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July 22, 2020

Eagles mailbag: Yes or no on Devonta Freeman, and who will be in the next round of cuts?

Eagles NFL
072220DevontaFreeman Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Devonta Freeman rushes against the Eagles.

In our Eagles chat last Friday, there were a lot of questions that we could not get to in time or other questions we did answer but could use more color. And so, let's do a mailbag post to answer some of the overflow, as well as some commonly asked questions on Twitter and via email.

Question from Trevor: Yes or no on Devonta Freeman?

Maybe. The Eagles previously had interest in Freeman, but Freeman overvalued his worth, and remains unemployed. It was reported that Freeman had a similar offer on the table that Carlos Hyde signed in Seattle, which he turned down. Freeman's agent subsequently severed her relationship with him.

Freeman has now signed with Drew Rosenhaus, who many Eagles fans remember negatively from the Terrell Owens days, but who has actually had a very good working relationship with Howie Roseman. In fact, the Eagles two biggest acquisitions this offseason -- Darius Slay and Javon Hargrave -- are both Rosenhaus clients.

Rosenhaus seems to have gotten through to Freeman that he should probably lower his asking price.

It is easy to see why the Eagles are looking to add depth at running back. Miles Sanders is obviously going to be the feature back in the Eagles' offense, but beyond him, while Boston Scott is an intriguing complementary piece, he is not built for a heavy workload. The Eagles lack a true power back who can eat carries in the second half of games when the team has a lead, or simply give Sanders a few series off here and there. Or, you know, if Sanders is out.

Freeman has that power element in his game, and has also averaged 3.3 catches per game as a pro. His fit makes sense.

However, the Eagles do not want to spend substantial money on a backup running back. Hyde signed a one-year deal worth $2.75 million, and up to $4 million. Freeman would likely have to be willing to play for even less than that.

Question from Will: If the Eagles have to get down to 80 players, as was reported, who are the guys who will get cut before training camp begins?

Ha, this is a mean question, but I'll answer it. After they cut Khalil Tate, Keegan Render, and Trevor Williams, the Eagles are down to 87 players on their roster, by my count. They have three roster moves likely coming, aside from the cuts:

  1. Brandon Brooks to IR.
  2. Alshon Jeffery to PUP.
  3. Daeshon Hall to PUP.

That'll get them to 84. I'll guess the four remaining cuts will be:

  1. OT Casey Tucker
  2. DT Albert Huggins
  3. CB Michael Jacquet
  4. WR Shelton Gibson

Question from PhillyRob: Jimmy - How many Miracles in the Meadowlands have there been? I’ve always thought 4, but have seen others mention 2 or 3. By my count: 

  1. The original with Herm, and Merrill shouting “I don’t believe it.” 
  2. When Clyde picked up a blocked FG and scored the GW in OT.
  3. Westbrook’s punt return TD late in the 4th quarter on a day where the Eagles couldn’t get anything going offensively. 
  4. Perhaps the greatest 8 and a half minutes of non-playoff Eagles football punctuated by DeSean’s walk off punt return TD, with Coughlin red faced on the sideline being the icing on the cake.

I think there are three. On the Simmons TD, the Eagles could have just kicked the FG for the win, and there'd have been no drama, so in that sense it wasn't a miracle. Pre-play, the thinking was, the Eagles are going to win this game, and that's what happened. I do get that it was an oddball way to win a game, but I wouldn't consider it a miracle since the expected result happened.

I will say that it was indeed very entertaining. The best part about it was Bill Parcells sprinting in to yell at the officials, arguing that the offense can't advance a blocked field goal. He would have been right if it were fourth down, which it wasn't.

It's wild how many crazy finishes there have been there. If you're a Giants fan with season tickets heading to the stadium for an Eagles game, you have to have in your mind, "OK, what nonsense is going to happen today?"

Question from Bdawk: You were wrong about Jason Peters coming back / willingness to play guard, and Alshon likely staying this season. Will this be your worst offseason set of predictions yet?

By far. Let's take a look back.


Let's go point-by-point:

  1. To be determined if Alshon ever plays another snap with the Eagles again, but they're not cutting him, so that's wrong.
  2. They did purge most of these guys, but JP and McLeod are back. In fairness, I did later change course on JP after watching Andre Dillard's 2019 season closely, and later confirming the Eagles' concerns about him. I also perhaps misjudged the interest JP would generate around the league, which apparently just wasn't there, paving the way for a move to guard. The move to guard did indeed surprise me, seeing as JP GOT MAD WHENEVER IT WAS BROUGHT UP!!!. Anyway, I'll take a 0.5 on that one.
  3. So they didn't sign Byron Jones, but they did trade for Darius Slay and give him a lucrative contract extension. I'll count that as a win.
  4. I was surprised they didn't sign a receiver in free agency, but they did draft three receivers and traded for Marquise Goodwin. That's a win.
  5. They did not find middle ground with Malcolm.

2.5 out of 5 sucks. I'll need to salvage a bad-but-not-awful 3.5 points by having the Eagles win the division again.

Question from Kephas: If you had to get stuck quarantining in one away team city, which would you pick?

I'll do my top five. Under normal circumstances, cities with great nightlife like New Orleans, or Nashville, or Las Vegas would make the cut, but since I'm not out going to bars these days (and neither should you or Dallas Goedert), they're out. Under quarantine conditions, I've done a lot of biking, running, and surfing (on rare occasions there have been waves), so I'll mostly pivot to cities (and vicinity) that provide ways to be active outdoors.

5) Philadelphia: Home is where the heart is.

4) Tampa: Tampa is a little too generic for my tastes. There's no grit, no personality, if that makes any sense. So under normal circumstances, it would be more in the 8-12 range for me, but since I can't go anywhere anyway, I'll take the chill beaches of Clearwater, St. Petersburg, etc.

3) Seattle: Seattle is one of my favorite cities to have visited in my NFL travels, and it didn't feel crowded in my experience there. But beyond the city, there are tons of parks out that way, and it's on the water.

2) Phoenix: Do I have a pool? Or at least an accommodating friend who I know who has been social distancing who has one? That'll be a pre-requisite for Phoenix during the summer months, since obviously the extreme heat is an issue. But in the fall, winter, and spring, it's just gorgeous out there, notably Sedona, which is a little more than an hour away. 

1) San Francisco: The actual city of San Francisco is cool, but it's the surrounding area that's really the appeal. Back in my Wall Street days, I had sales trip in and around San Francisco, and out there, the finance folks get to work super early in the morning (the markets open there at 6:30 a.m.), and I had some time to kill in between early morning and afternoon meetings. The early-morning meeting was north of San Fran (over the Golden Gate Bridge), at the conclusion of which I asked the client where I could kill a few hours, and he suggested Muir Beach, which you get to by driving through Muir Woods. All of it (the woods, the beach, and everything in between) was my jam.

Anyway, it's still the morning, and I'm just kind of hanging out on the beach, in a suit and tie, and locals start showing up with their dogs, and grills and whatnot, and this huge cookout is suddenly going on all around me. This was like, a Tuesday. Apparently these people did this regularly, at least at the time. Give me all of that, please. Oh, and there's world-renowned surfing nearby, too.

To note, San Diego would have easily made the cut had those jerks not moved to L.A.

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