Eagles Mailbag: Wendell Smallwood, Cornerbacks, Tim Jernigan | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Eagles Mailbag: Wendell Smallwood, Cornerbacks, Tim Jernigan



    Eagles Mailbag: Wendell Smallwood, Cornerbacks, Tim Jernigan
    Eagles Mailbag: Wendell Smallwood, cornerbacks, Tim Jernigan

    We answered half of your questions yesterday (see story), but there are plenty left to go. 

    Let's take a dip into the mailbag: 

    I still think the Eagles are pretty high on Smallwood. Obviously, they weren't ready to let him be the guy, so they went out and signed Blount. I think Blount was a decent addition, but I don't see him having the workload he did in New England last year. Instead, I kind of expect to see a running-back-by-committee approach. That would be good for Smallwood, who would still get plenty of carries. 

    We'll get a better sense of the distribution of carries in training camp and the preseason. For now, though, I'd guess Smallwood will still have a decent role. 

    Nothing new with Ryan Mathews. The last I heard was that it would happen sometime in summer. I still expect him to be released, which will save the Eagles $4 million in cap room. 

    As for cap space, before signing Derek Barnett, the Eagles had just over $5 million in space, one of the lower figures in the league. Barnett's cap hit is going to be around $2.3 million, so they have enough room, but not a lot extra. 

    Cornerbacks. They're just not very good and the position is the clear weak spot on the entire roster. A good pass rush would go a long way in helping to hide bad corners, so the Eagles should hope they get something more out of their defensive linemen. 

    I think the Week 1 starting corners will be Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson. By Week 17, I'll say Mills and Rasul Douglas. Douglas makes sense outside because of his length. Maybe he can beat out 29-year-old Robinson throughout the year. 

    After the Eagles traded for Jernigan, I went back and watched his Ravens film. I came away extremely impressed. I think he's a really good scheme fit for the Eagles. He has the potential to be a better rusher than Bennie Logan was last year, which could give the Eagles a big boost when Fletcher Cox is getting double-teamed inside. That happens a lot. 

    I still think the bulk of the team's pass rush needs to come from their ends, but if Jernigan gets some push, that will help. 

    The problem with Jernigan is that he's on the final year of his deal. If he has a big season, it'll be hard - at least expensive - to keep him. 

    This isn't going away, is it?