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How Do You Solve a Problem like Jordan?

Matthews

Matthews’ true from. Image From Reddit

For Howie Roseman, Jordan Matthews is good mannered problem child. He has the right size, an undisputed work ethic, and he’s the best player of what is a miserable receiving core. He also doesn’t fit anywhere in the modern NFL.

He has size and speed but isn’t trusted on the outside. He can get open in the slot, but can’t reliably catch. What do you do with him?

One path is to resign Matthews next year and hope that his hands improve. After all, he’s the best receiver the Eagles have and they need to build around Wentz.

The other path is to be realistic.

Roseman gets it. Jordan Matthews is a player that will not get substantially better. Hand-eye coordination is not something that improves at the NFL level so move him now. The fact is none of the receivers are part of the Eagle future. Replacing a misfit part now is worth it even if it means a step back.

There’s also the possibility that the Eagles could trade Matthews and still be better in 2017 than 2016 at wideout. Think about it. The Eagles are connected to free agents, draft prospects, and trade targets at WR. We could see a lineup of DeSean Jackson, Brandin Cooks, prospects X and Y, and Nelson Agholor. That’s a huge step forward WITHOUT Jordan Matthews.

So trade that young man, Howie! Just don’t ask Bryan Colangelo what he’s worth.

MFWE: New Orleans Saints Free Agents

Saints_LogoOnce free agency settles down I decided to talk with some Saints fans about the newest Eagles additions of Malcolm Jenkins and Darren Sproles.

Jenkins, who was drafted by the Saints with the 14th overall pick in 2009, started the last four seasons at safety. Sproles, who was signed away from the San Diego Chargers, played three years in New Orleans. Based on that time, here’s what Reddit’s Saints fans had to say:

1. What’s the best and worst of Malcolm Jenkins

A_Wild_Slut_Appears:

Malcom Jenkins isn’t a star safety, but he’s a relatively dependable player. I think he’ll do well on Philly and still has some growing potential, considering he’s only 26. He has a tendency to make big plays when it matters, so I’d consider him a “clutch” player. His biggest asset is speed, not covering ability, though his reactions to force INTs are always good too.

From Cloud9Formations:

Jenkin’s best trait would be his intelligence. He rarely is out of position on a play. Yet his tackling ability leaves much to be desired. He will miss quite a few open field tackles that are sure to make a highlight reel for the other team because this usually results in a touchdown. His athletic abilities are very average for his position as well. He does, however, make a few outstanding plays a year which will leave you wondering if he is really the same player. It is totally possible that he will improve his technique and will become a more elite safety rather than average.

From Frohirrim:

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Quick Thoughts: Eagles Free Agency Is a Flat Circle

jenkinsEveryone and their mother (goose) wanted Jairus Byrd. Instead the Eagles signed Malcolm Jenkins from the Saints and also cut deals with three other players. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • First, and most importantly, this isn’t a surprise. At all. The Eagles did a lot of the same last season. They added cheaper, lower-risk players with the ability to provide starting-caliber play. That’s exactly what Jenkins is.
  • I think, in part, people are upset because of timing. Most of the top-tier safeties are signed, the Eagles hadn’t made any major moves (though I value Donnie Jones as a major move), and Byrd was seemingly the last man standing. “It’s destiny. The Eagles haven’t had a good safety since Dawkins and now Byrd’s now going to be a—MIKE JENKINS!!!!”
  • By the way, I disagree with people saying that we haven’t had a good safety since Dawkins. Quentin Mikell was a really solid, consistent presence in the secondary. Don’t sleep on Q.
  • Another reason that this signing seemingly stings so much is because Jenkins emerged like a secret service agent diving to take a bullet. If Mike Mitchell, who had been rumored as a target, was the Eagles choice I doubt the signing would have caused nearly the same aftershock.
  • You look cute today. Is that a new shirt? ; )
  • Earl Wolff is currently the only other reasonable option to start at safety. Start the Clinton Dix parade!
  • It’s good to see special teams addressed even if it’s not sexy. Adding cheap OLB and safety depth with a good special teams track record will be the kind of subtle moves that are forgotten in September, but help make the push to February.
  • I’m expecting the Eagles to bring in a few more bodies before it’s all said and done. Line depth specifically, though,my unrealistic dream of Maurice Jones-Drew as an Eagle still lives on.
  • Darrelle Revis and DeMarcus Ware are free agents after being released. I think the fact that they’re the 9th bullet point says enough about my confidence in either of those two in Philly.
  • Wait to see the rest of the moves before painting a broad picture of the season. We still have a the rest of free agency and the draft before we really know what this team will look like.

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Around the Cooler 3/11/14: Can you Smell?!?!?!

the rockHere’s what we’re talking about:

  • FREE AGENCY! Woo!!!!!! (0:00)
  • In a word, the Flyers are _______ (20:00)
  • Nerlens Noel, Tanking, and Inventing the NBA Wheel (28:35)
  • WWE is changing the game in media as we know it! You gotta check this out! (49:20)

Play on your Mobile Device or Right Click to Download: Around the Cooler 3-11-14

What are you talking about around the wooder cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

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Musical theme written by Matthew Schwalm.

Eagles Free Agency Candidates

whitnerThe weather is warm, the sun will stay out later, and football has returned to the world. Praise be to Allah!

As I mentioned the other day, the team looks really good prior to the start of the league year. The Eagles enter into free agency with an estimated cap room of roughly $29 million, which will be the 8th best in the league. This space gives the team the type of flexibility to do whatever they’d like and, consequently, the dreamers are dreaming.

What big move will the Eagles make?

The problem, however is that EVERYONE has a ton of cap space. The Eagles have $29 million dollars in cap room…and they’re 8th in the league. Last year, when the cap was $125 million compared to this years $133, the Browns had the most cap space in the league with $25 million. The eighth highest team had only $8.4 million.

There’s going to be a ton of money in the market. So, given the likelihood of sky-high prices for the top of the class, who should they be looking to spend on?

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The Eagles Status Prior to Free Agency

The Eagles did a lot of locking up their own players this offseason with the signings of Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Peters and Jason Kelce. They’ve also departed with their third Jason in Avant, who’s release gave the Eagles over three million in cap room. So here’s what the Eagles are looking like in a few major areas going into free agency, which starts on March 11th.

Photo courtesy ESPN

Photo courtesy ESPN

Free Agents:

  • Mike Vick
  • Nate Allen
  • Kurt Coleman
  • Colt Anderson
  • Clifton Geathers
  • Donnie Jones

The first thing that comes to my mind is that this list is fantastic for the Eagles because the primary target here is the punter. Sure, I’m a strong supporter of Vick returning as a backup, but until he tests the market there’s simply no chance that he signs a deal. For the rest of the group the problem is that while some of these guys could possibly be signed as reserve roles there’s really no upside.

For example, Colt Anderson isn’t turning into a starting caliber safety at this point in his career. The Eagles are better off signing youth and drafting replacements in the secondary to build up their special teams and overall depth. It’s the smartest route and most cost effective route. Speaking of which…

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Ray Returns: Emery signs 1-year deal with Flyers

Multiple sources have confirmed that Ray Emery has signed a 1-year deal, $1.65M contract with the Flyers for the 2013-14 season. For his career, Emery has posted a .908 SV% and a 126-63-16 record.

Emery last played for the Flyers in ’09-’10, posting a .905 SV% and 2.64 Goals Against average in 29 games.

During that season, Emery suffered a hip injury that degenerated into avascular necrosis, the same type of condition that effectively ruined the career of Bo Jackson. Despite the dire prognosis, Emery returned in 2011 to play 10 games for the Ducks, and the following season joined the Chicago Blackhawks as a backup goalie.

Emery played in 21 games for the Hawks this season (.922 SV%, 1.92 GAA) before being sidelined in favor of Corey Crawford. He started the season 12-0-0.

The move gives the Flyers a significant amount of flexibility going into next season. With Steve Mason being anything but a sure thing, Emery is a veteran presence who is more than capable of stepping in if the former Blue Jacket is unable to secure the starting spot. The contracts for both goalies only run through the end of next season, so the Flyers will essentially get to pick who stays or who goes after this year, with no cap ramifications from whichever one loses out.

In all it’s a good deal and a level-headed move for a team coming off one of the worst contracts for a goalie (or any player) in the history of professional sports.

Around the Cooler 04/04/13 – Should the 7-6 sign Bynum and ruin the team on purpose?

Here’s what we’re talking about:

Ransom has a novel idea: 76ers should sign Bynum because it’ll help them get better draft picks (02:30)
A rough start for the Phillies (18:30)
Is Geno Smith really worth the #4 pick? We’re talking draft and player value (27:00)

Play on your Mobile Device or Right Click to Download: Around the Cooler 04-04-13

What are you talking about around the water cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

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Around the Cooler 03/22/13 – Weekly Recap

Here’s what we’re talking about:

Phillies: Roy-pocalypse and Total Dom-ination (2:00)
Flyers: Is making a trade at the deadline a smart move? (17:30)
Eagles: We talk more Eagles offseason, Vince has a crush on Chip Kelly (30:00)

Play: 

Right Click for Download: Around the Cooler 03-22-13

What are you talking about around the water cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

Around the Cooler 03/15/13 – Weekly Recap

Here’s what we’re talking about:

What’s up with the Eagles’ newest free agent acquisitions? (0:00)
Are the Flyers done? (17:30)
Ransom eulogizes the 2013 76ers (32:30)

UPDATE: We taped this podcast just before news broke that OLB Connor Barwin signed a 6-year deal with the Eagles.

Play: 

Right Click for Download: Around the Cooler 03-15-13

What are you talking about around the water cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

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