March 18, 2021   7 MIN READ

Inside The Birds Podcast: Eagles Will Have Eyes For Free Agents, Eventually

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While teams around the NFL begin to make moves following the start of the new league year, the Eagles have remained quiet in free agency so far.

In the latest Inside the Birds Podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan explain why the Eagles are quiet, talk about league-wide signings, and provide updates on the Deshaun Watson saga.

The Eagles, who are light on cap space, are bargain-hunting on the open market.

Washington’s Signings

Geoff Mosher: “Ryan Fitzpatrick, William Jackson, and late last night [Washington] signed Curtis Samuel who will add some explosion to that offense, which they badly needed. It looks like Washington is starting to become a threat. I said at the end of the year that the defense is there, the running game’s there, all they need is a little bit more speed and a reliable quarterback.”

Adam Caplan: “They need a left tackle, they need two offensive linemen. But I’ll tell you what, Scott Turner did a great job as their OC, Norv’s son. You get Samuel in who will probably be their slot receiver but as you said he’s a gadget guy. [Terry] McLaurin was their X but he’s a little bit smaller than you’d like as an X, they need a bigger receiver opposite of him. And [Antonio] Gibson is the running back, he had a really nice rookie season converting to running back, which is not easy to do. He did a good job and will only be better in Year 2. The issue with Fitzpatrick is: Fitzmagic versus Fitztragic, which one are you getting?”

Wentz Wrap-up

Caplan: “The Wentz trade is official. It’s still one of most bizarre situations in Philadelphia sports history, probably the biggest on-the-field sports tragedy. This never should have happened. Both sides are at fault in this situation. I couldn’t even tell you who’s at fault here, it’s just pathetic that this happened. It disappoints me that a guy that’s gifted – and there’s no guarantee that he’s gonna be good again, who knows? –  he got out of here and he felt the situation was toxic. He wanted out, he made that very clear, not a secret. That’s what we’ve been reporting for two months. He’s out, and now the Eagles have one quarterback under contract.”

Mosher: “They have one quarterback under contract ,Jalen Hurts, but they also need to have one objective going forward, something that you and I talked about a lot during the height of the Carson Wentz saga. The objective has to be: This can’t ever happen again. I think it would be wrong to think that Carson was just wired one way, Doug was wired one way, and everything is business as usual. You’ve just gotta make sure that you check yourself in every way possible. Examine anything that you think you may have done, whether you’re Jeffrey [Lurie], whether you’re Howie [Roseman], whether you’re the guy at Nova Care who sweeps the floor. Everybody’s just gotta check themselves to make sure they’re doing their job correctly and facilitating good relationships so this doesn’t happen to the next quarterback, be it Jalen Hurts or anybody else.”

Caplan: “Everyone involved needs to look at themselves. This is an embarrassment that didn’t work out, absolute embarrassment for the organization especially. I mean you make the brilliant trade up. He looks like he’s gonna be a superstar and had a good rookie season if you compare, and tape also showed it, 2017 he was a superstar before he got hurt or he was on his way to being a superstar. Then the steady regression started really 2019 and what did you do as an organization to stop it? I know you and I don’t work there, but when you have someone this especially talented, you don’t let this failure happen, it just bothers the hell out of me.”

Jeffery, Jackson Released

Mosher: “The bottom line is we knew that Malik [Jackson] and Alshon [Jeffery] were not going to be on the team going forward. So there will still be dead money from their contracts?”

Caplan: “There will be, it depends how they designate it. It’s $11 million straight if you half it with post June 1, obviously they could do that. That’s Alshon, Malik had the exact same structure. $Two million this year, 2 million next year, $25 million base salary, which is fake. Real if he’s on the roster on Thursday which he’s not. So the transaction will be official actually on Thursday they announced it, they did it after 4 p.m. Eastern. He’s got a little bit more dead money, over $12 million. And that’s that man. they’re now ex-Eagles and they’re under the cap and all that so they are gone.”

Barnett Returns

Caplan: “We previewed this last week, we said what we’re hearing is that they’re OK with him being on the roster with his salary and it’s akin to Nelson Agholor two years ago. We were shocked, we were like, ‘How are they going to keep him on the roster when they made him available for trade?’ I forget what the circumstances were in 2019 – were they light on depth or whatever the situation was? They left him on the roster. They let him play it out, it was just over 9 million and then he walked. Now maybe they’re doing this for compensatory purposes. It’s not like they can’t still extend his contract at some point, and lower his base salary. I thought there was no way they would let him play at $10.051 million, turns out I was wrong.”

Backup QB

Caplan: If you look at the list of backup quarterbacks that are out there, Alex Smith, doesn’t throw the ball downfield, I understand now this is gonna be more of a West Coast system. We’ll get into their offense in the future weeks but it’s gonna be more West Coast-y, for lack of better phrasing, than under Peterson. I mean you’ve got [Joe] Flacco as I’ve mentioned. Tyrod Taylor’s gone. Colt McCoy, forget about it. Blaine Gabbert is an inconsistent athlete, arm, never plays up to his talent. I mean [Mitchell] Trubisky is not on the radar, I was told, so I don’t know.”

Mosher: “Let’s be fair. I mean, you get what you pay for. If your philosophy is you’re really not going to spend that much money on a backup quarterback, you can’t dismiss guys like Blaine Gabbert, who are inconsistent because you’re paying for an inconsistent quarterback.”

Deshaun Watson

Mosher: “Obviously there’s the report from CBS … that basically said don’t count the Eagles out of a DeShaun Watson sweepstakes. Adam, it’s something I’ve checked into with a few people and from what I understand that’s fair. I mean that the Eagles are aggressive, they’ve shown the kind of interest you would expect any team with an uncertain quarterback situation going on to show. Obviously, as we get closer to the draft, and as it becomes more and more clear that DeShaun Watson ain’t buying what [the Texans] selling, things are going to heat up, I imagine.”

Caplan: “Look, he’s 50 percent of the way out, he wants out, I’m told he has not backed off, won’t back off. The team has told anyone who’s calling, he’s not available. We’ll see after this news came out this week with the off-the-field accusation, we’ll see what happens there. If I’ve read Howie Roseman right at all in his career, I’d be shocked if he didn’t call, it would not be like him not to call to check in.”

– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to

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