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Rating the Rumor: Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles to the Eagles

Rating the Rumor: Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles to the Eagles

To be clear, there are no reports connecting the Eagles to either Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles at this time. However, when a pair of Pro Bowl running backs become free agents, it’s only natural for their names to come up in conversation.

So let’s talk about Peterson and Charles. Should the Eagles have interest, and more importantly, will they?

There has been a great deal of speculation that the Eagles will move on from Ryan Mathews this offseason. While Mathews is an excellent back when healthy, that is rare. OK, so missing three games in each of the past two seasons isn’t exactly the end of the world, but he always seems to be dealing with something. Plus, a neck injury shut Mathews down at the end of 2016, which sounds like serious stuff.

Financially, the Eagles stand to gain $4 million from Mathews’ release. Then again, if they turn around and sign a veteran ball-carrier to replace him, those savings are gone, so money is a moot point for this discussion.

Of course, should the Eagles decide to keep Mathews, there’s no need for a veteran running back at all. Either way, that angle must be addressed first.

But supposing Mathews is out of the way, would the Eagles go after Peterson or Charles?

First, let’s look at Peterson, a three-time rushing champion and the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player. The seven-time Pro Bowler turns 32 in March and is coming off of a torn meniscus, although he rushed for 1,485 yards at 4.5 yards per carry with 11 touchdowns in his last healthy season. Hall of Fame career, but what does he have left in the tank?

Yet even setting aside the question of whether Peterson is worth the risk, the Eagles don’t appear to be on his radar. He already mentioned four desired landing spots, including a return to the Vikings, and his father, Nelson, recently listed three more. That’s nearly one quarter of the league, and the Eagles were not among them.

That doesn’t mean Peterson wouldn’t play for the Eagles, but he clearly doesn’t think it’s the best fit.

Charles, on the other hand, is a very logical target for the Eagles. After all, he played for coach Doug Pederson in Kansas City, so he knows the offense and is undeniably a fit.

Then again, Charles’ health is an even bigger question mark than Peterson’s. A four-time Pro Bowler whose career 5.5 yards per carry are an all-time best for the running back position, Charles has played only eight games over the past two seasons. He never made a full recovery from a torn ACL in 2015, and at 30 years old, it’s unclear if he ever will.

There’s no way the Eagles could count on Charles to remain an every-down back at this point in his career. And before you suggest they sign him to be part of a committee, ask yourself what he brings to the table Darren Sproles doesn’t already.

Sure, Charles is a better runner (assuming he can play), but the 5-10 carries per game he would get would likely be at the expense of Sproles, who is a better receiver and lines up all over the place. It’s difficult to say whether the addition would result in a net gain for the offense.

Given the ages and injury histories of these two players, not to mention the cost, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Eagles to be serious suitors for either one. It might be fun to think about, but even if Peterson or Charles were to come here, the guy who ran for 2,000 yards in a season and the guy who averaged 5.5 yards per carry throughout his career aren’t who the Eagles are going to get.

Rating the Rumor: Get out of here

Rating the Rumor: Should Eagles trade for LeSean McCoy?

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Rating the Rumor: Should Eagles trade for LeSean McCoy?

Given the Bills’ apparent willingness to trade talent for draft picks, is an Eagles reunion with running back LeSean McCoy a possibility?

Such speculation is quickly becoming the talk of the town, despite the absence of any credible reports the Bills are shopping McCoy – or the Eagles are asking. Then again, it isn’t difficult to connect the dots on this rumor.

Recent moves suggest the Bills are already waving the white flag on 2017. Buffalo sent wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams and cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles last week, and while those swaps brought back players as well, the keys to those deals were the picks. The Bills obtained cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round choice for Watkins, and wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round selection for Darby.

Buffalo has clearly entered rebuilding mode, and would no doubt listen to offers for anybody and anything that’s not nailed down. That includes McCoy, who doesn’t sound too thrilled anyway about spending the end of his prime with a team that’s borderline tanking.

Meanwhile, the Eagles’ running back situation is far from settled. We touched on that in some detail. In summary, LeGarrette Blount’s preseason exposed his shortcomings, Wendell Smallwood has yet to play in an exhibition game this summer, and Darren Sproles isn’t an every-down back. Though it certainly could all work out, right now, there’s cause for concern.

McCoy would alleviate those concerns in an instant. The five-time Pro Bowl selection is coming off a season in which he rushed for 1,267 yards and 13 touchdowns, so he can still ball. There’s no question as to fit, either – McCoy became the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher in 2014, largely in an offensive scheme almost identical to that under current coach Doug Pederson.

In fact, McCoy never wanted to leave the Eagles in the first place. He was traded to Buffalo by the previous regime. It’s likely he would welcome the opportunity to come back and play for a team with the likes of Alshon Jeffery and Carson Wentz.

Here comes the downside.

Would the Eagles be as quick to welcome McCoy back? He’s 29 years old, and though he’s shown no signs of slowing down, decline is right around the corner. And what do the Eagles have to trade for an aging running back? The club has already dealt its second- and third-round picks in 2018 in the Wentz and Darby deals, respectively. Will they dip into their stash of 2019 choices, or send a No. 1?

McCoy won’t come cheap, either. The Bills would have to eat nearly $8 million in bonus money in a trade, for starters. And if they were able to swing a third-round pick for Darby with two years left on his contract, and a second for Watkins with one year left, what can they leverage for one of the top five backs in the NFL with three years remaining on his deal? For all we know, it might take a No. 1.

The Bills might be rebuilding, but they certainly aren’t giving these guys away.

There’s no question McCoy can be had for a price. And even if a platoon with Blount, Smallwood and Sproles works out just fine, McCoy would be better.

But at what cost? Probably not one the Eagles are willing to pay. Not with McCoy’s 30th birthday approaching next year. Not with the stock of draft picks already depleted. Not with so many options already on the roster.

McCoy rumors are good fodder for talk radio and blogs. A trade would improve the Eagles’ outlook tremendously for 2017, and possibly beyond. As far as practicality is concerned, however, such a thought is probably more fantasy than reality.

Rating: We can dream…

Eagles players react to the solar eclipse: 'Oh, dude. It's so cool.'

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Eagles players react to the solar eclipse: 'Oh, dude. It's so cool.'

Everybody was talking about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to catch the solar eclipse on August 21 throughout the entire United States of America. That included the Philadelphia Eagles players at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia.

The Eagles shared a behind the scenes video of their players enjoying and discussing the eclipse.

Some players had deeper thoughts than others.

Beau Allen was the eclipse reporter for the day.

Responses ranged from, "It’s amazing. Absolutely phenomenal," to "moving."

"Oh, dude, it’s so cool," was my favorite.

Carson Wentz was too busy video taping to comment on the eclipse. Thankfully, he was not driving. Maybe it's because he got his eyes fixed this offseason and didn't want to do any damage.