Carson Walch

Eagles Fire OC Mike Groh

The Eagles have fired offensive coordinator Mike Groh, according to a team announcement. The club also canned wide receivers coach Carson Walch, giving them multiple openings to address on the staff. 

After much consideration and discussion, I have decided to make a change at the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach positions. It was not an easy decision for me to make and I appreciate everything that Mike Groh and Carson Walch contributed to the organization and to my staff. As I said yesterday, they were a big part of our success down the stretch this past season. This is one of the most difficult parts of the job and something that weighs on me, but ultimately I have to make decisions that I believe are in the best interest of the football team moving forward,” head coach Doug Pederson said.

Previously, Pederson indicated that both coaches would return for 2020. But, after meeting with each of them, he’s opted to make a change.

Groh took over as offensive coordinator in 2018 after Frank Reich left for the Colts’ head coaching job. When Groh moved up, Walch took over his former post as wide receivers coach. Unfortunately, they didn’t have much to work with this year as injuries decimated their WR group. Regardless, Pederson wanted to go in a different direction.

Quarterbacks coach Press Taylor, who drew some OC interest last year, would be a logical candidate for the job, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The Eagles are one of three NFL teams with definitive OC vacancies, joining the Bears and Panthers. The Browns, Giants, and Panthers may also be in the hunt for new coordinators in the coming days.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Notes: Schwartz, WRs, Groh, Staff

In a rookie receiver class that included big seasons from A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin and others, the Eagles did not get much from second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The Stanford prospect caught 10 passes for 169 yards, even as the team losing each of its starters created consistent opportunities. The Eagles bypassed Metcalf for Arcega-Whiteside, but Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes the team placed a higher grade on the eventual Seahawks starter. But Metcalf having failed an Eagles physical meant the team did not want to use a second-round pick on him, McLane adds. Metcalf amassed 900 regular-season receiving yards and posted 160 in Seattle’s win over Philadelphia in Round 1. Regardless, the Eagles will likely be linked to first-round wideouts this year. The Eagles are “all over” this year’s wideout and cornerback classes, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.

Here is the latest from Philadelphia:

  • The Eagles restructured Alshon Jeffery‘s deal to create 2019 cap space, guaranteeing the veteran receiver’s $9.9MM 2020 salary. It would cost the Eagles more than $26MM to release the soon-to-be 30-year-old target, but McLane notes offset language is included in Jeffery’s deal. It is unclear, however, how much the Eagles would save if another team signed Jeffery after a release. Howie Roseman has done well in recent years to create roster-improvement avenues for the Eagles. But with Jeffery and 33-year-old DeSean Jackson‘s money nearly fully guaranteed, the veteran GM may need to get creative to improve Philly’s wideout situation.
  • Roseman appeared to hint at the Eagles’ window closing with their current nucleus, and McLane expects the team to cut ties with some regulars to infuse the roster with younger talent (Twitter link). Roseman projects the Eagles to hold 10 draft picks in April, meaning three compensatory selections, and held off dealing two first-round picks for Jalen Ramsey because of Carson Wentz‘s contract requiring more rookie-deal salaries on the roster (Twitter links via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo and SI.com’s Albert Breer). Roseman has been aggressive on acquiring veterans for draft picks in recent years; the Eagles may change up that strategy in 2020. They currently have 11 starters under contract who are over 30 or will be by year’s end.
  • Jim Schwartz interviewed for the Browns’ HC job on Wednesday, but the Eagles would like him to stay. Doug Pederson would like him to return for a fifth season as Philly’s DC, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Pederson was clear on the statuses of offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wideouts coach Carson Walch, indicating (via ESPN.com’s Tim McManus, on Twitter) both will be back next season. Pederson, however, added all of the Eagles’ staffers remain under evaluation. Despite Schwartz’s interview with Cleveland and Pederson’s declarative statement on Groh and Wach, McLane sees the DC as being more likely to be back than the offensive staffers (Twitter link). It was obviously a rough year for Eagles wide receivers. And Groh’s offense — likely as a result of the frequent starter unavailability — ranked 14th in DVOA in his second season at the helm.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Payton, Eagles

Take this with a grain of salt, but there’s an ongoing theory that the Cowboys are eyeing Saints coach Sean Payton as the eventual replacement for Jason Garrett, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Of course, there are a number of complications and roadblocks involved in such a plan, including Payton’s contract with New Orleans, which runs through 2020.

Garrett is a lame duck heading into 2019 and the team does not plan to give him an extension between now and the fall. Of course, Garrett’s job has been in jeopardy before and he could easily turn things around with a big season in Dallas.

If the Cowboys are indeed interested in Payton, then this wouldn’t be the first time another team has tried to pry him away. The Colts and Rams reportedly explored the idea in January 2017, but Payton wound up staying put in New Orleans.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • The Eagles may be hoping to “tag and trade” quarterback Nick Foles, but Foles’ representatives should be prepared to fight any attempt to block his path to the open market, Mike Florio of PFT writes. The QB’s camp could communicate that they won’t cooperate with the plan or they could fight it based on the rules of the CBA. Article 4 of the CBA reads: “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Tendering Foles strictly to trade him would potentially be in violation of that clause.
  • The Giants are likely going to use Eli Manning as their starting quarterback in 2019, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY opines. The Giants, he writes, are more likely to seek his heir in the draft and potentially explore a negotiation to trim his $23.2MM cap hit.
  • Former Eagles quarterback G.J. Kinne has agreed to become an offensive assistant with the Eagles, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic tweets. Last year Kinne worked an analyst/assistant QB coach at Arkansas. Kinne, a Tulsa product, worked the practice squad circuit up until he was released by the Giants in May of 2016.
  • The Eagles also promoted assistant wide receivers coach Carson Walch to full WRs coach, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He takes over after the team moved on from Gunter Brewer.

Extra Points: Chiefs, Lions, Eagles, Raiders

Before Alec Ogletree was traded to the Giants earlier today, the Rams also offered the veteran linebacker to the Chiefs, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Los Angeles recently completed a Marcus Peters-centered trade with Kansas City, but it’s clear if Ogletree was part of those talks, or discussed in a separate deal. The Chiefs have already announced that team icon Derrick Johnson will not be re-signed, but Kansas City could still use another inside linebacker to play opposite Reggie Ragland in its 3-4 scheme. However, the Chiefs are one of the more-cap strapped teams in the NFL, so it’s unlikely they could have taken on Ogletree’s $10MM guarantee in 2018.

  • While the Lions now have until mid-July to work out an extension with recently franchise-tagged defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, a long-term could be a risky proposition for Detroit, argues Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. Ansah will already be 29 years old when the 2018 campaign gets underway, and he’s dealt with nagging injuries and inconsistent play over the course of his five-year career. Additionally, Ansah will now earn $17.143MM in 2018, meaning he’s likely looking for a guarantee of $38MM (the value of two consecutive franchise tags). As Rothstein writes, Lions general manager Bob Quinn has shown a willingness to pay up for stars in the past, but it’s unclear if Detroit is willing to go all-in for Ansah.
  • In addition to confirming Mike Groh‘s previously-reported promotion to offensive coordinator, the Eagles have announced a series of staff moves. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland had had “run game coordinator” added to his title, Carson Walch was promoted to assistant wide receivers coach, and Trent Miles was promoted to offensive quality control/running backs.
  • The Lions have hired former NFL defensive back Steve Gregory as a defensive assistant, the club announced today. Gregory played under Detroit head coach Matt Patricia when both were in New England, and had spent the past several seasons as a special teams quality control coach at Syracuse, his alma mater. Per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link), Gregory has long wanted to coach in the NFL, and many of his former teammates were high on his future coaching potential.
  • Long snapper Jon Condo will not be re-signed by the Raiders, as Condo himself announced on his Twitter account. This was the expected result after Oakland inked two long snappers to futures deals this winter, tweets Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A two-time Pro Bowler, Condo had spent all but one season of his dozen-year career in Oakland.