Can Felix Jones Help the Eagles?

Can Felix Jones Help the Eagles?

You wouldn’t necessarily describe the Eagles as being thin at running back, not with All-Pro LeSean McCoy and impressive 22-year-old Bryce Brown. However, since Dion Lewis was shipped to Cleveland for linebacker Emmanuel Acho, there is definitely an opening on the roster.

That explains why the team is kicking the tires on Felix Jones. On Tuesday ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Eagles gave the former Dallas Cowboy and first-round pick a workout, which for now GM Howie Roseman is describing as “due diligence.”

That explanation is fine, but assuming all went well the Birds may want to consider offering Jones a contract next.

For starters, it’s unclear who will fill the third running back spot vacated by Lewis. Chris Polk seems the clear favorite among the players currently on the roster. Polk managed to make the team last season as an undrafted free agent out of Washington, so the organization appears to think highly of him. Chip Kelly's familiarity with him from the Pac-12 can't hurt, either.

Aside from Polk, the club has two new undrafted rookies on the 90-man roster, likely just camp bodies. Maybe they have a shot at making the final cut, but then a little veteran competition couldn’t hurt, either.

Brown for that matter is no sure thing. With his combination of size and speed, there’s no doubt the Eagles would like the second-year back to be the uncontested number two behind Shady. Fact is he had a fumbling problem last season, and while that can be corrected, it’s not a given, especially not over one offseason.

Still, Jones could be more than competition. He never quite fulfilled his potential with Dallas, but the cat didn’t post bad numbers at all, running for 2,728 yards over five seasons at an impressive 4.8 yards per carry. He added another 1,062 yards through the air on 127 receptions.

That said, 2012 was Jones’ worst season in the NFL. Part of the reason for that might be playing in the worst rushing offense in the NFL. Regardless, he posted a career-low 3.6 YPC regardless, while his 664 yards from scrimmage were his lowest since he was a rookie.

And Jones hasn’t always been the most sound ball carrier himself, fumbling the ball at least twice in each of the past four season despite limited touches.

Is he a player in decline? Hard to say from the outside, and likely one of the answers the Birds were trying to get from a workout. Jones isn’t old or anything, turning 26 today as a matter of fact, and he doesn’t have a ton of mileage on him at the NFL level, only 569 carries in five seasons – that’s two seasons worth to some backs.

Of course the other issue here is besides returning kicks – something the team wouldn’t necessarily ask him to do – Jones doesn’t play on special teams. The third back usually helps out on the coverage unit, something Polk did for the Eagles last season.

Then again, the team carried four running backs a season ago, so it’s not exactly mandatory.

Could Jones help the Eagles? He was a special talent coming out of college, it just never quite materialized in the pros. He has been an effective spell though, something the Birds could probably use in Kelly’s up-tempo system.

We’ll see what the Eagles think after they’ve had another camp or two to evaluate their own players, but don’t undersell Felix Jones. He didn’t live up to being a first-round pick, but he might have some value yet in the NFL.

Union sign second-round pick, defender Aaron Jones

Union sign second-round pick, defender Aaron Jones

The Union have signed their second-round draft choice, Aaron Jones, from last month’s MLS SuperDraft. 

The 5-foot-9 defender was selected 33rd overall and is the second player the Union have signed from the Jan. 13 draft. Marcus Epps was the first to sign. 

Jones has been practicing with the team in their preseason camp and has impressed the front office. 

“We are pleased to sign Aaron to an official MLS contract,” Union sporting director Earnie Stewart said. “Aaron has impressed throughout his time with us in preseason camp, displaying quickness, his ability in passing and on free kicks, and his aggressive one-on-one defending. We look forward to bringing him aboard officially and tracking his development at the right back position over the years to come.”

The 22-year-old originally played at the collegiate level with Georgia State University between 2013-2014. He made 35 starts while scoring three goals with five assists. He transferred to Clemson before the 2015 season and finished his final two seasons with the Tigers. In those two seasons he made 38 starts, scoring four goals, and gathered seven assists. 

Flyers clash with Penguins in cheapest outdoor game this season

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Flyers clash with Penguins in cheapest outdoor game this season

Editor's note: The following is sponsored content written by TicketIQ.

Attending this year’s Stadium Series game won’t come at much of a cost for fans at Heinz Field.

With the Penguins set to host the Flyers in the 68,000-plus seat stadium on Saturday, tickets are the cheapest of all three outdoor games this season. On TicketIQ, CSN Philly’s official ticketing partner, Penguins vs. Flyers Stadium Series tickets now average $202.

Saturday’s game is considerably cheaper than the Centennial Classic and Winter Classic, which were held in Toronto and St. Louis last month, respectively. The Winter Classic between the Blues and Blackhawks averaged a $632 ticket while the Maple Leafs and Red Wings’ Centennial Classic posted a $299 average.

As it stands now, this weekend’s game owns the third lowest average for a Stadium Series game in the last four years, trumped only by a 2016 game between the Wild and Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which owned an overall average of $160. It is the cheapest two-day-out average that any game has posted, however, inching past a 2015 game between the Sharks and Kings ($203) for that title.

Only a 2014 Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium between the Rangers and Islanders owned a lower get-in price ($45) two days out than Saturday’s game at Heinz Field. Penguins vs. Flyers tickets currently start from $67 each in the 500 sections.

The Flyers will play in their first Stadium Series game since the format was created in 2014. It will be their third overall outdoor game after 2010’s Winter Classic at Fenway Park and 2012’s Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park.

The game comes at a crucial time for the Flyers, who remain on the cusp of a playoff spot in a crowded Eastern Conference. As of Thursday afternoon, they sit just three points removed from the second wild-card spot. Some pushing and shoving will occur over the next two months, however, as several other teams fight for that last playoff berth.

The Penguins play host to their second outdoor game at Heinz Field following 2011’s Winter Classic against the Capitals. It will be the reigning Stanley Cup champions’ fourth outdoor game since 2008. They enter Saturday owners of the second seed in the Metropolitan division behind the league-best Capitals with 82 points in tow.