Inside The Birds Pod: Philadelphia Eagles Becoming Jeffrey Lurie Show?
With free agency and the NFL Draft quickly approaching, the Eagles’ roster is continuing its shakeup with a new scheme in place.
In the latest Inside the Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan break down some injuries, the salary cap, and Jeffrey Lurie’s stance on the team’s quarterback situation.
Adam Caplan: “Travis Fulgham, he had ankle surgery after the season. Here’s the thing, from what I understand this happened around mid-season. People want to blame the former coaching staff for his regression, and playing time and so forth and that’s that’s an easy call, I understand it. But I also think the injury had something to do with it, and from what I understand, when Fulgham got hurt, it was right around the time that [Alshon] Jeffrey came back. Around that time, give or take a week or so but here’s the question: I know we’re not gonna do draft right now, I do wonder if they don’t take [Ja’Marr] Chase at six, is that a confidence in Fulgham? Or if they draft Chase is it not a confidence in Fulgham? It’s going to be fascinating to see because those four games were not a fluke. He dominated, he led the NFL in receiving yards.”
Jalen Hurts-WRs workouts
Mosher: “It starts Thursday and will be at the Exos facility in Frisco, Texas. It originally was going to be Tuesday and got pushed back to Thursday. I know Jalen Hurts will be there obviously he’s the quarterback. Jalen Reagor will be there. I was told Jon Hightower and Quez Watkins, likely to be there. You just mentioned Travis Fulgham’s ankle procedure, so I think there’s uncertainty about whether he’s going to be there or not because of that, we’ll see.”
Future cap outlook
Caplan: “One thing I do want to mention as we go along in our notes here. I had a GM tell me earlier this week that he does not agree with what’s out there about the cap going significantly up next year even with the TV money.
“He doesn’t agree with it going up and I go, ‘Why would you say that?’ And he goes, ‘Could you tell me that we’re gonna have full stadiums?’ Now, you think and now you say that, I’m sure we’re gonna have fans if the Covid numbers continue to go down, but do you know how much money teams lose by not having fans? He would know better than I.”
Mosher: “It’s a fair point, I do remember having Andrew Brandt on [ITBTV] and he broke it down, telling us that that stadium revenue really is only about 20%. I mean that’s still significant but the TV revenue was way more.”
Caplan: Even if it’s costing you $50 million or whatever the hell the number is and how you break it down by the cap, it’s still lost revenue that they’re not going to have. He doesn’t think it’s going to be the biggest jump, the TV money is obviously is a major jump, but some people are projecting the cap to go up $30 million next year and he goes, ‘I just don’t see where they’re getting that.”
Mosher: “You have to do something with Derek Barnett. He should stay, they should be able to come up with an extension that would lower his cap number for this year.”
Caplan: “Yes so his cap number is $10.05 million, which is his salary. There’s no proration because it’s the fifth-year option, which is just a salary. Look, the guy’s not a great football player, he’s better than average to good. He has had some injuries we know about that. He doesn’t exactly have an NFL body I would say, he’s not the biggest guy in the world. But he’s bendy, he’s talented enough. The question is, can they make it work? I would be surprised if they traded him, they’re not going to cut him, obviously. You either extend him or trade him. Let me ask you this question, if they traded him, where do they go defensive end? I’m just curious what your reaction would be with that.”
Mosher: You’ve got Brandon Graham, you have Josh Sweat. You don’t want to start Josh Sweat. You theoretically could start Josh Sweat but then he wouldn’t be a bigger part of your pass rushing package so that would be a misusage of Josh Sweat. You could resign Vinny [Curry] for a year, at a relatively inexpensive price, you have Vinny and Brandon as your bookend D-ends and Josh is your third pass rusher. Here’s the thing: We have to probably learn a little bit more about … we know that scheme is going to look different – we know Jonathan Gannon is going to do some things differently, bring that Minnesota style here but Jim was big into rotating, series after series he would rotate. I don’t know if Gannon plans to do that.”
Isaac Seumalo restructure
Mosher: “We’re talking about restructures so Isaac Seumalo has also restructured and this is weird because you thought this was a guy who’s young enough where you might extend to spread it out more instead of just restructuring the current deal, right?”
Caplan: “I mean I don’t know why they didn’t do that. I said it in the last show that I expect something to get done here. I was wrong, I thought they’d extend it. I mean, he signed only through 2022, he has two years left but he’s going to be here a long time.This has been a good football player, folks. He really struggled with 2016 and 2017, and I remember it was one of our first couple shows in 2018, and I had a little bit of a note where I heard the light went on for him and all the struggles he had with focus and confidence, that was all out the door. I heard that he got his stuff together and ever since then he’s been terrific. He’s not a Pro Bowler, a step below, but he’s a solid football player. In 2021 he cashes the 4 million, and in 2022, it’s just about 5 million, just under. Why not extend him off that? But you know I’m not a cap guy.”
Jason Kelce’s new deal
Caplan: “Here’s what they did with Kelce, they took his $5.5 million base and they lowered it to the veteran minimum, same as Slay at $1.75 million. They gave him a signing bonus when I reported it on Friday it was $9 million fully guaranteed. His base salary this year is fully guaranteed at just over 1 million. They give a signing bonus of $7.925 million, because people are baffled saying how could this be right? And I understood what they were saying like how can you do this? Well, here come the dummy years folks.
“Three dummy years – 2023, 2024 and 2025. Next year, his base salary, and no one is expecting to come back next year of course – I said this two years ago – but they’re just not, they’re very happy Jason felt good after the season and they obviously wanted him back. They wouldn’t have done this if they didn’t. So they saved some money under the cap.”
Mosher: “Chris Mortensen had the report on Jeffrey Lurie, and it was weird because this was not a tweeted thing, it was on SportsCenter and clips kind of made the rounds. And honestly, there were two different clips that made the rounds and only one of them got as much play, I thought the other one was just as significant. But the first one was about Jalen Hurts, and that the owner has said let’s start to build around Jalen Hurts as the quarterback. What does that mean to you?”
Caplan: “I’m sure Mort is right. I’ve worked with a guy for four and a half years. Anything he says I believe, I’m just surprised, on a couple levels here. It wasn’t just me saying it after the draft, but it was reported elsewhere, that they were gonna bring competition in and they weren’t just going to hand him the job. So I checked into it after I heard about it and I said it on our show that’s what I’m hearing, it is true. I wanted to make sure that it was accurate because it was just interesting because I want to know exactly what their plan was at quarterback for Hurts. Is he definitely going to be the guy? Well now with Mort’s stuff, the owner wants him to clear the decks, doesn’t want any competition.”
“How are you supposed to determine what’s not competition or what’s competition? What do you grade them like Joe Flacco not quite competition but Andy Dalton’s competition so we can’t bring him in? Like, what are you gonna do?
Mosher: “That’s what I don’t get. In Jalen Hurts, you have a quarterback who has shown you that he may have some potential to be a player in this league. OK. But he has really proven nothing other than being able to really navigate and handle an awkward situation with tremendous poise and leadership, and you can’t take that away from Jalen Hurts.
“And he showed you that there’s a shot that he can play in this league and maybe even be pretty good. Who knows? But I don’t understand, as what you’re saying is, we’ve only seen that in such small doses and you’re treating him like he definitely belongs and that he’s proven he belongs and he’s going to be here for three or four years.”
– Justin Morganstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com
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