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Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles should still consider Jeremy Maclin

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Even after bringing back Jordan Matthews, the Eagles should still consider bringing back Jeremy Maclin.

After reports came out that Mike Wallace had fractured his fibula week two against the Buccaneers, the Eagles wide receiver room featured just three healthy wide receivers. Nelson Agholor, Kamar Aiken, and Shelton Gibson. Only one of those players has proven they can be a real threat to defenses in the NFL.

With the Eagles razor thin out wide, the possible names flying around for Philadelphia to pick up included Josh Gordon, Dez Bryant, but also possible reunions with Matthews and Maclin.

Howie Roseman appeared interested in these reunion ideas as Matthews was spotted at the Nova Care Complex Tuesday working out for the team. A report also came out last night that the Eagles planned on setting up a workout with Maclin.

The Eagles took the reunion route on Tuesday bringing back Matthews (to the disliking of Eagles Twitter) to provide what could be a rusty Carson Wentz with more weapons this week as they await the return of Alshon Jeffery.

Even when Jeffery comes back to form a trio of Alshon, Agholor, and Matthews, the Eagles would still be smart to bring Maclin in.

Doug Pederson said in his press conference today that Wallace may not miss the entire season despite being placed on IR, but he is expected to miss the majority of the regular season as is Mack Hollins who is also on IR.

That leaves behind the starting three, Kamar Aiken and Shelton Gibson. Bringing in Maclin would not only give the Eagles another veteran leader on the offense, but it would also provide more options with formations and provide different skill sets.

It appears the Eagles are set on having Jeffery and Agholor as the outside receivers with Matthews in the slot when the team is at full strength. While Agholor has made plays on the outside and should still be extremely dangerous on the edge, there will also be times Pederson wants to use Agholor inside where he was elite in 2017.

Matthews could move outside in those situations, or come off the field with Ertz/Goedert on the outside. However if Pederson wants to have more speed and stay in 11 personnel at times with Agholor in the slot, that is where Maclin could be an option over Aiken or Gibson.

Maclin also provides a speed factor that outside of Agholor, the Eagles do not have on this offense.

Darren Sproles is an explosive weapon but the probability of Sproles breaking a swing or wheel route deep down the field for a big gain is not something to bank on.

Any of Jeffery, Ertz, Matthews, or Goedert are more than capable of making big plays down the field so it isn’t a point of the Eagles being thin with weapons.

But it is a point of only Agholor is a threat to fly by everyone almost like DeSean Jackson did against Philadelphia week two. Agholor currently is the only threat to be an extremely dangerous run after the catch weapon for the offense.

Maclin would immediately be the second best RAC receiver on the team.

The former Eagle was dealing with a leg injury throughout the summer which could be a reason why a team hasn’t signed the 30 year old veteran. However according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Maclin is close to full health.

Both reports from Clark and Garafolo hint that this would be an option after the Colts game Sunday. So for now the Eagles will run with Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor this week but the Eagles could still add Maclin to go along with a returning Alshon Jeffery by week four.

 

 

Louie, an Eagles, and NFL enthusiast all his life has finally found his home to share his thousands of takes on the Philadelphia Eagles with Locked on Eagles. Louie also works in Buffalo sports radio as a producer for WGR Sports Radio 550 the official home of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, in addition to working as the Sports Director for 91.3 FM WBNY Buffalo. He may be far from the nest, but Louie bleeds green just like the rest of Eagles Nation. Fly Eagles Fly.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Bell over Brown is an obvious choice for the Eagles

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

It’s almost fishing season in the NFL as all 32 teams look to catch some nice pieces for their roster through free agency, the draft, and the trade market. While the biggest fish don’t always tend to swim in those waters, every year a few big names suddenly become available for a team looking to spend.

This year, it just so happens two of the best at their position are up for grabs, and they both are coming from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Star offensive weapons in RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Antonio Brown will both be in different jerseys next year for the first time in their careers. Bell is set to become a free agent, while Pittsburgh and Brown agreed a trade is in the best interest for both sides.

On paper, the Eagles could make sense for both. Adding weapons around Carson Wentz will always be a priority. However if Howie Roseman and the front office decide they want to go after one of these expensive play-makers, Bell makes much more sense for a number of reasons.

 

Bell doesn’t come with the baggage Brown does

Don’t let this fool you. Talent beats culture. It is why the Steelers were consistently atop the AFC despite a chaotic locker room. Coaches like Chip Kelly flamed out because they prioritized scheme and a robotic culture.

Despite that, Brown’s antics off the field are a real concern. He quit on his team with the season on the line. Pittsburgh needed a win and a Baltimore loss to make the postseason in Week 17 but Brown was MIA.

The temper tantrums on the sidelines, ghosting your team with the season on the line, that kind of behavior despite six straight seasons of 100+ receptions is eye opening.

Bell doesn’t have that stench to him. While Steelers fans will tell you Bell was selfish and uncommitted to football, it is unfair to say he has character concerns because he didn’t want to risk his long term health in a contract year. He wanted to be paid like the star he is and Pittsburgh wanted to pay the position not the player. Can’t blame either side.

 

Brown would require trade assets AND a big contract 

Some people love to scoff at the idea of paying any significant resource for a star RB like Bell. While it wouldn’t be smart to kill the salary cap for the do-it-all weapon, it is far more reasonable to pay Bell rather than pay Brown big money and give up the trade assets it would take to get him from Pittsburgh.

What sounds better to you? $14+ million a year for Bell or $14+ million a year for Brown and perhaps a 2nd round pick + Nelson Agholor?

Bell, Agholor, and the rookie taken with that 2nd round pick sounds a lot better than just Brown.

The report Bell wants $50 million in the first two years is scary. He turned down a 5 year $70 million deal with the Steelers but perhaps when the market develops Bell will have to temper his expectations.

 

Bell’s age and position is more attractive to the Eagles

Two other major elements in deciding between Bell and Brown would be age and position.

By the start of next season, Brown will be 31. Bell will be be 27. Bell has four years on Brown.

If Bell could maintain his productivity into his early 30’s, the Eagles could be set at RB for 5-6 years.

Being a running back also makes him a more attractive option. Doug Pederson’s offense is in desperate need of a talented RB.

Having a weapon like Bell in the backfield that can be your top runner, a top receiver, and efficient pass blocker puts this Eagles offense on a level only the Saints and Rams can match in the NFC.

It also makes the offense less predictable. Using a committee with featured grinders like Ryan Mathews, LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajay, and Josh Adams to go along with the clear pass catchers in Darren Sproles and Corey Clement can be a good way to keep your backs fresh, but it is clear what the offense plans to do on 3rd and 4 when Sproles is out there.

It is easier to predict what Pederson will do on 3rd and 2 when Blount was out there. Someone like Bell keeps the defense guessing in any situation.

While the Eagles could use more speed on offense, Brown would be a luxury. A luxury that could cost high draft picks, players, a high cap hit, and potential baggage.

Is that worth it for a team that already has at least four quality receiving options? Can’t imagine Brown would be happy not seeing 13+ targets a game.

 

Conclusion

History tells us the Eagles won’t go after either Bell or Brown. However with an aggressive front office that has shown a commitment in surrounding their franchise QB with weapons, it wouldn’t be suprising to see one of these two in midnight green. Especially with Roseman’s ability to perform magic on the salary cap.

If they decide to pursue one, it should be Le’Veon Bell.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Offseason Options: Wide Receiver

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles have plenty of weapons for Carson Wentz to throw to in 2019. The WR position, however, could use more speed to compliment the bigger weapons in Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert.

If Golden Tate, Mike Wallace, and/or Jordan Matthews leave the Eagles this offseason, what options does Howie Roseman have in free agency and the draft when it comes to pass catchers?

Louie and Gino give some big name options in the draft and free agency, as well as some receivers that could fly under the radar in both offseason periods.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Offseason Options: Running Back

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the Eagles to add some serious talent in the backfield. What are their options if they want to add a big name free agent? What about a high draft pick?

If Howie Roseman sticks to his strategy of lower-priced free agents or draft picks, who could be a diamond in the rough?

Our “Offseason options’ series begins with RB on the Locked on Eagles podcast!

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