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February 16, 2017

Eagles mailbag: What are the odds of Bennie Logan re-signing in Philly?

Eagles NFL

During our weekly Eagles chat, there were a lot of questions that I couldn't get to in time as well as some recent unanswered email, so let's do a chat overflow mailbag post.

Question from Abe: Odds of Bennie Logan being re-signed?

This past offseason, the Eagles handed out a lot of shiny new contract extensions to players already on the roster, such as Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Sam Bradford, Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox, and Malcolm Jenkins. One notable omission from the Eagles' attempts to secure their own players was Logan.

The agent for Logan is Todd France, who also represents Fletcher Cox. If you'll recall, Cox's negotiations took forever and weren't exactly the smoothest. There's no way in hell the Eagles are going to get a long-term deal done with Logan prior to the start of free agency. Once he hits free agency, Logan could be pursued by both 4-3 and 3-4 teams, as he has had success in multiple defensive schemes. In other words, he'll have his share of suitors.

If the price tag gets to be too high, the Eagles have to be disciplined not to overpay, as they have to be very judicious in how they spend their limited resources this offseason. 

The one thing working in the Eagles' favor is that it's a very strong free agent defensive tackle class that includes Kawann Short, Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Johnathan Hankins, Dontari Poe, Chris Baker, and Sylvester Williams, among others. With a potentially higher supply than demand, maybe Logan and France won't get the lofty offer they're seeking, thus improving the chances Logan will return to Philly.

Still, gun to my head, if I had to predict it, I'd say it's more likely that he walks in free agency than he returns to the team.

Question from DB: I’m kind of confused why Alshon Jeffery is assumed elite. His only 1000-yard seasons came when he was the number two target after Brandon Marshall.

Jeffery's 1000-yard seasons came in 2013 and 2014. Here were his numbers compared with Marshall's over those two seasons:

Player Rec Yards YPC TD 
 Alshon Jeffery174 2554 14.7 17 
 Brandon Marshall161 2016 12.5 20 

Was Jeffery really "the No.2" those two seasons?

From 2013 (Jeffery's first 1000-yard season and his second season in the league) to 2016, Jeffery has averaged 78.9 yards per game. Here's how that ranks among other wide receivers who are still in the league:

Rank Player Team Yards per game
 1Julio Jones Falcons 109.1
 2Antonio Brown Steelers 100.2
 3Odell Beckham Giants 95.9
 4A.J. Green Bengals 86
 5Jordy Nelson Packers 85.2
 6Demaryius Thomas Broncos 84.9
 7T.Y. Hilton Colts 79.4
 8Alshon Jeffery Bears 78.9
 9Mike Evans Buccaneers 77.8
 10Michael Thomas Saints 75.8
 11DeSean Jackson Eagles/Redskins 72
 12Brandon Marshall Bears/Jets 71.8
 13Eric Decker Broncos/ Jets 70.8
 14DeAndre Hopkins Texans 70.1
 15Julian Edelman Patriots 69.6
 16Amari Cooper Raiders 69.5
 17Dez Bryant Cowboys 69.4
 18Keenan Allen Chargers 68.9
 19Jeremy Maclin Eagles/Chiefs 68.4
 20Emmanuel Sanders Steelers/Broncos 68.4

Is Jeffery "elite?" No, and I don't really see anyone calling him that. Is there some concern about his suspension last season, and maybe some of his past injuries? Sure. Is he a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL when he's on the field? You bet your ass he is.

Question from Old Guy: If the Eagles win the coin toss will they draft in front of the Colts throughout the rest of the draft?

Yep. The Eagles finished 7-9. The Colts finished 8-8. If you'll recall, the Eagles' first-round pick is from the Vikings. Their draft slot throughout the rest of the draft is already set, with the coin toss having absolutely no bearing on where they'll pick in rounds 2-7.

Question from Chris: Do you think it's a coinkydink that only one of the 12 playoff teams had a RB starting that was drafted in round 1? Obviously that was Dallas – and they lost – giggle. Doesn't this prove how bad a RB in round one would be? I dunno – I just feel this era in the NFL is all about passing the ball and stopping the pass based on how the rules have modified over the years. Not saying a good running game isn't a big help – it's just less important than passing and stopping the pass.

Personally, I think there's a little too much energy spent on looking at teams that made the playoffs or teams that make the Super Bowl, and trying to replicate what they do. If you look at the teams that made the playoffs, almost all of them have one thing in common -- they have good quarterbacks. That's what you want to replicate. Of the 12 teams that made the playoffs, only the Texans definitively had an undesirable quarterback, and maybe the Chiefs and Dolphins.

So yes, I do think it's a coinkydink. In 2015, there were four teams that had first-round running backs. In 2014, there were three, and one team, the Panthers, had two of them.

Now, to be clear, I don't think any of the running backs are a great value at 14/15, as I noted in an article on the topic that we published Wednesday morning. That said, once you have your franchise quarterback in place, there are a lot of different ways to skin a cat, or, you know, win a Super Bowl.

Question from JC: Any mid-round OT prospects you like in this draft?

This draft sucks in terms of OT talent, and once it became somewhat clear that Jason Peters was not going to retire, I kind of stopped watching them. That said, the following five OTs would qualify as mid-round players the Eagles might have some interest in, although I wouldn't necessarily say I personally like them all:

  1. Zach Banner, OT, USC
  2. Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh
  3. Julie'n Davenport, OT, Bucknell
  4. Will Holden, OT, Vanderbilt
  5. Chad Wheeler, OT, USC

My sense is that teams desperate for OT help will reach for that position this year. I'd just stay away, personally.

Question from Jason: Puzzled about Dillon Gordon. No combine, no measurables, injured senior year, stabbed? Anything there other than a Jason Peters TE-to-OL switch type background?  He was supposed to be a solid run blocking TE. Might that translate well to LG?

Huh, I didn't realize he was stabbed, but yep, it appears he was. I probably should have known that, but I guess some things get through the cracks, ha. Anyway, Gordon had a very strong training camp to the point where you didn't have to be an offensive line expert to see that he looked good. 

He stuck on the 53-man roster all season long but was not active on game day until Week 15 against the Ravens. Gordon never played tackle in his life until this season, when the Eagles converted him from tight end, where he played at LSU, as you noted. Obviously, as an undrafted free agent, he was a lottery ticket.

I spoke with Gordon near the end of the season, and he said that he worked exclusively at tackle all season long, mostly at LT, with a few sporadic reps at RT. The Eagles will continue to develop Gordon, and as noted above, hope that he can at least fill a backup role in 2017. That will likely be a tackle, not guard.

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