Free Agency Round-up: Eagles Extend Cole

Free Agency Round-up: Eagles Extend Cole

Nearly 24 hours have passed since free agency opened in the NFL, and while there has been a flurry of activity on the marketplace, so far the Eagles have been content to order in. Yesterday, it was Todd Herremans. Today, it was Trent Cole.

The Eagles and Cole agreed to a four-year extension on Wednesday, putting him in midnight green through 2017. Reports are the deal could pay Cole $53 million in new money, with $15 million in guarantees.

Entering his eighth season in the NFL, Cole will turn 30 this season, which makes the extension something of a surprise. In that respect, obviously the organizaion feels there is plenty of tread left on the tires though. Cole recorded double-digit sacks in 2011 for the fourth time in five seasons.

Cole's agent was probably lobbying for a new deal behind the scenes as well. His previous contract was set to run out in 2013, and there was no guaranteed money for the final year. Cole was also underpaid, scheduled to earn $6.3 million total in base salary over the next two seasons.

It's another sign the Eagles don't intend to get too aggressive in free agency, with the focus being placed on continuity instead.

- On that note, I heard a rumor the Eagles could be an 11th hour suitor for defensive end Mario Williams. This, of course, is utterly insane. Even if they had the cap space (they don't), Jason Babin had 18 sacks last season, and now they've locked in Cole. The coaches also need to give Brandon Graham a chance to play so they can make some determination about his future.

- Antonio Dixon signed his one-year restricted tender for $1.9 million.
At that price, the Eagles obviously wanted him back. Another team would
have needed to give up a second round pick to sign Dixon away.

- Breaking update #1: the Eagles have released Jamaal Jackson. Jackson was the longest tenured player on the team, but after suffering consecutive season-ending injuries, Jason Kelce beat him out at center during camp last season.

- By the way, the Eagles freed up about $4 million in the Winston Justice trade, so while they didn't get much in the way of a return, it did give them some much needed breathing room financially. They've shed $6 million in backup offensive linemen alone.

- Speaking of linemen, Carl Nicks accepted a huge offer to join the Tampa Bay Bucs, taking the top guard out of play. The Eagles weren't expected to be in the hunt, but these eye-popping numbers could have an impact on effort to re-sign Evan Mathis: five years, $47.5 million, $31 guaranteed. However, it does further weaken one of the NFC's elites, the New Orleans Saints.

- One of our free agent targets, Jason Campbell, signed a one-year deal to backup Jay Cutler in Chicago. He was probably out of their price range, but for now anyway, the Eagles still appear content to roll with Mike Kafka and Trent Edwards.

- Breaking update #2: Kyle Orton signs with Dallas, will backup The Snake.

- Have to applaud the Redskins for going out and making the best of a bad situation. Unable to pursue Vincent Jackson due to that enormous cap penalty -- he signed in Tampa for five years, $55 million BTW -- Washington went out and beefed up their receiving corps by adding Todd Pinkston and James Thrash, and are close to signing Torrance Small. Oh, wait... that's Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, with Eddie Royal possibly joining them. Good luck with that.

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

As Carson Wentz rolls out of bed, he wins an award. Brushes his teeth, wins an award. Eats breakfast, award.

This time, the Eagles' rookie quarterback has been named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Steelers in a 34-3 Week 3 win.

Against the Steelers, Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and a 125.9 passer rating. He beat out Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, Browns CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun and teammate Wendell Smallwood.

This is the second time in three weeks that Wentz has been named the NFL Rookie of the Week.

Here are the awards Wentz has won so far this season:

- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 1
- NFC Offensive Player of Week 3
- NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month for September
- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 3

Wentz won't have any chances to win more awards this weekend as the Eagles are on their bye. They'll play again on Oct. 9 in Detroit.

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Ryan Howard is batting fifth to begin his final series with the Phillies.

The 36-year-old first baseman, who has donned red pinstripes for 13 seasons, did not play in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Braves, but he is expected to start all three games against the Mets this weekend.

The Phillies have a lot of speed at the top of the lineup, even with Roman Quinn likely done for the season. Cesar Hernandez leads off with Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera right behind him. The trio lead the Phillies in steals with a total of 59 this year. Herrera has 25 while Hernandez and Galvis each have 17.

If you're wondering, Howard has not stolen a base this season, but he was caught stealing once. He hasn't stolen a base since June 26, 2011, before his Achilles injury. He only stole more than one base in a season in 2008, when he swiped eight bases.

Cameron Rupp returns to the lineup at catcher. He'll bat right behind Howard, followed by Jimmy Paredes and Aaron Altherr in the corner outfield.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Jimmy Paredes, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Alec Asher, P

And the Mets lineup:
1. Jose Reyes, 3B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
4. Curtis Granderson, CF
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. T.J. Rivera, 2B
7. Lucas Duda, 1B
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Robert Gsellman, RHP