With the tampering period starting tomorrow and free agency starting on March 9th, there has been no shortage of reports and rumors regarding the Eagles today. Many of them have predictably been focused around their wide receiver corps..although there have been a few surprises along the way. If you’ve missed any of today’s news then buckle up for a wide receiver rollercoaster!
Terrelle Pryor to the Eagles?:
According to a report from Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the Eagles are among the teams interested in Browns wide receiver, Terrelle Pryor.
” Terrelle Pryor is drawing interest from his hometown Steelers, the Giants, 49ers, Titans and Eagles as the free agency two-day negotiating window opens on Tuesday at noon, league sources told cleveland.com.”
After recording 1,007 yards in 2016, Pryor was at least expected to be franchise tagged by the Browns, instead..it appears as though he’s been allowed to test the free agency market, despite a reasonable pursuit. This report comes after Vegas bookmaker, BookMaker.EU listed the Eagles as favorites to land Pryor, with odds of +150. The other teams in the hunt according to the bookmaker appear to be the following:
Baltimore Ravens +450
Los Angeles Rams +800
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1500
Cleveland Browns +2300
There’s no doubt that Pryor has already established a lucrative market with many teams looking to acquire his services. The Browns haven’t been able to serenade the former quarterback back to Cleveland with a deal sweet enough just yet..opening the door to the rest of the NFL on March 9th. It will be interesting to see how long the Eagles can remain in the bidding war, given their lack of cap space.
Kenny Britt could be an under-the-radar target for the Birds:
ESPN’s Tim McManus noted earlier today that the Eagles are “expected to show interest” in pending free agent Kenny Britt. According to NFL Insider Charles Robinson, the Rams receiver could be looking at a far more attractive $6M-$8M per year price range on his next deal.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 6, 2017
This report appears to hold some weight.
The #Eagles have been connected with just about every WR out there this offseason. Kenny Britt report is legit, though.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 6, 2017
Britt will be 29 heading into the 2017 season and age along with not being the sexy pick among available wide receivers is what seems to turn Eagles fans off of him. Luckily for the Eagles, they have a history of knocking mid-level signings like these over the sexy picks out of the park, most notably choosing safety, Malcolm Jenkins, over the likes of Jarius Byrd.
He is coming off a season where he was targeted 111 times with 68 catches for 1,002 yards, 14.7 yards per catch, and five touchdowns. Britt only dropped three passes this past season according to sportingcharts.com. He was the first Rams wide receiver to surpass the 1,000 yard receiving threshold since Torry Holt in 2007, so you see how uncommon of an accomplishment that is.
Could he be a fit with the Eagles? Check out our Free Agency Film Room piece to find out:
The trade that never was:
Steve Smith Sr tweeted earlier today that the San Francisco 49ers are expected to part ways with wide receiver Torrey Smith.
The 28-year old was notably linked with the Eagles prior to the trade deadline, but with the asking price set to be just out of the Eagles reaching distance, Smith remained with former Eagles Head Coach, Chip Kelly.
Smith ended a disappointing 2016 with just 267 yards and 3 touchdowns after signing a huge contract and failing to live up to the hype..missing four games last season due to injury. However, it’s easy to forget his time in Baltimore, where he never caught less than 49 passes per season and of course had an emphatic 1,128 yard year back in 2013. Smith is the perfect wide receiver for Howie’s “low-risk, high-reward” ethos and fits the “28-year old free agent” mould extremely snugly.
DeSean Jackson’s price range:
One of the names that has been consistently linked with the Eagles since the end of last season, has been former Philadelphia wideout, DeSean Jackson. That storyline in itself has been quite the ride, but today we may have gotten a better understanding of the price range we can expect the 30-year old to be looking for:
Spoke with several sources who believe DeSean Jackson will be looking for the $10-12-million-per-year range when things ramp up this week.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 6, 2017
There are plenty of teams said to be in play for DJax, with the Cowboys and Patriots being the two most notable and the Buccaneers being the new kid on the block. Whether the Eagles would be willing to backload a contract in order to complete the reunion that has been craved by fans for months..will remain to be seen. The Birds aren’t inundated wth cap space and have expressed a desire to be cautious in free agency this time around. However, that could all change…
Connor Barwin on borrowed time?
….mainly because of this story. Les Bowen noted today that Connor Barwin’s immediate future with the Eagles is anything but certain.
I don’t know much about how the #Eagles plan to maneuver for FA cap room. But I do believe Connor Barwin gets traded or released this week.
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 6, 2017
Barwin has been reported to be on the trade block for a while now and with the Eagles said to have met with the agents of both Connor Barwin and Jason Kelce, the waves seem to have calmed, for now. The 30-year old is entering the penultimate year of his six-year contract and parting ways could save the Eagles around $7.75M.
Barwin ended last year with 34 tackles, 5 sacks and a forced fumble and despite playing in all 16 games, failed to emerge as a consistent DE under Jim Schwartz, something many pinned him to be after his experience in Houston. However, Barwin struggled to rekindle the explosive fire that saw him run rampant two seasons ago as an outside linebacker..leaving the Eagles with a tricky decision to make.
It’s also worth noting that one of the two teams who were willing to give anything “substantial” for the veteran pass rusher, were the Indianapolis Colts. Could there be a potential trade in the air after a coin flip victory for the Birds? It’s not as absurd as you might think..(Find out why here).
Whether it’s through release or trade, Barwin’s days in Philadelphia may be numbered if the consistent reports of the Eagles shopping him around are to be believed.
Eagles open to trading Jordan Matthews?:
Charles Robinson has been a busy man today, but his most polarizing report by a mile was this:
If someone makes a solid offer to #Eagles for backup QB Chase Daniel, I believe they're open to dealing him. Same for WR Jordan Matthews.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 6, 2017
While the wording is very carefully selected, it’s certainly something worth noting. There have been no assertions by the Eagles in regards to trading neither Daniel or Matthews..unlike Mychal Kendricks and Allen Barbre on the other hand. The two are considered key figures in the growth of Carson Wentz and it’s unlikely that the Eagles will want to give them up without a substantial return.
Matthews is entering his contract year so the logic is easy to see. If the team don’t see him as a long-term part of their franchise, then it would make sense to at least get something for him before losing the Vanderbilt product to free agency.
However, with the Eagles being so focused on building a young group of guys to develop with Wentz, it would seem highly hypocritical to trade one of the brightest offensive talents on the roster, who also happens to have built up quite the rapport with the Eagles franchise quarterback.
The report has caused a social media meltdown and understandably so. Here are five reasons why I believe trading Jordan Matthews would one one of the team’s worst decisions in recent history.
If you’re still reading this, congratulations. You survived the whirlwind of news for the day and if that has wet your appetite, we’re likely only just getting started with free agency just a few days away. If the Eagles offseason drama last year felt like a movie at times..this year’s may win an Oscar.
Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports