Eagles Timetable for New Head Coach Could Shorten after Weekends Postseason Exits

Eagles Timetable for New Head Coach Could Shorten after Weekends Postseason Exits

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The NFL playoffs are down to the final four, which might be
good news for fans that are anxiously waiting for the Eagles to end a head
coaching search entering its third week.

Of the clubs that are still alive, only members of the
Atlanta Falcons’ coaching staff have been linked to the Birds, and neither Mike
Nolan nor Keith Armstrong seems like a strong candidate. That combined with the
news the Birds are done with college coaches means Jeffrey Lurie could be announcing
his hire before the conclusion of this week.

It’s possible the Eagles have their sights set on somebody
from the Baltimore Ravens– though no names have come up – but Lurie and company
had the option to interview members of New England Patriot and San Francisco
49er staffs during their bye week. In Nolan’s and Armstrong’s case, the team
took advantage.

Denver’s Mike McCoy interviewed last weekend, and Seattle’s
Gus Bradley snuck in a meeting on Saturday. Cincinnati’s Jay Gruden and
Indianapolis’ Bruce Arians are scheduled over these next two days. Ex-Bears
coach Lovie Smith remains available, and former Super Bowl-winning head coach
with the Ravens Brian Billick is suddenly on the radar.

There is at least a chance the list grows. Coaches from the
Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans are approachable for the first time
following their exits. For instance, Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements
in particular is a name that has been mentioned in association with various
head coaching searches.

However, now that most of the options are free to go
wherever they like, it’s reasonable to expect far more movement over the coming
days. The majority of the known candidates have already sat down with Eagles
brass, and with four other vacancies around the league, there is plenty of
competition.

One can only hope that spurs the team into action, if for no
other reason than because it’s become a vexing process to follow. Yes, of
course the most critical aspect by far is the Eagles wind up with the best man
for the job, and by that token they can take as much time as they like. All the
same, I don’t think I’m alone in saying the end would be a welcome relief.

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Jahlil Okafor trade watch: Bulls reportedly unwilling to trade first-round pick

Jahlil Okafor trade watch: Bulls reportedly unwilling to trade first-round pick

With the NBA trade deadline nearly upon us — 3 p.m. Thursday — here is the latest on Jahlil Okafor. (We'll update this with news on Okafor throughout the afternoon.)

• The Bulls are still pushing to acquire Okafor, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Chicago has been one of the rumored destinations for weeks — in fact, the Bulls were reported as a suitor for Okafor before the Pelicans, Blazers and Pacers.

• What's the hold-up? According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls "have shown no inclination to this point of including" their first-round pick, along with a player, which is what the Sixers have been seeking for Okafor.

Johnson notes that forward Nikola Mirotic is available. Mirotic, 26, is a restricted free agent after the season. With Ersan Ilyasova traded to Atlanta Wednesday night, perhaps the Sixers could look at Mirotic as a backup four to Dario Saric. 

Mirotic's value is in his outside shooting — he's a 6-foot-10 forward who made 39 percent of his threes last season. But his numbers have dipped across the board this season and he's shooting just 38 percent from the field and 30 percent from three.

• According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Okafor's preferred landing spot is Chicago, his hometown.

• Obviously, it's not up to Jah — the Sixers will go with whichever offer is best.

Eagles wise to bring Jason Peters back, even with full salary

Eagles wise to bring Jason Peters back, even with full salary

This isn't a big surprise, but Jason Peters will be back with the Eagles — big salary and all — for the 2017 season.

While the Eagles approached the veteran left tackle about his contract in January, Peters has not restructured his deal, according to a league source. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Thursday morning reported that Peters will be back next season on his normal contract. 

Yes, Peters is expensive in 2017. His base salary after hitting another Pro Bowl escalator written into his contract is up to $10.45 million for next season (plus a $250K workout bonus), which comes with a big cap hit of $11.7 million. That cap hit is the highest on the team, but not outlandish for a high-caliber left tackle. 

The Eagles could have very well cut Peters and moved on. It would have saved them significant cap space to use elsewhere. They just wouldn't have found any player more valuable to pay with that money. 

Peters, 35, is still their best option to protect Carson Wentz's blind side. He made his ninth Pro Bowl in 2016 after playing all 16 games. The team hasn't been shy about wanting him back and Peters toward the end of the season said he wanted to return for another year. 

"We certainly want to have him back," Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said of Peters in early January.

“I love him. I want him on the team,” head coach Doug Pederson said with two games remaining this past season. “I don’t want him to go anywhere."

With Peters back, it means Lane Johnson's eventual trip to left tackle will be held off for another year. Eventually, he'll take over that spot … just not right now. 

During the season, Peters opened up about his future, saying he hopes Wentz can be the guy who finally gets him a Super Bowl ring (see story).