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Grading the Eagles’ moves: WR Torrey Smith

Grading the Eagles’ moves: WR Torrey Smith

The Eagles didn’t need a wide receiver. What the offense was missing specifically was speed on the outside – a deep threat, if you will.

Torrey Smith checks that box and comes at a bargain.

Critics can point to two disappointing seasons in San Francisco for Smith, whose production bottomed out with 20 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns in 2016. Yet, despite the down year (as part of a directionless franchise with terrible quarterbacks), his career 17.0 yards per reception ranks third among active NFL players.

Smith is only a year removed from averaging a league-leading 20.1 yards per reception. In 2014, he caught 11 touchdown passes as a member of the Ravens. In 2013, he totaled 1,128 yards receiving. And in 2012, he helped the franchise win a Super Bowl.

In four seasons with Baltimore and a competent quarterback in Joe Flacco, Smith averaged 53 receptions, 898 yards and 7.5 touchdowns per year. And what those numbers don’t account for is the fear he put in defensive backs. Once referred to as “king of drawing pass interference,” defenders were flagged 12 times for a whopping 261 yards in ’14 alone.

While that seems like a long time ago, Smith is only 28 and has avoided serious injury throughout his six-year career. There’s no reason to believe his abilities have eroded that much.

Then there’s his extremely team-friendly contract. The Eagles will pay Smith $5 million in 2017, which will be well worth it if he returns to form. Then there are team options worth $5 million in ’18 and ’19 as well, giving the club the opportunity to keep Smith should he perform while simultaneously eliminating all of the risks.

What’s not to like?

Even had the Eagles had done nothing else to address the receiver position in free agency, Smith would’ve been a significant addition. The offense’s 6.2 yards per pass attempt were tied for 30th in the NFL last season, while only four teams had fewer than six completions of 40 yards or more.

Smith brings an element to the offense that the Eagles were sorely lacking last year. Not only will Carson Wentz be able to take more shots downfield, but opposing safeties will have to back off to account for the deep threat, opening up the middle of the field for the passing attack and giving ball carriers more room to run.

Grade: A+

Related: Grading the Eagles' moves: WR Alshon Jeffery

Trump upsets a bunch of NBA players, too, withdraws invite to Warriors

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US Presswire

Trump upsets a bunch of NBA players, too, withdraws invite to Warriors

Have you ever been invited to a friend’s birthday party but you weren’t able to go? Once they heard you couldn’t go, they would then say, “you weren’t invited anyway?”

President Donald Trump withdrew his invitation to the Golden State Warriors and guard Steph Curry to visit the White House after winning the 2017 NBA Championship. Trump said Curry was “hesitating.”

Curry told reporters Friday that he would vote against the Warriors visiting the White House and President Trump.

Curry received support from fellow NBA players including 4-time MVP Lebron James, who denounced Trump’s taken-back invitation in his most re-tweeted post ever.

Golden State's statement:

5-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant:

Golden State power forward and teammate Draymond Green:

Sixers forward James Michael McAdoo, who signed a two-way contract with the team in August:

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal:

Two-time All-Star Baron Davis:

After Trump's comments about the NFL and NBA in the last 24 hours and North Carolina's Men's Basketball team not visiting the White House (because of a scheduling conflict), it is hard to believe any championship-winning teams will be making the trip to the Nation’s capital anytime soon. Except the Patriots.

LeSean McCoy, NFL players react to Trump's comments

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AP Images

LeSean McCoy, NFL players react to Trump's comments

Stop me if you've heard this one before: President Donald Trump said something controversial.

Trump attacked NFL players who have or will kneel in protest during the national anthem during a speech in Huntsville, Alabama, Friday night (see story). He questioned the NFL and said the owners should release each and every person who takes part in protesting during the anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!' Trump said. 

“You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded to Trump’s comments in a statement from the league. Many other players across the league made their voices heard on Twitter in response to those comments.

Former New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush:

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman:

Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron:

New Orleans Saints second-year wide receiver Michael Thomas:

Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith:

Buffalo Bills and former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy:

We can’t forget McCoy’s comments about Colin Kaepernick just a month ago when he said, “There’s certain players that could be on the team with big distractions and there’s other players that it’s not good enough or not worth it.”

Lebron James, a four-time NBA MVP, took to Twitter to address Trump withdrawing Steph Curry’s invitation to the White House for winning the 2017 NBA championship after Trump said Curry was “hesitating.”

Sixers forward James Michael McAdoo, who signed a two-way contract with the team in August:

These players are not just “sticking to sports” and are speaking out in response to a controversial topic that has engulfed professional sports.