The Linc – NFL executive is skeptical about the Eagles’ 2024 outlook

Jason Kelce Announces Retirement from the NFL
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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/3/24.

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …

NFL executives unfiltered on 2024 free agency: The best and worst from all 32 teams – The Athletic
Barkley’s arrival, Kelce’s departure and a switch to an offensive coordinator (Kellen Moore) known for his passing schemes could change the way the Eagles operate. The Tush Push might not be dead, but it might not be the same, either. “I just don’t know who they are,” an exec said. “I think they lost their identity and lost their confidence. Teams say they want to build from the inside out, but you lost your two staple inside players in Kelce and Cox. Not only that, but those two guys were the culture guys. You lose those guys in a year when the head coach already has his back against the wall, I don’t see it ending well.” The Eagles weren’t necessarily the most likely team to set the bar for running back price tags in free agency, but that bar fell well below market leader Christian McCaffrey. Barkley’s deal averages $12.6 million per year, fourth-best in the league. “I know it felt like running backs were back when the Eagles got Saquon and there was all that activity early, but if I’m Saquon Barkley, I’m like, ‘Dude, I had to fight my butt off, play on the franchise tag just to get Darnell Mooney money?’” an exec said.

The Eagles are sending mixed messages about their 2024 intentions – BGN
When NFL free agency began, I thought I knew what the Eagles were doing. Coming off a stinging end-of-season meltdown and embarrassing loss in the wild card game to the Bucs, Howie Roseman appeared to be a man on a mission, adding Bryce Huff as a young, up-and-coming edge rusher, shockingly signing Saquon Barkley for the backfield, bringing back CJ Gardner-Johnson to solidify a safety spot, and nabbing a number of other role players of varying degrees of importance. It sure seemed like the Birds were going all-in for 2024, welcome news for head coach Nick Sirianni, who is undoubtedly coaching for his job this season. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore was brought in to do a lot of the heavy lifting, while Vic Fangio was added to architect a defense that had become one of the worst in the NFL by season’s end.

NFC East Mixtape Vol.158: Team needs ahead of the NFL Draft – BGN Radio
RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton take a look at the positional needs for each team in the division.

Ranking the NFL’s most productive 2023 rookie draft classes from 1 to 32 – PFF
11. Philadelphia Eagles. Total rookie snaps: 1,903. Notable rookies: DI Jalen Carter (84.6 pass-rush grade, 12.4% pressure rate). Jalen Carter looked set to run away with the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, as he posted a 90.0 pass-rush grade, a 22% win rate and a 19% pressure rate through seven weeks. However, his stats were slightly more pedestrian from Week 8, as he managed a 74.1 pass-rush grade, a 14% win rate and a 9% pressure rate. That ultimately cost him the award and the chance to get the Eagles into the top five of this list by himself. Nevertheless, he still single-handedly carries the Eagles above a lot of other rookie classes.

Reed Blankenship feels “pretty much” back to normal after surgery to repair groin injury – PFT
Blankenship said it was his choice to have the surgery and that it was the “best decision possible” because of how much the injury was bothering him last season. “I’m pretty much 100 percent back to normal, and it feels good now not being as sore anymore like I did this past season dealing with it,” Blankenship said, via Brooks Kubena of TheAthletic.com. “Now, I’m ready to go and excited to show what I can do.”

10 Eagles who made a huge impact in a very short time – NBCSP
Terrell Owens [2004-05]: Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the Eagles acquired Terrell Owens in a strange three-way trade among the 49ers and Ravens. T.O. only played 21 regular-season games in an Eagles uniform but still ranks 23rd in franchise history with 20 TD catches. He averaged 93.5 yards per game as an Eagle, highest in franchise history until A.J. Brown broke his record halfway through last year. Owens in turn reclaimed the record later in the year and still holds it. Owens’ 122 yards in Super Bowl XXXIX is the most ever by an Eagle in a Super Bowl. After piling up 763 yards in just seven games in 2005, he was suspended by Andy Reid and never played here again. He finished his career with three years in Dallas and one each in Buffalo and Cincinnati. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, although he was a no-show in Canton.

Spadaro: Armed with a contract extension, what’s next for Reed Blankenship? – PE.com
It all starts, safety Reed Blankenship believes, with a love of the game. He’s had it since the very start, since he was a little one in Lester, Alabama, through his seasons at Middle Tennessee State and now in the NFL with the Eagles. He lives for the game. He loves every bit of it. And with that mindset, Blankenship signed with the Eagles after the 2022 NFL Draft, made the 53-man roster that summer, and has grown and grown and grown. He talked about his journey, an inspiring one for a player not taken in the seven-round NFL Draft who has now signed his second contract in the league – an extension through the 2025 season – with the kind of passion he brings to the field as one of the key players set to play in Vic Fangio’s 2024 defense. “Never fall out of love with football. Yeah, it takes time and it’s hard work, but you reap benefits when you reach this point,” he said on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex after having a video press conference with beat reporters. “I’m still growing. I’m still learning. I’m excited about what we have in the future and I love this game and am going to play it for as long as my body allows me to play.

Kylie Kelce dishes on Jason Kelce’s retirement, increased spotlight with Taylor Swift – USA Today
Kylie also gave some insight into what her husband’s next steps are after leaving football. There’s been speculation that he will become a broadcaster, especially with the success of his “New Heights Podcast,” which he hosts with his brother, Travis. But she’s not so sure. “He’s my husband, so I’m biased, but he’s so good at everything he tries,” she said. “It’s kind of a pain in the butt. Nothing is off the table. He’s an ideas guy, so I think he’s just sort of letting them brew and see what happens.”

If they could find a partner, the Cowboys should trade back from pick 24 – Blogging The Boys
While they could attempt to trade away a player for picks, that seems highly unlikely. What is more possible is trading back. Holding the 24th overall spot is not all that great for doing so, but this is a year when the Cowboys should be working the phones rather than waiting on other teams to call. It all depends on another team wanting to add someone with that 24th pick and having some attractive picks of their own to offer. The most likely scenario would be a team that did not do well last year and needs an infusion of talent. Based on the the current draft order, here is one possible trade partner. The Arizona Cardinals finished 4-13 last year, which put them in a good place in the order. Further, through past transactions, they have a lot of picks, eleven overall. They are a team that Dallas should be trying to talk into a deal. Using the draft calculator from Calculator Soup, here is something that could net the Cowboys more picks.

NFL Draft: What can we learn from Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 prospects list? – Big Blue View
By the way, notice that 12 of Jeremiah’s top 50 prospects are wide receivers. If the Giants take a quarterback with their first pick, they will forfeit on getting an immediate WR1. They will, though, still be able to get a good wide receiver if they want one. I am also looking at the number of cornerbacks Jeremiah has ranked between 25 and 50 and thinking some of those players might be available at No. 47, provided the Giants don’t trade that pick to go and get a quarterback — or use it on a quarterback.

SB Nation NFL Mock Draft: The Washington Commanders select North Carolina QB Drake Maye – Hogs Haven
This year’s SB Nation mock draft opened up with the expected pick, QB Caleb Williams to the Chicago Bears. This put the Washington Commanders on the clock with the next group of QBs available to choose from. LSU’s Jayden Daniels and North Carolina’s Drake Maye have been considered 2A and 2B behind Williams, with J.J. McCarthy trying to get into that top 3 discussion. In this year’s SBN mock draft, the Washington Commanders select QB Drake Maye with the No. 2 overall pick. This was a difficult decision, and one that I’m glad falls on the brain trust led by Adam Peters. There were only two players under consideration for this pick, Maye and Jayden Daniels. Both can be projected as franchise quarterbacks, but they both come with their flaws that kept them behind Caleb Williams in most rankings.

Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50: 2024 NFL Draft prospect rankings 4.0 – NFL.com
25) Cooper DeJean. DeJean is a playmaking cornerback with size and speed. In off coverage, he plays with his butt to the sideline and displays excellent vision. He does have a brief pause in his plant/drive before exploding and attacking the football. His production — including three pick-sixes in the 2022 season — speaks for itself. He has enough speed to carry vertical routes, but he will panic on occasion and get grabby at the catch point. He’s an outstanding blitzer, displaying timing and burst to close in a hurry. He is very willing in run support, and he’s a dependable tackler. He is also an exceptional punt returner because of his combination of speed, elusiveness and bravery. Overall, I believe DeJean could stick at cornerback, but I wouldn’t rule out a move to safety, where his strengths as a player would be featured. He reminds me of a bigger Eric Weddle coming out of college.

Stefon Diggs traded to Texans in NFL blockbuster – SB Nation
The Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans pulled off a stunning trade ahead of the NFL Draft with Stefon Diggs now joining C.J. Stroud in the AFC South. It’s a move that ends an era in Buffalo, while also transforming the Texans in a serious contender in 2024, after being on the precipice of greatness a year ago. The Bills will receive a second round pick in exchange for the four-time Pro Bowl receiver. Here are the complete details of the trade.

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Title: The Linc – NFL executive is skeptical about the Eagles’ 2024 outlook
Author: Brandon Lee Gowton

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