Team news: Eagles
An unrestricted free agent, the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder has been a productive pass catcher in the AFC East for the past five seasons. A versatile receiver who can play outside and in the slot, Hogan and DeSean Jackson tied for the NFL lead in 2016 with 17.9 yards per reception.
Hogan figures to serve as Carolina's No. 3 receiver behind D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. He'll definitely trail Christian McCaffrey in targets so he will at best be the team's No. 4 option in the passing game. If Greg Olsen returns, Hogan could land at No. 5. He won't have much fantasy value in 2019.
Chicago shipped Jordan Howard to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round pick on Thursday night, the Eagles announced. Conditions in the trade could flex that selection to a 2020 fifth-round pick.
Howard had been rumored as trade bait since before the 2018 season, as Tarik Cohen took on a larger role in first-year coach Matt Nagy's offense. In his third season in the Windy City, Howard saw another dip in production as he totaled 935 rushing yards and 3.7 yards per carry. When Chicago signed former Seahawks running back Mike Davis in free agency, the writing looked to be on the wall.
This is a significant fantasy move for both teams since Howard is now the favorite to lead the Eagles in carries and his absence in Chicago opens up major work for Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis. Howard had a down season (935 yards rushing on 3.74 YPC) in 2018 after averaging 1,218 yards (on 4.61 YPC) in his first two seasons. It's a low-risk move for the Eagles since Howard is still on his rookie deal. He's not likely to catch many passes, though his hands were better in 2018 (77% catch rate, a career-high). Howard's arrival throws cold water on the rest of Philadelphia's committee (Clement, Adams and Smallwood). In Chicago, this is big news for both Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis, but especially Davis, who is likely to take over the bulk of the 15.6 carries per game (and short-yardage work) that Howard has vacated. Davis also showed some passing game chops last year in Seattle, so the Chicago offense won't be as easy predict with Davis replacing Howard in the backfield.
With Golden Tate likely gone, the Eagles are planning to sign Jackson to take the top off the defense. With Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor and Dallas Goedert, it's unlikely that Jackson will see enough targets to be an every-week fantasy starter, though he always seems to return good value in best ball formats. This signing is good news for Carson Wentz, who now has another dangerous weapon to utilize. It's great news for Tampa Bay's Chris Godwin, who should play 90%+ of the snaps with Jackson out of the way.
Since the beginning of the 2017 season, Wentz has averaged 20.1 fantasy points per game, which is solid QB1 production. His 2018 production is considered a disappointment, but if we ignore his three-interception debacle in New Orleans, he averaged 19.0 fantasy points in the remaining 10 games, which is about what Philip Rivers scored as 2018's No. 13 fantasy quarterback. He had the third-highest per game average through 13 games in 2017, so he has proven top five upside. If he's fully healthy for OTAs, his ADP should rise significantly this offseason. Right now, he's an excellent late-round pick in the double-digit rounds.
After Bruce Arians was hired as the team’s new head coach in January, there was a report that Arians wanted to speak to Jackson in hopes of convincing him to change his mind.
“I had a great meeting with DeSean about two weeks ago,” Arians said. “I have a ton of respect for him as a player and a person. I thought the meeting went great. I can’t speak for him, but I thought he was excited about it and I really look forward to working with him.”
Contrary to popular opinion, if Jackson were to stay in Tampa it wouldn't be a death knell to Chris Godwin's value since Godwin would likely replace Adam Humphries in the slot. Of the 56 receivers in 2018 who ran at least 25% of their routes out of the slot, Godwin was 21st in yards per route run. Humphries played 70% of the snaps last year, so if he walks in free agency there should be plenty of snaps available for both Jackson and Godwin.
Multiple star players on the Philadelphia Eagles have defended Carson Wentz on Twitter after the Philly Voice published a report in which team sources describe the quarterback as being "selfish," "uncompromising" and "egotistical."
The Philly Voice report, published Monday morning, cites more than half a dozen Eagles players and other sources close to the team.
Related players: Nick Foles
The report describes an uneasy dynamic within the Eagles organization, with sources accusing Wentz of playing "favorites" and failing "to take accountability" while describing Foles as "universally loved." Of course, Foles came on in 2017 and led the Eagles to the Super Bowl before again coming on in relief of Wentz this season and rallying the team to the playoffs and a win over the Bears. Wentz was an MVP candidate before getting hurt in 2017, and the team announced Wentz is their long term plan to be the starter going forward. Foles isn't expected to return to the team in 2019.
GM Howie Roseman said that the team has “a lot of confidence” in Carson Wentz and his ability to be the team’s long-term starter despite the injuries that have cost him time over the last two years. As a result, HC Doug Pederson said that Wentz is the quarterback “going forward” but both men made it clear that they aren’t shutting the door on having Nick Foles back.
“We would love to keep Nick Foles. You talk about a guy we’ve drafted here and grown incredibly close with. Certainly, as we go into the substance of those discussions, no question … we’d love to keep him,” Roseman said, via WIP
The story said keeping Foles would likely take a franchise tag. Foles can buy out the final year of his contract when and if the Eagles pick up their 2019 option. That’s a pricey road to go down even if Foles has proven his value to the team over the last couple of years, so there’s a lot that still has to play out.
Rest and rehab will heal the fracture, without Wentz needing surgery.
Related players: Nick Foles
Wentz's long term status with the Eagles appears secure. The Birds are not expected to bring back Foles, who led the team to the Super Bowl last year and then an unlikely playoff berth with a late rally this season.
The Chicago Bears left open the possibility of pursuing free agent running back Kareem Hunt, who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 1 after video surfaced of Hunt shoving and kicking a woman in the hallway of his Cleveland residence.
Hunt is on the Commissioner Exempt List and would need to be reinstated before he could sign with any team.
Related players: Jordan Howard
HC Matt Nagy has a relationship with Hunt dating back to his days in Kansas City. The Bears will face a decision on Howard as he reaches the final year of his contract. The story added nothing is imminent in regard to bringing in Hunt, who is subject to discipline once a team does sign him.
There is a very real chance this was Nick Foles' last night in an Eagles uniform. He has earned the right to be a starter in this league through guiding Philly to a title last year and a late-season surge this year. That opportunity will likely come elsewhere. Barring a big change in plans, Carson Wentz is the QB the franchise plans to hitch its wagon to. Foles can become a free agent this offseason if the Eagles don't place the franchise tag on him.
Related players: Nate Sudfeld
Foles' postgame comments sure sounded like he'll be moving on, whether he's traded or becomes a free agent will remain to be seen. Had the Eagles moved on to the Super Bowl, there may have been some hard decisions to make for the franchise. However, it looks like 2019 will see Wentz as the starter with Sudfeld as the backup.
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