Eagles want to build around Carson Wentz and he can help

Eagles want to build around Carson Wentz and he can help

INDIANAPOLIS -- Not only are the Eagles going to build around Carson Wentz, but they're also going to let him help.

Sure, the Eagles sat down with Wentz after the season to talk about a plan, but his contributions when it comes to actual personnel decisions have likely been exaggerated.

He can help in other ways, though.

Namely, he can just be himself: the talented face of a franchise who other guys want to play with. The Eagles view Wentz as the type of bait that could lure potential free agents to Philly.

"First, in free agency, money does talk. There's no question about it," vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said. "But having a guy that people want to play with, and we've had that before. 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."

A year ago at the combine in Indy, the Eagles got to sit down and talk with Wentz for an extended period of time. The process of acquiring Wentz began a year ago in Indy too, when Roseman and Dolphins GM Mike Tannenbaum began discussing a trade that moved the Eagles from the 13th pick in the draft to eighth. From there, the Eagles were able to jump up to two in a trade with the Browns.

A lot has changed since then.

Instead of the focus being on finding a franchise quarterback, in 2017 it's all about surrounding that franchise quarterback with talent that can grow with him. On Thursday, a report surfaced that the Eagles are interested in trading for speedy Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

"One of the compelling things when we made the trade, we certainly gave up a lot to go get him," Roseman said of Wentz. "But when you look around our division, when you look around the QBs who were picked in 2004, and we’re going into the 2017 draft, and those teams are still trying to surround that guy.

"That’s exciting when you can say we may have to take it on the chin for a year or two here from a resource perspective. But if we get this right, we can build around him for a really long time."

The Eagles are trying to be realistic about their situation, which has changed the way they view free agency. On Wednesday, Roseman said the team isn't just one player away from a championship. It will take more. That's why splashing in free agency by getting the biggest name with the highest price tag isn't the plan. Instead, the Eagles want younger players, and it's all about Wentz.

Roseman said this is the first time since the organization started over with Donovan McNabb in the early 2000s that they're in this position.

"It’s hard to think of any higher priority than having a QB on your roster," Roseman said. "At this time last year, our starting QB was a free agent. We were picking 13th and we wanted to figure out a long-term answer there."

The Eagles found their answer at quarterback. Now it's all about helping him to fulfill his potential.

NFL Notes: Raiders reward Derek Carr with record $125 million deal

NFL Notes: Raiders reward Derek Carr with record $125 million deal

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Derek Carr and general manager Reggie McKenzie never doubted the two sides could reach a long-term contract agreement to keep the quarterback with the Raiders before Carr's self-imposed training camp deadline.

Carr was open about how much he wanted to spend his entire career with the organization and after a decade searching for a franchise quarterback the Raiders weren't about to let a player they drafted and developed leave just as he was becoming a star.

So the two sides were able to agree on a five-year, $125 million extension that makes Carr the NFL's richest player, at least temporarily, and won't hinder the team's ability to give its other young stars like AP Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack, receiver Amari Cooper and guard Gabe Jackson new contracts before they hit free agency.

"I think that both sides wanted it to get done," Carr said Friday. "It was two family members just figuring out how to get along, and we did. We figured out a way to do it so that we have the opportunity to sign the other guys that I think are important to this organization. That was really important to me, not just to take every single dime that we could."

Carr will still get plenty. The $25 million per year in new money is the richest contract ever in the NFL, beating out the $24.8 million a year Andrew Luck got from Indianapolis. That could be surpassed with Detroit's Matthew Stafford and Washington's Kirk Cousins in line for new deals soon.

But Carr is not worried about that and the Raiders are pleased to have the face of their franchise under contract through 2022 as they prepare to move to Las Vegas in 2020.

"From the outset, both sides wanted the deal done, and I felt our guys did a great job getting together and hammering it out," McKenzie said. "We both wanted the same thing. That part was easy. We could tell that Derek wanted to be here. And we let him know, without a doubt, that we wanted him here" (see full story).

NFL: Prosecutors appeal Hernandez's voided murder conviction
BOSTON -- Massachusetts prosecutors on Friday appealed a court ruling that erased former NFL star Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction in the 2013 killing of a semi-professional football player.

Hernandez's conviction in the fatal shooting of Odin Lloyd was voided after the former New England Patriots player killed himself in prison. Under a long-held Massachusetts legal principle, courts typically erase the convictions of defendants who die before their direct appeals can be heard.

Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn III filed an appeal with a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court on Friday. He called the rule "archaic" and said it "does not serve the public interest."

"A defendant who commits suicide should not be able to manipulate the outcome of his post-conviction proceedings to achieve in death what he would not be able to achieve in life," Quinn said.

Hernandez's appellate attorneys, John Thompson and Linda Thompson, could not immediately be reached for comment. A message was left at their office in Springfield.

Hernandez took his own life in April days after he was acquitted in a separate, 2012 double slaying in Boston.

The legal principle known as abatement ab initio, or "from the beginning," holds that a conviction should not be considered final until an appeal in the criminal case can determine whether mistakes were made that deprived the defendant of a fair trial.

In their appeal Friday, prosecutors argue that some states have moved away from automatically erasing convictions when defendants die before appeals can be heard. More than a dozen states allow appeals to continue even after death and only dismiss convictions when the appellate court finds that a new trial would have been warranted.

Prosecutors said courts should strike a balance between the rights of defendants and the rights of victims. Lloyd's mother fought back tears after a judge voided Hernandez's conviction in her son's killing.

Michael Vick's father arrested on drug-ring charges

Michael Vick's father arrested on drug-ring charges

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The father of former pro-football star Michael Vick has been arrested on charges of being involved in a drug ring.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that federal authorities arrested 55-year-old Michael Dwayne Boddie on Thursday. A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday in Newport News alleges that he and 11 others conspired to sell heroin.

Boddie is being held without bond until a Monday detention hearing. He was assigned a court-appointed attorney.

Lawrence Woodward, an attorney who's represented both men over the years, did not respond to requests for comment. The federal prosecutor's office declined to comment on the case beyond the charges.

Vick rose to stardom with the Atlanta Falcons before serving prison time for running a dogfighting operation. He played for the Eagles, Jets and Steelers before announcing his retirement in February.