The aftermath of yesterday’s free agency splash was always set to be interesting due to plenty of unanswered questions. Something Howie Roseman, Alshon Jeffery, Chance Warmack and Torrey Smith all addressed during today’s pressers. But they weren’t the only people finding themselves in the spotlight.
Wisniewski pens a three-year deal:
The Eagles continued their re-enforcement in the trenches with the re-signing of former Jags guard, Stefen Wisniewski. The 27-year old signed a one-year deal last offseason and went on to appear in 12 games for the Eagles. Originally hoping for a long-term deal and starting role, “Wis” proved to be a vital cog in the Eagles offensive line when Johnson’s suspension stung the most.
Eagles OL Stefen Wisniewski's deal worth close to $9m over 3 years but he can make almost $15m if he hits incentives, source says
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 10, 2017
Not only does this continue to add plenty of depth to the offensive line (with the Eagles now having 17 linemen on the roster), but it builds a sense of continuity. There are still question marks over Jason Kelce and Allen Barbre, but bringing back such a key cog in the Eagles offensive efforts last year, and a versatile one at that, can only be seen as a good move by the front office.
Carson Wentz doesn’t care about being the MVP:
As if we didn’t love Carson Wentz enough, new wideout Alshon Jeffery revealed just what kind of person Wentz truly is. A competitor. The new Eagles receiver told the media during today’s press conference that he actually texted Wentz prior to signing with the Birds. His response will bring a smile to every fans face.
Alshon Jeffery texted Carson Wentz he was good enough to win MVP & he would help!
— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) March 10, 2017
“I told him that I felt like he was good enough to in an MVP someday, and that it was going to be my job to help him win it. He straight up said he didn’t care about being the MVP. He wanted to win a championship.”
Not only does the attitude of Alshon Jeffery bring a refreshing sense of calmness to the position, but this speaks volumes about the worth ethic and maturity of Carson Wentz. He was always regarded as mentally far beyond his years..he’s now showing the world why once again.
No risk, high reward?
Former Niners receiver Torrey Smith also met with the media today, and was quick to reassure fans that he hasn’t “lost a step.”
“I can still run, I definitely haven’t lost a step.” The 28-year old told the media today. “I think that because I was part of an organization in Baltimore, where we had a lot of success early, people think I’m super old. But I was really young when that was happening. I’m only 28..I just turned 28 in January. I take good care of my body and I’m ready to roll.”
One of the main concerns regarding Torrey Smith previously had been his sharp decline since signing the monster deal in San Francisco. But if what Smith said is correct, the Eagles have nothing to worry about.
Smith also spoke glowingly of both Joe Douglas and Andy Weidl, his relationships with the two formed in Baltimore and the impact they had on his development. However, he was also very quick to compliment his new quarterback, Carson Wentz..claiming he has the “it” factor.
Torrey Smith could be an under-the-radar wideout who could enjoy a tremendously strong year in 2016..and he certainly has that chip on his shoulder to go out and make a statement.
Alshon Jeffery opens up:
One of the main questions on everybody’s lips has been “What number will Alshon Jeffery wear if Agholor has number 17?” Jeffery answered that today, claiming that these are fresh pastures for him.
Alshon Jeffery said that Nelson Agholor could keep his No. 17 jersey. I'm gonna leave that in Chicago. Hasn't chosen a new number yet.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 10, 2017
However, there were much more pressing questions that the Eagles wide receiver had to answer. A question of leadership was one that perhaps inspired many Eagles fans to pump their fists emphatically. The former Bears star seemed intent on helping what is a very young receiving corps develop..which is very good news considering the struggles they had in 2016.
Alshon Jeffery said he wants to pass the knowledge to younger WRs on the Eagles the same way Brandon Marshall did for him.
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) March 10, 2017
He’s also very aware of just how passionate the Eagles fanbase is.
Alshon Jeffery remembers Eagles fans “giving him hell” when the Bears played in Philly in 2013.
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) March 10, 2017
It’s set to be a big year for Jeffery, who wasn’t afraid to admit that his focus is on 2016 and what lies beyond that is out of his hands. However, it’s hard to imagine that after such a strong first impression and a roster loaded with potential..that playing his way to a long-term deal isn’t out of the equation.
Taking a chance:
The Eagles also signed former first round pick, Chance Warmack. Once touted as one of the best offensive linemen in a long time, and one of the strongest talents in the 2013 Draft, Warmack entered free agency as someone who had failed to live up to such an incredible expectation. The 26-year old right guard started his career brightly, but injuries have forced him to miss a total of 16 games since being drafted in the first round.
If there’s one man who can relight the fire that saw him rise up the draft boards back in 2013 however, it’s Jeff Stoutland. The Eagles OL coach worked with Warmack during his days of dominance with the Alabama Crimson Tide..and reuniting with him is something that the lineman is very excited about.
Warmack says it's important to be in the right situation. Says Jeff Stoutland will "pull everything he can out of u." pic.twitter.com/etwR0ZeHQZ
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 10, 2017
Chance Warmack says he feels like Eagles OL coach Jeff Stoutland is going to take him to the next level.
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) March 10, 2017
If Stoutland really can bring the best out of Warmack, then not only does it bode extremely well for the Eagles LG position, with the future of veteran Allen Barbre still uncertain, but it also adds some starter-level depth. Something that was a clear strength during a year that was almost certain to exploit it as a weakness.
Jason Kelce’s future:
According to a report from Jimmy Kempski, the Eagles aren’t planning to release Jason Kelce. However, after talking with a few different sources..the Eagles aren’t shying away from the idea of a trade. Howie Roseman met with the agent of Jason Kelce at the NFL Combine, just as he did with Connor Barwin’s. Since then, Barwin has been released but the noise surrounding Kelce’s future has quietened down. With Roseman insisting he wants to build a dominant force in the trenches earlier today, it may be that the Eagles wish to retain Kelce after all:
“…When you look at it, you can say you’re committed to the line, but your actions have to reflect that. As we looked at our offensive line and the depth we had, we played five right tackles last year. We know we’re going to need those guys.”
There are plenty of teams looking to add depth to their offensive line and Kelce is easily one of the most athletic centers in the NFL. Whether or not the Eagles would feel comfortable with Seumalo at Center, or even Wisniewski, would have a large bearing on such a move..but carrying a $6.2M cap hit in 2017, it would be easy to see why they would at least look at alternative options. But for now, it appears as though Kelce is staying in Philadelphia.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports