Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith looking forward to playing with 'special' Carson Wentz

Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith looking forward to playing with 'special' Carson Wentz

Way back in September, on Monday Night Football, Alshon Jeffery got an up-close look at his future teammate Carson Wentz.

He liked what he saw.

Of course, back on Sept. 19 in Chicago, Jeffery didn't know he'd join the Eagles this week. Back then, he was standing on the Bears' sideline as Wentz led the Eagles to a 29-14 win at Soldier Field in his second-ever NFL game.

What was Jeffery thinking as he watched?

"Yeah, wow," Jeffery remembered Friday. "This kid is going to be special."

The idea that Wentz is going to be special doesn't belong to Jeffery alone. The Eagles obviously hold that belief and so does fellow receiver Torrey Smith, who also joined the Eagles this week.

At the NovaCare Complex on Friday, both Jeffery and Smith said one of the reasons they came to the Eagles was the chance to play with Wentz, whom the team has billed as the franchise quarterback and the face of the organization.

"That had a lot to do with it," Jeffery said. "I mean, the sky's the limit for him. Me and him texted back and forth, I told him that my job is to help him win the MVP, which I truly believe. The sky's the limit for him. He's a great quarterback.

"He said, 'I don't really care about MVP. I want to win championships.' That's right. That's the right mindset, the right attitude. It means a lot for a young player to say that. Like I said, the sky's the limit for him."

Smith was nearly traded to the Eagles last season, but it never happened. Still, it allowed him to know how interested the Eagles were in him. He officially signed a three-year deal.

Living on the West Coast while playing for the 49ers over the last two years allowed Smith to catch plenty of other NFL games, so he's already seen some of Wentz.

"You can see that he has that 'it factor,'" Smith said. "He's still young so he's not perfect, but I know that he has the potential to get it done. To be able to play with a guy like that, also grow with him and help him in other ways, I'm looking forward to it."

Both Jeffery and Smith are looking forward to getting with Wentz and the other receivers to work out before the entire team gets back together for OTAs.

Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman called it a "great compliment" that free agents want to come and play with Wentz.

But really, that's all a part of the plan.

For the first time in years -- dating back to Nick Foles or even really Donovan McNabb -- the Eagles have a young quarterback they think they can build a franchise around.

Here's what Roseman said last week at the combine about using Wentz as a tool in recruiting: "Having a quarterback that people say, 'I want to play with that guy, I want to build around that guy,' that's huge for you from a recruiting perspective.

"So, if things are close or even and people see that there's this opportunity to build chemistry with a guy over a long period of time, we think that will help us as we go and recruit players."

So far, that seems like it's working.

Report: Eagles work weight incentive into LeGarrette Blount's contract

Report: Eagles work weight incentive into LeGarrette Blount's contract

The Eagles' biggest back might be getting a bit smaller in the coming weeks.

According to a tweet from ESPN's Field Yates, LeGarrette Blount has an incentive in his contract with the Eagles that will net him $50,000 if he weighs in between 240 and 245 pounds when the team reports for training camp on July 24. Blount's one-year deal carries a $1.25 million cap, including a $900,000 base salary as well as a $200,000 signing bonus.

Currently, the Eagles' website lists the two-time Super Bowl champion running back at 6-foot, 250 pounds — at least 30 pounds heavier than any back currently on the roster. 

When asked how much he weighs at an introductory press conference last month, Blount responded, "The weight I need to be at."

Weight clauses have become more and more common, especially with running backs. Seattle's Eddie Lacy earned $55,000 in May when he tipped the scales at 255 pounds (or fewer) and the Seahawks' bruising back will have the chance to earn another $330,000 over the course of six more weigh-ins through the end of the regular season.

The same goes for Atlanta defensive lineman Dontari Poe, who could bank as much as $500,000 in bonuses if he slims down to 330 pounds from his listed 346 pounds.

Eagles have NFL's best offensive line, according to Pro Football Focus

Eagles have NFL's best offensive line, according to Pro Football Focus

Thanks to Lane Johnson’s suspension and a few injuries, the Eagles' offensive line unit wasn’t what most expected it to be in 2016. Should things go according to plan on the O-line in 2017, expectations are high. For Pro Football Focus, they’re as high as it gets.

PFF ranked the Eagles’ O-line No. 1 in the entire league heading into this season, citing the fact that it has the “fewest holes.”

Center Jason Kelce is considered their biggest question mark, but even though his abilities have faded a bit with age, he hasn’t missed a snap in two seasons. That has to count for something.

Allen Barbre and second-year Eagle Brandon Brooks, who allowed just one sack last season, complete the line’s interior. Then, of course, the tackle tandem of Jason Peters and Lane Johnson is hard to beat. PFF says Johnson, when on the field, was the best right tackle last season. Johnson would agree.

Even beyond the first-team unit, the Eagles have experience. Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Isaac Seumalo both saw unexpected snaps as rookies last season because of the reshuffling. That should help moving forward.

Rounding out PFF’s top three are the Browns and Steelers. Cleveland boosted its corps by signing J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler in free agency. The Steelers had the best unit during the second half of last season.

More notably for Eagles fans, the Cowboys come in at No. 9 in PFF’s rankings after owning one of the league’s best O-lines in recent years. Ronald Leary and Doug Free are gone, and La’el Collins’ move to right tackle is not a sure bet for success.

Washington sits two slots below at No. 11. PFF considers continuity the 'Skins' greatest strength — they return all five O-line starters from last season and four of five from 2015.

And the Giants, well, it’ll take some scrolling to reach their spot on the list: No. 28. Left tackle Ereck Flowers was the worst among his position in pressures allowed as a rookie. Eli Manning could be in for a busy season.