Didinger: Chance Warmack could rediscover dominant form with Eagles

Didinger: Chance Warmack could rediscover dominant form with Eagles

Give Howie Roseman high marks for his moves on Day One of free agency. He did some pretty slick maneuvering for a guy who didn't have a lot of money to spend and multiple holes to fill.

Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith are the talk of the town today and justly so. It is abundantly clear the Eagles' mission this offseason is to build around quarterback Carson Wentz and with the acquisition of Jeffery, the best receiver on the market, and Smith, a legitimate deep threat, they have begun the process.

But don't overlook the other signing. Chance Warmack could be an impact player as well.

When Warmack played at the University of Alabama, he was a dominant force. At 6-foot-2 and 325 pounds, he was the best guard in college football and it wasn't even close. I had him graded highest -- 9.53 on a 10-point scale -- among all offensive linemen in the 2013 draft. That included three tackles -- Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel and Lane Johnson -- who were among the top four picks overall.

Guards are seldom drafted high but Warmack was. He was selected 10th by Tennessee and, to be frank, his four seasons with the Titans were disappointing. Perhaps it was moving from left guard, where he excelled in college, to right guard in the NFL. But when I saw him with the Titans he didn't look like the same player. Maybe it was the system, maybe he was slow adjusting to the pro game. Whatever, he wasn't the same confident mauler I saw at Alabama.

But there is reason to believe Warmack can recapture his old form with the Eagles. That's because Jeff Stoutland is the Eagles' offensive line coach and if anyone knows Warmack's strengths it is Stoutland, an excellent teacher who coached the O-line at Alabama. My guess is since the Eagles have Brandon Brooks at right guard, they will move Warmack to left guard, his natural position, and hope that by reuniting him with his former college coach it will unlock his potential.

When Warmack was at Alabama, I spoke to a long-time fan of the Crimson Tide. He said, "Chance Warmack is the best lineman we've had here since John Hannah." Hannah, you'll recall, was a 10-time All-Pro with the New England Patriots. Sports Illustrated once put him on the cover with the title "The Best Offensive Lineman of All-Time." Guards rarely achieve such acclaim but Hannah did. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1991.

That's not to say Warmack's career will follow the same trajectory. It certainly didn't in Tennessee. But it is clear he needed a change and it would seem the Eagles represent a great opportunity for a 25-year-old lineman with such a formidable skill set.

I went back to my 2013 scouting report on Warmack and reviewed my notes.

Thick build, natural power...

Dominates at the point of attack...

Strong base, heavyweight punch...

Can pull and block on the second level...

Surprisingly agile for a big man...

Intimidator...

I had 25 pluses in all and only a few negatives, most of them the nit-picking variety. I noted Warmack seemed to tire late in warm weather games so I thought he might need to work harder on conditioning. He was fooled every so often on a line stunt or delayed blitz but mostly it was correctable stuff. Everything else on his college tape was impressive.

To me, several things stood out. One, he finished plays. He didn't just screen off defenders; he put them on the ground. He kept his hands inside, not extended so he was rarely penalized. It was an indication of a well-coached player, something that reflects on Stoutland as well. Warmack was never on the ground. He was always on his feet. He wasn't lunging or diving at shoetops. He had great balance and moved better than his 40-yard dash time (5.49) would suggest.

Signing Warmack one year after signing Brooks indicates a new philosophy for the Eagles' offense. This coaching staff wants more power up front. By retaining Jason Peters (330 pounds), signing Brooks (335) and Warmack (325) to go along with Lane Johnson (320), the Eagles are clearly going to a more physical O-line which raises the question of how soon will center Jason Kelce be giving way to Isaac Seumalo? (My guess is pretty soon.)

For a while now the Eagles have struggled in short yardage. Their O-line couldn't knock the other team off the ball. Adding muscle in the trenches is the quickest way to rectify that.

This was the final entry in my 2013 scouting report on Chance Warmack: Has Pro Bowl tools.

We'll see now if that's still true.

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

As the annual NFL meetings get set to kick off next week, the Eagles originally proposed four playing rule changes and a resolution that could have eventually led to bringing back Kelly green uniforms as an alternate option. 

But after getting feedback from the NFL's competition committee, the Eagles are withdrawing all but one proposal, according to league sources. 

The only one left would prohibit players from leaping over the line of scrimmage on kicking plays. For now, players are allowed to leap line as long as they don't make contact. That proposal, which the NFLPA has previously supported, seems likely to pass. 

That means the other three playing rule changes and the proposal to allow teams to wear helmets that would match their alternative jerseys won't be specifically discussed. 

Translation: No Kelly green jerseys yet. 

Among the 15 proposed playing rule changes the league released on Friday, teams were responsible for seven of them and the Eagles accounted for four of the seven. 

Just because a specific proposal won't be directly discussed, it doesn't mean that topic won't be discussed by the committee in Phoenix during next week's annual league meetings. 

For instance, one of the Eagles' proposals would alter the current replay system. While the Eagles' individual proposal won't be discussed, replay will be a topic of discussion during the meetings.

NFL Notes: Bears sign Mark Sanchez to 1-year deal

NFL Notes: Bears sign Mark Sanchez to 1-year deal

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears have signed quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is expected to back up Mike Glennon next season.

The Bears announced the one-year contract Friday. Chicago is coming off a season in which it went 3-13 and finished last in the NFC North.

The Bears cut quarterback Jay Cutler this month after eight seasons and the next day signed Glennon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a three-year deal.

Sanchez played in two games last season with the Dallas Cowboys, throwing for 93 yards on 10 of 18 attempts. He spent five of his eight seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets before going to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The former Southern California star has appeared in six playoff games. He was selected fifth overall in the 2009 draft.

Redskins: WR Brian Quick signs
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Redskins have signed former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brian Quick.

The team announced the deal Friday morning after agent Patrick Dye posted a photo of Quick signing his contract on SportsTrust Advisors' verified Twitter account.

The signing adds depth to the Redskins' receiving corps after they lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency.

Quick, 27, is 6-foot-5 and gives Washington another tall option along with recently signed receiver Terrelle Pryor. Quick had 41 catches for 564 yards and three touchdowns last season with the Rams.

The 33rd pick in the 2012 draft, Quick has 105 catches for 1,499 yards and 10 touchdowns in 67 games over five seasons with the Rams. He missed part of the 2014 season with a shoulder injury.

Panthers: Jonathan Stewart signs extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Panthers have signed veteran running back Jonathan Stewart to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed Friday.

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman says the 30-year-old Stewart "is still playing at a very high level."

Stewart played in 13 games last season for Carolina and ran for 824 yards with nine touchdowns. He averaged 3.8 yards per carry.

Gettleman isn't worried about Stewart's durability, even though the team's former first-round draft pick has not played in a full 16-game season since 2011 and has missed 24 games the past five seasons with injuries.

Stewart, entering his 10th season, is Carolina's second all-time leading rusher with 6,638 yards and has scored 45 touchdowns rushing and six receivin

Colts: release veteran DT Arthur Jones
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts released defensive tackle Arthur Jones on Friday.

A six-year veteran, Jones was scheduled to cost the team $7.35 million next season. Indianapolis will save $5 million under the salary cap with the move.

Jones did his best work while with Baltimore from 2010-14. He then signed a five-year contract for a total value of $33 million with the Colts, but struggled in Indy. He appeared in 17 games and managed only 1 1-2 sacks and 53 tackles for the Colts.

He was plagued by a series of injuries and also served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancers.

Jones, 30, did not play in 2015 because of an ankle injury. He played in eight games last season, with 15 tackles.