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Richard Sherman implies Eagles cut DeSean Jackson and kept Riley Cooper because of race

DeSean JacksonOne of the arguments many people have made against the Philadelphia Eagles cutting DeSean Jackson is the team’s decision to keep Riley Cooper. After the season, the Eagles signed Cooper to a five-year, $25 million contract. Apparently his racist outburst from last summer is a thing of the past.

Jackson, on the other hand, was released shortly after a report surfaced indicating he has connections to members of a gang in Los Angeles. In a column he wrote for Monday Morning Quarterback on Wednesday, Richard Sherman defended Jackson for not alienating the people he grew up around who supported him when his father passed away in 2009. He also implied that race played a role in the Eagles’ decision to cut Jackson.

This offseason they re-signed a player who was caught on video screaming, “I will fight every n—– here.” He was representing the Philadelphia Eagles when he said it, because, of course, everything we do is reflective of the organization. But what did they do to Riley Cooper, who, if he’s not a racist, at least has “ties” to racist activity? They fined him and sent him to counseling. No suspension necessary for Cooper and no punishment from the NFL, despite its new interest in policing our use of the N-word on the field.

Commit certain crimes in this league and be a certain color, and you get help, not scorn. Look at the way many in the media wrote about Jim Irsay after his DUI arrest. Nobody suggested the Colts owner had “ties” to drug trafficking, even though he was caught driving with controlled substances (prescription pills) and $29,000 in cash to do who-knows-what with. Instead, poor millionaire Mr. Irsay needs help, some wrote.

Sherman makes some very valid points, especially regarding Irsay. The amount of cash the Colts owner had in his possession could easily be viewed as gang-related or drug dealing activity if he was somebody else.

As for Cooper, you can understand why it looks bad that the Eagles chose to send a white player to counseling after his racist tirade. The only thing I would say about that is that situations like the Aaron Hernandez murder trial have made teams increasingly paranoid when they hear the word “gang.” If a white player reportedly had ties to a gang, you would probably see the team react the same way.

I believe the risk of gang involvement currently has NFL teams on high alert, whether the claims are founded or not. That said, Sherman presented a very well-thought argument that certainly makes you think.

Report: Mark Sanchez expected to sign with Eagles

mark-sanchezMark Sanchez and Michael Vick could be switching teams. The New York Jets released Sanchez last friday and quickly signed Vick. On Monday, reports surfaced that the Philadelphia Eagles are expected to bring on the Sanchize.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen first reported that although Sanchez failed his physical when his contract with the Jets was terminated, his injury status is not expected to stand in the way of the Eagles signing him. He is said to be throwing at 80 percent strength, and the Eagles’ medical staff intends to evaluate Sanchez on their own before making anything official.

While Mortensen seems confident that Sanchez is going to wind up in Philly, Manish Mehta is less certain. He was told that Sanchez’s free agent process is “ongoing” and that the Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans have all shown legitimate interest in Sanchez.

As we told you earlier, Jeff Fisher has already been open about discussing the Rams’ interest in Sanchez.

While some might be surprised that Sanchez is drawing so much interest in free agency, you have to remember he is looking for work as a backup. Experience is hard to come by in the NFL, and Sanchez has appeared in 62 games during his five-year NFL career. He should come relatively cheap and provide decent depth for a team in need.

Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles betting line moved 9 points in one day

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Can you remember the last time you saw a betting line for an NFL game change by nine points in one day? I don’t, but that’s what happened with the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles line on Monday.

The Cowboys opened on Sunday night as -2.5 point favorites at home against Philly. It’s a huge game between the teams as the winner takes the NFC East, and the initial line had the Cowboys favored at home.

By the time most other sportsbooks set their lines for the game on Monday around noon, the Eagles were favored by 2.5 or 3 points (full line movement here). Hours after the news that Tony Romo would be out the rest of the season with a herniated disc broke, the betting line was readjusted with the Eagles listed as 7-point favorites.

To recap:

- Cowboys favored by 2.5 points Sunday night
- Eagles favored by 2.5-3 points Monday afternoon
- Eagles changed to 7 point favorites Monday evening after Romo news

That’s some major line movement, and it leaves some questions. Here’s my biggest question: did the line move from Dallas by 2.5 to Philly by 2.5 (a 5-point swing is huge) because the wiseguys thought Philly was the better team, or because they knew about Romo’s status? How deep in the know are they? I wouldn’t doubt it if they had the news before the rest of us.

All I know is that if you got the Eagles +2.5, you’re looking pretty good right now. We’ll see how the $10-million backup Kyle Orton does in place of Romo.

Tip via Geno

Philadelphia Eagles players yelled ‘Papa John’s!’ at Peyton Manning after audible

Peyton-Manning-Papa-JohnsThe Philadelphia Eagles became the Denver Broncos’ latest victims on Sunday afternoon by way of a 52-20 blowout. While trailing just 21-13 at the start of the third quarter, the Eagles seemed like they were still having some fun as Peyton Manning called out plays and audibles.

It’s common for NFL linebackers to yell back at quarterbacks when the signal-callers point to a linebacker or call out coverages. But yelling “Papa John’s” in response is a bit more rare. According to Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin, some of his teammates did just that.

“Well I know — I think I might have heard Papa John’s once, but I don’t know who said it, I mean that’s kind of funny,” Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin told 94WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese on Monday, via CBS Philly. “When any quarterback goes and talks at the line or any center, they start yelling ‘Mike’s 59′ or ’98′s the 4th down’ where they try to figure out the protection, we, on defense, we start, like I’ll say—if they start yelling ’98′s down, meaning I’m the fourth rusher, I’ll start yelling ’59′s down’ because it just confuses them.”

Deadspin has a video of one such play where you can clearly hear someone yelling “Papa Johns!” As most of you know, Manning bought more than 20 Papa John’s restaurants in the Denver area when he signed with the Broncos and has become a spokesman for the company. If that was the Eagles’ way of heckling him, it worked. They made him mad and he threw for three touchdown passes in the third quarter and put them away.

Eagles reportedly nearly traded for Colin Kaepernick, wanted to draft Russell Wilson

Eagles snowThe Philadelphia Eagles seem to be well situated with Michael Vick running Chip Kelly’s offense, but a report says they had their eye on a few other emerging quarterbacks prior to last season.

According to Pro Football Talk, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Eagles were in talks with the San Francisco 49ers prior to the 2012 draft about acquiring Colin Kaepernick for a second-round pick. Obviously that trade never happened, because the Niners held onto Kaepernick and he became the team’s starter midway through the season. But why didn’t the trade happen? Schefter reported that Philly backed out of the trade because they believed they could draft Russell Wilson. They supposedly geared their entire draft around the current Seattle Seahawks QB.

Allow me to call B.S. on this report. I’m not saying that Schefter’s information is inaccurate, but it sounds like his info is coming from an Eagles exec who’s trying to make himself look smart.

If the Eagles really wanted Wilson so badly, why didn’t they draft him last year? Wilson wasn’t the first overall pick. He wasn’t a top-five pick. He went in the third round, No. 75 overall. The Eagles had plenty of opportunities to select him. They could have taken him at No. 12 where they selected Fletcher Cox; at No. 46 where they took Mychal Kendricks; or at No. 59, where they picked Vinny Curry. Obviously they didn’t covet Wilson that badly, otherwise they would have taken him.

Seriously, these kinds of reports piss me off so much. What’s the point of it? To tell us that the Eagles have an eye for talent but messed up both times? If they thought Kaepernick and Wilson were that good, they wouldn’t have thought twice about trading a second-round pick for Kaepernick, or using the No. 12 overall pick on Wilson.

Stop trying to cover your butts, Eagles execs, if that’s what the point of your report was. This report also does tell us something else we already knew — Philly wasn’t thrilled about moving forward with Vick as their starting QB, likely because of his injury history.

Chip Kelly thought Eagles offense was too slow … and was totally serious

Chip Kelly impressed football fans everywhere by leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a road win over the Washington Redskins on Monday night in his NFL coaching debut. Fans saw the Eagles do exactly what they were used to seeing out of Kelly’s Oregon Ducks: a fast-paced spread offense that runs a lot of plays in a short period of time.

Chip Kelly EaglesThe Eagles actually ran 53 plays in the first half of the game, compared to only 21 for Washington. They had 21 first downs and only allowed 23 seconds between plays, compared to 28 for Washington. Although anyone watching would have been struck by the tempo of the game, Kelly told the media Tuesday that the offense’s pace was too slow.

“Yeah, I felt like it was slow to be honest with you. I’m not joking,” Kelly said. “We need to do a better job. We left the ball on the ground too much. We didn’t get the ball to the officials. We could have sped things up from a process in between plays. And that’s something we need to work on.”

Too slow huh? I’d hate to see what this guy’s like waiting for food in a drive-through line. I heard Chip Kelly once left midway through a Usain Bolt race because it was taking too long.

Too slow? Sheesh. If that was slow, I can’t wait to see what the offense looks like when they’re running it properly.

Philadelphia Eagles accuse Washington Redskins of faking injuries (Video)

Redskins-injury-fakingAlas, it begins. The Philadelphia Eagles are going to run an incredibly fast-paced offense under Chip Kelly this season. If all goes to plan, they’ll be wearing out defenses the way they did against the Washington Redskins on Monday night. And if Kelly’s up-tempo attack finds success, be prepared to hear about how opponents are faking injuries all season long.

On Monday night with Philadelphia leading 12-7 and driving in the first quarter, Redskins offensive lineman Kedric Golston went down with what was later described as cramping. As Golston was on the turf holding his leg, you could hear several Eagles yelling, “He’s faking!”

Former Redskins running back Rock Cartwright agreed.

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