EAGLES COME TO CAMP TUESDAY: HIGH HOPES, LOW EXPECTATIONS!

By Tom Brennan

It seems like only yesterday when the Eagles finished, 4-11-1, fired head coach Doug Pederson, who had won the franchise’s only Super Bowl three years earlier, and ditched their once-franchise quarterback Carson Wentz.

In fact, it all started in January.

And the future is now — or at least Tuesday, when the new-look Eagles arrive at NovaCare for 2021 training camp.

A last-place finish in the woeful NFC East got Pederson fired despite three consecutive playoff appearances the previous three seasons, including the franchise’s first Super Bowl title.

Wentz had the worst season of his five-year career, got benched and was eventually traded to Indianapolis, forcing the Eagles to absorb a record-high $33.8 million cap hit.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: WR DeVonta Smith, LB Eric Wilson, DE Ryan Kerrigan, S Anthony Harris, QB Joe Flacco, DT Milton Williams, CB Zech McPhearson, S Andrew Adams, RB Kerryon Johnson, CB Josiah Scott.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: Wentz, S Jalen Mills, P Cameron Johnston, DE Vinny Curry, LT Jason Peters, DT Malik Jackson, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Alshon Jeffery.

Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz expected a trade or release but remains on the team going into the final season of his contract. It’s uncertain whether he’ll stick around through training camp.

Right guard Brandon Brooks and right tackle Lane Johnson are two of the best when healthy but they’re returning from injuries and are in their 30s.

Second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts has to officially beat out Flacco for the starting job.

Andre Dillard, a 2019 first-round pick, missed last season due to injury. Jordan Mailata, an Australian rugby player who hadn’t played football before the Eagles selected him with a seventh-round pick in 2018, showed plenty of promise and versatility in 10 starts last year.

It should be a close competition at left tackle.

Avonte Maddox, Scott and McPhearson are candidates for the second cornerback spot opposite Darius Slay and starting nickel cornerback is also up for grabs. Craig James, Michael Jacquet and Kevon Seymour are also in the mix.

Rookie head coach Nick Sirianni and a young staff lead a rebuilding club with low expectations.

The Eagles have talented players who haven’t lived up to their potential yet and plenty of question marks throughout the roster. The biggest is whether Hurts can be the answer at quarterback. If not, GM Howie Roseman is armed with extra first-round picks in 2022 and could make a push for Deshaun Watson.

 

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