Inside The Birds: Grown Man Needed In Young WR Room
The offseason is young, but that hasn’t stopped the Eagles from tinkering with the roster ahead of what’s sure to be an eventful next few months.
In the latest Inside The Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan provided the latest on upcoming roster moves, share final thoughts on the Carson Wentz debacle, preview the offensive line, and discuss much more.
DeSean Jackson’s Release
Adam Caplan: “The move officially does not go to the league until Monday at 4 PM eastern, but he broke it on Friday. [The Eagles] wanted everybody to hold off until Monday, and then they would announce it; but DeSean broke his own news, they announced it. So, the move will go on later today at 4 PM. I’m told DeSean wants to play two more seasons, but we knew he was going to be cut. I’m told he will not be returning.”
Mosher: “[Malik Jackson] and Alshon Jeffery both agreed to restructures that allowed the Eagles to cut them early so that they can find new takers. I guess the cap hit from this year is mitigated a little bit?”
Caplan: “We’ll start with Alshon, when they cut him; I’m gonna guess they do it before – they completely lowered his salary to just $2 million. They added two dummy years to stretch out the proration to 2024 now. So, $2 million becomes fully guaranteed on the second day of the league year, which is March 18, so they’ll cut him before that. They never should have restructured Jeffery’s deal that last year; they rolled snake eyes. That was one where I scratched my head.
[Wide receiver] Marquise Goodwin is gonna get his pay cut, from $3.95 million at the very least – if they decide to keep him. The only thing with him is, at least he’s a veteran and he can run. The fact of the matter is, he’s a backup player; that’s all he’s gonna be. He’s a limited snap guy, he’s explosive.”
Mosher: “I think that you cut his pay and have him compete for a spot on the team. And obviously, if he doesn’t make it, he doesn’t get any guaranteed money – or maybe very little. But I do think it’s important, Adam – if you’re getting rid of DeSean and you’re getting rid of Alshon, which they’re doing – you need a grown man in that room. If you were to take those two away, they’re left with Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Quez Watkins, and John Hightower. There’s not a guy in that bunch that I’ve mentioned that’s been in the league more than two years.
“Again, it’s not like they’re gonna have a lot of money to go out and spend on wide receivers. So, if you’re able to keep Marquise Goodwin there and he can make the team, I think it’s a good idea.”
Caplan: “You had a great tweet a week or two ago about Hurts and Russell Wilson, and all that. No, they never thought he was Russell Wilson. For whatever reason they didn’t trade up [for Wilson in 2012]. The truth is, they thought Russell Wilson would be there; they learned a valuable lesson – don’t assume anything, go up and get him if he’s your guy. You fast forward now nine years, really eight years from when Hurts was drafted. My sense is he didn’t have a second-round grade. But when you want a player, sometimes you have to take him earlier. You and I said, right after the draft, we were hearing third or fourth-round grade from other teams. Low-end starter, high-end backup type player. The Eagles wanted him, and you alluded to this, to be their backup of the future for three years, stop spending $5-7 million on a backup. As Geoff said, he was not drafted to ever start.”
Mosher: “The Eagles have this philosophy. They were honest about that, they told you about that. Their philosophy is you gotta have a great backup in this league because I guess that’s how they won the Super Bowl so now that’s the template for everything. It was about making sure you’ve got a player you wanted, it wasn’t saying that that player is the next Russell Wilson. Russell Wilson they wanted to be their starting quarterback. They felt he was going to be what he actually is – one of the best quarterbacks in the league. They wanted Jalen Hurts because they wanted a really quality backup who could get in the game at different times and do some Taysom Hill-like things.”
Caplan: “To say that things were tense with Wentz, we reported it first a month ago, that they barely spoke – Pederson and Wentz the final two months. Now the reason why I didn’t say they didn’t speak at all, is because there’s no way to know they didn’t say hello to each other.”
Mosher: “I was told that they did speak, Adam, but the conversations weren’t glowing, if you know what I’m saying.”
Caplan: You notice, Doug Pederson has not agreed to do any interviews with anyone? Notice he has not been quoted anywhere. No one’s heard from him. People have not heard from him on the record. The guy got fired, he had a bad relationship with his starting quarterback to start the season … it just ended poorly for both guys together.”
Mosher: “By the way, shame on me for not bringing this up; I wrote this story on InsideTheBirds.com that outlined all the things that happened since 2019, and one of the things we talked about was Doug in the press conference saying, ‘Oh, he’s my quarterback on Wednesday,’ … how about we forgot to talk about – and I forgot to write about – the time that he never really took Carson’s side when Brett Favre came out and said they should have stuck with Nick?”
Caplan: “My biggest issue with Pederson is, when he’s coached a certain way by Reich and particularly DeFilippo, you need to know that as a head coach … ‘Okay, I don’t coach like that DeFilippo guy, but he coaches hard. I gotta make sure I stay on Carson to do things the way we were doing them before.’”
Offensive Line preview
Mosher: “Jordan Mailata – I have said that it should be his position to lose in OTAs, but I’m in favor of holding on to Andre Dillard.”
Caplan: “Mailata ended the season healthy; no back issues, almost two years now. I guess he had to change a couple things in his diet and also posture; all sorts of stuff. That got corrected, it was not a structural issue, it was just a muscular issue. I gotta tell ya, the stuff he did against Baltimore and Pittsburgh – I was surprised, overall the tape was really good. He’s an absolute freak.
Here’s the other thing; I asked, and I’d heard he’s really not a right tackle, Dillard; he’s a left [tackle]. Look, if you trade Dillard, I don’t know who the backup left tackle would be.”
Mosher: “If you go into camp with Mailata as your top left tackle, this gives you an opportunity to use some time to cross-train Dillard at right tackle. You’re right, he’s more of a natural left tackle; he’s got that ballerina movement. But, it’s not like the old days, where your right tackle was more brawn and your left tackle was finesse. Now, it’s like every tackle is a left tackle if he’s good enough.”
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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