For Eagles and Alshon Jeffery, 1-year deal isn't an issue

For Eagles and Alshon Jeffery, 1-year deal isn't an issue

Alshon Jeffery isn't concerned with not signing a long-term deal with the Eagles.

The 27-year-old receiver was viewed as the prize of the free-agent receiver crop but signed just a one-year deal.

Jeffery is a man of few words but said all the right things in his introductory press conference Friday. When asked in several different ways about his one-year deal, Jeffery continued to avert the question and mention his excitement to be here.

"I really don't think about that," Jeffery said of not getting a long-term contract. "I'm just focusing on playing football. Whatever happens after the season happens. Right now I'm just one day at a time."

Jeffery certainly seems like a perfect fit for the Eagles on the field. A second-round pick by the Bears in 2012, the 6-foot-4 wideout has been to a Pro Bowl and recorded two 1,000-yard seasons. The Eagles haven't had a receiver reach the 1,000 mark since Jeremy Maclin's final season with the team in 2014.

De facto GM Howie Roseman braced Eagles fans for the possibility that the team wasn't going to make a splash in free agency. Instead, Roseman went out and signed the top receiver on the market to fix a glaring need.

According to Roseman, Jeffery was a player the team had targeted all along. It was just a matter of getting him at the right price.

"Well, I wouldn't necessarily say it was something that we wanted,"  Roseman said of the one-year deal. "But from our perspective, it was a win-win situation, and when you have guys on one-year deals, you still have options. I mean, you have tags at your disposal. You have exclusive negotiating rights before free agency.

"For us, we thought it was a great opportunity to get a player who's extremely talented and has something to prove and wanted to be here."

Jeffery is essentially on an expensive one-year tryout. The Eagles' cap situation is tight, but Jeffery has shown the ability to be an elite pass catcher. And as Roseman mentioned, if Jeffery plays well, the team will have options in the offseason.

With that said, Jeffery does come with a certain level of risk. His numbers have dipped, and he's missed time the last two seasons because of injuries and a PED suspension. Jeffery was contrite when asked about his misstep that cost him four games last season.

"[I'm] just focusing on what I put in my body," Jeffery said. "Just being more careful. I'm past that. I'm going to have the right [people], like everyone around me, we're going to be on the same page. From the team standpoint, whatever happens, I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen again."

Joined by vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas, Roseman said he understood the risk but was comfortable with a deal for Jeffery.

"Joe was with [Jeffery] in Chicago," Roseman said. "Dwayne Joseph, our pro director, was with him in Chicago. Our wide receiver coach [Mike Groh] was with him in Chicago. [Running backs coach] Duce Staley, we all know about him in South Carolina. We had a lot of information on him, and he wanted to be here, which is always a good thing to have, and he was excited about the direction we were going in."

Jeffery said that Groh wasn't a factor in him choosing the Eagles but that he was glad to be back with him. Jeffery enjoyed his best seasons under Groh in 2013 and 2014. In those two seasons, Jeffery caught a combined 174 passes for 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns.

In the last two seasons, Jeffery has found the end zone only six times, but he could give the Eagles' red zone offense a much needed shot in the arm. When asked about his favorite routes that have led to success in that department, Jeffery didn't mince words.

"There's a only a few routes you can run," Jeffery said.

When pressed further, Jeffery, as he did during the entire presser, put it simply.

"Just throw it up."

NFL Notes: Saints DT Nick Fairley to miss 2017 season with heart condition

NFL Notes: Saints DT Nick Fairley to miss 2017 season with heart condition

METAIRIE, La. -- Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley is coming off one of his best NFL seasons and it might have been his last.

At the very least, he won't be playing for New Orleans in 2017.

General manager Mickey Loomis said Monday that Fairley has been placed on the team's reserve list with a non-football illness designation, meaning the 2016 starter is out for this season.

The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Fairley had a career-best 6 sacks for the Saints last season, after which he signed a four-year extension worth up to $28 million.

However, symptoms related to an enlarged heart caused Fairley to miss offseason practices and minicamp while he saw specialists to determine whether playing football would be an undue health risk.

Saints coach Sean Payton has said at least one specialist recommended that the 29-year-old Fairley -- a former Auburn star and 2011 first-round draft pick by Detroit -- give up football. Payton also had mentioned that he wanted to be sure Fairley wouldn't return unless he was confident enough in his health to play to his full potential.

"The most important thing right now in our mind is his well-being," Payton said earlier this month, when Fairley's status for this season was still in doubt.

"To play this game, there's a little bit of mental toughness involved, obviously. I want to make sure, if in fact he's playing it, again that he's playing with full confidence that he's healthy to play and that nothing severe would come of him playing."

Vikings: Floyd sentenced to 1 day in jail
An Arizona judge has ordered Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd to serve one day in jail for failing alcohol tests that he blames on a type of fermented tea.

Floyd and his lawyer did not attend the Scottsdale City Court hearing and had a teleconference with Judge Statia Hendrix.

The hearing was meant to give Floyd the chance to make his case regarding the failed alcohol tests and another one he missed earlier this month, which stemmed from a 2016 drunken driving arrest where Scottsdale police say they found him passed out behind the wheel.

Vikings officials say they encouraged Floyd to drink a fermented tea called kombucha.

Hendrix ordered Floyd start his additional jail time Monday evening in Phoenix before concluding his final five days of house arrest.

Panthers: Newton throws for 1st time since shoulder surgery
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton is throwing again.

The Panthers said on Twitter on Monday the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 2015 threw his first passes since surgery in March for a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

Newton is on schedule to participate in the team's training camp in July and barring setbacks should be ready for the start of the season.

The Panthers released a short black-and-white video of Newton throwing in the team's locker room.

Newton turned down interview requests through the team's public relations staff. He said on the team's website that while he's not 100 percent it felt "cool" to be throwing for the first time in six months.

Packers: Former RB Ahman Green charged with child abuse
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Former Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green was charged Monday with felony child abuse after his 15-year-old daughter told police he punched her in the face.

Green, 40, is also charged with disorderly conduct in the incident late Sunday in the Green Bay suburb of Ledgeview.

According to a criminal complaint, Green's daughter told police that he struck her in the face in a dispute over getting her to do the dishes. She also said he threw her to the ground and against kitchen cabinets.

According to the complaint, Green told deputies he "may have" thrown his daughter to the ground and against cabinets. He said he slapped her in the head and believed he may have hit her glasses, causing a swollen eye, according to the complaint.

A court commissioner ordered Green's release Monday on a $2,500 signature bond after ordering him to have no contact with his daughter or others who may have witnessed the incident.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports Green's next court appearance was set for July 11, to give him time to hire an attorney. Green appeared in court via teleconference from the Brown County Jail. Lee Schuchart, a public defender representing Green at Monday's appearance, called the incident "a constitutional issue" involving "parental rights."

Lammi Sports Management, which has handled Green's appearances, had no immediate comment.

Green was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2014. He is the team's all-time leading rusher and a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Green starred at Nebraska, then spent the first two seasons of his 12-year NFL career in Seattle. He played for Houston in 2007-08, but spent most of his career in Green Bay, his last season coming in 2009.

'Highly respected' Zach Ertz important piece of Eagles' offense

'Highly respected' Zach Ertz important piece of Eagles' offense

It doesn't take long in any conversation about Zach Ertz in Philadelphia before the words "breakout season" are tossed around.
 
Again.
 
But while a good portion of Eagles fans have been impatiently waiting for Ertz to "break out," the 2013 draft pick has quietly put together an extremely impressive start to his career.
 
In four seasons, Ertz has caught 247 passes for 2,840 yards and 13 touchdowns. He's one of just seven tight ends in NFL history to put up those numbers in the first four seasons of a career. The other six: Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates, Jeremy Shockey, Tony Gonzalez, Kellen Winslow and Mike Ditka.
 
Not bad company.
 
But for whatever reason, Ertz hasn't become a real fan favorite. Fans have questioned his talent, his play-making ability and even his toughness.
 
Why the indifference?
 
"I don't know," tight ends coach Justin Peele said. "I love coaching him. I think he's good for this team. Every day he comes to work with the right attitude, trying to get better. He's had some success. I don't know. He's a pleasure to coach and I know he's very highly respected in this organization."
 
Ertz, 26, admitted this spring that the constant criticism from fans used to bother him when he was younger. But now entering his fifth season with the Eagles, he's gotten used to it.
 
Does Ertz think he's underrated or overrated?
 
"Whatever people think, people think," Ertz said earlier this spring on Quick Slants on CSN. "I'm not going to get caught up in people's opinions. It's the guys in this building, their opinions of me. I'm really happy with how I progressed this spring and I think I'm setting the stage for a good season."
 
The one thing Ertz admitted he needs to improve is his production in the end zone. He has just 13 touchdown catches in four years and has never had more than four in a season.
 
To put that in perspective, only two players over the last four years — Matt Forte and Jarvis Landry — have had more catches with 13 or fewer touchdowns. 
 
"That falls on me to go out there every Sunday to make plays," Ertz said. "Show I can do it in the spring and in the summer leading into the season and I'm working really hard at it."
 
The height of Ertz criticism came during a 32-14 Week 13 loss at Cincinnati last season. There was an infamous play where Carson Wentz went scrambling and Ertz failed to block a charging Vontaze Burfict, who was in pursuit. The play actually looked like Ertz got out of the way.
 
It was a bad look.
 
And Ertz knew it. He heard the criticism loudly and went out the next week and had a tough, physical game. But the damage was done. A lot of the fanbase turned on him.
 
"One play is not going to define him," Peele said. "The kid played through injury, he came back quick off of surgery a few years ago. He practices every day. This team is important to him. The game of football is important to him."
 
One way Ertz can win back Eagles fans this year is by having a big season. And that isn't out of the realm of possibility for one big reason. He's entering Year 2 with Wentz.
 
Since he entered the league in 2013, he's played with a new quarterback every season. So for this upcoming year, he's worked hard to build a rapport with Wentz and hopes the two of them can build something (see story).
 
How big of a season can Ertz have in 2017?
 
"It just really depends on the health," Peele said. "He's really talented. He can do a lot of things. He can help this offense in a lot of ways. I'm looking forward to it. He's doing well right now."