Mekhi Becton of the Jets coming off the field in the second half during a Dec. 3, 2023 game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Eagles signed Becton to a free agent contract.

Eagles add to OT depth with signing of Mekhi Becton

The Philadelphia Eagles signed free agent offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, a former first-round pick of the New York Jets, to a one-year contract, the team announced Monday.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but it is valued at up to $5.5 million, according to multiple media reports.

The Jets made Becton the 11th overall selection of the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Louisville product started 13 of his 14 games as a rookie. However, a knee injury in Week 1 ended the left tackle’s second season, and Becton moved to right tackle, only to miss all of the 2022 season because of another knee injury.

The 6-foot-7, 363-pound lineman started all 16 games he played in 2023, playing 95 percent of the offensive snaps. The Jets did not pick up the fifth-year option on Becton, who turned 25 on April 18.

The Eagles, who did not select an offensive tackle in last weekend’s draft, add depth to the roster at the position behind starting left tackle Jordan Mailata and right tackle Lane Johnson. Backup Jack Driscoll signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (2) reacts after breaking up a pass play against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles CB Darius Slay out after knee surgery

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this week and will not play in the team’s upcoming game, coach Nick Sirianni announced Saturday.

Slay will not be available for the Eagles’ (10-3) matchup on Monday night against the host Seattle Seahawks (6-7) but is expected to return by the end of the regular season, according to multiple reports.

Slay, 32, has been dealing with a knee injury throughout the season, forcing him to miss the Eagles’ 20-14 loss to the New York Jets in Week 6. He reportedly practiced only once in the past two weeks.

Slay has 57 tackles and two interceptions in 12 starts this year. The five-time Pro Bowl selection has 28 interceptions in 163 games (153 starts) with Detroit (2013-19) and Philadelphia.

–Field Level Media

Dec 3, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during player introductions against the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles, Seahawks aim to get back to winning on MNF

Despite back-to-back losses, the Philadelphia Eagles are still tied for first place in the NFC East and in contention for the conference’s top playoff seed.

With four consecutive defeats, the Seattle Seahawks have gone from atop the NFC West to needing to make up ground for a wild-card playoff berth.

So plenty will be on the line when the Eagles (10-3) visit the Seahawks (6-7) in the first NFL game to be flexed to Monday night.

“You don’t win without some type of adversity,” Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts said. “That’s just the name of it. We’d love to come out here and be perfect. But perfection is only an illusion.”

The schedule over the past month has been difficult for both teams.

The Eagles defeated Kansas City and Buffalo, then lost to San Francisco and Dallas, allowing the host Cowboys to pull into a first-place tie in the division with a 33-13 victory last Sunday night.

“We’ve played a lot of high-profile games here before and executed well. I don’t think it is the magnitude,” Eagles center Jason Kelce said after his team lost three fumbles to Dallas. “These are good teams, and you can’t make mistakes against good teams. We’ve done far too much of that.”

The Eagles have games against Seattle and Arizona and two against the New York Giants remaining. Those three teams have a combined record of 14-25.

“You can’t even look that far ahead,” Eagles receiver A.J. Brown said. “We play Seattle (this) week. That’s the only thing we need to worry about.”

The Eagles are relatively healthy, with only cornerback Darius Slay (knee), linebacker Zach Cunningham (knee) and offensive lineman Cameron Jurgens (pectoral) missing practice this week.

The Seahawks have lost twice in the past three weeks to the division-leading 49ers, including 28-16 last Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif., as Drew Lock started in place of injured quarterback Geno Smith (groin).

Seattle’s skid is its longest since Pete Carroll took over as coach in 2010.

“That was just really frustrating because this was a chance to beat these guys at their place. We had a shot to do that,” Carroll said of the last game against the 49ers, in which the Seahawks allowed 527 total yards. “We moved the football well enough to get some points on the board. We weren’t able to stop them all (day) long. We didn’t get it done.”

Smith returned to practice in a limited capacity Thursday and the Seahawks are hopeful he can return with an extra day’s rest. Safety Jamal Adams (knee), linebackers Jordyn Brooks (ankle) and Nick Bellore (knee) and cornerback Devon Witherspoon (hip) have missed practice time.

“It’s a challenge at this point of the season to see if we can make it through (to the playoffs),” Carroll said. “The fourth quarter of this season is still there for us, and we’ll see if we can. I believe these guys are going to bounce back and be ready to go again. We’ve got to get back on track.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson (90) warms up before a game New York Giants at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bills fine DE Shaq Lawson for Philly fan interaction

The Buffalo Bills are fining defensive end Shaq Lawson an undisclosed amount for his interaction with a fan in Philadelphia last month, NFL Network reported Friday.

Lawson issued an apology following the incident that occurred during the Bills’ 37-34 loss to the Eagles in overtime on Nov. 26.

A video circulated on social media of Lawson approaching a spectator behind the Buffalo bench, exchanging words and then shoving the fan.

Lawson said the fan began heckling players before the game started and was allowed to remain in his seat even after Bills officials asked security to remove him.

“Eventually our emotions boiled over and I made a mistake,” Lawson wrote the next day on Instagram. “For that, I apologize, but there are certain lines that should not be crossed.

“I love the crowd. I love rowdy fans. It makes the game fun. But one thing I’m not going to tolerate is someone threatening me or my family. This is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.”

Lawson, 29, has recorded one sack and 10 tackles in 11 games this season. He has 26 sacks in 104 games (37 starts) with the Bills (2016-19, 2022-present), Miami Dolphins (2020) and New York Jets (2021).

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox (29) reacts after a defensive stop against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Eagles CB Avonte Maddox (pec) set for surgery

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox will have surgery this week for a torn pectoral muscle and is potentially out for the season, NFL Network reported Monday.

Maddox, 27, was injured during Thursday night’s win against the Minnesota Vikings.

MRI results and additional medical opinions confirmed that surgery was the best course of action, per the report.

Maddox exited in the second quarter of the 34-28 win against the Vikings with what was initially called a shoulder injury after posting two tackles and forcing a fumble.

Maddox is in his sixth season with the Eagles, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2018. He has recorded 246 tackles, eight forced fumbles and four interceptions in 62 games (37 starts).

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Hurts earns master’s degree from Oklahoma

As if leading his team to the Super Bowl and signing a massive contract extension weren’t enough, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts decided to add to his stellar year by earning a master’s degree.

Hurts, 24, received his master’s in human relations from Oklahoma on Friday, as a university vice president, Dr. David Surratt, posted to social media.

Hurts started his college football career at Alabama, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and information sciences after only three years. He transferred to Oklahoma in 2019 and began working on his master’s degree.

The 24-year-old Hurts has said in interviews that he was inspired by his mother, who was a special education teacher around the time of his freshman year of college but saw colleagues around her being laid off and decided to be proactive.

“She went back to school, and she got her master’s to become a counselor,” Hurts told Essence in April. “That’s a living testimony for me.”

Earning his master’s degree caps off an eventful first half of 2023 for the Houston native.

In February, Hurts led the Eagles to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Ariz., where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. The game included a controversial call against the Eagles with less than two minutes left that opened the door for the Chiefs to win, 38-35.

In April, Hurts signed a five-year contract extension worth $255 million, making him the highest paid player in NFL history on a per-year basis.

The Eagles open the season Sept. 10 on the road against the team they beat to win Super Bowl LII, the New England Patriots.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Tyree Jackson (80) celebrates with Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles re-sign TE Tyree Jackson, cut S Marquise Blair

The Philadelphia Eagles re-signed tight end Tyree Jackson and released safety Marquise Blair on Monday.

Jackson, 25, signed his exclusive-rights free agent tender. He had three catches for 22 yards and one touchdown in 14 games (three starts) for Philadelphia during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Blair, 25, signed a reserve/future contract with the Eagles on Feb. 9. He has 50 tackles and three forced fumbles in 25 games (three starts) with the Seattle Seahawks (2019-21) and Carolina Panthers (2022).

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers head coach Jim Leonhard looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Eagles interview ex-Wisconsin coach Jim Leonhard for DC

The Philadelphia Eagles interviewed former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard as they look to fill that same position on head coach Nick Sirianni’s staff, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Leonhard was an NFL defensive back for 10 seasons and retired after the 2014 campaign. Two years later, he was back at his alma mater, Wisconsin, as defensive backs coach and added defensive coordinator to that title in 2017.

Last season, when the Badgers started 2-3, Wisconsin fired longtime coach Paul Chryst and Leonhard took over on an interim basis. After the Badgers went 4-3 under Leonhard, he emerged as a strong candidate for the permanent job but Wisconsin turned to Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell instead.

Leonhard, 40, decided to leave the program after Fickell’s arrival.

In his six seasons as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator, Leonhard’s defenses finished in the top five in the nation four times. In 2021, the Badgers were No. 1 in total defense when they allowed an average of 239.1 yards per game.

The Eagles are seeking a replacement for Jonathan Gannon, who was hired last week as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals — a day after the Eagles’ 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.

Leonard reportedly turned down a chance to become the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator after the 2020 season, choosing to remain with the Badgers.

–Field Level Media

Jonathan Gannon is introduced as the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals during a news conference at the Cardinals training facility in Tempe on Feb. 16, 2023.

Nfl New Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon

Report: Cardinals to hire Nick Rallis, 29, as DC

The Arizona Cardinals are set to hire 29-year-old Nick Rallis as their defensive coordinator, NFL Network reported Saturday night.

The move would make Rallis the youngest coordinator in the league. He would join Jonathan Gannon’s staff, marking the first hire of the new head coach. Gannon was introduced on Thursday.

Rallis was Philadelphia’s linebackers coach the past two seasons working with Gannon, then the Eagles’ DC.

Rallis became the youngest full-time positional coach in the NFL when the Eagles hired him in 2021. Before that, he was the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive quality control/assistant linebackers coach from 2018-20.

A native of Edina, Minn., Rallis played linebacker at the University of Minnesota from 2012-16, participating in 26 games and making three starts as a senior.

Rallis then accepted a position as a quality control coach at Wake Forest in 2017.

According to a story Friday on the Cardinals’ website, the team’s search for a defensive coordinator included interest in Chicago Bears linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi (as reported by ESPN) and Patriots defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington (as reported by NFL Network).

“With all our coaches (I want) capacity and character,” Gannon said. “I want smart guys that value the players and want to serve the players. That’s their job to maximize the players. I want to be able to start putting that staff together.”

Rallis would replace Vance Joseph, who was released from his contract.

–Field Level Media

Jan 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (26) scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl-bound Eagles crush QB-challenged 49ers

Miles Sanders rushed for two touchdowns, Haason Reddick delivered a huge performance and the Philadelphia Eagles are headed to the Super Bowl after posting a 31-7 victory over the visiting San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.

Jalen Hurts passed for 121 yards and rushed for a touchdown as the top-seeded Eagles advanced to their first Super Bowl in five years and fourth overall. Boston Scott tacked on a rushing score while Reddick had two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Second-seeded San Francisco was left without firepower after rookie quarterback Brock Purdy injured his right elbow in the first quarter after a blow from Reddick. He later re-entered the game in the third quarter after backup Josh Johnson sustained a concussion.

Purdy was 4-of-4 passing for 23 yards but threw just two short passes after returning despite the 49ers facing a large deficit. Johnson completed 7 of 13 passes for 74 yards and Christian McCaffrey rushed for 84 yards and one score.

Philadelphia outgained San Francisco 269 to 164. The Eagles will face either the Cincinnati Bengals or the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Ariz.

The Eagles drove 66 yards on 11 plays on their first drive with Sanders ending it with a 6-yard scoring run.

On the sixth play after San Francisco took over, Reddick slammed into Purdy’s right arm. The ball slipped out of Purdy’s hand and was knocked up field by his wrist before being recovered by Philadelphia’s Linval Joseph at the Eagles’ 44-yard line.

Johnson took over on San Francisco’s next possession when Purdy determined he couldn’t throw the ball.

The 49ers tied the game in the second quarter when McCaffrey powered his way to a 23-yard touchdown run.

The Eagles regained the lead when Sanders rumbled through a big hole on a 13-yard run with 1:36 left.

On San Francisco’s next possession, Johnson took his eyes off a shotgun snap and dropped the ball, and Reddick recovered at the 49ers’ 30. Three plays later, Scott scored on a 10-yard run to give Philadelphia a 21-7 advantage 16 seconds before halftime.

Early in the third quarter, Johnson threw an incomplete pass and hit his head on the turf after a hit from Philadelphia’s Ndamukong Suh. He exited the game. Purdy finished the drive with a handoff and then returned for San Francisco’s next offensive drive.

The 49ers went three-and-out and punted the ball back to the Eagles. Philadelphia received help from a 15-yard roughing the kicker penalty while driving 91 yards on 15 plays, with Hurts scoring on a 1-yard keeper to make it 28-7 with 43 seconds left in the period.

Jake Elliott added a 31-yard field goal with 5:17 left in the game.

–Field Level Media