The Eagles have entered the mandatory portion of their offseason.
The team's OTAs (voluntary) ended last Friday and the team will kick off its three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday. This will be the last time the team is together until training camp starts in late July.
The rules for this minicamp, in terms of on-field activity, aren't different than the rules from the voluntary portion. It's still called Phase 3 in the CBA.
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It's just that now everyone must attend. That includes Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles, who both reported for their physicals Monday (see story).
That's where we'll start.
Cox and Sproles in the house
Two of the Eagles' three Pro Bowlers from a year ago chose to stay away from the team during the voluntary portion. Big deal, right? Well, it is in May and June.
While Sproles stayed away for what he told the Philadelphia Inquirer was "family stuff," Cox's absence assuredly stemmed from not having a contract past this season. In 2016, he'll get paid $7.799 million on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal but is waiting for a big-time payday that might come later this summer.
We'll likely get a chance to speak to both players Tuesday and hear why they haven't been in town. There are still plenty of questions to answer: Will Cox participate in all the practices? Will he show up to training camp without a new deal? Will a deal get done?
Progression of QBs
Last week, head coach Doug Pederson was very complimentary of Sam Bradford, saying that even if he hadn't named him the starter, Bradford has separated himself.
This week will be no different than the rest of the offseason: all eyes will still be on the three quarterbacks, at the position the Eagles have invested a ton.
Carson Wentz has looked pretty good throughout the OTAs and this week is just another chance for him to progress. Pederson has been splitting the reps between the three quarterbacks evenly during the spring, so these reps are very important for Wentz. Once the team gets into training camp, the Eagles will need to up the number of reps for Bradford and even Chase Daniel as the season nears.
Back from injury
Jordan Hicks (quad) and Rueben Randle (gallbladder surgery) are expected to return this week in a limited fashion. It's unlikely either of them will participate in team drills; getting them healthy is important.
Both players could end up having big impacts for the 2016 Eagles. Hicks is the team's starter at MIKE linebacker and Randle is fighting for a starting outside receiver job.
Ultimately, health is Pederson's main concern at this time of the year. That was his answer when asked what he wanted to accomplish during the spring.
"I think the biggest thing is to just come away healthy, first thing," Pederson said. "Just get out of here without any injury."
Knock on wood, Doug.