Philadelphia Eagles Rumors & News

Former LB DeMeco Ryans Joins 49ers Staff

Last summer, linebacker DeMeco Ryans pushed hard to continue his NFL career. Unfortunately, he was unable to find a landing spot in 2016. Now on the verge of his 33rd birthday, Ryans is apparently done playing. Ryans has signed on with the 49ers’ coaching staff as a defensive quality control coach, which signifies that he is officially retired. DeMeco Ryans

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Ryans, released by the Eagles this time last year, spent four seasons in Philadelphia after playing for the Texans for his first six years in the NFL. A two-time Pro Bowler in Houston, Ryans had two strong seasons with the Eagles before an Achilles injury and a reduced role slowed him down. In 2015, he recorded 49 tackles to go along with an interception, a forced fumble, and five passes defended.

When he was unable to find a gig last summer, Ryans indicated that he was comfortable with calling it quits. In July, Dallas Robinson of PFR proposed Ryans as a replacement for Rolando McClain, but Dallas went in a different direction. After a lack of real interest from around the league, Ryans will now begin the next chapter of his football life.

Latest On DeSean Jackson

For months now, there has been speculation about DeSean Jackson returning to the Eagles via free agency this offseason. The wide receiver hasn’t done much to stop that talk with his latest comments to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (audio link). "<strong

It definitely is a great story or ending, I guess you could say,” Jackson said (via PFT). “Starting your career somewhere then going to a division rival team [and] having the possibility of maybe going back. You just kind of think about all of that when you start somewhere maybe you could finish it. There is just a lot of speculation of a lot of thoughts. It all sounds good, but you really never know until the final decision is made. I’m just a firm believer that if you work hard, you put in the work, continuously go out there and show everybody what you’re capable of [then] the sky’s the limit.”

Jackson is reportedly eyeing a return to the Eagles, though he is also on the record as saying that he wants to stay with the Redskins. Jackson, 30, could be on the verge of losing his trademark speed, but he was still productive last year as he hauled in 56 catches for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns. There will be a healthy market waiting for Jackson in March and the Eagles won’t be the only team pursuing him. That group of suitors could include the Buccaneers. Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears the Bucs could be a possible destination for DJax and his relationship with quarterback Jameis Winston could help to facilitate a deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latavius Murray Could Make Sense For Eagles

  • Speaking of Instagram, Raiders running back Latavius Murray – another soon-to-be free agent – posted a picture Sunday featuring him and Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz in the midst of a workout. Given both his relationship with Wentz and the Eagles’ plan to ask the QB for his opinion on certain personnel decisions this offseason, Murray could be a fit for Philadelphia, suggests Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com. The two share an agent, notes Shorr-Parks, who adds that the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Murray would give the Eagles a much-needed big back. Murray averaged a relatively uninspiring 4.0 yards per carry in each of the previous two seasons, though he is coming off a 12-touchdown year.

Eagles Taking Risk By Cutting Linemen?

  • While agreeing with Howie Roseman that adding aging skill-position targets around Carson Wentz doesn’t make much sense, NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks writes the Eagles should keep their present veteran-laden offensive line in front of Wentz. Jason Kelce surfaced as a cut candidate earlier this offseason, while the Eagles have approached perennial Pro Bowler Jason Peters about taking a pay cut entering his age-35 season. PFF and Football Outsiders considered the Eagles line a top-10 unit, and with Lane Johnson figuring to be available for more games in 2017, the group should help further. But Kelce, and possibly Peters, could be cap casualties — something Shorr-Parks categorizes as a “massive risk” for the Eagles — as a result of Philadelphia’s spending spree last year. Kelce’s only set to count $6.2MM against the Eagles’ 2017 cap, but Peters stands to comprise an Eagles-high $11.7MM. Philly is projected to have barely $9MM in cap space.

Several Teams Have Interest In Eagles’ Connor Barwin

If the Eagles decide to release or trade linebacker/defensive end Connor Barwin, Mark Eckel of NJ.com says multiple teams would have interest in the veteran.

Connor Barwin“If they cut him, teams will be lining up for him,” a “pro personnel man” told Eckel. “He wouldn’t be out of a job for long. I would think they could trade him and get something back. He has value. His deal this year isn’t that bad.”

The 30-year-old is set to make $7.75MM next season, and his cap hit is $8.35MM. Barwin is set to make another $10.25MM in 2018, so it’s understandable why the Eagles would look to get out of that contract. Cutting the eight-year veteran would save the franchise that $7.75MM, leaving the team with only $600K in dead cap. Of course, the team could also look to restructure the player and, as Eckel implies, keep him in Philadelphia for the rest of his career.

The 2009 second-round pick joined the Eagles in 2013 following four successful seasons with the Texans. Barwin has played all 16 games in each of his four seasons in Philly, including a 2014 campaign where he collected 14.5 sacks. Last season, the defensive lineman finished with 34 tackles, one forced fumble, and five sacks.

Eckel lists the Packers, Ravens, and Colts as potential landing spots for Barwin. Not only do the teams have the necessary cap room, but they also play the 3-4 defense that caters to the veteran’s skills. If Barwin did leave the team, the writer believes Vinny Curry would be his replacement as the starting right defensive end.

Eagles Could Seek WR, RB Or CB For Mychal Kendricks

Eagles Open To Trading Mychal Kendricks

The Eagles are hoping to clear “significant” financial room this offseason and that could include trading a longtime starter. The team is willing to move on from linebacker Mychal Kendricks this offseason, a source tells PhillyVoice’s Jimmy KempskiMychal Kendricks (vertical)

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Kendricks is slated to count for $6.6MM against the cap in 2017, but they could save $1.8MM by trading or releasing him. That still leaves $4.8MM in dead money, but every little bit of breathing room will help Philly this March. Kendricks also saw his playing time dip significantly under new head coach Doug Pederson and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, so he wouldn’t necessarily be missed. From 2012 to 2015, Kendricks was a regular starter and he was a favorite of Chip Kelly from 2013-15. This past season, he was leapfrogged by Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham in the pecking order. Kendricks was in on 26.8% of the team’s snaps while Bradham and Hicks both eclipsed 95%.

Alternatively, the Eagles could designate Kendricks as a June 1st cut, resulting in $5MM savings right away with $3.2MM in dead money carrying over into 2018. However, Kempski hears it is not anticipated that the Eagles go that route and it’s not clear if they’ll even consider releasing him if a trade can’t be worked out.

The Eagles cannot trade Kendricks until the start of the new league year, which will begin at 4pm ET/3pm CT on March 9. After that, there’s another key date to keep in mind – March 11. That’s when $4.35MM of his $4.85MM 2017 base salary becomes fully guaranteed. That could leave Philly with a short window to get a palatable deal done.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Expected To Pursue Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles will likely target Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery if he reaches the free agent market, sources tell Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Chicago has the option of using the franchise tag on Jeffery for the second consecutive season, but such a move would come with a price tag of roughly $17.5MM.Alshon Jeffery (Vertical)

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Jeffery isn’t the only wideout the Eagles have been linked to this offseason, as reports have also indicated the club is interested in the Redskins’ Pierre Garcon and the Dolphins’ Kenny Stills. A reunion with former Eagle/current Redskin DeSean Jackson is also reportedly on the table. However, Jeffery is regarded as the top receiver available in free agency, and is likely to command a hefty contract if Philadelphia wants to add another weapon for second-year quarterback Carson Wentz.

The Eagles are tight on cap space, which could make a Jeffery pursuit tricky, but the club is hoping to clear “significant” financial room in the coming weeks, something they’ve already started doing by releasing veteran players. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin was first on the chopping block earlier this week, while Philadelphia has also approached left tackle Jason Peters about a paycut. Other players such as Connor Barwin, Jason Kelce, Ryan Mathews, and Ron Brooks could also be cut soon, giving the Eagles even more space with which to work.

Jeffery, 26, comes with warts, as he’s battled injuries throughout his career and was suspended four games for PED usage in 2016. But he’s the only player resembling a No. 1 wideout on the open market, as he’s averaged more than 1,000 yards receiving and six touchdowns over the past four seasons while struggling through two subpar years and dealing with questionable quarterback play.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Five Teams Interested In WR Pierre Garcon

At least five clubs are expected to express interest in Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post, who reports the Rams, Eagles, Bears, Cowboys, and 49ers are among the teams intrigued by the veteran pass-catcher. Garcon, for his part, would prefer to return to Washington, but as of earlier this week, the Redskins have not engaged in contract talks with the 30-year-old.Pierre Garcon (Featured)

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Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco are all engaged in various stages of rebuilding, and as Jones notes, each club would view Garcon as a “security blanket” as they continue to develop young quarterbacks. In the case of the Bears and 49ers, of course, that youthful signal-caller is likely not yet on the roster, but the Rams’ Jared Goff and Eagles’ Carson Wentz could each use new weapons as they head into their second NFL campaigns. Of the four clubs mentioned here, none finished higher than 16th in offensive DVOA in 2016, with Chicago leading the way and Los Angeles — dead last at No. 32 — rounding out the list.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, are in a different boat altogether, and are squarely in the 2018 Super Bowl conversation following a season that saw the breakout of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, continuous excellence from the offensive line, and viable receiving threats that allowed the unit to rank third in DVOA. However, with both Terrance Williams and Brice Butler scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency next month, Dallas could be on the lookout for a dependable No. 2 wide receiver, a description that Garcon ably fits.

In his ninth NFL season, Garcon led the Redskins in both receptions (79) and receiving yards (1,041) while managing three touchdowns, and finished 10th in DYAR and 15th DVOA among wideouts. Coming off a five-year deal signed in 2012, Garcon averaged an $8.5MM salary during his time with Washington.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Waive DL Connor Wujciak

  • The Eagles have waived defensive lineman Connor Wujciak, tweets Yates. Like Brown, Wujciak was on IR for all of 2016 after going undrafted during the spring. Wujciak underwent shoulder surgery in August.