We’re now into the portion of the calendar year where the NFL is normally quiet. By this time every year, minicamps are over and teams are gearing up for training camps to begin in late July.
This year isn’t any different. But it’s also completely different.
Hopefully we’ll be getting ready for training camp in a month.
Until then, let’s get to your Eagles questions:
What’s the most interesting battle that should be looked at when training camp starts?
— Andres Torres (@TAndres456) June 26, 2020
I’ll start by saying there will be plenty of training camp battles. The right guard spot will be interesting to watch with the injury to Brandon Brooks. And linebacker will see new faces fighting for spots.
But the competition I’m most looking forward to is at CB2 between Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones.
With Darius Slay at CB1, teams will likely be eager to challenge the corner who lines up opposite him.
While it seems like Maddox is the frontrunner, I’m still not ready to give up on Jones. And as long as he’s on the roster, there’s going to be some hope that he can finally live up to the potential he had when the Eagles gambled by using a second-round pick on him back in 2017.
No, Jones hasn’t had a very good NFL career and if it ended today, there’s no question that he’d be considered a bust. But Jones has been working hard in the offseason and is more confident than ever. That confidence is likely fueled by several big and clutch plays he made last season.
That said, Jim Schwartz really likes Maddox, who was a 4th-round pick back in 2018. Maddox’s best position seems like nickel corner but the Eagles have Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cre’Von LeBlanc so Maddox will play outside.
At just 5-foot-9, he doesn’t have the typical size of an NFL corner but guys at his height have had successful careers and the Eagles don’t seem to care.
Because there were no spring OTAs or minicamps, Maddox probably has an even bigger edge. My guess is that this spring the Eagles would have rotated the two at the position opposite Slay. Without the spring, Jones will have less of a chance to wrestle away this starting job. But the Eagles would still love nothing more than Jones finally looking like a first-round talent.
Is it time to stop thinking of Howie as a cap wizard? He inherited a great cap situation from Banner et al. and kept it going. He then inherited a bad situation from Chip and in 5 years hasn't been able to fix it. Looking at next year you could make the argument it's worse now
— Mr. E (@JasonwithaJay) June 26, 2020
Nah, Howie is still really good at this. And he has fixed the cap situation enough in the last five years to build a winner. The Eagles have made the playoffs three years straight.
They’re not all going to be hits. So if you look at some individual moves, there are bad ones. None have been worse than the decision to guarantee Alshon Jeffery’s contract in 2020. Roseman did that to free up some cap space last year and I’d bet even he would admit now that it was obviously a mistake.
But what makes Roseman and the Eagles so good at managing the cap is how they do it over a long period of time. None of this is to take anything away from Joe Banner, because it’s true that the Eagles still use plenty of his tricks in current day. Among them is the idea of re-signing your own players before they can smell free agency.
But there are other examples of Roseman’s cap wizardry as well. One of my favorite tricks they’ve been using in recent seasons is one to add dummy years to the end of contracts to spread out salary cap hits. They just used it this offseason when they signed Javon Hargrave.
Hargrave signed a three-year, $39 million contract with a signing bonus but technically it’s a five-year contract in which the final two years void automatically. Why would the Eagles do that? Well, because they can spread out his prorated signing bonus cap hit over five years instead of three. Sure, it leaves dead money when the three years are up, but the idea is that in future years, the cap will continue to rise and the Eagles will be in a better situation to handle it.
How many times will Roob say Lehigh on the pod before the opening day? The over/under is 24.5
— Steve Barnes (@stevebarnes72) June 26, 2020
Roob does love Lehigh. Let’s figure this out. We have 14 weeks before the scheduled start of the 2020 season. We typically do two podcasts per week, but we’ll probably miss a few in the summer. So let’s count on around 24 podcast episodes before the opener. So we need him to say Lehigh at a clip of just above once per episode. Once we get to training camp at the NovaCare Complex, it’s going to come up a lot.
I’m hammering the over.
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