Philadelphia Eagles Rumors & News

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/23/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Eagles have waived quarterback Jerod Evans and defensive tackle Charles Walker off injured reserve with injury settlements, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Both players were waived/injured in the past two weeks, but cleared waivers without being claimed by another club. Instead of spending the year on Philadelphia’s IR list, Evans and Walker will now earn a payment equal to what they would have earned while injured. Evans and Walker can re-sign with the Eagles, but they’ll have to wait three weeks plus the time value of the settlement.

Eagles Likely To Release Jason Peters Next Year; Latest On RB Corps

  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com looks at the Eagles‘ 2018 salary cap situation, and while the team is currently projected to have limited cap room again, there are plenty of options to free up some space. For instance, the club is likely to release Jason Peters, and may even consider releasing Brandon Graham if Derek Barnett and Vinny Curry do well in 2017.
  • The Eagles‘ recent signing of LeGarrette Blount will likely force UDFA Corey Clement, who had a real chance of cracking the 53-man roster as the club’s resident big-body back, to the taxi squad, as Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com writes. Zangaro predicts the club will carry four backs on their roster heading into 2017, including Blount, Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles, and Donnel Pumphrey. We learned yesterday that Philadelphia was interested in drafting both Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook, but that the price to move up in Rounds 1-2 to be in range to select them was too steep.

Eagles Coveted McCaffrey, Cook

Eagles Waive/Injured Charles Walker

  • A week after signing Charles Walker, the Eagles have waived/injured the former Oklahoma defensive tackle, citing a knee ailment. Walker declared for the draft in November, thus ending his career with the Sooners before their season concluded. As a result, he drew widespread criticism – including from head coach Bob Stoops – but Walker explained in a pre-draft letter to teams that a battle with depression was at the root of his decision. Walker also noted that he’s now doing better, but he still ended up going undrafted.

Opinion: Eagles Can't Do Much For Brandon Graham

There’s no reason that the Eagles would re-open negotiations with Brandon Graham unless they are just looking to do a solid for him, though that could open a pandora’s box of future requests from other players, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. Graham has outperformed his contract, but he still has two years to go on the deal and he has already made it clear that he will not be a summer holdout. In theory, the Eagles could shift some 2018 dollars into this year, but they’re already pretty tight against the cap. The Eagles could also guarantee some money that Graham was going to earn anyway, but that probably won’t do much to make him happy. At this point, Fitzgerald concludes that Graham’s best bet will be to crush it in 2017 and convince Philly’s front office to give him a lucrative extension next offseason that will allow him to retire with the Eagles.

Eagles Likely To Cut RB Ryan Mathews

The Eagles have signed running back LeGarrette Blount and the expectation is that they will release Ryan Mathews as a result, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. However, he adds that the Eagles will wait until Mathews is healthy before releasing him. Ryan Mathews (vertical)

As noted by former NFL executive Michael Lombardi (on Twitter), cutting Mathews before he is healthy would leave the Eagles on the hook for injury protection. Per the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Philly would have to pay out an extra $1.15MM, leaving them with a $2.15MM cap charge when factoring in the dead money on his deal. By waiting until he’s back to full health, however, the Eagles will be left with just $1MM on the cap while saving $4MM.

Mathews‘ 2016 season ended in December of last year when he suffered a herniated disc in his neck. Still, even with that injury plus the MCL sprain he was dealing with, he still turned in an alright season. In 13 games played he had 661 yards off of 155 carries for an average of 4.3 yards per attempt. He also had eight rushing touchdowns plus 13 catches for 115 yards.

With Mathews out of the picture, the Eagles will likely have Blount and Darren Sproles split the majority of carries. Wendell Smallwood and fourth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey figure to make the cut while 2016 UDFA Byron Marshall might be on the fringe.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Sign LeGarrette Blount

The Eagles have signed running back LeGarrette Blount, according to a team announcement. It’s a one-year deal with a maximum value of $2.8MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The pact calls for $1.25MM in base pay with up to $1.55MM in incentives, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets.

[RELATED: Eagles Likely To Cut RB Ryan Mathews]

Last week, the Patriots used a May 9 tender on free agent running back, a little-known clause that could now impact the 2018 compensatory pick formula for the Eagles and Pats. However, it was said that teams with interest in Blount were looking into ways to circumvent the formula, so it’s possible that the Eagles will not give up much in that area.

The last compensatory pick is currently tied to a $2.05MM annual salary, so the Eagles will only sacrifice a 2018 comp selection if Blount earns more than that total. With $1.55MM of Blount’s deal is tied to performance, the Eagles could come away from this deal without hurting next year’s draft.

The Giants and Lions were known to have interest in Blount for a while, but the Eagles swooped in to sign the power back. As we explained earlier this month, the Eagles were a logical landing spot for Blount since Ryan Mathews could be let go this summer. Indeed, on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported that Mathews is expected to be released once he’s fully healthy. By cutting him, the Eagles will save $4MM in 2017 while carrying just $1MM in dead money. With Mathews gone, Blount and Darren Sproles will get most of the carries while Wendell Smallwood assumes the role of No. 3 RB.

The seven-year veteran is coming off one of the most productive seasons of his career, having amassed career highs in carries (299), yards (1,161) and touchdowns (an NFL-leading 18). Still, the Patriots would only go so far to re-sign Blount this offseason. They’re losing the bruising back, but they now have an impressive bunch at RB with offseason additions Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead joining holdovers James White, Dion Lewis, Brandon Bolden, and D.J. Foster.

The Cardinals and Giants both made offers to Blount before he signed with Philly, according to Rapoport.

Eagles’ Brandon Graham: I Won’t Hold Out

On Tuesday, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham reported to the Eagles’ facility amidst rumblings that he was considering some type of holdout. Moments ago, he took to Twitter to further clear the air. Brandon Graham (vertical)

[I’m] back in Philly and I just wanted to clear up a few things for all of our fans. I was never holding out. I was in Detroit last week spending some time with my family. I love playing in Philly, I love our fans and I love this organization. I’ve never had an issue with my contract. I don’t know where that news came from. I will be here at OTAs leading the charge and ready to get things started,” Graham wrote.

That’s about as firm of a denial as you can get and it comes on the heels of him telling a Philadelphia sports radio host that word of a holdout was “fake news.” As I explained earlier today, Graham’s deal is a heck of a bargain for the Eagles given the way he has played over the last two years, but he has made it clear that he will not stay away from practices this summer in an effort to pressure the team into giving him a new deal.

Graham’s current contract calls for him to carry a $7.5MM cap number in each of the next two seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Brandon Graham Reports To Eagles

It doesn’t sound like Brandon Graham is planning a holdout this offseason. The Eagles defensive end reported to the team facility this morning, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com writes. He also spoke with Howard Eskin of 94WIP on Tuesday and referred to rumors of a holdout as “fake news.” Brandon Graham (vertical)

[RELATED: Coach Doug Pederson Not Worried About Graham Holdout]

Graham is in the middle of a four-year, $26MM contract signed with the Eagles in 2015. In the last two years and particularly in 2016, he has outperformed his deal. Graham would probably like to be paid near the top of the DE market, but he doesn’t have a ton of leverage in that regard since he still has two years to go on his pact. A holdout, in theory, could put some pressure on the team, but the 29-year-old seems prepared to play out 2017 with a cap number of $7.5MM.

As Shorr-Parks notes, the additions of first round pick Derek Barnett and free agent Chris Long could impact Graham’s stat line which, in turn, could impact his bottom line. The advanced metrics portrayed Graham as one of the best edge defenders in the entire league last season, but he only had 5.5 sacks on the year. If his snap count goes down, his sack total might also sag. Without gaudy totals on his traditional stat sheet, he might not have enough juice to get a big extension next offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelhammer Addresses DOD Ruling

  • The Eagles did not sign safety Weston Steelhammer after inviting the Air Force alum to their rookie minicamp. One of three Air Force products to receive a tryout over the weekend, Steelhammer sits in limbo after the Department of Defense reversed its more lenient ruling just before the draft. If nothing changes, Steelhammer and more prominent Air Force prospect Jalen Robinette must serve for two years before beginning an NFL career. “Things didn’t work out how we thought or how we hoped, but everything happens for a reason,” Steelhammer said, via Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com. “I’ll just try to make the most of it.”