Tagged in: Philadelphia Eagles

Veteran receiver DeSean Jackson released by Philadelphia Eagles

Receiver DeSean Jackson has been released by the Philadelphia Eagles, the team revealed Friday.

“Looking forward to my next chapter,” Jackson posted on his Instagram story before the announcement was made official. “Philadelphia it’s always Love. Appreciate Everything.”

The Eagles acquired the 34-year-old Jackson from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019, reuniting the deep-threat receiver with the team that drafted him in 2008.

Jackson fueled the excitement with a pair of 50-plus-yard touchdowns in the 2019 opener versus the Washington Football Team, but injuries limited his overall impact the past two seasons. He played in just three games in ’19 because of a core muscle injury, and he missed 11 matches this past season with an injured ankle.

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Jackson has recorded the most 60-plus-yard touchdowns (24) in NFL history and ranks sixth all time in yards per reception (17.4).

Overall, Jackson has 612 career receptions for 10,656 yards and 56 touchdowns in 160 NFL games since being a second-round choice in the 2008 NFL Draft. He has recorded five 1,000-yard seasons.

Jackson also had rushed for four touchdowns and returned four punts for scores.

By releasing Jackson, the Eagles are expected to get around $6 million in cap relief. Philadelphia is currently projected to be about $50 million over the 2021 salary cap and will continue to shed salary prior to the beginning of the league year in March.

Philadelphia is also expected to part with fellow veteran receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Eagles will be left with a young group at wideout led by Jalen Reagor, the team’s first-round pick in 2020, Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, Quez Watkins and John Hightower.

Jackson spent three seasons with Washington and two with Tampa Bay before Philadelphia reacquired him prior to the 2019 season.

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Philadelphia Eagles trade QB Carson Wentz to Indianapolis Colts for two draft picks

The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to trade quarterback Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 third-round draft pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick that could turn into a first-rounder, league sources told ESPN.

The Eagles will get the 85th overall pick in this year’s draft, and the conditional second-rounder can become a first-round pick based on Wentz’s playing time, according to sources.

Wentz needs to play at least 75% of the Colts’ offensive snaps for the 2022 conditional pick to convey to a first-rounder, according to sources. The pick also could become a first-rounder if Wentz plays at least 70% of the snaps and the Colts reach the playoffs. But the worst the 2022 pick can be is a second-rounder, meaning the Eagles are assured of netting two value picks for Wentz.

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The Eagles and Colts spent much of the past two weeks trying to conclude the trade, which cannot be officially processed until the new NFL year starts March 17.

Despite being speculated as a potential suitor for Wentz in trade talks, the Chicago Bears did not wind up making an offer to the Eagles, according to a source.

The Eagles will take a $33.8 million dead-cap hit — the largest dead-cap hit that any team ever has taken for a player — while the Colts will assume the balance of Wentz’s $128 million extension, including the $10 million guaranteed roster bonus due March 19.

Each team walks away from the deal with what it wanted across all fronts: Wentz will be reunited with Colts head coach Frank Reich, his former offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, and help fill the void left by Philip Rivers’ retirement, while the Eagles are likely to turn to Jalen Hurts, though they also intend to bring in competition for him.

The Eagles’ starting job is not expected to automatically go to Hurts.

Trading Wentz marks the end of an unexpected chapter and year with the Eagles. Wentz went from a former MVP candidate to backing up Hurts — a rookie second-round pick in 2020 — while his relationship with former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson disintegrated.

Wentz wanted out of Philadelphia even though the Eagles hired former Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni as their new head coach.

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Philadelphia Eagles hiring Nick Sirianni as head coach

The Eagles are hiring Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni as their next head coach, executive vice president Howie Roseman told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio on Thursday.

Sirianni, 39, had a long interview for the head-coaching job that began Tuesday and reportedly spilled over to the next day.

There was a sense in league circles that the race had narrowed to two candidates — New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Sirianni, who has been the Colts’ coordinator for three campaigns.

Philadelphia ended up hiring the less-heralded name but one that continued to gain steam inside the Eagles organization the more it called around about him.

The Eagles’ coaching search was done with the quarterback situation — Carson Wentz, in particular — in mind. After firing Doug Pederson, whose relationship with Wentz had soured, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said: “It behooves us as a team with a new coach, a new coaching staff, to be able to really get [Wentz] back to that elite progression.”

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Wentz, whose struggles in 2020 were described as “very fixable” by Lurie, was benched for the final quarter of the season after consistently poor play. Rookie Jalen Hurts replaced him in the lineup and provided a spark to the offense but cooled some down the stretch.

Wentz had a near-MVP campaign in 2017 when current Colts coach Frank Reich was his offensive coordinator in Philadelphia.

Sirianni was Reich’s right-hand man in Indianapolis and was the quarterbacks coach when Reich was the Chargers offensive coordinator in 2014 and ’15. The connection could hold significance for Wentz, who has a great deal of trust in Reich.

Wentz had been expected to request a trade this offseason because his relationship with Pederson was fractured beyond repair, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Both Hurts and Wentz are under contract with the Eagles for 2021.

Despite a rotating cast at quarterback with Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett and Philip Rivers, Indianapolis fielded a top-10 offense in two of the past three seasons. Rivers completed 68% of his passes this season for 4,169 yards with 24 touchdowns to 11 interceptions in 2020.

The Colts (11-5) concluded ninth in the NFL in scoring (28.2 PPG) and 10th in yards per game (378.1) in 2020.

Sirianni has worked as a quarterbacks coach and receivers coach since coming into the league with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009.

The Eagles held a broad search after firing Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson on Jan. 11. They interviewed Arthur Smith, Robert Saleh, Jerod Mayo, Joe Brady, Kellen Moore, Duce Staley, Todd Bowles, Dennis Allen, McDaniels and Sirianni. They also had a request in to speak with Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, sources said, but there was an agreement to wait until after Sunday’s AFC Championship Game for a potential interview.

Pederson was fired after going 4-11-1 in his fifth season with the team. He went 46-39-1 and obtained the Lombardi trophy during the 2017 season — the first of three consecutive playoff appearances for the Eagles under Pederson.

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Washington LB Thomas Davis Sr. says he’ll retire after 2020 season

Washington Football Team linebacker Thomas Davis Sr. will retire at the end of this campaign, he said in an Instagram post.

Washington (6-9) can extend Davis’ final season by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East on Sunday.

Davis, 37, has played 16 years in the NFL — the first 14 with Carolina and then the past two with the Los Angeles Chargers and Washington. Davis has served mostly in a backup role with Washington this season. He has played in seven games and received 132 snaps from scrimmage, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Washington coach Ron Rivera signed him because of Davis’ leadership and his familiarity with what Rivera wanted from his players.

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Rivera trusted Davis because of how he played for him in Carolina, where he made the Pro Bowl three consecutive seasons, from 2015 to 2017. He was a first team All-Pro performer in 2015, the year Carolina reached the Super Bowl. Davis signed a two-year deal with the Chargers in 2019 but was released last offseason.

Davis also endured three torn ACLs.

As a reminder of how he endured, Davis posted pictures of cleats on Instagram that sum up his career. One cleat has written on it “3 ACL Tears. 3 ACL Recoveries.” It also shows how many Pro Bowls he earned. On the other cleat, it reflects him winning the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Carolina drafted Davis with the 14th overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft; he had played linebacker and free safety at Georgia. He was considered a top safety prospect before that draft, but the Panthers moved him to linebacker.

His speed and athleticism helped him have success in the NFL. In 199 games, Davis recorded 1,151 tackles, 29 sacks, 18 forced fumbles and 13 interceptions.

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Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson given no assurance he’ll finish season

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson said he has received no assurances from the front office that he will keep his job for the remainder of the season, but is “not going there mentally” when it comes to his job security.

“Listen, I’ve been around this league a long time, 25 years I believe as a player and a coach, and we’re always based on and evaluated on our performance,” he stated.

“Right now, that’s obviously not my concern as far as that decision goes. That’s out of my hands. But what’s in my hands and in my control is getting the team prepared and ready for Green Bay this weekend.”

The Eagles are in the midst of a three-game slide that has dropped them to 3-7-1 on the season and into third place in the historically bad NFC East.

Quarterback Carson Wentz has regressed dramatically in Year 5 and the offense has tied a season low in points with 17 in each of the last three weeks.

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Pederson said that temporarily giving up playcalling is “on the table” — the first time he’s been open to the idea publicly — but suggested a modification there wasn’t imminent.

With facilities across the NFL closed Tuesday, Pederson did his day-after news conference from his home office.

In the background was a towering bookshelf lined with awards and memorabilia.

Dominating the scene just off to his right was a replica of the Lombardi Trophy — a not-so-subtle reminder of the unparalleled heights he helped lift this franchise to a short time ago.

It was with that backdrop that Pederson faced questions regarding his job security for the first time.

He has guided the Eagles to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, starting with their Super Bowl run in 2017, but the offense has grown stagnant over the last two years. That has not gone unnoticed by owner Jeffrey Lurie, who skipped their Week 11 game at the Cleveland Browns in part out of frustration, sources told ESPN.

With the team reeling, there are some on the inside who believe that Pederson needs to lead Philadelphia to a division title in 2020 to keep his job.

“Our relationship is good. We communicate a lot throughout the week,” Pederson said of Lurie. “We have our typical weekly meeting and cover a lot of ground.

“But that relationship is good. Listen, some of these questions might be for Mr. Lurie obviously, but my job is to prepare the team and get ready for Green Bay.”

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New York Giants WR Golden Tate suffers knee injury in practice

Golden Tate was planned to address the media for the first time since being benched for last week’s game versus Washington. Instead, the wide receiver was a late scratch after the New York Giants said he suffered a knee injury late in Thursday’s practice.

The original belief is that the injury is not anything potentially season-ending, a source told ESPN. Tate was officially listed as a limited participant in practice.

It has been an eventful campaign for Tate. He missed the season opener with a hamstring injury, fought Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey at midfield in Week 4 and expressed his displeasure with his shrinking role late in a Monday night loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then was suspended for his actions.

Just when he was supposed to return to face one of his former teams, the Philadelphia Eagles, he hurt his knee. The veteran receiver was set to resume his previous role, according to wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert. Tate was playing just over 50% of the offensive snaps before being benched.

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He seemed to be participating fully during the portion of Thursday’s practice that was open to the media.

“We’re kind of past that issue now,” coach Joe Judge stated before practice. “We’re getting ready to play Philly right now. Golden’s getting ready to play Philly as well right now.

“I love the way he came to practice [Wednesday]. I love the way he’s preparing so far today. We’re going to be on the field today. We’ll be over in the stadium. It’ll be a good chance for the entire team to work on the turf for a day today and get moving forward with it. But look, we’re totally past the whole situation last week. It is what it is. I look forward to getting Golden on the field with us. We’ll roll him in fast.”

Undrafted rookie Austin Mack took Tate’s snaps in Sunday’s victory over Washington and led the Giants with 72 yards on four receptions.

Tate is a former Pro Bowl receiver with 682 receptions for 8,116 yards and 46 touchdowns in 112 career starts. But last week he was told to stay home Wednesday while the Giants practiced and spent most of the rest of the week working with the scout team.

In Week 8, Tate was caught on camera yelling “Throw me the ball” after a spectacular leaping touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter put the Giants in position to tie the score. His wife, Elise, ranted that night on Instagram about his lack of opportunities, and Tate later liked a tweet that suggested he should be cut and given an opportunity to sign elsewhere.

Sources stated the Giants were open to moving Tate before the trade deadline. But his salary (almost $4.5 million this season), age (32) and deteriorating production (22 catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns in seven games) made it unlikely.

The rare times Tate has been called on in recent weeks, he has produced. He had touchdown grabs of 19 and 39 yards despite just five targets combined versus the Buccaneers and Eagles in his past two games.

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Philadelphia Eagles’ Dallas Goedert has small ankle fracture

Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert has a small fracture in his ankle, a league source confirmed.

He is out indefinitely, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, stripping quarterback Carson Wentz of yet another weapon.

Goedert limped off the field in the first quarter of Sunday’s 23-23 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals following a short completion and did not return. He entered Week 3 as the team leader in targets, catches, receiving yards and yards after the catch. The offense evidently missed him the rest of the way versus Cincinnati, as Wentz managed just 225 passing yards on 47 attempts (4.8 average).

Drafted in the second round in 2018 out of South Dakota State, the 25-year-old managed to collect 91 catches for 941 yards and nine touchdowns through two seasons in the league, even though he competed with Pro Bowler Zach Ertz for touches from quarterback Carson Wentz.

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“Losing a guy like Dallas that has a huge role in protections [and the] run game, but he’s a playmaker with the ball in his hands and down the field. He’s a big part of our game plan every week, and so losing him, we obviously had to make some adjustments on the fly, [which] makes it tough,” coach Doug Pederson stated.

The Eagles also lost DeSean Jackson to a hamstring injury Sunday. He is considered day-to-day, and the team is positive he’ll be able to play Sunday night at the San Francisco 49ers, according to Pederson.

Rookie receiver Jalen Reagor, meanwhile, remains sidelined with a UCL tear in his thumb. Philadelphia could get some relief in the form of Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc), who is expected to ramp up his participation in practice this week in hopes of returning sometime in the near future.

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Redskins get former Eagles corner Ronald Darby

The Redskins signed former Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby to a one-year deal on Sunday.

Darby, a second-round pick by the Bills in 2015 who played college ball at Florida State, grabbed six interceptions in three years playing in Philadelphia but dealt with major injuries throughout his time there, including an ACL tear in 2018. The deal was first reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Washington required to sign another cornerback after trading away disgruntled CB Quinton Dunbar last week.

With the new addition, expect the Redskins to let Kendall Fuller start on one side of the field and Darby and fourth-year pro Fabian Moreau compete for the starting spot on the other side of the defense. Jimmy Moreland projects as the inside slot corner.

The money on this deal won’t break the bank for the Redskins, but with two corners added in free agency and considerably more cash spent on Fuller, the Redskins 2020 secondary is starting to come into shape.

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Washington probably feels somewhat comfortable with Fuller, Darby, Moreau and Moreland and will likely draft another corner in April.

The team also signed Sean Davis from Pittsburgh with the intention to pair him with stalwart Landon Collins at the two safety spots.

For Redskins fans pushing for a reunion with former draft pick Bashaud Breeland, the Darby signing could end that possibility. Team sources stated for weeks that Breeland wasn’t a strong consideration anyway.

Interestingly, Washington has now signed three defensive free agents in the secondary all with local ties. Darby grew up in Oxon Hill and played at Potomac High, Fuller went to Good Counsel High School and Davis grew up in D.C.

A second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2015, Darby started 29 of 32 matches during his two years with the Bills. With 21 passes defensed and a pair of interceptions, he concluded second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting behind Marcus Peters.

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Marty Mornhinweg returns to Eagles staff as consultant

Eight years after leaving the Philadelphia Eagles along with the Andy Reid regime, Marty Mornhinweg has returned to the team under another former Reid assistant, joining Doug Pederson’s 2020 staff as a senior offensive consultant.

First reported by ESPN’s Tim McManus, the news has since been announced by the Eagles. It comes almost exactly a month after Pederson added a slew of other offensive assistants in place of jettisoned coordinator Mike Groh, former Denver Broncos coordinator Rich Scangarello and former Mississippi State assistant Andrew Breiner among them.

Pederson will not carry an official offensive coordinator this campaign, in part because he’ll keep calling plays with a number of voices, including that of promoted passing game coordinator Press Taylor, chipping into game planning. Mornhinweg, however, brings a vast amount of experience to that side of the ball, not to mention a shared history with Pederson.

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Most recently serving as the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator from 2016-2018, the 57-year-old Mornhinweg is originally a disciple of Mike Holmgren, coaching alongside Reid with the Green Bay Packers from 1995-1996. He’s perhaps best regarded for his time with the Eagles (2003-2012), during which he helped guide the team to Super Bowl XXXIX as an assistant head coach and later transitioned the offense for Michael Vick’s 2010 MVP campaign.

Mornhinweg previously spent four years under Steve Mariucci with the San Francisco 49ers and served as the Detroit Lions’ head coach from 2001-2002.

Mornhinweg started with the Ravens in 2015 as the team’s quarterbacks coach then moved up to OC a year later in place of Marc Trestman. After Baltimore hired Greg Roman as his replacement for 2019, the longtime assistant spent this past season out of the league.

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Eagles lose WR Alshon Jeffery for season due to foot injury

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will miss the rest of the season with what coach Doug Pederson called a “significant” foot injury, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

NFL Network first reported that Jeffery would miss the rest of the season.

Jeffery was taken to the locker room on a cart during the second quarter of Monday’s 23-17 victory over the New York Giants. He was not contacted on the play, but left the field limping before throwing his helmet down and entering the medical tent. He then sat in the front seat of a cart that headed down the tunnel.

The injury left Carson Wentz with just two active receivers for the rest of the game: JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. With Nelson Agholor still dealing with a knee injury, the Eagles are expected to make a move at receiver in the near future.

They have three receivers on their practice squad, including Marken Michel, the brother of Sony Michel who had a strong offseason for the Eagles.

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This late in the season it’s difficult to bring in somebody from outside who hasn’t been in this offense either in training camp or during the season.

“We definitely have a couple guys on practice squad if we have to make a move,” Pederson said. “Obviously, we could look outside the building if we need to. But we’re going to work through that today and try to get something in place here pretty quick. We’re back on the field (Tuesday).”

Jeffery finished the season with 43 catches for 430 yards and four touchdowns. Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson, meanwhile, is week-to-week with an ankle injury, Pederson said. 

Halapoulivaati Vaitai substituted him at right tackle Monday and appears to be the leading candidate for the job moving forward.

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