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It's unusual that we haven't signed our rookies yet

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  • It's unusual that we haven't signed our rookies yet

    On the clock: Eagles need perfect attendance at training camp

    As fast as Eagles rookie Jalen Reagor (1 may be, he won't be able to report to training camp without a contract.
    As fast as Eagles rookie Jalen Reagor (1 may be, he won't be able to report to training camp without a contract. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)
    The Eagles have some essential business to take care of here in the next few days.

    Their biggest advantage over more talented NFC East rival Dallas likely will be lost if their top rookies miss time in a training camp that will be abbreviated and restricted due to a coronavirus pandemic that continues to explode out of control in this country.

    The Cowboys have a new coach in Mike McCarthy and perhaps some unrest after failing to get quarterback Dak Prescott, who could be looking over his shoulder at veteran Andy Dalton, locked in with a contract extension.

    Actually, the Eagles are the only team in the division without a new head coach for 2020. But with eight of 10 draft picks still unsigned four days before all rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans are due to report to training camp on July 21, they could be looking at lost time for the players that need practice repetitions the most.

    Even having them all in on time presents an unusually difficult challenge compared to most years. This is not only because of how the virus kept them from practicing together in the offseason, but because of how much they revamped their coaching staff, particularly on offense.

    [More Sports] NFL owners: Full speed ahead for full season »
    The team has welcomed new sets of eyes belonging to senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello, wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead, senior offensive consultant Marty Mornhinweg, pass game analyst Andrew Breiner and defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel.

    Getting all their pieces moving in the proper direction in time for their season opener, still tentatively scheduled for Sept. 13 at Washington, would be a challenge even in the best of times, which these are not and will get worse if the Eagles have anything less than perfect attendance from Day 1.

    Their receivers need work together in the worst way. Two of the three they drafted — Jalen Reagor (first round) and John Hightower (fifth round) — remain unsigned. Marquise Goodwin is new after arriving in an offseason trade. DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are coming off injuries that landed them on the injured reserve list in 2019.

    The defensive backfield is undergoing a similar transformation. Unsigned rookie safety K’Von Wallace, veteran safety Will Parks and veteran cornerbacks Darius Slay, Nickell Robey-Coleman and Trevor Williams all are newcomers. In addition, Jalen Mills is attempting to move from cornerback to safety under a new position coach.

    The Eagles have new blood at linebacker as well to help with the loss of starters Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill to free agency. But, rookie draft picks Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley, who both run as well as many cornerbacks, won’t even be able to walk into the NovaCare complex unless contracts are agreed to first.

    Meanwhile, the players’ union and the NFL continue to haggle over major procedural issues for training camp and beyond. Everything seemingly is in dispute, from how many players will be allowed in the locker room at one time to how many preseason games will be played to how many fans will be allowed in the stands.

    No firm plan has been established for how the league will deal with inevitable positive tests for COVID-19.

    Some players could simply opt out too.

    For the Eagles to contend like they believe they will, they need to do a better job of controlling the things they can control. They need to get everyone together as soon as the league allows.

    They need to play ball with no time missed due to contract negotiations.

    They are on the clock.

    Morning Call reporter Nick Fierro can be reached at 610-778-2243 or [email protected].
    "Hey Giants, who's your Daddy?"

  • #2
    everyone will be having these problems. I wonder if we don't have a season how the signed players will be affected.
    We're looking for people that are fundamentally different,” vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl said Saturday night. “The love and passion for football, it's non-negotiable. They're caring, their character, they do the right thing persistently, and they have a relentless playing style that you can see on tape. The motor, it burns hot. You see them finishing plays. They have a team-first mentality. They're selfless individuals.


    • #3
      Originally posted by musicman View Post
      everyone will be having these problems. I wonder if we don't have a season how the signed players will be affected.
      None of them are projected starters anyway. They are only hurting themselves holding out with the short TC this year.
      "Hey Giants, who's your Daddy?"