Can't Stop, Won't Stop: Eagles Sign DL Cullen Jenkins, trade Brodrick Bunkley

Can't Stop, Won't Stop: Eagles Sign DL Cullen Jenkins, trade Brodrick Bunkley

The Eagles continue adding high priced talent during this unusual free agency period, even when conventional wisdom would suggest they are finished. The newest member of the incoming class is defensive lineman and reigning Super Bowl Champion Cullen Jenkins. Jenkins played defensive end in Green Bay's 3-4 system, but projects to a defensive tackle in the Birds' 4-3.

The contract is for five years, valued at $25 million.

Coming into this off-season, the Eagles' biggest need was arguably for an interior pass rusher who could get pressure in the quarterback's face. Jenkins was never really on the radar though, because it was suspected he would remain in a 3-4 system. Plus, with all the money they've tied up in Babin and Asomugha so far, we just assumed the big moves were finished. Not so, apparently.

At 6-2, 305, Jenkins certainly has the size to move back inside, where he played earlier in his career. The 30-year-old Central Michigan product had a career high total in sacks last season with seven, and that was only starting eight games and playing in 11. He has 29 career sacks in his seven-year NFL career.

In theory, this is a great move. We'll see if what Jenkins did in Green Bay last season while playing along superstars such as Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson. On a line with Babin and Cole though, and a secondary stocked with Pro Bowl talent, he should find himself in an enviable position to do some serious damage in opposing teams' backfields.

(Update: Adam Schefter reports Brodrick Bunkley been traded to Cleveland for a fifth round pick, so there's that.) Meanwhile, we wonder if this could be the end of Brodrick Bunkley in Philadelphia. The former first round pick has one year remaining on his contract, and he never regained his starting job from Antonio Dixon last season after missing several games with an injury. Buckley's tenure has been a disappointment considering the Eagles used the 16th pick of the 2006 Draft, and he already wasn't likely to return next year.

We'll see if the other shoe drops on this one, but when there is this much spending, usually it means there will be a corresponding move or moves.

As for the Eagles, yes, they very clearly are going for it here, and, oh yeah, it's awesome. Truly an exciting time to be a football fan in Philadelphia.

Flyers-Stars 5 things: Streaking like it's 2002?

Flyers-Stars 5 things: Streaking like it's 2002?

Flyers (16-10-3) vs. Stars (11-11-6)
1 p.m. on CSN and CSNPhilly.com

Remember when it was a fight for the Flyers to simply sew together back-to-back wins?

Prior to this run, they had done it just twice in the first 22 games.

Now, they’re the hottest team in the NHL, winners of seven straight and trying to make it eight on Saturday afternoon when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Wells Fargo Center.

Here are five things you need to know for the matchup:

1. The great eight?
Jeremy Roenick, Mark Recchi, John LeClair and Eric Desjardins.

Roman Cechmanek and Brian Boucher.

These are just some of the players that were wearing Flyers jerseys when the team last won eight consecutive games, back on Jan. 6-19, 2002.

It’s worth mentioning, before the 2004-05 season, winning streaks were a bit more challenging with a tie being the result if overtime went scoreless. The extra session was also not 3-on-3, like it is now.

Still, what the current Flyers are doing is impressive. They’ve gone to the shootout only once over the seven-game spurt and have outscored the opposition by 10 goals, 27-17.

2. Raffl winners
Dave Hakstol has called Michael Raffl a big-bodied, straight-line forward, which is certainly not off the mark.

But from time to time, Raffl will show the deceptive skill side of his game.

He did it Thursday night to win the Flyers’ 6-5 affair over the Oilers in the final minute and a half of regulation for his second game-winner over the last three contests.

"Raf has this stutter step that's undercover speedy," Steve Mason said postgame Thursday (see story). "He used it in Nashville to get a big goal and then here tonight.

"It looks like he's going to stop fully up, but he finds another gear and he really adds another element to that line that brings physical play.

"He has that sneaky talent, too, that can make you pay."

Raffl is quietly making teams pay. The Flyers are 4-0-2 in games that he scores a goal. Despite missing eight games because of injury, the 28-year-old Austrian is on pace for around 20 goals.

That’s much-valued secondary scoring and complementary play.

3. Not so bright
Before reeling off seven straight wins, the Flyers were in a similar spot to which the Stars are in now.

Dallas, which finished 50-23-9 last season — best in the Western Conference — after starting 19-5-0, can’t find consistency through 28 games this season. The Stars have won back-to-back games just once thus far and goaltending has been an issue as Dallas is surrendering an NHL-worst 3.18 goals per game.

The Stars do not lack offensive firepower, however. Center Tyler Seguin is tied for second in the NHL with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists), while linemate Jamie Benn isn’t far behind at 24 (eight goals, 16 assists).

Also, veteran forward Jason Spezza is coming off a three-point game (one goal, two assists) in Dallas’ 5-2 win over the Predators.

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: We’ve got to go Jakub Voracek after the winger’s one-goal, three-assist performance on Thursday night. Voracek has been an absolute monster on the seven-game winning streak, posting 11 points with three goals and eight assists for a plus-6 rating.

Stars: It’s hard not to say Seguin, a dynamic player who always gives the Flyers trouble. His 21 career points (nine goals, 12 assists) against the orange and black are his second most versus any team.

5. This and that
• Mason is on a career-best six-game winning streak in which he’s posted a 2.27 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. Since Nov. 12, Mason is 9-3-1 with a 2.34 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

• Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is a dreadful 1-10-3 lifetime against the Flyers with a 3.49 goals-against average and .891 save percentage, while backup Antti Niemi is 4-1-0 with 1.48 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.

• Dallas has won its last three meetings with the Flyers by a combined score of 7-3.

• The Stars have lost 11 of 15 on the road.

• Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last four games.

Penn State fan surprised with Rose Bowl tickets in heartwarming video

Penn State fan surprised with Rose Bowl tickets in heartwarming video

It's been a long road back to relevance for the Penn State football program. 

The Nittany Lions surprised just about everyone this season by finishing 10-2, winning the Big Ten title and claiming a spot in the historic Rose Bowl against USC on Jan. 2. 

For one fan, the surprise season went one step further.

Per ESPN's Instagram account ...

But wait, there's more. 

Not only was he surprised with Rose Bowl tickets in what could be the most touching video of the year, but he even got a personal call from Penn State head coach James Franklin thanking him for his support. 

Not a bad way to close out 2016.