Carson Wentz

East Notes: Pryor, Eagles, Giants, Bills

Terrelle Pryor and Todd Bowles have a slight difference of opinion when it comes to the wide receiver’s timetable. Though, maybe the Jets‘ fourth-year head coach doesn’t want to make an unnecessarily bold proclamation in this case. Bowles is not certain the recently signed wideout will be available when training camp begins. Pryor did not practice this week. After encountering more ankle trouble in the spring, Pryor underwent surgery earlier this month. Despite the ankle trouble limiting him this offseason, one that’s involved a boot on Pryor’s right foot at minicamp’s outset, Pryor believes he’ll be available on Day 1 of camp.

For now, in my mind, I’ll be there the first day,” Pryor said, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “Right now, I’m healthy and I’m ready to get back to form and have a dominant year.”

Pryor also said the injury he suffered early last season — a torn deltoid ligament in his right ankle during Week 1 — affected him throughout his woeful Washington campaign. The veteran was not able to practice much due to the malady and ended his Redskins season on IR.

I just really couldn’t focus on my game because I was too worried about my foot,” Pryor said. “It kind of took control and controlled my mind.”

Here’s the latest from around the East divisions:

  • Doug Pederson said this week (via Kalyn Kahler of SI.com) he’s considering splitting first-team reps evenly between Carson Wentz and Nick Foles during training camp. Although the Eagles‘ franchise centerpiece has not been cleared for 11-on-11 work, he continues to progress and is expected to be ready by September. But an even split — similar to how Pederson handled matters in 2016, when Sam Bradford was still on the team — puts Foles in better position to lead the offense if Wentz endures a setback.
  • The Giants may have a new contender for the center job. Jon Halapio is making a strong push to be the starting snapper, with Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com reporting the fifth-year player has emerged in this role after an “extremely strong” spring. Brett Jones entered the offseason as the player most observers assumed would succeed Weston Richburg as Big Blue’s full-time center, and the Giants tendered him at a second-round level. Halapio, once a sixth-round Patriots pick, re-signed as an ERFA. He started six games last season as a guard, his first action as a pro despite being a 2014 draftee, and has now impressed the Giants’ new coaching staff. While that second-round tender should give Jones a good chance come camp, this is an interesting situation on a retooling offensive line.
  • Speaking of unlikely starters, Nathan Peterman may have a reasonable chance of starting for the Bills in Week 1. While A.J. McCarron is the assumed stopgap while Josh Allen learns, ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak calls Peterman a serious contender for the starting job. This would be a strange turn of events after Peterman’s one rookie-year start went so poorly, but it appears McCarron might not have an automatic route to the job.

East Notes: Eagles, Wentz, Pats, Gronk

Good news for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Based on what he is hearing, ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen (Twitter link) believes that Wentz will be ready for the team’s season opener.

All offseason long, the Eagles have been hoping that Wentz would be ready for Week 1. Of course, after his late-season ACL and LCL tears, the team is taking a cautious approach to his recovery. So far, Wentz has looked sharp in OTAs, so he should be ready to retake his spot as the team’s starting QB in September.

Here’s more from the East divisions:

  • There was a great deal of retirement talk surrounding Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski this offseason, but that’s all in the rear view mirror now. “I had to see where my body was at and where my mind was at. But now I’m out here, and I feel good,” Gronk said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeff Darlington). “I feel like I definitely made the right decision coming back out. Mind and body. That’s what it has always been about. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. On Tuesday, Gronk and Tom Brady both reported to the Patriots for OTAs.
  • Jets tight end Chris Herndon, who was arrested Saturday, was on the practice field on Tuesday (Twitter link via Brian Costello of the New York Post). It remains to be seen whether he’ll face league discipline or whether the DUI charge will impact his status with the team.
  • The Giants announced that GM Dave Gettleman is set to undergo treatment for lymphoma. “Recently, I underwent an annual physical, during which it was discovered I have lymphoma. Over the past week, I have undergone more testing to determine the course of treatment, which is scheduled to start in the very near future,” Gettleman said in a statement. “The doctor’s outlook for the treatment and the prognosis is positive, and so am I. I will continue to work as much as the treatment process will allow, and as they know, when I am not in the office, I will be in constant communication with Pat (Shurmur), Kevin (Abrams) and the rest of our staff.”

NFC Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Wentz

Following the Cowboys’ decision to move on from Dez Bryant, the offense was left with only two wideouts from last year’s roster: Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams. The team did an admirable job of adding Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson via free agency, Tavon Austin via trade, and Michael Gallup via the draft, but none of their options profile as a top-tier wideout.

While the team’s depth chart may be lacking, quarterback Dak Prescott believes the Cowboys’ offense will be just fine.

“I don’t know if any team in the league necessarily needs a No. 1 receiver,” Prescott said (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). “It’s about getting the ball out, spreading the ball around, keeping the defense on its toes.”

Of course, while Prescott is confident in his ability to lead the unheralded offense, he understands that there’s still work to be done.

“I mean the only thing you can do is just get out there with routes on air, things like that,” Prescott said. “We did a bunch together. Me and these young guys have been here before we even started OTAs, getting that timing down so we can get in OTAs and have good feel for each other and now with the defense in front of us, grow off of that and grow from what we’ve already accomplished. That’s the best thing I can do.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of the NFC…

  • After having seen several Giants practices, Matt Lombardo of NJ.com opines that 2017 third-round pick Davis Webb has been the team’s most impressive signal-caller. However, the writer emphasizes that there isn’t a quarterback controversy, noting that the team’s offseason moves indicate that the front office wants to make a playoff push with Eli Manning. Still, since the Giants weren’t sold on any of the top quarterback prospects in the draft, Webb has been doing a nice job of making his case to be Manning’s heir apparent.
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com takes an early look at the Eagles projected depth chart. The writer’s opinion of the offensive tackle position is of particular note, as Jason Peters and Lane Johnson are currently slotted in as starters. However, Shorr-Parks wonders if Halapoulivaati Vaitai could take over as the starter for Peters if the veteran doesn’t recover from his major knee surgery. The writer also notes that there will be a battle between Josh Sweat and Steven Means for third-string defensive end reps. If Means earns a spot on the active roster, the Eagles could choose to stash the first-year Sweat on the injured reserve.
  • Carson Wentz participated in the Eagles OTAs this week, and reports indicated that he looked good as recovered from an ACL and LCL tear. Still, while there should be optimism around Wentz’s progress, Dr. David J. Chao of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that it’s too early to “anoint his full return for the season opener.” While the quarterback is on track, he still has plenty of steps to complete until he’s back to full mobility. Wentz will have to focus on running and cutting before he’s ready for regular season action.

East Notes: Eagles, Gronk, Clayborn

Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com does not believe that there will be any tension between Carson Wentz and Nick Foles this year, but he does say that Foles is universally loved in the Eagles‘ locker room. Given that, and given that Foles led the club to its first Super Bowl victory in the wake of Wentz’s ACL tear last season, Shorr-Parks suggests that there is at least a small part of Wentz that feels the need to “re-prove himself” to his team. Shorr-Parks wonders if that desire will impact how quickly Wentz returns to the field and how he interacts with his veteran backup this year.

Let’s round up a few more east notes, starting with several additional items out of Philadelphia:

  • In the same piece linked above, Shorr-Parks says “it appears obvious” that the Eagles do not plan on paying DE Brandon Graham until next offseason at the earliest. Graham will be eligible for free agency at that point, but he is still seeking a long-term extension from Philadelphia prior to that, and Shorr-Parks’ suggestion is somewhat surprising in light of the fact that the Eagles were said to be working on a new contract for Graham in November (and in light of Graham’s on-field performance).
  • In two separate pieces, Shorr-Parks breaks down the Eagles’ current roster into long shots, locks, bubble players, and wildcards, and he also takes a look at some of the biggest names still remaining on the free agent market and whether Philadelphia could be interested in some of those players. He thinks the Eagles could be in play for some of the top available DBs — like Kenny Vaccaro and Bashaud Breeland — but does not see a fit for top WR Dez Bryant or LB Brian Cushing (though he thinks a reunion with Jeremy Maclin should not be ruled out).
  • Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com evaluates the Giants‘ top positional battles going into OTAs, and he believes the fight for the backup QB job is the most intriguing. Second-year pro Davis Webb has a stronger arm than rookie Kyle Lauletta, but Lauletta receives high marks for his intelligence and accuracy, plus he was drafted by Big Blue’s new regime. Whoever wins the job will be the favorite to ultimately succeed Eli Manning.
  • It is unclear whether Rob Gronkowski will report to the Patriots for Phase 3 of the team’s offseason program, which begins tomorrow, though Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says Gronk is still putting in plenty of time at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center, which he says has him feeling good from a conditioning perspective. Phase 3 will be the last chance for Gronkowski and Tom Brady — who is also yet to attend OTAs — to get some multiple-week football work in with the majority of their teammates before training camp. Brady has frequently touted the importance of Phase 3, so it would be notable if he does not attend.
  • Adrian Clayborn, the Patriots‘ top free agent acquisition this offseason, tweaked his quad during recent workouts, per Reiss. Clayborn could be limited for Phase 3 of OTAs, but he is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

Extra Points: Kaepernick, Raiders, Greg Little, Cardinals

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider were deposed in the collusion grievance filed by Colin Kaepernick this week, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).

Expanding on the subject, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio recounts that the “Seahawks were planning to bring in the quarterback for a workout, but the team canceled the session when Kaepernick declined to commit to stand for the national anthem.” 

Despite the case, Carroll has not closed the door on the former 49ers quarterback joining the team. As Florio writes, however, “It would be awkward, to say the least, for Kaepernick to sign with Seattle after his lawyers questioned Schneider and Carroll under oath…”

Seattle is still the only team to have brought Kaepernick in for a visit since hitting free agency after the 2016 season. This long saga still appears to be far from a conclusion.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Earlier this week, the Raiders signed longtime Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson to a one-year deal. The details of that contract came out today, with the 13-year pro set to make $1.5MM. The contract includes a $200,000 signing bonus and $500,000 total guaranteed. With incentives, the deal could top out at $2.25MM, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets.
  • Former Browns receiver Greg Little appeared at the Cardinals rookie minicamp, Kyle Odegard of azcardinals.com writes. Little, who hasn’t played a game since the 2014 season, was a promising second-round pick who flamed out after three seasons. The Cardinals offered the 28-year-old wideout a tryout this weekend and impressed new head coach Steve Wilks.
  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano took a crack at projecting the next big-money quarterbacks. To no one’s surprise, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tops the list in 2020, but the sides are expected to come to a deal before that time. Among the other signal-callers who could surpass Kirk Cousins‘ big deal are Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Nick Foles’ Eagles Future Remains Murky

Nick Foles was the MVP of the Super Bowl, but his future with the Eagles is far from certain. On Monday morning, coach Doug Pederson all but confirmed that Carson Wentz will be the Eagles’ starter to open up the 2018 season. Nick Foles (vertical)

I had a chance to talk to Carson actually on the field, on the podium last night after the game. I told him to take this in, enjoy this moment,” Pederson said on Monday morning (via NFL.com). “He’s a great quarterback and he’s a big reason — I told him you’re a big, big part of why this team won this championship, won this game. I told him that hopefully we’ll be back in this game with him leading the way.”

When asked if the Super Bowl MVP can realistically return as Wentz’ backup, Pederson didn’t have much in the way of concrete answers.

I knew I couldn’t get off this stage without that question,” Pederson said. “You know what? I’m going to tell you right now, we’re going to enjoy it, we’re going to get on this plane, go back to Philadelphia, we’re going to celebrate with our fans back in Philly. We’ve got a long offseason — well, really a short offseason now. We’re just going to enjoy this moment. I’m happy for Nick, I’m happy for the team. It’s not about one guy, it’s about the team. Like I said, we’re going to enjoy these next few days.”

The Eagles would certainly like to keep Foles as Wentz’s No. 2 in the event of another injury next season and he has proven himself to be more than worthy of his $7.6MM cap charge for next season. At the same time, Foles will likely want to be a starting quarterback again and the Eagles could definitely use some additional draft capital as they pick last in the first round and do not own their second or third round picks thanks to trades. In the coming weeks, the Eagles can be expected to keep the phone lines open as teams inquire about this year’s Super Bowl hero.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Wentz, Beckham, Patriots

The Eagles are gearing up for Super Bowl LII tonight, but their prospects for next season got a nice boost this morning. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that, this Wednesday, Carson Wentz will begin weight-bearing exercises with his brace unlocked for the first time since being placed on injured reserve. That marks a big milestone in Wentz’s recovery, because when he is able to begin weight-bearing exercises, his recovery can proceed as if he had torn only his ACL instead of his ACL and LCL.

When it was revealed that Wentz tore both his ACL and LCL, concern as to whether he would be ready for next season’s opener increased, and it is still far from a given that he will be on the field for Week 1 of the 2018 campaign. But Dr. James Bradley, who performed Wentz’s surgery, said that barring a setback, Wentz should be ready to do some work in training camp and be ready to play in Week 1.

Now for more notes from the league’s east divisions:

  • Mercurial Giants wideout Odell Beckham, Jr. is under club control for one more season — the last year of his rookie deal — and it was not too long ago that he was looking for a new contract worth at least $100MM. But a season-ending ankle fracture in October has thrown a wrench into those plans, and we recently learned that team owner John Mara would not engage in contract talks with Beckham until he discussed the matter with new head coach Pat Shurmur. As Anthony Barstow of the New York Post writes, though, Shurmur is seemingly in Beckham’s corner, and Beckham himself is anxious to put the matter to bed. He said during last night’s NFL Honors show, “Hopefully we get it done, just to get it over with. I really want to do it so I can move past it. It’s too much to be sitting around, thinking where I’m going to be.” 
  • We heard several days ago that the Patriots are likely to lose special teams coach Joe Judge and offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia this offseason — Judge to another team and Scarnecchia to retirement — but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com does not believe either departure is a foregone conclusion. Given that New England will lose top coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, Reiss can envision a scenario in which owner Robert Kraft gives Judge a raise to convince him to stay and head coach Bill Belichick “leans on” Scarnecchia to come back for at least one more season.
  • This year’s QB market is uniquely loaded with talent, both in free agency and the draft, and if Jets GM Mike Maccagnan cannot find a permanent solution this offseason, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says he should be run out of town. The Jets will certainly be a competitor for Kirk Cousins services, but a Cousins splurge would significantly hamper the team’s ability to improve the rest of its roster. Cimini believes Gang Green should pass on Cousins if the bidding gets out of hand, as he views the longtime Redskin as a complementary piece rather than a savior. Of course, what the Jets do vis-a-vis Cousins depends on how Maccagnan & Co. view the 2018 rookie class.
  • Speaking of Cousins, we heard this morning that the Redskins may put the franchise tag on him in the coming weeks with the hopes of trading him.

Carson Wentz Hoping To Be Ready For Start Of 2018 Season

Carson Wentz is hopeful that he’ll be in uniform for the Eagles 2018 season-opener. The quarterback told reporters that he’s focused on returning to the field in time for the beginning of next season.

Carson Wentz (Vertical)“So after we went in there and everything, it was actually the ACL and the LCL,” Wentz said (via the Associated Press). “I’m still feeling confident with it. The rehab is the same type of progression and everything. It’s gone great so far.

“It’s hard to talk timetables because these are always fluid injuries and timetables always adjust depending upon where you’re at…but I feel very confident. I truly believe my goal is to be ready for Week 1. I’m going to push and do everything I can to be ready. I’m very confident in that.”

Wentz suffered a torn ACL in early December, forcing him to miss the rest of the campaign. Despite his absence, Nick Foles and the Eagles still won the NFC Championship, and they’ll face off against the Patriots in next weekend’s Super Bowl. The 25-year-old had a breakout campaign in 2017, completing 60.2-percent of his passes for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

Similar to any major injury, it can be tough for an athlete to return to their peak form. However, Wentz is confident that he’ll easily pick up where he left off.

“I 100 percent believe I’ll be back better than ever, stronger ever, and with no looking back,” Wentz said.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Place Carson Wentz On IR

The Eagles have officially placed quarterback Carson Wentz on injured reserve. This was the expected outcome after the Eagles learned that Wentz suffered a torn ACL. Carson Wentz/Doug Pederson (vertical)

[RELATED: Eagles’ Sidney Jones To Practice This Week]

For now, Nick Foles will take over at quarterback with Nate Sudfeld as his backup. Despite some calls for the Eagles to consider the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Tony Romo, it doesn’t appear that they’ll make a splashy signing. In fact, they might not add anyone to the QB depth chart. In the 48 hours that have passed since Wentz’s injury, the team has not scheduled a signal caller for a workout.

The Eagles are a mortal lock for a first-round bye and have a high probability of claiming the top seed in the NFC, but they no longer seem quite as fearsome without the former No. 2 overall pick under center. We’ll get a better idea of what Foles is capable of when the Eagles face the Giants on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles’ Carson Wentz Done For Season

The Eagles announced that Carson Wentz is done for the season with an ACL tear. This was what the Eagles feared when Wentz exited Sunday’s game against the Rams. "<strong

On Sunday, Wentz threw four touchdown passes and set the franchise record for touchdown passes in a season. After throwing 33 TDs this year against seven interceptions and positioning himself as one of the league’s top quarterbacks, Wentz’s year is over. The fear for many Eagles fans is that this may end the team’s Super Bowl hopes as well.

A familiar face will now take over as the starting quarterback. Nick Foles, who entered the game upon Wentz’s exit, will be the new starter, coach Doug Pederson confirmed. Nate Sudfeld, meanwhile, will be the team’s No. 2 QB. Pederson said that he has yet to talk to GM Howie Roseman about signing a No. 3 QB.

Although Wentz looked solid as a rookie, few expected this kind of leap from 2016’s No. 2 overall pick. Wentz threw for nearly 3,330 yards in 13 games and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-best quarterback in the entire NFL, behind only Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Russell Wilson. Foles had an impressive run of his own in Philadelphia, but he has yet to replicate his Pro Bowl season of 2013.

The Eagles, who have clinched the NFC East championship, have three regular season games to go against the Giants, Raiders, and Cowboys. They have a 98% chance of a first-round bye (according to the New York Times‘ odds calculator), so there’s not much on the line in these final three contests. However, these games will be crucial in order for the team to gel with Foles under center.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.