We're only a couple of days into training camp, and it should be noted Randle is one of several wide receivers seeing reps with the first-team offense. That being said, the fifth-year veteran has been very active thus far, especially during Friday's practice.
Randle made two tough catches in particular, of the variety Eagles wideouts frequently dropped last season.
Yes, it's early, but the Eagles need Randle to give them something on the outside with Jordan Matthews, their best receiver, playing the slot. He's just 25 and signed a one-year deal so he'll be looking to earn a longer deal with a good season and could be a guy to target in the very late rounds.
The Eagles signed Darren Sproles to a one-year contract extension, the team announced Friday morning. Ian Rapoport first reported the deal is worth $4.5 million, and that the two sides have been working on it since he reported for mandatory minicamp in June.
“Being one of the oldest guys on the team, to know you’re going to be here a little bit longer, that’s a pretty good feeling,” Sproles, who is now under contract through 2017, told the Eagles’ website.
When Sproles skipped OTAs during May, there were rumors about the Eagles potentially trading the running back.
Sproles' role as a RB probably won't have a major fantasy impact outside of deeper PPR leagues, however that remains to be seen as the team doesn't really have an accomplished back behind Ryan Mathews. Sproles has provided a spark in the punt return game, including two TDs last year, so he's likely to remain in that role.
Mathews, whose injury wasn’t noticeable as he walked by reporters today when he reported for training camp, is expected to receive the bulk of the carries this season in the Eagles’ new offense.
After Mathews there are a lot of questions in the Eagles backfield. Darren Sproles does the most damage as a punt returner and receiver out of the backfield on offense, and he’s now 33-years-old. Kenjon Barner has only 34 career carries, although Wendell Smallwood has continued to impress Doug Pederson this summer. Smallwood could be a guy to benefit the most with Mathews missing reps.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 9:27am
For the first time in four years, Chase Daniel didn’t report to training camp in St. Joseph with the rest of the Chiefs quarterbacks on Tuesday after joining the Doug Pederson-coached Philadelphia Eagles this offseason.
Who remain in his place are three candidates—Tyler Bray, an undrafted free agent from 2013, Kevin Hogan, a rookie and the fifth-round draft pick from this year and Aaron Murray, the fifth-rounder from two seasons ago—and the opportunity of a lifetime.
The story went on to say: when it comes to the trust of the starter in Smith, Bray and Murray have an advantage over Hogan in that they were able to watch and learn from how Daniel handled the role.
Sunday, July 24, 2016, 5:43pm
His is a journey that few have taken, through the challenging academic hallways of Tulane University, grinding through a career-threatening knee injury, entering the professional world as a teacher first before Xavier Rush stepped into his dream: Playing in the NFL.
"I've talked about the NFL all the time, the game of football, I missed it when I wasn't playing and to be here, in this position, it's part of my dream," said Rush, a rookie wide receiver who is vying to make the Eagles' 53-man roster when it is pared down in September. He's here now, part of the 90-man team, and he's ready for the start of Training Camp practices on Monday at the NovaCare Complex.
How Rush got here is an example of a young man who didn't give up when he had plenty of opportunities, and other options, to do so. Highly sought after as a high schooler, Rush was wanted just as much for his brains as his football ability. Offers from Harvard and Cornell were considered before Rush accepted one from Tulane, where he majored in, and has since received his bachelor's degree in, neuroscience.
Rush had a good career at Tulane, marred by a torn ACL in his seventh game of his senior season that took him out of the NFL picture. Rush caught 99 passes and scored 12 touchdowns in the 45 games he played at Tulane, and his 6-3, 202-pound body had some scouts paying attention. But then there was the injury. Rush wasn't healthy enough to fully show his talents for teams ahead of the 2015 draft, so he spent the year rehabbing his injury and teaching at a prep school in Arkansas.
Sunday, July 24, 2016, 2:08pm
Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 12:43pm
Darren Sproles missed the voluntary portion of Eagles offseason workouts. The coaching staff genuinely didn't seem to to be too concerned about that. Unlike Ryan Mathews, Sproles is a very good fit for an offense that plans on using its backs heavily in the passing game.
Expect Sproles to used more creatively in Pederson's offense than he was in Chip Kelly's, but likely only for one year, as Sproles is 33 years old and in the final year of his deal.
Sproles is always worth a look in the later rounds of PPR drafts. It sounds as if he'll have a sizable role in the offense.
When Eagles RB Ryan Mathews got playing time last season, he was very good. He carried the ball 106 times for 539 yards (5.1 YPC) and 6 TDs, which made him the most productive runner on the team. We stress that he was a good "runner."
Mathews is not a great fit for Doug Pederson's offense. Pederson has said that he wants to be able to move his backs around to create mismatches for opposing defenses in the passing game. That is not at all a strength of Mathews'.
Mathews has caught 78.3% of his career targets, which is good for 11th among 102 running backs with at least 100 catches since 2006. His hands are fine. Where he may be lacking is gaining yards after the catch. His Y/R (7.57) is mediocre. He's by far he best running back on the team at this point and we like his value in the 5th or 6th round. In the 24 games over the past three seasons where Mathews has at least 10 carries, he has averaged 87 total yards and 0.50 TD, or 13.4 PPR points per game. Those are solid RB1 numbers.
Coming off a stellar 2014 season, DeMarco Murray’s numbers weren’t nearly as impressive last season with the Eagles, where he had few opportunities in an offense that wasn’t designed to take advantage of his strengths. The Titans plan to put Murray to work, and they’ve love how he’s handled himself over the last few months. Murray has looked good on the field, and he’s also spoken up and provided leadership. The expectation is he’ll return to form in 2016, and be the team’s workhorse in the backfield.
Related players: Derrick Henry
It’s fair to wonder if Murray’s best years are behind him after his disappointing season in Philadelphia (193 carries for 702 yards and six touchdowns). His 3.6 YPC was a full 1.1 YPC less than his 2014 average in his epic season with the Cowboys. Now he joins a Tennessee team that may have trouble staying in a run-heavy game script, and he’ll have to fend off 2nd-round pick Derrick Henry.
Rueben Randle is the most accomplished receiver on the Eagles' roster, and was brought in to be a safety net for the younger players. Despite missing a portion of OTAs due to surgery, it wouldn't be surprising to see Randle be the receiver with the most targets this season outside of Jordan Matthews.
Matthews will likely remain in the slot for most of his snaps and can create mismatches with his size, but on the outside, it wouldn't be shocking to see Randle ahead of second-year player Nelson Agholor. Inconsistent Josh Huff projects to be the fourth guy with Chris Givens fifth. Randle is only 85th on our list but is getting some late-round attention in drafts for just this reason.
Monday, July 4, 2016, 10:20am
Assuming he isn't suspended for an incident last month at a Philadelphia strip club, WR Nelson Agholor will enter training camp as the No. 2 receiver, and the team's top option on the outside.
That could be a problem for the Eagles, as Agholor had a disastrous rookie season due to a combination of drops and injuries. Things haven't gotten much better for Agholor, who once again dealt with drops during OTAs. If Agholor is once again going to be a nonfactor this season, the Eagles need to figure it out quickly, and find a way to replace him.
Hard to believe we're already hearing about the possibility of the Eagles having to replace Agholor, but that's life in the NFL. The team signed Rueben Randle to also play on the outside while Jordan Matthews is the probably the team's top target playing the slot. Overall, the Eagles WRs as a whole aren't very strong. Agholor is ranked 110th on our list but so far is a late round flier at the position with an ADP of the 17th round.
Sunday, July 3, 2016, 4:13pm
When it comes to NFL quarterback contracts, a rising tide doesn’t necessarily lift all boats. Just ask Ryan Fitzpatrick, who gained no leverage from contracts given to players like Sam Bradford (two years, $35 million) and Brock Osweiler (four years, $72 million). Ultimately, a quarterback’s value is driven not by what others have gotten, but by what anyone will pay this specific player.
Fitzpatrick, despite the Bradford, Osweiler, and now Andrew Luck deals, can’t get eight figures per year from the Jets, or anything close to that from anyone else. Next year, that same problem could apply to Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
The story went on to say Taylor is due to earn $3 million this year, which when it comes to quarterbacks isn’t peanuts but pressed peanut sweepings. For Taylor, his value next year likely will be driven by the market for mid-level quarterbacks, if anyone out there chooses to pay him a mid-level contract, which currently is in the range of $15 million per year. Luck’s new contract doesn’t change that.
Following a disappointing season with the Philadelphia Eagles in a system that didn’t seem to fit DeMarco Murray’s skills, the running back was asked on The Jim Rome Show if he believes Mike Mularkey’s offense in Tennessee is a better fit for him. He answered, “I do. It’s strictly downhill and that’s what I’ve been accustomed to my entire life. Nothing against last year or what happened, it just didn’t work out, but I’m very excited about this upcoming season and looking forward to it.”
Owner Jim Irsay had been openly pining for an elusive Darren Sproles-style satellite back. That's the role offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski dangled in front of Ferguson in a post-draft recruiting pitch.
With the underwhelming quartet of Robert Turbin, Jordan Todman, Trey Williams and Tyler Varga behind 33-year-old starter Frank Gore, Ferguson used offseason practices to climb the depth chart and make a lasting impression on the coaching staff.
"It's just in shorts, but he looks really good," coach Chuck Pagano said last week as the Colts wrapped up minicamp. "He's smart. He picks things up in a hurry. He's very, very athletic. He's a great receiver out of the back field. We can split him wide, we can displace him formationally. He's a mismatch out in space. He's got juice. He can go. He's got great vision."
We like Frank Gore as a value pick this year, but Ferguson could surprise in PPR formats even if Gore stays healthy.
It looks like we’re going to have another running-back-by-committee season in Philadelphia. While Ryan Mathews got the bulk of first-team reps this spring, he also shared them with Kenjon Barner and Darren Sproles. The team also has fifth-rounder Wendell Smallwood.
“Well, you go in thinking that one guy can handle the load,” HC Doug Pederson said. “If that's Ryan, he can handle all the stuff and the pounding. But with the guys we have, with the depth we have at that position, Darren is obviously a big part of that and now with Wendell [RB Wendell Smallwood] coming on, I think it could be a little bit of a running back by committee.”
This doesn't worry us, since Mathews appears to be one of the better values at the running back position even with a conservative projection of touches. He's ranked 17th in standard and 21st in PPR formats, and that's only with 240 touches, which is very reasonable as the lead back in a committee. Mathews' career production (4.5 YPC) and 2015 production (5.0 YPC) allow him to generate yards on fewer touches.
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