Birds Could Still Trade Up, Not Necessarily For QB

Birds Could Still Trade Up, Not Necessarily For QB

As we suggested over the weekend, perhaps the Eagles did not flatly deny a rumor about their interest in trading for the fourth pick in next week's NFL Draft because they are, in fact, attempting to move up. And while the cost of climbing up to fourth overall is still probably too rich for management's blood, the Cleveland Browns aren't the only team that might be looking to move out of the top 10.

A Tuesday report issued by Sports Illustrated's Terry Pauline on the site TFY Draft Insider reaffirmed rumors that the Eagles are indeed working the phones, testing the waters for potential trading partners. However, it's not Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill they are thought to be pursuing, but instead it's defensive tackle Fletcher Cox out of Mississippi State, who many analysts believe is the top interior lineman available.

The Eagles frequently have been linked to defensive tackles in many mock drafts, and local writers in particular have overwhelmingly made the position a favorite for the club's first round pick. The Birds are seldom content to simply wait for a player to fall into their laps though, and if the war room agrees with the sentiment Cox is the best interior lineman in this draft, you can bet they will make every effort to go get him.

A healthy number of mocks have the first defensive tackle coming off the board by the Carolina Panthers' pick at number nine, which is either Cox or Dontari Poe out of Memphis. If either is a target, Philly will likely have to jump up to seven, where the Jacksonville Jaguars are thought to be willing to move down.

Over the weekend, a report indicated the Eagles were in discussions with the Cleveland Browns for the fourth pick, though a team source told Rebuen Frank that was unlikely. Recently there were whispers they had also contacted the St. Louis Rams about the second pick in the draft, which was eventually traded to the Redskins, with the conversation described as due diligence.

Whatever the Eagles are really up to here, they seem to have everybody guessing, which is always a good thing this time of year. I don't think you can really rule anything out completely, whether that's trading up for a quarterback or defensive tackle, or sitting back and choosing the best player available. They have plenty of flexibility with their first round pick this year, and they appear it to their advantage.

Brett Brown says Ben Simmons will return in January

Brett Brown says Ben Simmons will return in January

Ben Simmons is on track to return to the Sixers in January, Brett Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday. 

Previous reports indicated that Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot in the Sixers' final training camp scrimmage on Sept. 30, would be out three months. Friday's news jives with that, but this is the first time the Sixers have given a timetable.

"It's not doom and gloom," Brown said. "Ben is coming back in January. We are still trying to find information on Jerryd (Bayless). Jahlil (Okafor) is still trying to touch the court in his first preseason game."

With long-term ramifications in mind, there had been some speculation that Simmons' camp wanted him to sit all season. 

This is rather encouraging news and it means the Sixers may avoid watching another of their top picks miss his entire first year.

Union offering great deals on field level seats ahead of MLS Cup Playoffs

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Union offering great deals on field level seats ahead of MLS Cup Playoffs

Playoff soccer is returning to Chester for the first time in five years, and while fans prep for the Union’s first postseason games since 2011, there is no shortage of seating options for Union tickets on the primary market.

Perhaps most importantly, fans won’t have to break the bank to be on hand as the Union compete for their first MLS Cup in franchise history. Union field level seats are available for both the team’s final home regular season game against the New York Red Bulls and the Eastern Conference Semifinal on October 30 should they advance past the knockout round.

The team’s official website lists feet-on-the-pitch seating starting from $155 per ticket for this weekend’s game against the Red Bulls. The first-place Red Bulls head to Talen Energy Stadium with a first-round bye secured, but Union head coach Jim Curtin expects them to bring the pressure with them on Sunday. Fans can look on up close – and for relatively cheap - as the Union look to hand the Eastern Conference leaders their final loss of the regular season.

The Union will take on either New York City FC or Toronto FC in the knockout round either next Wednesday or Thursday. Pending a victory on the road, they’ll return to Talen Energy Stadium to host an Eastern Conference Semifinal game on October 30. Field level seating is still widely available for the team’s first home playoff game since 2011 and start from $178 per ticket.

2016 marks the franchise’s second MLS Cup Playoffs berth in its seven-year existence. They clinched a first-round bye in 2011 but fell to the Houston Dynamo by a 3-1 aggregate in the Conference Semifinals. The Union bring a much different vibe into the playoffs this season, however, after a formidable stretch from September on nearly drowned their postseason hopes. The team won its last game on August 27 against Sporting Kansas City, losing four games and drawing in two others since. 

Despite the team’s recent struggles, there is a sense of renewment that will carry them into the MLS Cup Playoffs. Records are cast aside and the slate is wiped clean, beginning a new path on the long and often tumultuous road to a national championship.