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There are currently no specific reports to indicate the Eagles have contacted Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward. However, Mary Kay Cabot’s report for the Cleveland Plain Dealer indicates teams numbering in the double digits have contacted Ward.
That’s a big sell on Ward to Philadelphia, as it means the organization would have to outbid multiple suitors. The current regime comes across as reluctant to overpay.
While there’s nothing quite in the way of a “report” so to speak, Green Bay Packers DE/OLB Mike Neal’s name has been coming up a lot among Eagles scribes. Perhaps most famously, Philly Mag’s Tim McManus mentioned Neal as a potential alternative to Michael Johnson.
Neal is a player I’ve mentioned a few times, so I’m inclined to agree he could be a fit here. He’s 6’3”, 285 pounds and has played both defensive end and outside linebacker in a 3-4, registering 9.5 sacks in 27 games over the past two seasons as a part-time player. The Birds need depth at both positions, and a pass-rusher in particular, so Neal seems a natural fit.
Geoff Mosher for CSNPhilly.com was having a busy weekend, in case you didn’t notice. He reports (among other things) that the Eagles continue to hold discussions with punter Donnie Jones. Jones won two NFC Special Teams Player of the Week awards for consecutive performances in 2013 and set a Birds single-season franchise record with 33 punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
So why isn’t he under contract already? Perhaps because of a little-known rule in the collective bargaining agreement that prevents Jones from signing anything more than a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum prior to the beginning of the new league year, according to PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
Once that’s out of the way, what’s to prevent Jones’ return?
No hard news reports on the Jenkins front as far as Eagles fans are concerned, but Mike Kaye for the SBNation blog Bleeding Green Nation took notice of the New Orleans Saints safety’s many new Twitter followers over the weekend. Jeff McLane for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Les Bowen for the Philadelphia Daily News are among the prominent Eagles beat writers that suddenly became interested in what’s on Jenkins’ mind over the weekend.
At 6’0”, 204 pounds and just 26 years of age, Jenkins certainly fits the profile of the type of free agent the Eagles are likely to target for their secondary. As a so-called “mid-tier” free agent, the price could be right as well. Per my own predictions, Jenkins will be starting at safety for the Birds in 2014.