Vinny Curry Jersey

Curry was released by the Eagles last season … and then released by the Buccaneers this offseason, which is why he’s back in green. In between, Curry had one of the least productive seasons of his career, though he was plagued by injuries for most of it.

Curry had 21 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 12 games. Per PFF, he only had 24 total pressures, the fewest since his 2012 rookie year, when he only played in six games.

The Eagles defensive line was at its best during 2017, when Jim Schwartz had a fully-functioning four-man defensive end rotation at his disposal. It was practically an even split in snaps for starters Curry and Brandon Graham, and backups Derek Barnett and Chris Long. The Eagles are going to need Sweat to step up, but it will be more important for Curry to play more like he did in 2017 than he did for the Buccaneers last year as the team’s third defensive end, especially if Graham and/or Barnett are going to make it through the whole season unscathed.

“It just felt like I had a long offseason, that’s all. One thing when I was gone, I still talked to everybody, every day. Not a day that went by that I didn’t talk to Fletch, didn’t talk to BG or JP, those guys. I talked to those guys everyday and we was still on a group text. It just felt like a long offseason.” — Curry, on his year away from the Eagles.

Andrew Sendejo Jersey

Andrew Sendejo was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles for veteran depth at safety, a roster spot the team needed as Corey Graham wasn’t going to return for the 2019 season. Graham played a major role in the Eagles’ championship season, but age caught up to Graham in 2018… forcing the Eagles to look elsewhere.

The Eagles committed to upgrading the secondary this offseason, starting with Sendejo. While keeping Sendejo may cost the Eagles a fourth-round compensatory pick, the younger players in the Eagles secondary are demonstrating why the Eagles should keep him around (even with all the secondary upgrades they have brought in this offseason).

“Here, our safeties have to do a lot of talking. They’re doing a good job talking. Especially ‘Dejo,” said Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas (via Les Bowen of Inquier.com). “He probably knows more than I do right now. I think he’s in his playbook probably every day.”

Sendejo signed with the Eagles looking to have the No. 3 safety spot in 2019, but the Eagles signed Blake Countess and Godwin Idbewueke in May to compete with Sendejo and Tre’ Sullivan for the No. 3 safety spot. The Eagles are also hosting Johnathan Cyprien for a visit, another potential competitor for the No. 3 safety role.

Even with all the competition at safety, Sendejo may be the best of the bunch.

Sendejo was one of the best coverage safeties in the NFL in 2017 as opposing quarterbacks had just a 59.8 passer rating when targeting him. He allowed 17 catches for 257 yards and had three interceptions on 29 targets. The season prior, opposing quarterbacks had a 79.6 passer rating when targeting Sendejo, who allowed 12 catches for 214 yards on 19 targets. Sendejo had two interceptions that season.

The Eagles are getting a bargain in adding Sendejo, who is expected to play he Graham role as the No. 3 safety the team desperately needed in 2018. Graham played 655 defensive snaps (63.10 percent) and finished with 56 tackles, five pass deflections and an interception. Opposing quarterbacks had a 78.4 passer rating when targeting the 33-year old Graham, who allowed 12 catches for 70 yards this past season.

The Eagles typically prefer to play five defensive backs on the field, specifically when they move Malcolm Jenkins down in the box as a linebacker. Sendejo can play up top with Rodney McLeod or play the Jenkins role at linebacker, giving the Eagles an extra option at defensive back to use in nickel and dime packages.

Graham would move down to cornerback in those packages at that time, which the Eagles won’t need to do with Sendejo (who is basically an extra linebacker). The Eagles have plenty of cornerbacks that can line up in off coverage, allowing Sendejo to move freely up top or go down in the box and play linebacker.

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If Malcolm Jenkins skips mandatory OTAs and training camp, Sendejo can fill his role on the defense in multiple positions.The Eagles may lose a compensatory fourth-round pick with Sendejo on the roster, but his value toward the team’s Super Bowl chances in 2019 is arguably worth more than a draft pick.

Nigel Bradham Jersey

The Philadelphia Eagles revamped their linebacker group this offseason, starting with the addition of Zach Brown in May and the signing of L.J. Fort on the second day of free agency. Brown and Fort are the new additions to the Eagles’ linebacker group and both have experience playing the middle, but Eagles’ linebackers coach Ken Flajole hinted at a familiar face at that position this year.

“We know what Nigel Bradham brings to our organization,” Flajole said (via Mike Kaye of NJ.com). “He’s been a very productive guy. He’s filled in for Jordan [Hicks] when Jordan was hurt in the previous two years, so we know Nigel can slip in there. I don’t know if that’s his most natural position but it may be the best thing for our football team. We’ll just have to see.”

Bradham skipped the voluntary portion of minicamp, so it will be interesting to see how the Eagles line up on Day One of mandatory minicamp. Based on experience in the Eagles defense, Bradham would be the front-runner to take over the middle linebacker job.

Bradham didn’t have an interception and a forced fumble last season, but finished with 87 tackles, two sacks, and four pass breakups. Bradham played 399 snaps at inside linebacker last season, 37.5 percent of the 1,064 total snaps he played. That could be the same percentage in 2019, especially with Fort and Brown specifying in different areas.

The Eagles could also turn to Fort to replace Hicks in coverage, as defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz indicated a few weeks back. In 12 games in his final season with the Eagles, Hicks had 91 tackles, three sacks, five pass deflections, a fumble recovery and six quarterback hits. Opposing quarterbacks had a 112.3 passer rating when targeting Hicks.

Fort’s numbers are slightly better in coverage. He allowed 21 catches for 197 yards last season as opposing quarterbacks had a 98.2 passer rating when targeting him. His coverage improved in the final three regular season games, being targeted just four times but allowing two catches.

Fort was also ranked 10th amongst linebackers against the run, finishing with a grade of 81.3. While Hicks improved against the run, his numbers were the same as Fort…but the Eagles were able to get a player that performed better than Hicks at a much cheaper rate.

Chris Maragos Jersey

The Eagles released Chris Maragos on Friday after five seasons with the team.

Signed by the Eagles as an unrestricted free agent in 2014, Maragos cemented his status as one of the league’s preeminent special teams players with a team-best 49 tackles during his tenure. In 2014, Maragos led the squad with 14 special teams tackles, forced a fumble, blocked a punt, and scored his first NFL touchdown. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate for his play that season. The Eagles ranked first in the league in special teams play twice in Maragos’ first three seasons in Philadelphia, including that 2014 campaign.

“We are grateful for Chris Maragos’ contributions to the Philadelphia Eagles over the last five seasons,” the team said in a statement. “A captain on our Super Bowl LII-winning team, Chris’ leadership on and off the field and his ability to connect with teammates, coaches and fans made him a valuable member of this organization and the community.

“Chris solidified himself as one of the best special teams performers in the NFL and played a crucial role in the success of our team. We wish Chris and his family all the best.”

One of the best underdog stories inside the Eagles’ locker room, Maragos earned the respect of his teammates as he was named a captain in 2017, the first year the team assigned permanent captains. Maragos suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Week 6 win over Carolina, and it kept him sidelined for the run to the Super Bowl as well as all of 2018.

A two-time walk-on in college at both Western Michigan and Wisconsin, Maragos originally entered the league as a rookie free agent with the 49ers in 2010. He went to the division-rival Seahawks in 2011 and was a key special teams contributor in their Super Bowl-winning campaign of 2013.

Chance Warmack Jersey

Sitton started one game for the Dolphins before ending up on injured reserve and is now on the chopping block as Miami looks to shed salary.

Death. Taxes. Poor interior offensive line play in Miami. You know the drill.

The Dolphins’ efforts to rebuild this team must focus up front on the both sides of the ball, which brings us to the inspection of free agent guard Chance Warmack as a potential fit.

Warmack is on the market after spending the last two seasons in Philadelphia. Warmack, who served as a depth player with the Eagles after starting in his first three seasons with the Tennessee Titans, is a six-year veteran looking for another chance to compete for a starting job.Why would he make sense for the Dolphins this off-season?

Because at 27 years old, Warmack is a former top-10 overall selection (2013) and has not been able to prove he can play with the exception of sparing reps in Philadelphia (he played 7 snaps last year after playing 318 in his first season in Philly).

The Dolphins are looking for young competition in their effort to reshape this roster and a player like Warmack, who clearly has some talent but also brings a chip on his shoulder and a reasonable price tag, would make a lot of sense.

This isn’t to say that Warmack should be signed, plugged into a starting role and Miami can wipe their hands of the position the rest of the way. This roster will need multiple investments at multiple positions and guard is among those positions.

But it’d be a low-risk, high reward signing if the team can unlock the player from Alabama that played his way into the top-10 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Timmy Jernigan Jersey

The 2018 campaign was not kind to Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan, as recovery from offseason back surgery knocked him out for the first 10 games of the season and limited him to just three contests overall.

As a result, the Eagles declined Jernigan’s option in March, making him a free agent. However, in late April, Philadelphia ultimately decided to bring him back on a one-year deal.

Now, Jernigan is out to prove himself after the roughest year of his NFL career:“I’m motivated to win games and to help this team,” said Jernigan, according to Dave Spadaro of the Eagles’ official team website. “I feel like last year, that’s in the past, man. I can’t change that. I’m just focused on what’s ahead of me.”

The 26-year-old, who spent the first three seasons of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, was traded to the Eagles in April 2017. Then, during his first season in Philly, Jernigan went on to sign a four-year, $48 million extension with the club, a contract that obviously was not realized to its fullest.

But now, Jernigan is simply focused on having fun and righting the ship, both for himself and the Eagles:“I feel good and I’m having fun. That’s my goal this year. If I do those things, the rest will take care of itself,” Jernigan said. “I’m going to control what I can control. This defense, it has a lot of pieces. I just want to help us win games and play my best football and have fun doing it.”

Jordan Matthews Jersey

SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Jordan Matthews is heading for a storybook destination now that 49ers minicamp is complete. He’s off to France, where his wife, Cheyna, is playing for Jamaica in its first-ever Women’s World Cup.

“We’re in this crazy phase right now,” Matthews said after Wednesday’s practice. “She’s watched me play on this (NFL) stage, and now she’s playing on the biggest soccer stage in the world.”

It’s a fabulous phase that Matthews’ former Philadelphia Eagles teammate, Zach Ertz, knows quite well. Ertz’s wife, Julie, is a star defender on the favored U.S. Women’s National Team.

“Julie and Zach have been really close to us ever since we got to Philly,” Jordan said. “Once Jamaica (qualified), Zach knew Cheyna was Jamaican, and so he was one of the first to text me, ‘Is she going to go?’ Julie was, ‘Tell Cheyna I’m so happy for her. It’s going to be awesome they’re coming out too.’ ”

Haloti Ngata Jersey

Haloti Ngata made a lot of big plays during his 13-year career. From 2006-2018, he was the NFL’s only defensive tackle to record at least 30 sacks and five interceptions.

But what was Ngata’s favorite play of his career?

“Breaking Ben’s nose,” he said with a chuckle during Wednesday’s press conference, in which he officially ended his career as a Raven. “I didn’t do it on purpose but it kind of just happened.”

Ngata was drafted as a Raven, and that answer certainly shows that he was and always will be a Raven at heart despite playing in Detroit and Philadelphia to end his career.

The well-known play happened in 2010 when Ngata bulldozed his way into the Steelers’ backfield and threw up his massive right paw. He didn’t mean it, but he clubbed Roethlisberger inside his facemask. Roethlisberger’s nose was visibly bent with blood running down as he walked off the field. The strike was so powerful that X-rays revealed nose bones that “looked like corn flakes” and required surgery.

Ngata told “The Lounge” podcast that he never spoke to Roethlisberger about the hit. Their trips to the Pro Bowl didn’t overlap. Jokingly told that Roethlisberger may still hold a grudge, Ngata laughed and said he wouldn’t care if he did.

Ngata was a dominant player throughout his career, and especially in Baltimore. He was the Ravens’ first-round pick (No. 12 overall) in 2006, and a key part of some of Baltimore’s greatest defenses.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome said it took watching only 20 plays of Ngata’s college film at Oregon to realize that he was a special player. Newsome hates giving up draft picks, but he surrendered a sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns to move up one spot and select Ngata.

Ngata joined a defense with greats such as Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Adalius Thomas, Bart Scott, Trevor Pryce and more. He said he instantly knew Baltimore was a place where he could “maximize” his unique talents.

“For me, I couldn’t do anything but follow our leaders,” Ngata said. “They definitely helped me become a great player.”

Ngata went to five Pro Bowls during his nine years as a Raven. While some of the other defensive leaders around him got more spotlight, the soft-spoken gentle giant (off the field) made them all look good too by keeping blockers away.

His hard work, gritty play and humble personality gained immense respect from his teammates, coaches and fans.

Ngata was beloved by everyone that knew him, and it was evident by the attendance at Wednesday’s press conference. Dozens of family members and friends, as well as former teammates, came to celebrate with Ngata. It was a standing-room only event.

Ngata was traded to the Lions in 2015 when he and the Ravens could not agree on a pay cut. It was a tough business decision, one that “shocked” Ngata but that he also understood from a business perspective. But there certainly were no hard feelings.

Even then, in the wake of the trade, he told Newsome he wanted to finish as a Raven one day. Four years later, the Ravens and Ngata made it happen. And in 2020, Ngata will go into the Ravens’ Ring of Honor presented by Meritage Jewelers.

“I’m so excited to retire a Raven and be a part of this community again,” Ngata said. “I’ll definitely be back more often. I love being a Raven.”

Paul Worrilow Jersey

Paul Worrilow never had the opportunity to show the Eagles how he could contribute at the linebacker position in 2018. On the first day of voluntary minicamp, Worrilow’s season ended with a torn ACL.

Worrilow tore the ligament during a 7-on-7 drill, banging knees with Corey Nelson and was taken off on a stretcher. This came on the heels of the team releasing Mychal Kendricks earlier that same day.

In essence the Eagles lost two linebackers in one day, but Worrilow was given another chance with the Eagles when they re-signed him to a one-year deal in January. Worrilow is still rehabbing that knee as minicamp began last week, but is expected to be ready for training camp.

He still has an important role on the Eagles defense when he returns to the field.

“First thing he has done is impressed every single person in the building with his work ethic,” said Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. “He’s just been incredible the way he’s attacked his injury rehab. He’s really been a leader for a lot of other guys. We have a significant number of injuries in there, and he has really set a good standard for the work that it takes to recover.

“And Paul is a veteran player. Has experience in Atlanta. Some experience in Detroit. That shows through also. He’s still working his way back, but veteran players it’s a little bit easier. He doesn’t have to fight the learning curve as much. Just getting his body right.”

Worrilow has valuable experience as a starter at linebacker, starting eight games for the Detroit Lions in 2017. He finished with 30 tackles, one pass deflection, and a fumble recovery. The 27-year old Worrilow has 413 tackles, 11 pass deflections, and four sacks in five NFL seasons (not counting his 2018 season with the Eagles), starting 52 of 72 career games.

The Eagles have been determined to improve their special teams, which was believed to receive a boost with the addition of Worrilow last year. In his final season with the Atlanta Falcons (2016), Worrilow played a key role on the Falcons special teams unit, while providing depth at inside linebacker.

Finishing 14th on special teams last season, Worrilow should improve the Eagles’ special teams unit.

Worrilow won’t be starting on the Eagles at linebacker (Zach Brown and Nigel Bradham have the two starting spots), but can play all three linebacker positions. During minicamp, the Eagles have lined up Worrilow at strong-side linebacker (SAM) behind Nate Gerry (Bradham is rehabbing a thumb injury from last season).

Worrilow can also play middle linebacker, but Brown is there and L.J. Fort can play the position. The Eagles are still trying to find out where they can mix Worrilow in on the defense, but there should be a spot for him on special teams.

Having Worrilow around will provide valuable experience and leadership to a linebacker group with a lot of young players.

Wendell Smallwood Jersey

What happens at the running back position will, no doubt, be one of the big conversation pieces as the Philadelphia Eagles head into training camp. Here’s what we know. Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders, if healthy, are probably in. Here’s what we’re not sure of but willing to take a guess on. Boston Scott, Josh Adams and Wendell Smallwood aren’t locks to make the final 53-man roster.

Buckle up ladies and gentlemen. The race for about four roster spots is sure to give us plenty to talk about between now and September.

Look at the following like, sort of, a tale of the tape. We begin with the old man of the bunch, Wendell Smallwood.