Carson Wentz-Alshon Jeffery connection starts with a bang

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PHILADELPHIA — Just moments into the Philadelphia Eagles jersey’ first full-squad practice of training camp, Carson Wentz jersey dropped back and unloaded a 40-plus-yard pass down the middle of field. As it descended, Alshon Jeffery jersey jersey jersey sped into the frame and nonchalantly made the grab in stride.

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With that, the new quarterback-receiver combo was off and running.

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“Having a guy like that,” said Wentz, “it really makes a quarterback play a lot more confidently.”

wholesale jerseys authentic The new tandem has been working hard to get on the same page since the Eagles signed Jeffery to a one-year deal worth upward of $14 million in March. Jeffery recently joined Wentz and a host of other skill-position players in Wentz’s home state of North Dakota to build on their foundation prior to the start of camp.

Cheap Charles Sims jersey “He’s very soft-spoken but he’s a quiet competitor,” Wentz said. “He gets ticked off when he doesn’t make the play or different things, but he is quiet with it. What I really liked is just getting to know him on the field and getting used to the way he gets in and out of breaks and the way he can go up and get a ball. It’s been pretty cool getting to know him.”

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ESPN’s fantasy football experts cheap jersey are betting that Jeffery will have a pretty productive year. He is 11th among receivers and 22nd overall in their PPR rankings. They have Wentz in the middle of the pack among quarterbacks.

What seems certain is that Wentz’s receiver options have been significantly upgraded. Consider: The Eagles’ wide receivers combined for 1,849 yards last season, second-fewest in the NFL. Jeffery has had more than 1,400 yards in a single season alone. The ability is there; now it’s a matter of quarterback and receiver continuing to sync.

“It’s been great, from [spring practices], getting him to come up to Fargo and just talk through some things and go on the field and work out, and then out here on the field finally [at training camp], it seems like it’s been a long time coming,” said Wentz. “It’s just something that we’re going to continue to grow with.”

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That sound you heard this week was the opening of NFL training camps. We’re inside six weeks now until the start of the regular season, and the grunting and sweating that’s happening on all those far-flung practice fields will soon yield to real results.

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The play-by-play you get of camp practices can be fun, and it can soothe your football-starved soul. But it doesn’t ultimately make much of a difference as to what happens once the real games start. Far more likely to matter is what’s come before — the moves made this offseason long before camps opened.

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With that in mind, and with camps open across the league, here’s a look at the offseason moves likely to have a major impact on the 2017 NFL season, in no particular order:

wholesale jerseys from china The Oakland Raiders jersey hit fast forwardThe biggest Raiders news of the offseason was the cheap jersey approval they got to move to Las Vegas after two or three more years in Oakland. But that news seems to only have intensified the team’s desire to win very, very soon — as in, before it leaves the Bay Area. Luring running back Marshawn Lynch jersey out of retirement, adding Jared Cook jersey jersey to an already potent pass-catching corps, signing quarterback Derek Carr jersey for the long term, extending coach Jack Del Rio … all of these moves signify a franchise flush with confidence and the highest of hopes for the very immediate future. Regardless of location.

Cheap Troy Hill jersey The New York Giants jersey sign Brandon Marshall jersey jerseyThe Giants got a major break here, getting the veteran wideout on the cheap in part because he didn’t want to leave the New York market after getting cut by the Jets. Marshall averages 104 catches for 1,341 yards and nine touchdowns in his first year after changing teams, and this is the fourth time he has changed teams. He’s 33, and at some point he and those trends will slow down. But in the meantime, Marshall should be a great help to superstar wideout Odell Beckham jersey Jr jersey. and to quarterback Eli Manning jersey jersey, who too often last season didn’t have enough reliable targets.

Brandin Cooks jersey jersey will give Tom Brady jersey jersey a crucial deep threat, and the Patriots’ offense could be special. Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty ImagesBill Belichick gets trade-happyWe’ve long known the New England Patriots jersey’ coach loves to trade draft picks, but usually he’s dealing them for other draft picks. This offseason, the Patriots dealt for wide receiver Brandin Cooks jersey jersey, pass-rusher Kony Ealy jersey jersey jersey and tight end Dwayne Allen jersey jersey. They also gave up a pick to sign restricted free-agent running back Mike Gillislee jersey jersey away from Buffalo — the team from whom they signed top free-agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore jersey jersey jersey. It was a bold and creative offseason by a coach who has won five Super Bowls and seems determined to win as many as possible before his and Tom Brady jersey jersey’s window closes.

New friends for Jameis Winston jerseyEditor’s PicksBiggest questions for every NFL teamHow will playing on a one-year deal affect Redskins QB Kirk Cousins jersey? Will Andrew Luck jersey jersey be the Colts’ Week 1 starter? What’s Le’Veon Bell jersey’s plan for the preseason? NFL Nation assesses the biggest questions entering training camp.

Starting lineup, 53-man roster projections for every NFL teamWho’s on the bubble? Which rookie could surprise? NFL Nation reporters take a crack at a preliminary 53-man roster and starting lineup projection and preview what to expect in training camp for every team.

Barnwell: NFL’s best (and worst) arsenalsNo quarterbacks, offensive linemen or coordinators allowed — just pass-catchers and running backs. From 32-1, we’re ranking every team’s offensive weapons.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey added premier deep-threat wideout DeSean Jackson jersey in free agency, a move that should open up the field in unprecedented ways for quarterback Winston and star wideout Mike Evans jersey. They also drafted Alabama tight end O.J. Howard in the first round, a move that should open up things for Cameron Brate jersey as a pass-catcher and help the run game as Howard develops at the NFL level. The Bucs were one of 2016’s surprise stories, and they look to keep it going around their young quarterback.

Richard Sherman jersey stays putWhether he asked for a trade, whether the Seattle Seahawks jersey just got tired of the antics … none of that is really relevant, because coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider made it publicly clear they were listening to offers for their heart-and-soul cornerback. They ended up keeping him, which is the right move. Contract and cap issues will make it tough for Seattle to keep its secondary together after this season, but right now the NFC is still the Seahawks’ for the taking if the offense can hold up its end. Keeping the defense together for at least one more run was the way to go.

The Los Angeles Rams jersey hire young and oldThe new coach is energetic, talented offensive mind Sean McVay, age 31. The new defensive coordinator is the venerable Wade Phillips, age 70, last seen turning the Denver Broncos jersey’ defense into a championship-caliber monster. The combination should mean new energy and excitement for a Rams team that has hit some doldrums. Whether it means success depends on how much McVay has with young quarterback Jared Goff jersey.

Open season on general managersThe teams that changed GMs at odd times of the year included the Indianapolis Colts jersey, Buffalo Bills jersey, Kansas City Chiefs jersey and Carolina Panthers jersey. The latter two were stunning summer surprises. The changes in Buffalo and Kansas City signify increased power for the head coaches. The one in Carolina could signal a return to some bad, old-style spending habits. The one in Indy is, the Colts hope, the best chance to put a contender around Andrew Luck jersey jersey as he develops. Long term, though, the impact is this: If you’re an NFL GM, there’s no time of year when you can believe your job is safe.

First-round pick Jamal Adams jersey is an early front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY SportsThe New York Jets jersey draft safety Jamal Adams jerseyLook, it feels as if everything we say and write about the Jets is doom and gloom, and for the most part there’s good reason for that. I don’t expect them to be a good team in 2017. But Adams, the No. 6 overall pick, could be the most NFL-ready player in this year’s rookie class, and the expectation is that he’ll emerge as a leader right away and solidify things on that defense as the team adds pieces in the years to come. A great long-view pick for a team that has to be thinking that way.

The Cleveland Browns jersey build the lineThis is another team that appears to be years away from contending. But adding Kevin Zeitler jersey jersey and JC Tretter jersey jersey in free agency and re-signing Joel Bitonio jersey jersey long term signifies a team that knows what a rebuild is all about. Getting better up front will only help whoever the quarterback turns out to be, and it will help the Browns be a better running team and a tougher team to play in 2017.

Sam Bradford jersey gets some help … maybeAre Riley Reiff jersey jersey jersey and Mike Remmers jersey jersey jersey the answers at tackle for a Minnesota Vikings jersey team whose 2016 season fell apart due to poor play at those positions? Their free-agent price tags say they are. Their histories say “maybe, maybe not.” Bradford is in the final year of his contract, and the health of former Minnesota first-rounder Teddy Bridgewater jersey jersey is keeping the organization from committing to Bradford just yet. Reiff and Remmers will have a lot to say about how successful Bradford will be in 2017 and how likely he is to stay beyond.

The Houston Texans jersey overhaul quarterback — againA year after dumping Brian Hoyer jersey jersey jersey and overpaying for Brock Osweiler jersey, Houston managed to offload Osweiler’s contract to cap-rich Cleveland and then moved up in the draft to take Clemson’s Deshaun Watson jersey. Whether Watson starts right away remains to be seen (the bet here is that he does). But where the Texans were once convinced Osweiler was the long-term answer, they’re now all-in on the electric youngster who took out Alabama in the national championship game.

The Green Bay Packers jersey sign a free-agent tight end — againLast year it was Jared Cook jersey jersey, who played well enough to get a new deal from the Raiders. This year it’s Martellus Bennett jersey jersey jersey, fresh off a Super Bowl title with the Patriots. A better all-around player than even the dynamic Cook, Bennett will be a fun middle-of-the-field weapon for Aaron Rodgers jersey jersey and an underrated helper to Ty Montgomery jersey jersey and the run game as a blocker.

John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan each got six-year contracts in San Francisco, and the 49ers are in for a rebuild. AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezThe San Francisco 49ers jersey change coaches — againKyle Shanahan will be the fourth different 49ers coach in four years, but he and new GM John Lynch got six-year deals, which means it’s very unlikely the Niners will change coaches again next year. Shanahan and Lynch are both first-timers in their jobs, so some growing pains should be expected. And they still have to figure out the long-term answer at quarterback. But the long-term commitment indicates a franchise that knows it needs some stability at the top, at long last.

The Carolina Panthers jersey add help for Cam Newton jersey jerseyBattered from the outset, the 2015 NFL MVP endured a nightmare of a 2016 season and is coming off offseason shoulder surgery. The Panthers signed former first-round pick Matt Kalil jersey jersey jersey to play left tackle (two spots over from his brother, Ryan Kalil jersey jersey) and drafted Christian McCaffrey jersey and Curtis Samuel jersey to give Newton some short-range, quick-pass targets. This is all designed to help protect Newton better and prolong his career. How he adjusts to the new style will be one of the big stories of 2017.

Martavis Bryant jersey is reinstatedThe Pittsburgh Steelers jersey’ wide receiver was suspended for four games in 2015 and every game in 2016 for violating the league’s drug policy, but assuming no slip-ups between now and September — he’s still not allowed to practice or play in games — he’ll be back on the field and should add a viable deep threat to Pittsburgh’s already-star-studded passing attack. If they can get running back Le’Veon Bell jersey in camp and keep him, Ben Roethlisberger jersey and Antonio Brown jersey all healthy at the same time, this could be the best offense in the league.

Kirk Cousins jersey tells Washington ‘No, thanks’Washington never came close to offering Cousins the kind of contract it would have taken to keep him from wanting to test next March’s free-agent market, so he’ll play out 2017 on a $24 million franchise tag and likely leave when it’s over. The impact on Washington’s 2017 season remains to be seen, and it’s possible Cousins’ performance suffers from the loss of Pierre Garcon jersey and DeSean Jackson jersey. But the major impact of this move could be a franchise quarterback on the open market in March — and those ripples would be felt league wide for years to come.

Dontari Poe jersey jersey signed a one-year deal in Atlanta, and the Falcons are hoping he helps improve their run defense and pass rush. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsThe Atlanta Falcons jersey beef up their defensive frontYes, of course the offensive playcalling in the Super Bowl deserves to be questioned. But another reason the Falcons blew a 25-point lead to the Patriots is that their defense had nothing left by the fourth quarter. Signing defensive tackle Dontari Poe jersey jersey and drafting Takkarist McKinley jersey in Round 1 deepens the D-line and should help the defense stay stronger later in games.

The Chargers say goodbye to San DiegoNow the Los Angeles Chargers jersey, Philip Rivers jersey’ team will play in a 30,000-seat soccer stadium while their joint venture with the Rams is built. The stadium situation in San Diego wasn’t a great one, but how bad could it really have been to chase them out of town before they had a representative, NFL-caliber place to play home games?

Andrew Luck jersey jersey has shoulder surgeryThe Indianapolis Colts jersey’ franchise quarterback enters camp a question mark following January surgery on his throwing shoulder. There’s optimism in Indy because of the moves new GM Chris Ballard has made to strengthen the team’s future, but none of that matters if Luck can’t get on the field — or if his health is in question once he does.

The Philadelphia Eagles jersey sign Alshon Jeffery jersey jersey jerseyOne thing missing from QB Carson Wentz jersey’s promising rookie year was a true No. 1 wide receiver. Jeffrey — when he’s been able to stay healthy — has shown the ability to be one of those. The Bears had enough, and he ended up in Philly on a one-year, prove-it deal. If he can stay on the field and produce the way he did in Chicago, Jeffery will help the Eagles evaluate Wentz and how much further he still needs to go.

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PHILADELPHIA – During team drills Thursday, Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews jersey took off down the field, tracked a long toss from quarterback Nick cheap jersey Foles jersey jersey jersey, leaped into the air and wrestled it away from defensive back Randall Goforth in the end zone. After slowly making his way back to the sideline, a bit of a hitch in his step, he was greeted by a number of enthusiastic teammates who seemed to recognize the moment for being about more than just a highlight catch.

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A number of elements have come together to cloud Matthews’ situation, including a report that surfaced recently suggesting his absence from the practice field this spring was contract-related. Matthews refuted that notion following Thursday’s session.Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews jersey said Thursday he’s not concerned about the lack of talks regarding a contract extension. AP Photo/Matt Rourke”I would literally never do that,” he said. “If you guys know me any from the time I’ve been here, I go to work. This is a privilege to be able to play football regardless, whether it’s the Philadelphia Eagles jersey or it’s anybody, to play in the NFL, I’ve always wanted to do this. So any day I can come out here and play, I’m going to do that. I believe that when you go to work, you’ll end up seeing the fruits of your labor get paid off.

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Matthews was absent for a good portion of the spring because of a lingering knee issue that the team has described as tendinitis. He told reporters after Thursday’s practice that “I hate putting a specific word on it because then people say, ‘Oh, well I’ve played with that before,'” but refused to elaborate on the exact nature of the injury. The 25-year-old did allow that surgery was discussed early on but he decided to let it heal more naturally.

wholesale jerseys When asked what was wrong with Matthews’ knee earlier in the week, head coach Doug Pederson said “Nothing. Just rehabbing it and keeping it healthy.” When pressed further Pederson deferred to the team doctors and trainers, saying he was “not a medical guy.” A source later told ESPN that Pederson had forgotten the specific nature of the injury in the moment and did not want to give out the wrong information.

Wholesale Rakim Cox jersey A couple days later, a report surfaced raising the question of whether Matthews’ absence during the offseason training program was contact-related.

“There is talk around the locker room that Matthews’ issue is more serious than tendinitis. But there is talk elsewhere in the building that Matthews could have practiced more in the spring, that the real issue is his contract,” the Daily News wrote.

Matthews is in the final year of his rookie deal. There have been no signs to date that extension talks have gotten serious. Typically, the Eagles like to lock homegrown talent up to early if they have been identified as core pieces. That has not happened in this case, which is a little curious.

The former second-round pick out of Vanderbilt has averaged 75 catches, nearly 900 yards and six touchdowns over his three years in the pros. Part of an historic wide receiver class that includes Odell Beckham jersey, Jr., Mike Evans jersey, Sammy Watkins jersey jersey, Brandin Cooks jersey jersey, Kelvin Benjamin jersey jersey, Devante Adams and Jarvis Landry jersey jersey, Matthews has held his own. He is also considered a quality teammate and has grown tight with quarterback Carson Wentz jersey.

Matthews primarily works out of the slot, however, and there are a number of players on the team — from running backs Darren Sproles jersey and Donnel Pumphrey jersey to tight ends Zach Ertz jersey and Trey Burton jersey to receivers Nelson Agholor jersey and Torrey Smith jersey – that could see some looks there. Agholor had a very good spring inside during Matthews’ absence, though it’s very much in question whether he can be relied on when the fall hits.

Identifying Matthews’ value could be a bit tricky. His numbers are strong, but he could be the third wide receiver option now that Alshon Jeffery jersey jersey jersey and Torrey Smith jersey are in the fold. Can the cap-strapped Eagles afford to give significant money to Matthews, especially with a potential big deal for Jeffery on the horizon?

“I think things change by the year depending on what our team’s salary cap looks like and any of that stuff,” said Matthews, on the lack of serious contract talks to this point. “There’s so many things that go into it. I basically say, if you go out there and make plays, you’ll get paid … so I don’t really try and worry about all the other stuff. My biggest thing is, I am going to come out here and help the team win. If I do that, I feel like that’s going to set me up in the best position to be here long term.”

The injury further complicates matters. Matthews first hurt the knee last August when he was hit low in training camp. Labeled a bone bruise, the ailment lingered into the regular season. Later he suffered a high ankle sprain. Back spasms also cropped up. While he wouldn’t say the current issue is directly related to that original knee injury, Matthews did allow that this has been an ongoing saga brought on in part by overcompensation.

While there were moments when Matthews didn’t look quite 100 percent, he was back on the practice field as full-team practices kicked off Thursday. He plans to play and play hard, he says, despite his contract status.

“When I grew up, my parents were affluent. I never needed anything so when I played football, I played football for respect,” he said. “It was never, ‘OK, I’ve got to get to the league to get money to get my mom a house.’

“I respect anybody that has to do that but I never had to do that, so I never really played for money. I went across the middle because I wanted to make sure the guy across from me respected me. That’s not going to change. If anything, it just grows the older I get and the better competition I see.”

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