..is this the week he sees the bigger picture and returns to work?
Running back roulette:
With Ryan Mathews away with illness and Darren Sproles also yet to show, last week opened the doors for the likes of Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner to really assert themselves as viable lead rushers for the Eagles. It’s expected that Mathews will return and while there is no word as of yet on Sproles, it will be interesting to see how the reps are affected. Will Smallwood see more action than Barner? If Sproles does show up at the NovaCare Complex, how will the pecking order change? It’s an interesting storyline and one that will likely run deep into August.
Unfortunately, much of the focus is going to once again be placed on Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz following a series of reports that have added fuel to a fire that certainly doesn’t need any help to grow. It all started with Jim Schwartz appearing open to the idea of a Quarterback competition and has ended with NJ.com’s Matt Lombardo reporting that he believes Wentz is picking up the new Offense faster than Bradford. Will there be any further developments today?
Wide receiver watch:
With Randle sidelined following surgery to remove his gallbladder, the doors once again have been swung open for the rest of the receiving corps. Not many positions are solidified at this stage and the Eagles have an abundance of wide receiver talent from the versatile Byron Marshall to undrafted rookies Hunter Sharp and Cayleb Jones..not to mention the development of deep-threat Chris Givens who appears to be turning a few heads with his OTA performances. With a few names on the bubble and such a dynamic offense..it will be intriguing to see if any more names rise from the fire as Chris Givens did last week.
For the last two weeks it’s been Denzel Rice stealing the show at cornerback. The undrafted rookie free agent forced two fumbles and picked off Carson Wentz during the last session open to the media and in a secondary that’s crammed with talent..he’s making his presence known. Keep an eye out to see if there are potentially any more surprises in the secondary as OTA’s progress. Maybe Jalen Mills will have an impressive showing or maybe the former Bills corners will run the day. With so many cornerbacks on the roster, it’s going to be imperative to turn heads early if they plan on making the final 53-man roster. Will we continue to see confident performances from unlikely names and watch as the cornerback narrative continues to take even more twists and turns?
Jim Schwartz was far from happy with his Defense last week after a day of jump-starts, penalties and overall disjointedness. Will the new Defensive Coordinator have been able to whip his new team into shape over the course of the last seven days?
Photo credit: MATT ROURKE/AP