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.

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Claude Giroux spent Friday signing virtual autographs as the cover athlete for Topps NHL Skate 2017, a new onilne digital trading card game. Remember when trading cards came in a bubble gum pack? 

After the event, Giroux sat down with CSN's Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk for a game of “Who Does It Better: Canada or the United States?”

The game started off with a few easy softball questions, with Giroux picking the NFL over the Candian Football League. Then it got a little tougher, as Giroux chose Canadian hockey over U.S. hockey.

Despite talents like Drake and Shania Twain, Giroux went with the U.S. over Canada in music, and also chose American bacon over Canadian bacon.

Eventually, Barkann asked Giroux which beer he preffered.

“I don’t drink beer," Giroux responded.

Really? What Canadian doesn't like beer?

As he started to get up out of his seat after the interview, Giroux showed his true colors. “I love beer. I love beer,” he said.

Check out the video above to see the full game. 

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the primary target of opponents over his Hall of Fame career, Wayne Gretzky can certainly empathize with the frustration of Oilers star Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning jostled all evening long in a 6-5 Edmonton loss. McDavid denounced the tactics of his opponent after the game, claiming Manning intentionally injured him last season; McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.

"I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it' thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that," said McDavid, who taunted Manning after scoring the second goal in the Oilers' loss.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player," Manning said, according to a statement released by the Flyers. "I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that."

Gretzky didn't mind seeing that fire in McDavid, saying competitiveness is part of what makes the great ones great. And he said the targeting comes with the territory of being a superstar. It was something he and Mario Lemieux dealt with, too.

"And Connor, he's going to get tested every night, but this is not new for him," Gretzky said Friday at the NHL board of governors meetings. "He's been tested since he was a kid and then playing junior hockey and now in the NHL and he's always responded and done his part."