Howie Roseman discusses potential Malcolm Jenkins trade report

Howie Roseman discusses potential Malcolm Jenkins trade report

Updated: 9:06 a.m.

If fans turned on their radios on Wednesday afternoon and expected to hear Howie Roseman firmly deny a report that the Eagles had offered up Malcolm Jenkins in a potential trade for Brandin Cooks, they were disappointed.

No such denial came.

Although, Roseman did offer a stronger denial the next day on 97.5 TheFanatic: 

https://twitter.com/975TheFanatic/status/842352764558692352

But in an offseason in which Roseman has already denied one report very strongly, Roseman danced around the topic on the WIP afternoon show on Wednesday afternoon. 

The original report, from ProFootballTalk, said the Eagles offered up Jenkins, a third-rounder and a fourth-rounder for Cooks, but the Saints wanted a second-round pick, along with Jenkins. Of course, Cooks was later traded to New England.

Roseman, in his first public speaking appearance since the report surfaced, was asked about the report. 

Here's what he said:

"Any time good players are available in this league, we're going to be making phone calls if they fit us. That's our job. That's our responsibility to do. We have to be aggressive for the right guys and see what it takes to get them. And by the same token, people should be interested in Malcolm Jenkins. He is a heckuva player. And by the same token, we don't want to give him up. Just because teams want guys or ask for guys, that doesn't necessarily mean we're going to give them up. For us, we felt like the best combination for our football team was to go and address the receiver position the way we did in free agency and keep our defensive backfield. Which as we look at it, we're continuing to try to address that position. We're very happy about the way it worked out. And at the same time, we understand there are good players on our team that other teams would like to have."

From there, Roseman was asked if it was a deal-breaker once Jenkins' name entered the discussions. 

Here was his answer there: 

"Yeah, from our perspective, it didn't make a lot of sense to do something there that would hurt the team when we could address it in a different way. At the end of the day, we felt like the best way for us to move forward was to address the position in free agency. But certainly, we had a lot of conversations with a lot of teams and I think we owe it to our organization and our fans to try to see if there are opportunities to try to improve this team outside of the building, especially when good players are available. And we did spend a lot of time talking to teams down there and at the end of the day, it certainly wasn't anything where we felt like we were close to getting completed and that's why we went in the different direction we did in free agency."

Jenkins, 29, is entering his fourth season with the Eagles after joining them from the Saints in free agency before the 2014 season. In addition to being a community activist off the field, Jenkins has been incredibly important to the Eagles on the field. 

But in 2017, Jenkins has a $7.5 million cap hit and he's nearing 30, while Cooks is just 23 and might have the best football of his career ahead of him. 

Shortly after the report surfaced, Jenkins tweeted the following message to his followers: 

Roseman said it's always important to communicate with players when their names are brought up in possible trade reports. Jenkins will be no different. 

"And when you talk about Malcolm Jenkins," Roseman said, "the kind of player he is, the kind of leader he is on this football team, what he's done in this community, I mean, he certainly deserves the respect when something like that comes out there, to communicate with him."

'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."

Seumalo, Vaitai comfortable heading into Year 2 after busy rookie seasons

Seumalo, Vaitai comfortable heading into Year 2 after busy rookie seasons

Had everything gone to plan in 2016, Isaac Seumalo and Halapoulivaati Vaitai would have spent their rookie seasons watching from the sideline. 

Everything didn't go to plan. 

Allen Barbre had a hamstring injury, Lane Johnson was suspended for 10 games and Brandon Brooks lost two games as he dealt with anxiety issues. 

As a result, Seumalo and Vaitai, third- and fifth-round draft picks, respectively, aren't just one year into their NFL careers. They've also played significant NFL snaps. 

And this year, they'll arrive at training camp as seasoned veterans, not green rookies. So which has had the greater impact: the year or playing time? 

"It’s both," head coach Doug Pederson said. "It's a combination of both. But the biggest thing is the actual playing time last year has really put them in good position this year."

Vaitai ended up playing in seven games with six starts. He played a total of 423 snaps as a rookie and filled in for Johnson until he went down with a knee injury. After a rough start — really rough — Vaitai settled in and showed signs that he could possibly be the Eagles' right tackle of the future. 

When asked about the difference in Vaitai from last year to this year, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland laughed before answering. 

"Night and day, apples and oranges," Stoutland said. "Just his understanding of the position, his balance, his body control, the way he uses his hands. This is a lot faster game than college."

Vaitai found out about the speed of the game first-hand in Week 6 last year. Thanks to Johnson's suspension, Vaitai started at right tackle and didn't have a bad game. He had a horrible game. 

He didn't need to think very long when he was asked what his "welcome to the NFL" moment was. 

"It was that game," he said. "Because in camp I'm going with the threes and twos. I was still a rookie, but when I got thrown into the fire, I learned real quick that if you're not doing great, then you're out. I didn't want to be a disappointment to my family and be that guy who gets drafted and then is out the next year."

Seumalo ended up playing in nine games with four starts and a total of 335 snaps. He played four positions along the offensive line; the only one he didn't play was his most natural spot at center. 

"It's not just the year, it's the playing experience," Stoutland said. "He's played in nine games I think he started four of those games. ... He played a lot of football in his first year. Just that experience in playing those positions and understanding the angles we need to take. He's a very intelligent player. I love coaching players of his magnitude. They have talent, they're smart. Really all you do is coach him one time on something and he pretty much has it."

Seumalo didn't get to play at center last year because veteran Jason Kelce didn't miss any of the 1,133 snaps in 2016. Kelce is still on the team, but it seems like the Eagles are grooming Seumalo to eventually take over. Even this spring, the second-year lineman has been taking some first-team reps at center. 

That's actually how Seumalo thinks he got better. By learning the center position, he gained a better grasp of the offense. That, combined with a year under his belt and significant playing time, have him feeling much more confident heading into Year 2.

"Training camp was tough and a grind and the season is just long," Seumalo said. "Now, I know what to expect a little bit more."