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March 03, 2020

Eytan Shander: Every single year, the Eagles swing and miss on receivers and cornerbacks

My good friend Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Case in point: Howie Roseman and the Eagles. The team has begun to search out – yet again – for the Holy Grail of free agent wide receivers and cornerbacks. 

It seems impossible, but somehow the Eagles are in this same situation each and every offseason. To quote Ice Cube, "once again it’s on."

I’m not jumping up and down this time, because I’ve seen this movie play out over the past decade. The Eagles and their search for consistency on the outside is a painful watch. Picture being stuck on a non-stop flight to London and the only thing on screen is "Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot." Do this every year for a decade and you’ll be miming all the funny lines from Estelle Getty.

The chase for Byron Jones, launched by Inside the Birds & NFL insider Adam Caplan, set off a chain reaction of hope from the fanbase. It's an emotion I also share, hoping the Eagles can land a(nother) top rated corner. I also hope the team can lure in a top tier free agent wideout to replace the top tier FA WR they brought in a couple of years ago.

Herein lies the problem. It’s honestly hard to get excited about the prospects of any big name at either of those positions landing here because if they do, how much will they contribute? 

Don’t look at the draft, it might be even worse. Sidney Jones is a disappointment based on the his high draft and expectations. Can you even pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside out of a lineup? The team is probably moving on from Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor, and questions remain about the health of DeSean Jackson. 

There’s also a strong belief the team should move on from Jalen Mills while they figure out the safety position. You might not need to press so hard for a Jones if some of these drafted talents panned out better. The push to re-sign Jeffrey and bring in Jackson has put this team – once again – in the position of restocking wideouts.

This won’t change our excitement each year about the prospects of winning another Super Bowl, but please be honest with the history here. While it’s has not simply been ALL Howie Roseman over the past decade (it started with Andy Reid’s and then Chip Kelly’s meddling) – he and the front office seem to either routinely neglect or miss out on these two positions. 

I’m not sure which is worse, but I totally understand where fans like @TheMightyEr0ck are coming from when they tweet this:

I can only imagine the Diet Scandrick being flat and warm, tasting like some perversion of children’s medicine or Dr. Pibb.

No whammies – big bucks!

Nobody could have predicted a decade ago that Tony Romo would turn into one of the NFL’s best analysts. I don’t even think it’s close. 

To those who still disagree that he’s even a good analyst, take a ride down the rabbit hole of the C and D teams of these networks. You’ll be at one of the Barbers before realizing Romo is underpaid. I can’t say I’m too surprised the news was met with so much resistance, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also call out the glaring hypocrisy. Let’s start with one tweet that caused a ton of reaction – that from Saints WR Michael Thomas:

Thank you that’s why we shouldn’t sign the new CBA agreement no way the announcer should be making more then 90% of the players 🤷🏾♂️🤓 #No

— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) February 29, 2020

It’s since been deleted, but what struck me was how much support his statement received. If you’ve never stood up and raised this same issue with Stephen A. Smith, then please shut up about Romo. 

Smith – who never played a second in the NBA – makes as much as the average salary of the sport he covers. Crazy, right? 

Smith makes just under $8 million a year, which is where the average salary for the NBA – $7.7 million – is this season. You may debate how essential Smith is to our sports landscape, but he gets reaction. It’s impossible to ignore how important Romo is to an already barren landscape of quality analysts. Cash your checks, gents!

Who did it better?

We are a month into the XFL and it’s safe to say we’ve seen the catch of the year. It doesn’t take much for Philly to route for one of its own, so seeing the local support for Colin Thompson is no surprise. What was a shock to everyone was a shoestring catch from Thompson that was key in the TB Vipers first win of the season. 

Thompson played at Temple before playing for the NFL's Bears, and now the Vipers. It’s been a tough start for everyone down in Tampa, but this play was on the level of Franco Harris! I love how Thompson does the “first down kneel” as you can hear that whole crowd behind him. Add this to the list of “Top shoestring catches of all-time” next to Harris and Joe Jackson. Vipers – Wildcats this Sunday night!

Pop culture pick of the week:

Ending a show remains one of the most difficult things to achieve on screen. You would think with the growing number of programs available on multiple streaming services that someone would figure out an algorithm. Instead we find ourselves routinely disappointed with endings, even if it’s a one season show. I bring you The Five on Netflix, where you will be taken for a ride and morally torn throughout. It stars Tom Cullen (Black Mirror) but O.T. Fagbenle steals the show. It’s the best show I’ve seen in a while on Netflix.

Twenty years after 5-year-old Jesse disappears, his DNA is found at multiple murder scenes. It defies the logic of so many things that have happened since, including a prisoner who “admitted” to kidnapping and killing the boy. You are constantly second-guessing information you’ve been given. While watching the impact of a child’s disappearance tearing through multiple families, you will notice the incredible camera work throughout the show, including a couple of one-shots. There’s one scene where two police officers are investigating a house, and a burglar in the house is trying to escape undetected. The whole thing is caught on a one-shot. From camera work to an incredible reveal at the end, it’s worth your time.

On my way out

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Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

You can listen to Eytan during the week on @973espn (Mon.-Fri. from 12-2 p.m.), @foxphlgambler (Mon.-Weds., 6-8 p.m.), and @SBNationRadio on the weekends. You can also catch him on FOX 29 Good Day.

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