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#pounditTuesday, September 29, 2020

Articles tagged: Philadelphia Eagles

Matt Pryor false start penalty costs Eagles in overtime

The Philadelphia Eagles had to settle for a tie against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but they are left wondering what could have been because of a costly penalty in overtime.

The Eagles were set to attempt a 59-yard field goal with the game tied 23-23 and 19 seconds remaining in overtime. However, right guard Matt Pryor committed a false start penalty that pushed Philly back five yards.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson decided that a 64-yard field goal would have been out of kicker Jake Elliott’s range, so he essentially accepted the tie. Philadelphia punted the ball away and the Bengals ran out the clock.

Some will question the decision from Pederson, as Elliott’s career-long field goal is 61 yards. However, the Eagles coach was obviously afraid of missing the kick and giving the ball back to the Bengals inside Philadelphia territory. The probability of Elliott making a 64-yard kick was not good, and the Bengals would have only needed one play to get into field-goal range if they got the ball back at that spot on the field.

You can’t assume Elliott would have converted the 59-yard field goal, but Pryor cost the Eagles a shot at it. As a result, they are off to a 0-2-1 start on the year.

5 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 1

DAndre Swift drop

It may look a bit different, and most stadiums may be empty, but the NFL is back. With no preseason to whet the appetite, the 2020 season may be even more anticipated than usual. Most of us haven’t seen anything resembling live NFL football since the Super Bowl.

That feels like a lifetime ago now, so excitement is understandably high.

So who stood out in Week 1 but not in a great way? After a long offseason, nobody wants their season to get off on the wrong foot, but sometimes it happens. Here are five big disappointments from the opening week of the NFL season.


Report: Zach Ertz, Eagles GM got into heated contract debate in front of team

Zach Ertz

Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles broke off contract talks recently after they appeared to be working toward a new deal. Ertz is understandably upset about that, and apparently he aired out some of his frustrations in front of the team.

Ertz and Eagles general manager Howie Roseman got into a “very heated discussion” after a practice this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. Several other Philly players witnessed the exchange.

Contract disputes between player and team happen all the time, but usually not like that. The Eagles reportedly reduced their offer to Ertz at some point, which is likely why he is so upset.

Ertz still has two years remaining on the five-year, $42.5 million deal he signed with the Eagles back in 2016. That is almost certainly why the team is not in a rush to extend him. The market for tight ends couldn’t be higher after the deals George Kittle and Travis Kelce got this offseason, so it makes sense that Philly wants to wait.

Ertz has only has one season with 1,000-plus yards receiving, but he has averaged well over 800 yards every year since 2015. He opened up about how frustrating the contract talks have been when speaking with the media this week.

Zach Ertz opens up about ‘frustrating’ contract talks with Eagles

Zach Ertz

Contract negotiations between Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles broke down recently, and the star tight end is not hiding the fact that he is irritated with the way things have gone.

Ertz told reporters on Thursday that his contract talks with the Eagles have been “frustrating.” He said he wants to remain in Philly but isn’t sure if the team feels the same way.

It’s understandable that Ertz wants a new deal after seeing how much money George Kittle and Travis Kelce got from their respective teams. However, Ertz still has two years remaining on the five-year, $42.5 million deal he signed with the Eagles back in 2016. Even if they want to keep him, there is no real rush to get an extension done.

Ertz and the Eagles appeared to be headed toward a new deal prior to the start of the season, but talks hit a snag when the team reportedly reduced its offer.

Ertz has only has one season with 1,000-plus yards receiving, but he has averaged well over 800 yards every year since 2015. Unlike the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles have another productive young tight end on their roster in Dallas Goedert. The 25-year-old caught 58 passes for 607 yards and five touchdowns last season. His emergence is likely one of the main reasons Philly wants to slow-play negotiations with Ertz.

Report: Eagles looking to trade Alshon Jeffery

Alshon Jeffery

The Philadelphia Eagles have not stopped trying to trade wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Eagles are still shopping Jeffery around the league. Two major factors make a trade unlikely, however.

Jeffery’s nearly $10 million salary would be enough of an impediment to any trade. The fact that he hasn’t practiced since his December surgery makes it even more unlikely. The Eagles have wanted to move Jeffery all offseason, and it’s not a surprise that they’ve failed to do so.

Jeffery was limited to ten games last season. He caught 43 passes for 490 yards and four touchdowns.

Report: Talks between Zach Ertz, Eagles break down over reduced offer

Zach Ertz

Zach Ertz may eventually get a payday that is similar to the ones we saw for Travis Kelce and George Kittle, but he is going to have to wait a while longer.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that talks broke down between Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles after the team offered him less guaranteed money recently than they were offering last year. The offer was also reportedly for less than the $10.5 million annually Austin Hooper is making with the Cleveland Browns.

It’s unclear why the Eagles would reduce their offer, but it could have something to do with the uncertainty surrounding the NFL amid the coronavirus pandemic. Still, Ertz is almost certainly looking for something close to what Kittle got from the San Francisco 49ers and Kelce got from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Ertz is under contract for two more seasons with the Eagles. He’s set to make $6.6 million in 2020, and he has outperformed the five-year, $42.5 million deal he signed back in 2016. The 29-year-old only has one season with 1,000-plus yards receiving, but he has averaged well over 800 yards every year since 2015.

Ertz would have a tough time arguing that he should make as much as Kittle or Kelce, but he deserves more than Hooper. The Eagles know they have him under contract for two more seasons, so they’re probably content slow-playing the situation. Of course, that could always result in a holdout or an unhappy star.

Report: Zach Ertz, Eagles talking contract extension

Zach Ertz

We have already seen some massive contracts handed out to star tight ends this offseason, and Zach Ertz could be next.

Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles are discussing a contract extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. The two sides had talked previously but put things on hold.

With George Kittle and Travis Kelce having signed huge extensions this offseason, Ertz is in a position of strength. The Eagles star has put up big numbers over the past few seasons, but his $6.6 million base salary for 2020 places him well below the top-paid players at the position.

Ertz only has one season with 1,000-plus yards receiving, but he has averaged well over 800 yards every year since 2015. He’s outperforming the the five-year, $42.5 million deal he signed back in 2016.

It will be tough for Ertz to make the argument that he should be earning more than Kittle’s $15 million per year or Kelce’s $14.3 million. However, the Eagles should be comfortable paying him something close to that and significantly more than the roughly $10 million Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper make.

Eagles reportedly ‘blown away’ by Jalen Hurts during camp

The Philadelphia Eagles appear to believe they’ve found a gem in Jalen Hurts.

The Eagles have been “blown away” by Hurts’ athleticism and intelligence during training camp so far, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, and the staff has “fallen in love with him.”

“I’m excited to see what they do with Jalen Hurts,” Jeremiah told NFL Network’s “Inside Training Camp” on Tuesday, via Nick Kosko of 247 Sports. “All reports I’ve gotten out of Eagles camp, they are blown away with not only…how athletic he is, but how smart he is and how much of a professional he is. He just carries himself as a veteran. Everyone’s fallen in love with him.”

Jeremiah added that he does not expect Hurts to get high volume usage this season, but feels the Eagles won’t be afraid to use him in the right spot as a dual threat.

The Eagles surprised many by selecting Hurts in the second round of April’s NFL Draft despite having a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz. From the beginning, though, it sounded like they had creative ideas for how to use him. The fact that he’s proving wildly impressive from a professional standpoint is even better.

Jason Peters signs one-year deal with Eagles, will move to guard

Jason Peters

Jason Peters is returning to the Philadelphia Eagles for his 12th season with the team, but the Pro Bowl offensive lineman will be moving to a new position.

Peters has agreed to a one-year deal with the Eagles that could be worth up to $6 million, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. While the 38-year-old has been a left tackle throughout his career, the plan is to move him to guard to replace the injured Brandon Brooks.

Peters was one of the best left tackles in football for years, as evidenced by his nine Pro Bowl appearances. Obviously, age and health are the biggest concerns with him. He started 13 games for the Eagles last year and played through a significant injury the year before.

As Schefter noted, Peters has said he wants to play until he’s 40. That might be a good indication that he is healthy heading into the season, and he could be a bargain for the Eagles if he’s able to stay on the field.

Could Eagles use anti-Semitic posts to get out of DeSean Jackson’s contract?

The Philadelphia Eagles condemned DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic Instagram activity with a strong statement on Tuesday, and it is now fair to wonder if their next move could be to release the veteran wide receiver.

As ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes, the Eagles could cut Jackson if they determined that his social media activity violates the terms of his contract. Jackson is guaranteed $4.8 million this season and already received a $2 million bonus.

Jackson was limited to just nine catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns last season because of a core muscle injury that eventually required surgery. He’s now 33, and he may not be the explosive big-play threat he once was given his age and injury history.

The Eagles probably would move on from Jackson if they could get out from the remainder of his guaranteed money and possibly recoup his bonus, but they wouldn’t be able to do so without a fight from the NFL Players Association. It would probably be difficult to void an NFL player’s contract over an opinion he shared on social media.

Jackson shared a passage on Instagram that included a quote that was incorrectly attributed to Adolf Hitler. The quote accuses Jewish people of blackmailing and extorting America as a plan for world domination. When Jackson was informed that he was promoting anti-Semitism, he doubled down by highlighting a specific portion that he believed proved the point he was trying to make about racism.

On Tuesday, the Eagles issued a statement calling the messages Jackson shared “absolutely appalling.” Jackson then released a video apology.