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May 22, 2017

Mailbag: How many compensatory picks will the Philadelphia Eagles get in 2018?

Eagles NFL

In our weekly Eagles chat last Wednesday, there were a lot of good unanswered questions that I was not able to get to, so we'll cover them and some recent emails here in an Eagles mailbag.

Question from Harty: Any word whether the Eagles were able to structure Blount’s deal in such a way so that he won’t count toward the 2018 compensatory pick formula?

Ultimately, it won’t matter. The Eagles have two free agency losses that will count toward the compensatory pick formula in Bennie Logan and Nolan Carroll. However, the signings of Alshon Jeffery and Nick Foles alone will cancel out those losses, in addition to other free agent acquisitions like Chris Long and Chance Warmack. 

So as usual, the Eagles won’t be getting any freebee draft picks in 2018.

Question from DeRozan: And the starting fullback for the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles will be…

I actually answered this during the chat, and I hadn’t really thought of this but the loss of Beau Allen to a pectoral muscle doesn’t just affect the Eagles’ DT depth. He was also the fullback in short yardage situations last year. I threw out Trey Burton as a possibility, and also noted that Dillon Gordon got some snaps at fullback during the preseason last year.

However, one of the subsequent questions in my chat queue (from commenter “H2O”) mentioned rookie DT Elijah Qualls, who played in the backfield in high school. In fact, Qualls had over 1800 yards and 23 touchdowns his final two years in high school, according to his draft profile, not that the Eagles would give him the ball.

I’ll do a little digging at OTAs to try to get a better answer on who might fill that role.

Question from PV3: Do the Kendricks / Kelce rumors become tumors by training camp?

Kelce wants to be in Philly, or so is my understanding, so he won’t be a problem. Kendricks wants to be in a place where he’ll play, and obviously, that’s not Philly if last year’s snap counts were any indication. So, in theory, he could be unhappy, but I’m not sure who will care all that much about a backup’s unhappiness. I do think he’ll be moved by then.

Question from Nate: What do you see as the Eagles’ potential weakness on offense right now?

I would say they’re solid across the board, so I’m not sure that I’d say they have some kind of glaring weakness at any one positional group. However, as we noted in a post last week, what they lack is a truly dominant skill position player. Alshon Jeffery is close, and Carson Wentz may be one day, but right now they just don’t have that.

Question from David (via email): Any way you could enlighten us as to how the Eagles went from traditionally having one of the top salary cap positions in the league to now among the worst.  And is there light at the end of our poor salary cap tunnel?

There was a constant during the days of the Eagles’ salary cap prowess. His name was Andy Reid. When you have a coach in place for as long as Reid was, the type of players the organization is going to target/retain remains the same.

When you have coaching turnover, those coaches are going to want players who fit their scheme. And so, you see a lot of over-spending to get those players in free agency, in addition to costly cap-hit dumping of players you no longer want. When the Eagles went from Reid to Chip, Chip dumped most of Reid’s guys and filled the roster with his own players, spending like a madman in the process. After Chip was fired, the purging of his players began and the filling of the roster with players who fit the new staff’s scheme began.

In other words, coaching staff turnover isn’t something that is to be taken lightly.

Question from Mike (via email): One of your colleagues said that the Eagles could cut Sproles because they signed LeGarrette Blount and drafted Donnel Pumphrey. Is that a possibility?


Question from Jeff (via email): What exactly would be the problem if the Eagles went over the cap. I know that there is a substantial penalty, something like a 50% tax on the overage. And if they are really over the cap, like 20 mil or so, they can lose draft picks. But say if Ryan Mathews can’t be released in time or something else comes up and the Eagles are over the cap by 4 Mil. What happens?

The short answer is that they can’t go over the cap, in theory. The league reviews any transaction and if the team will be over the cap as a result, they will reject it.

Question from Shane (via email): Do you think that Nate Gerry could be a Jordan Hicks-type sleeper? A draft pick that all the fans were scratching their heads at, but ends up being a hell of a value?

You never know. Hicks was a good player. They just had a bit of a logjam at linebacker, hence the (unnecessary) head-shaking. The player I remember them drafting who I had no clue about back in the day was Brent Celek. He never broke 500 yards in any one season in college and wasn’t thought of as a strong blocker at the time. Ten years later, here he is.

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