10 Eagles Observations, Thoughts From Owners Meetings

SEAT 32F - Flying home from the owners meetings at the posh Ritz-Carlton Orlando after a few days around the NFL's decision-makers. 

Plenty of news this week but there's more left on my mind.

1. I wrote it earlier in the week, but it was cool to see Doug Pederson be "the man" down there. But the praise wasn't limited to Pederson. Jeff Lurie, Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas were all treated the same way. They deserve it. A long time ago, Lurie talked about the gold standard. The Eagles finally are. 

2. It was a little surprising the Eagles didn't make moves this week, despite their cap situation. They have $2.6 million in cap room, according to the NFLPA. At last year's event, Roseman signed Patrick Robinson and Chris Long. It's hard to imagine Roseman is finished. Talk about whether the team is better or worse is premature. 

3. The big news this week is the new head shot rule, which makes it illegal for any player - offense or defense - to lead with their helmet. This wasn't on the schedule, but it was brought up and gained steam quickly, which makes me wonder if they rushed into it. A couple defensive players I've talked to are understandably worried about the rule. The league made it with good intentions, but there are a lot of questions left, especially for a rule that could change the game as we know it. 

4. The other big news of the week was the Giants' willingness to trade Odell Beckham Jr. That would be tremendous news for the Eagles because while OBJ might be a headache for the Giants, he's incredible. He's not just one of the best in the league, but could go down as one of the greatest of all time. It seems crazy the Giants can't make it work. 

5. The Eagles didn't have a ton of time to enjoy the Super Bowl; playing into February left them behind. The Eagles are really leaning on Douglas and the scouting department to get ready for the draft even more than normal, according to sources. While the coaches were in the playoffs, the personnel department worked ahead. The Eagles have asked their coaches to scout fewer players thanks to time restraints and the fact they are without a second- or third-round pick. 

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6. It amazes me every year when I got to this event, the one thing fans want to know is about the kelly green jerseys. Here's this year's update. Part of me thinks, "Hey, the Eagles just won a Super Bowl in midnight green … stick with that." But I get it. It's the same reason why the championship means so much. The Eagles are important to families from Philadelphia and so many grew up watching the Birds in those jerseys. 

7. Not sure why Roseman seems lukewarm on a possible Brandon Graham extension. Echoing his combine comments, Roseman said Graham deserves to make his money but doesn't seem willing to give it. I know the Eagles can't make everyone happy, but losing that guy after this year would hurt. 

8. Talking to people in the organization, it's clear how much the Eagles think of Nate Sudfeld. He's a third-stringer who hasn't played much, but they think they have something. Lurie's eyes lit up while talking about Sudfeld. If they ever do trade Foles (or after 2018), the Birds think they have their backup. 

9. Lurie wanted no part of a question about whether or not the Eagles would take a team trip to the White House. Answering the question one way or the other would have made headlines, so I get Lurie's hesitancy. But last year the Patriots went on Apr. 19, so time is ticking. 

10. I'm not sure what's going to happen with Michael Bennett. But with just the information we have, it seems hard to believe these charges are ever going to stick. It is fair to worry about the league handing down punishment and to wonder how Bennett will fit in the locker room. The Eagles claim they did their homework and felt comfortable because of their strong locker room. But Bennett seems to be followed by unusual situations. There's the Vegas incident and one I never knew about from Tampa Bay that included his dog. For what it's worth, folks around the NFL I talked to this week found it hard to believe Bennett committed this crime. But this story isn't going away anytime soon. 

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