Jeremy Chinn

NFC East Notes: Rudolph, Eagles, Cowboys

Kyle Rudolph is expected to undergo foot surgery soon, and he may be in for extensive rehab. The new Giants tight end is believed to be dealing with a Lisfranc injury, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. The troublesome foot malady can be difficult to shake, but Rudolph expects to be ready for Week 1. This injury is similar to what Evan Engram dealt with in 2019. Engram underwent surgery to address his Lisfranc issue in December 2019 and was ready for training camp last year. Rudolph’s timetable is considerably more condensed, which likely led to the delay in the veteran tight end signing his Giants contract. Engram and Rudolph would give the Giants one of the NFL’s top tight end tandems, but the former’s injury history and the latter’s current issue cloud that situation to some degree.

Here is more from the NFC East:

  • GM Howie Roseman and Eagles scouts had differing opinions on which players to select with the team’s top two draft choices last year. The veteran GM and Eagles coaches’ preference for Jalen Reagor won out over the consensus scouts’ preference: Justin Jefferson. Roseman also veered from his scouts’ recommendation in Round 2, tabbing Jalen Hurts over safety Jeremy Chinn, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes. The Eagles will bank on the latter move this season, having since traded Carson Wentz and seemingly signed Joe Flacco to back up Hurts. Chinn went to the Panthers at No. 64 — 11 picks after Hurts — and finished second in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Going to the Vikings one pick after Reagor, Jefferson finished second in the Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.
  • Frank Reich‘s future took a major turn in 2018, when Josh McDaniels‘ backtracking on his Colts commitment ended up re-routing the Eagles OC to Indianapolis. This came shortly after Reich played a key role in the Eagles’ first Super Bowl championship. Reich nearly saw his status change in 2017, however. A front office push for Reich’s firing existed, according to McLane, who adds Doug Pederson managed to save Reich’s job. In Wentz’s first season — a 7-9 Eagles campaign, which was also Reich’s first as Eagles OC — the team ranked 22nd in total offense. They rose to seventh in 2017, with Wentz finishing first in QBR. The Eagles, who promoted Mike Groh to replace Reich and then fired Groh after the 2019 season, have since hired Reich’s top Colts protégé (Nick Sirianni) as head coach.
  • Brandon Graham agreed to restructure his deal to provide the Eagles with additional cap space last month. Graham’s adjusted contract can be classified as a one-year extension, with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweeting the new deal is worth nearly $20MM over two years. The Eagles converted Graham’s salaries into prorated bonuses, with the 11-year veteran set to earn barely $1MM in base salary in each of the next three seasons. The team tacked on three void years to the contract, per OverTheCap, which indicates each of Graham’s cap numbers over the life of this through-2023 contract are south of $10MM.
  • After hiring Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator, the Cowboys brought both Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee over from Atlanta. The latter’s deal will be worth the veteran minimum, according to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). Kazee will count just $988K against the Cowboys’ cap. Attempting to return from an Achilles tear, Kazee will collect $250K guaranteed.

Panthers Wrap Draft Class

The Panthers have signed their entire 2020 NFL Draft class, per a club announcement. First-round pick Derrick Brown got the party started in the spring, but the rest waited until this week to put pen to paper. The full rundown:

1-7: Derrick Brown, DT (Auburn): Signed
2-38: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE (Penn State): Signed
2-64: Jeremy Chinn, DB (Southern Illinois): Signed
4-113: Troy Pride Jr., CB (Notre Dame): Signed
5-152: Kenny Robinson, S (West Virginia): Signed
6-184: Bravvion Roy, DT (Baylor): Signed
7-221: Stantley Thomas-Oliver III, CB (Florida International): Signed

Gross-Matos stood out with 17.5 sacks and 37 hurries over the last two seasons, plus solid work against the run. On the flipside, some evaluators had concerns about his bulk. He’ll have to put some more muscle on his 6’5″, 265-pound frame in order to be a reliable three-down defensive lineman.

On the other side of the ball, the Panthers say they’ll be hanging on to wide receiver Curtis Samuel, despite an offseason full of trade rumors.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Acquire No. 64 From Seahawks

Known to trade down from time to time, the Seahawks are at it again. They will send their No. 64 overall pick to the Panthers, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

In sliding down to No. 69, the Seahawks will pick up the Panthers’ No. 148 overall choice — at the top of Round 5. The Seahawks now have a seventh pick in this draft. Based on John Schneider‘s M.O., it should be expected they will attempt to pick up more.

After taking defensive linemen Derrick Brown and Yetur Gross-Matos with their first two picks, the Panthers traded up for safety Jeremy Chinn.

A 6-foot-3, 221-pound defender out of Southern Illinois, Chinn was one of Division I-FCS’ best players last season. Chinn intercepted 13 passes with the Salukis. He will join a Panthers team that moved on from Eric Reid this offseason and has an opening opposite the recently re-signed Tre Boston.