DeMeco Ryans finished the 2013 season as the 54th-ranked inside linebacker of the 55 that qualified, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). But despite the subpar grades from PFF and a $6.9MM cap number in 2014, the Eagles linebacker isn’t going anywhere, writes Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Even asking Ryans to take a pay cut is unlikely, according to McLane, who says that the veteran commands more respect than virtually any other player in the locker room, and that “forcing” him to accept a reduced salary wouldn’t go over well with his teammates.
McLane also provided several other Eagles-related tidbits from the combine in Indianapolis, so let’s round them up….
- All-Pro guard Evan Mathis figures to barely crack the top 15 highest-paid guards in the NFL next season, but don’t expect Philadelphia to increase his salary, says McLane, adding that a holdout from Mathis isn’t likely either.
- Head coach Chip Kelly may prefer running back Chris Polk to Bryce Brown as LeSean McCoy‘s primary backup. That makes Brown a trade candidate this offseason, and there’s a “healthy market” for him, according to McLane. However, reaching a deal won’t be easy, due to the increasing salary cap.
- According to McLane, several agents asked him at the combine if there was any chance of cornerback Brandon Boykin and linebacker Mychal Kendricks leaving their current reps. In other words, both players, who will enter their third seasons in 2014, are viewed as hot commodities. Boykin and Kendricks will be eligible for contract extensions after the ’14 season.
- McLane can’t see the Eagles going into the 2014 season with Matt Barkley as the primary backup behind starting quarterback Nick Foles. Multiple scouts at the combine told McLane that they’ve seen enough to declare the former fourth-round pick a backup at best.
- Cornerback Cary Williams is expected to remain on Philadelphia’s roster beyond the fifth day of the new league year, which would ensure that his $4.75MM base salary for 2014 becomes guaranteed.
- “All signs” point to punter Donnie Jones re-signing with the Eagles, though other free agents like safety Kurt Coleman, defensive end Clifton Geathers, and linebacker Phillip Hunt look like good bets to hit the open market.