Inside The Birds:"How Can You Have Him Back?"
While the Eagles have been making moves at several different positions this offseason, Zach Ertz remains an Eagle at least for the moment.
On the latest Inside the Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan take a look at the tight end position and provide updates from Eagles OTAs.
Adam Caplan: “We've reported, and others have, that the Eagles have continued to monitor the [Deshaun] Watson situation. As far as I know on this, I’ve been checking on it, it sure sounds like they're still doing that. There are plenty of teams that are not sure if he's gonna play football this season, they're not convinced that he will. The NFL has not set a word on the investigation, I'm a little bit surprised that we've heard nothing on this thing, really weird. “By training camp we have to have an answer, I'm sure by then we'll have an answer on where they're at with this thing.”
Caplan: “Everything I've heard so far has been really good. Takes charge, commands respect, Geoff, and I like what we're hearing so far, but again they aren’t doing 7-on-7s and 11-vs.-11s. You’re just not having the usual work that you would have in the offseason because of the agreement between the Eagles players and the coaches that they will not have any team work. So [the QB competition] won't heat up, just wanting to see what you want to see from Hurts in terms of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 accuracy and getting his offensive timing, this a big timing offense [...] we’re not gonna see that until August.”
Mosher: “What you're saying is what I've heard, too, as far as leadership, poise and presence. In fact one person who's seen him said he's seen a laser focus in him, which is what you want. You know this guy has an opportunity right in front of him that he can seize. He's got no real competition within his own confines, unless he's just awful. So he's worked with his receivers, and some of the running backs in the offseason, he's done everything right, and that's a really good first step.”
Caplan: "He's got tools. He's got good size, got a good arm, mechanics need to be redeveloped but he's the kind of guy you'd like to put on the practice squad. They missed on Clayton Thorson who was the fifth rounder in 2019. That was supposed to be their developmental guy, maybe be a backup, they were hoping to develop him as their No. 2 by the way, but it never worked out, they cut him.”
Mosher: “Newman has good size, good athleticism, good arm, so he's got the three check marks you're looking for, for a developmental quarterback. He's gonna obviously have a lot of reps as camp goes on, if you only have three quarterbacks there. I think the big question is would they be able to then sneak him on to the practice squad if they don't want to keep him on the 53? That's a discussion for several weeks down the road.”
Mosher: “I don't see how you can have him back. You have a new coaching staff, they want to accomplish something here. You’ve got Dallas Goedert, you need to find out about Dallas Goedert. You have this nice honeymoon thing going on right now with the new coaching staff and the younger players and I think that [the Ertz situation] gets in the way.”
Caplan: "Well, it gets in the way from a personnel standpoint because if you have Zach Ertz on the football team, you've got to be 12 personnel again, you've got to justify this contract. It just makes no sense to keep him but I'm going to tell you why it makes sense from an Eagles standpoint. When I tell you there's nothing new going on, trust me on this, there's nothing new. The Eagles are not going to cut Zach Ertz, because they want a draft pick. Whether they trade him, and get what they want, what they're willing to accept, they’re not taking a sixth-round pick, they think he's obviously worth more than that. Or they keep them, because if they keep them and let him walk they’re looking at a compensatory pick. They're not worried about the cap space, they got their cap rebate on June 2, they can handle his contract.”
Mosher: “We talked about Goedert, he said he and his agent are having extension talks with the Eagles, so he's in an interesting position because he's a year away from free agency. I feel like players are more willing to bet on themselves now more so than 10 or 15 years ago. They'll sign an extension but it better be a good one, not just a nice team-friendly one or they'll take their chances and see what they can get in free agency.”
Caplan: “That's exactly the way I see this situation. I don't see Goedert signing a deal for $7 million a year. I think it'll be a market deal, I think you're looking at probably being a guy like Austin Hooper. Now I know Goedert has not put together a full season yet but Austin Hooper had one good season before he signed with Cleveland – $10.5 million for Austin Hooper [...] But how in the world are they going to do an extension with Ertz on the team?”
Caplan: “If Ertz is traded, not only does it give [Jack] Stoll a good chance to make the team, I would think they would re-sign Richard Rodgers, who is the safety blanket for that position.”
Mosher: "That'd be great if you went into the season with Goedert, Richard Rogers and Jack Stoll as your three, and then you have Tyree Jackson on your practice squad as a developmental guy or even Hakeem Butler again, who I think would be eligible. That, to me, is an ideal situation.
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com
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