Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers coach Mike Groh believes Alshon Jeffery had his best offseason since perhaps 2013, when Jeffery burst onto the scene and set career highs in catches (89) and yards (1,421) while finding the end zone seven times.
Groh would know. He was the Chicago Bears' receivers coach for three seasons (2013-15), which proved to be the most productive years of Jeffery's career to date. Groh moved on to coach the Rams' wideouts last year while Jeffery struggled through a down season as the result of injuries, a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and inconsistent quarterback play.
The two have reunited in Philly, and Groh -- a demanding teacher and evaluator -- walked away pleased with Jeffery's performance during the offseason training program.
"He and I have a history together, so he knows what I think, and I understand the way that he works and goes about his business," Groh said. "I think the spring that he's had is as good as he's had since maybe 2013. Pleased with where he is physically, mentally I think he is in a good place. He's coming in here and learning a new system and working on the chemistry with Carson [Wentz] and everything like that, but it's been a good spring for him."
In 53 games since his sophomore season, Jeffery has averaged 5.3 receptions for 79 yards and 0.43 touchdowns, or 16.0 PPG (PPR). That’s about what Doug Baldwin averaged last year as the league’s #8 fantasy receiver. Jeffery’s numbers are down a bit over the last two years (5.1-78-0.29 in just 21 games), but the 27-year-old still has a bright future ahead of him. Receivers who change teams tend to underperform unless they see an upgrade in quarterback and/or targets. Unless Carson Wentz takes a big step forward, it’s unlikely that Jeffery sees either, so he’s more of a WR2 heading into the 2017 season.
It looked like Blount might return to New England, but he'll join Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey in Philadelphia. Ryan Mathews is still on the roster, though the working assumption is that he'll eventually be a cap casualty. Blount is a good fit personnel-wise for the Eagles, and his arrival is bad news for Smallwood and Pumphrey, who are vying for touches alongside Sproles. In New England, the signing is very good news for Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead, who figure to replace Blount's production in the lineup. Gillislee looks like a terrific value since he's likely the goal line back.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 10:21am
The Eagles initially extended Burton a second-round tender on March 7. What this means is that another NFL team can still offer Burton a new contract, but the Eagles would have a chance to match the contract and keep Burton on the roster. If the Eagles elected not to match, the team signing Burton would have to give the Eagles a second-round pick.
It's reportedly a one-year deal worth $14 million. In 53 games since his sophomore season, Jeffery has averaged 5.3 receptions for 79 yards and 0.43 touchdowns, or 16.0 PPG (PPR). That’s about what Doug Baldwin averaged last year as the league’s #8 fantasy receiver. Jeffery’s numbers are down a bit over the last two years (5.1-78-0.29 in just 21 games), but he still has plenty of potential. The signing is a clear upgrade for Carson Wentz, who now has a receiving corps of Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz. Matthews' stock certainly takes a hit with the acquisition of Jeffery, who is likely to be ranked as a fantasy WR2 in our preseason projections.
Smith was a poor fit in San Francisco given the 49ers' QB woes. Prior to leaving Baltimore, Smith was remarkably consistent, finishing in the #23-#30 range in each of his first four seasons. He's only 28, and he can still fly, but it remains to be seen if he's a good fit for Carson Wentz's inconsistent deep ball. One thing's for sure -- he should have plenty of opportunity to play in Philadelphia.
Coach Mike Zimmer said in his season-ending press conference that Bradford "has earned the right to be the starting quarterback" after a year during which he set a NFL single-season record with a 71.6 completion percentage. Bradford, who came to Minnesota in a trade Sept. 3 with the Philadelphia Eagles after Bridgewater dislocated his left knee and tore his ACL on Aug. 30, threw for a career-high 3,877 yards and passed for 20 touchdowns against five interceptions.
"I think Sam has played great this year," Zimmer said. "Right now all I'm worried about is Teddy getting better. He comes in here every single day, busts his rear end and I just want him to get better right now and so we'll worry about those things later. But Sam has done remarkable things this year, with all the things that he's had to do."
Bradford is signed through the 2017 season, and general manager Rick Spielman said before the season that the quarterback's contract was part of the reason the Vikings were willing to trade a first-round pick and a 2018 fourth-rounder to the Philadelphia Eagles for Bradford. He will have a $18 million cap hit next year, with $4 million coming in a roster bonus due in March, and the Vikings will eventually have to decide whether to sign Bradford to a long-term contract. Meanwhile, Bridgewater has not talked to reporters since his injury, and declined interview requests during the Vikings' final open locker room session of the season on Monday. The Vikings said on Sept. 9 that Bridgewater had a multi-ligament reconstruction of his left knee, but have not disclosed which ligaments Bridgewater needed repaired other than his ACL.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie cornerback Jalen Mills came clean with reporters on Monday and said he hit the rookie wall in Week 5. From injury rehab to the pre-draft process and then right into the NFL grind, his energy was sapped by mid-October.
Carson Wentz insists he avoided the crash, and in fact felt more in the flow in the season's latter stages. But as he sat in front of the assembled media on Monday, he looked like a young man ready to hibernate.
"It's been a lot of fun, learned a lot," he said of his first season in the pros, "but definitely been physically and mentally taxing."
The 24-year old plans on shutting it down for a while. He says he'll "fight the urge to touch a football here for at least three to four weeks maybe -- at least."
That right arm logged a lot of miles, as Wentz set a franchise record with 607 pass attempts.
On the heels of one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the 49ers fired Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke on Sunday.
Baalke, who served as GM since 2011 and whose firing he confirmed earlier Sunday morning, couldn't reverse a franchise trajectory that has been falling since the team's appearance in Super Bowl XLVII at the end of the 2012 season.
San Francisco will have its fourth coach in five seasons when it opens the 2017 season.
Darren Sproles is 33 years old, and he is really beginning to feel the pull of family.
His two daughters are "getting to the age that they want their daddy around more," Sproles explained, and so he has decided that next season will be his last in the NFL. That was the thought when he inked a one-year extension through 2017 this summer with the Philadelphia Eagles, and it remains the thought as he gets set to complete his 12th season in the league.
His hope is to remain in Philadelphia for the swan song -- he has grown close to many of his teammates and is fond of the coaching staff -- but noted that whether he's back in an Eagles uniform next season is out of his hands.
Friday, December 30, 2016, 6:42pm
Cowboys RB Darren McFadden (illness, questionable) missed practice Friday and is questionable for Week 17. McFadden could see a big workload if he’s healthy since the team is expected to limit Ezekiel Elliott against the Eagles.
Friday, December 30, 2016, 6:42pm
Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (ankle, questionable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 17. Matthews returned to practice on Friday which indicates that he may play. The Eagles play early on Sunday.
Owners should steer clear of the Dallas starters this week.
Speaking on Comcast SportsNet, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham talked about the potential return of Jackson this offseason when he becomes a free agent as if it was a done deal.
"I'm just happy because I kinda knew already. I've talked to him. I talked to him when Doug (Pederson) got hired. We have fun during the season. He's like, 'B.G. you know I'll be back, man,'" Graham said. "But now that it's official, as far as the season about to be over, I think you'll be hearing a lot of noise about DeSean. ... I'm saying official as far as the end of season, now we're gonna really see."
Thursday, December 22, 2016, 6:56pm
WR Paul Turner
CB Dwayne Gratz
DE Steven Means
OL Josh Andrews
OL Dillon Gordon
OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai
DT Taylor Hart
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