Philadelphia Eagles Rumors & News

Eagles Sign Stephen Tulloch

TUESDAY, 10:23am: The deal is now official.

SUNDAY, 5:05pm: The Eagles have reached an agreement with free agent linebacker Stephen Tulloch, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter links). The deal is worth up to $3MM, and contains $1.75MM in guaranteed money, per Florio.Stephen Tulloch (vertical)

[RELATED: Eagles acquire Dorial Green-Beckham]

Tulloch, 31, had long been connected to Philadelphia given the presence of new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who was Tulloch’s head coach in Detroit. The Eagles were said to be in “heavy negotiations” with Tulloch more than two weeks ago, but a contract apparently took awhile to hammer out.

Philadelphia has been on the lookout for help at linebacker, as multiple reports have indicated that the club wanted to add more talent to their front seven, a need that became even more pressing when seventh-round rookie Joe Walker went down with a torn ACL. Moving back to a 4-3 defense following three years playing a 3-4 front, the Eagles are projected to start Jordan Hicks at middle linebacker, with Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks flanking him on either side

In his fifth year in Detroit, Tulloch started all 16 games, racking up 108 total tackles, one sack, and two fumble recoveries. However, he wasn’t quite an every-down player, as he saw time on less than 70% of the Lions’ defensive plays. Tulloch also graded out relatively poorly in Pro Football Focus’ rankings, placing as the No. 54 inside linebacker among 97 qualifiers.

The Dolphins had also recently expressed interest in Tulloch, and had discussed having him in for a workout. However, the club made it clear that it would only consider a cheap deal, which Tulloch apparently wasn’t willing to settle for.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Waive Deontae Skinner

  • The Eagles have waived linebacker Deontae Skinner, the club announced. Skinner appeared in seven games for Philadelphia last year, but his roster spot will now go to veteran ‘backer Stephen Tulloch.

10 Teams That Could Claim RB Karlos Williams

After waiving him yesterday, the Bills “fully expect” another NFL club to land running back Karlos Williams, and we’ll find out tomorrow if any other team decided to place a claim (the waiver period is typically 24 hours, but rolls over until Monday on weekends). If no one else is interested, Williams will become a free agent. But given that Williams’ (minimal) signing bonus will accelerate onto Buffalo’s cap –meaning that any acquiring team would only be on the hook for minimum salaries for the next three years — it seems likely that Williams will get claimed.Karlos Williams (Vertical)

Clearly, there are reasons to be concerned about Williams’ future. He’ll be suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and he’s struggled with his weight throughout the offseason. At one point, Williams was up 261 pounds, and after losing some of that heft, he’d reportedly begun to balloon once again, leaving the Bills to wonder if he was serious about football.

But Williams also flashed dynamic ability during his rookie season, finishing with 613 yards from scrimmage and nine TDs on just 104 touches while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. The 23-year-old also became one of just two players in NFL history to score a touchdown in each of his first six games in the league. All in all, Williams seemingly defines an old adage: high risk, high reward.

Let’s take a look at several teams that could be interested in Williams, listed in order of their waiver priority:

Cleveland Browns — New head coach Hue Jackson is trying to foster a new culture with the Browns, but he’s also shown a willingness to give players a second chance. He’s embraced wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was recently reinstated from a season-long suspension, and he stood by running back Isaiah Crowell after the latter posted a disturbing image online. Crowell and Duke Johnson figure to get most of the run for Cleveland during the upcoming season, but the club should be stockpiling talent during its rebuild, and Williams would be a cheap upgrade.

San Diego Chargers — San Diego had high hopes for its rushing attack after trading up to select Melvin Gordon in the first round of last year’s draft, but offensive line injuries and Gordon’s own poor play led to the Chargers finishing 31st in rushing DVOA. Gordon then had microfracture surgery in January, and while his long-term prognosis is positive, serious knee injuries are always unwelcome news for young running backs. It looks like Gordon is already losing work to Danny Woodhead during the preseason, and if the Chargers think Gordon is in for another sub-par season, they could take a risk on Williams.

Baltimore Ravens — This is only my speculation, but given that he’s on the wrong side of 30, coming off injury, and due a non-guaranteed $3MM base salary, veteran running back Justin Forsett could be a surprise cut as roster cutdowns approach. Such a move would be made much easier if the Ravens were able to acquire a talent like Williams, who could slot in the backfield after his suspension, teaming with Javorius Allen, Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon, and perhaps Lorenzo Taliaferro. Baltimore has taken chances on character risks in the past, though the club was burned by safety Will Hill, with whom they cut ties after he was handed a 10-game suspension.

Philadelphia Eagles — Like the Browns, the Eagles haven’t been afraid to collect players who are considered character risks, as evidenced by their trade for receiver Dorial Green-Beckham last week. Philadelphia is hoping it can turn around the career of DGB, who struggled with both motivation and learning the Titans’ playbook, and they could place a similar bet on Williams. Like DGB, Williams clearly has talent, and the Eagles could use another option alongside Ryan Mathews, Kenjon Barner, Darren Sproles, and Wendell Smallwood. Turron Davenport of USA Today recently looked at how Williams could succeed in the type of outside zone runs employed by the Eagles.

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Eagles Cut Four Players

  • The Eagles have cut WR T.J. Graham, C Bruce Johnson, RB Cedric O’Neal, and WR Xavier Rush, per the team’s official Twitter account.

Lane Johnson Will Appeal Any Suspension

Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson, who is expected to be suspended 10 games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, says he will appeal the suspension when it is finally handed out, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com writes. Johnson has previously indicated that he took a league-approved amino acid but tested positive for peptide. In addition to fighting the suspension, he has also said that he will take action against the manufacturer of the substance.

Lane Johnson

As Shorr-Parks reports, the league is expected to levy the suspension sometime around the start of Week 1. That time frame, along with Johnson’s plan to appeal the suspension, could create some difficult decisions for first-year head coach Doug Pederson. Since news of Johnson’s failed test was made public, the Eagles have been practicing with Johnson on the second-string offense, not with the starters, and in the team’s preseason contest against Pittsburgh on Thursday night, Johnson played with the backups while Allen Barbre started at tackle.

But if Johnson is eligible to play the first week or two of the regular season, either because the suspension has not yet been handed down or because it has been levied and Johnson has appealed it, will Pederson keep him in the lineup? Or will he preemptively replace Johnson in an effort to begin creating continuity among the group of linemen that will be playing together in Johnson’s absence? Those are questions that should be answered in the next couple of weeks.

Losing Johnson for any period of time, of course, would be a major blow to the Eagles. He has started in each of his 44 career appearances, and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked the 6-foot-6, 317-pounder 22nd among 77 qualified tackles in overall performance last season. In January, Philadelphia rewarded him with a hefty extension through 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Seeking Help At Linebacker

After losing promising seventh-round rookie Joe Walker to a torn ACL sustained during Thursday night’s second preseason tilt, the Eagles are indeed in the market for veteran linebacking help, Doug Pederson said Saturday (via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, on Twitter).

With Berman categorizing ex-UDFA Don Cherry as the team’s top backup linebacker, the Eagles could certainly use extra talent here to play behind starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, the latter of which could be facing a personal-conduct suspension for an off-the-field incident in July.

Nothing has emerged on the Stephen Tulloch front, except that he’s not willing to take a deal too close to the veteran minimum. At least, that’s the word that’s coming out of Miami.

Two weeks ago, the Eagles were said to be in heavy negotiations with the former Lions middle linebacker and longtime Jim Schwartz charge. But those talks evidently did not progress to the 31-year-old middle linebacker’s liking. Tulloch was not interested, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, in taking a low-cost deal with the Dolphins. Philly’s depth problems could force the team to up its ante for a player who’s familiar with Schwartz’s system.

As Roster Resource shows, the Eagles’ competition for second-team slots is comprised of multiple UDFAs — Quentin Gause and Myke Tavarres — along with former Patriots reserve Deontae Skinner and ex-waiver claim Najee Goode. The non-rush linebacker market beyond Tulloch is pretty slim presently, with Danny Lansanah — whom the Dolphins signed then quickly cut earlier this month — residing as one of the better options. Entering what would be his seventh season, O’Brien Schofield also resides on the unemployment line.

Considering the Eagles were already pursuing a veteran linebacker before Walker went down, it looks likely they’ll add one in the coming days. Their cap is projected to be close to saturated in 2017 due to the bevy of extensions the team doled out this year, but Philadelphia currently possesses $6.6MM in cap room — plenty to lure a late defensive replacement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dorial Green-Beckham On Titans-Eagles Trade

Newly minted Eagles receiver Dorial Green-Beckham commented Thursday on the unexpected trade that sent him from Tennessee to Philadelphia on Tuesday, telling Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer he’s “not necessarily sure” why the Titans dealt him. In return for the talented Green-Beckham, its second-round pick a year ago, Tennessee received offensive lineman Dennis Kelly.

Dorial Green-Beckham (vertical)

The Titans were reportedly disappointed in Green-Beckham’s work ethic and conditioning, but the 23-year-old shot down the idea that he gave anything less than maximum effort with the club. DGB showed up to training camp “in great condition” this summer and did “everything” he needed to do, including put in extra work after practice, he informed Berman. Moreover, Green-Beckham refuted the notion that off-field concerns may have helped cause new Titans general manager Jon Robinson to part with him.

“Totally a whole different person,” he said. “The off-the-field stuff is in the past, has been in the past. That stuff, I’ve never heard anything since then being brought up from anyone. That tells me I’m doing the right things.”

Green-Beckham dealt with multiple legal issues at the University of Missouri, which led then-head coach Gary Pinkel to dismiss him from the team in April 2014. That came on the heels of allegations that Green-Beckham forced his way into a fellow student’s apartment and pushed her down at least four stairs. Police quickly closed the case, citing reluctant witnesses fearing retaliation, after the alleged victim and another woman (Green-Beckham’s then-girlfriend) told a detective they didn’t want to press charges. Prior to that ordeal, Green-Beckham was arrested twice for marijuana-related incidents – the first of which led to a one-game suspension.

When his time at Missouri ended, Green-Beckham transferred to Oklahoma, but he didn’t play a game with the Sooners and left school after the 2014 season to pursue his NFL career. In his first season in the pros, the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder hauled in 32 receptions, four touchdowns and averaged a lofty 17.2 yards per catch in 16 games (five starts). That wasn’t enough for the Titans to keep him around, though, and he’ll now try to make good on his vast potential in Philadelphia.

“I feel like being in this offense, I can catch a lot balls, score a lot of touchdowns,” he said.

Green-Beckham made his first appearance as an Eagle in their preseason game against the Steelers on Thursday, going without a catch while logging some second-half playing time.

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Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles’ Joe Walker To Miss Season

Eagles linebacker Joe Walker suffered a torn ACL in the team’s exhibition game against Pittsburgh on Thursday and will land on season-ending injured reserve, according to Les Bowen and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

Walker, a seventh-round rookie from Oregon, made a good impression on Eagles coaches prior to the injury and could’ve cracked the club’s roster. The Eagles are now dangerously thin at linebacker without Walker, as his unavailability leaves them with just five healthy players at the position, as Roster Resource shows. For at least the time being, Philadelphia has Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks, Deontae Skinner and Najee Goode as options.

Given the Walker news, the Eagles now look primed to turn to the open market for help, which was already a legitimate possibility. As of earlier this month, the Eagles and 31-year-old free agent Stephen Tulloch were reportedly negotiating a deal, though two weeks have passed and nothing has materialized on that front. Tulloch, who played under new Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in both Tennessee and Detroit, has 147 NFL appearances and 111 starts to his name. In each of his six most recent full seasons, Tulloch has surpassed the 100-tackle mark.

Eagles Still Seeking Wide Receivers

Even after acquiring Dorial Green-Beckham from the Titans, the Eagles aren’t done looking for wide receivers. The Eagles put in a claim for wide receiver Rasheed Bailey when he was exposed to waivers by the Jaguars, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. However, the Chargers had higher priority than the Eagles and landed him first. Rasheed Bailey (vertical)

[RELATED: Reaction To Dorial Green-Beckham Trade]

The Eagles are familiar with Bailey after he spent the 2015 preseason with them. The undrafted Delaware Valley product did not manage to crack the 53-man roster, but he apparently made a good impression on Philly coaches.

The move to claim Bailey indicates that the Eagles could pursue other wide receivers on the open market or via trade. Of course, there will be tons of wide receivers released between now and the first week of September, giving the Eagles plenty of opportunity to add a WR without giving up any assets.

The Eagles currently have Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Josh Huff, Green-Beckham, Paul Turner, and Rueben Randle at wide receiver, as shown on Roster Resource. Behind them, receivers like Chris Givens, T.J. Graham, and Hunter Sharp are jockeying for roster spots.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Notes: Bradford, DGB, Kelly

The Eagles showed desperation in taking a chance on wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and that desperation shows that Sam Bradford was right to want out this offseason, Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. After giving up three net draft picks, including their 2017 first-rounder, to get Carson Wentz, the Eagles have been forced to roll the dice on some players in order to bring up the talent level. This offseason, the Eagles have brought in a number of red flag players including Wendell Smallwood, Alex McCalister, Jalen Mills, Nigel Bradham, and Green-Beckham.

  • In the chatter over the Eagles‘ acquisition of Green-Beckham, few have talked about the departure of Dennis Kelly, Eliot Schor-Parks of NJ.com writes. Kelly wasn’t exactly been a Pro Bowler with the Eagles, but he did serve a serviceable backup who could be relied on if an injury popped up on the offensive line. Kelly might not have the ceiling that DGB does, but Schor-Parks argues that his floor is much higher. By the same token, DGB might have the most raw talent of any Philly receiver.