Eagles analysis

Eagles minicamp leftovers: DeVonta Smith' contract, Bryce Huff's snaps and more

Here are some notes on DeVonta Smith, Bryce Huff and more from the Eagles' mandatory minicamp.

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The Eagles wrapped up their three-day mandatory minicamp on Thursday and will now go their separate ways until late July for training camp.

We had plenty of coverage of minicamp, including practice observations each day:

Day 1 

Day 2

Day 3

But we also talked to a bunch of players and coaches. Here are some leftovers from a busy week at the NovaCare Complex:

Not counting pockets

Back in April, the Eagles signed DeVonta Smith to a three-year, $75 million contract extension, an average per year of $25 million. Big money for a good player.

But that deal opened up the flood gates a bit for other receivers, who have gotten paid since then:

Justin Jefferson: 4 years, $140 million ($35M APY)
A.J. Brown: 3 years, $96 million ($32M APY)
Amon-Ra St. Brown: 4 years, $120 million ($30M APY)
Jaylen Waddle: 3 years, $84.75 million ($28.25M APY)
Nico Collins: 3 years, $72.75 million ($24.25 M APY)

Former Eagles president Joe Banner had some harsh words for Smith’s agent after seeing the deals that have followed.

Of course, getting these deals done early has been a hallmark of the Eagles’ organization for years and it’s Banner who was once on the forefront of that. So he certainly understands why the Eagles got this deal done. Perhaps if Smith waited a bit longer, he would be getting paid $28+ million per season.

But Smith is happy with his deal. He said this week that his perspective hasn’t changed.

“Nah, man. You can’t be counting the pockets of others,” Smith said. “I’m where I want to be. This is where I wanted to be. And at the end of the day, it was still life-changing for me. Those guys that have got their deals, they deserve it. Great players and great people. At the end of the day, we’re all blessed.”

Ready to play more

Bryce Huff had a career season with the Jets in 2023 with 10 sacks on just 480 snaps. That was a career high in snaps too but Huff is going to be asked to play even more with the Eagles in 2024. They didn’t give him a $51 million contract to play less.

“Just the same way I’ve always prepared,” Huff said about his offseason. “Just honing in on my conditioning and staying strong. Doing a lot of injury prevention work and just staying dialed in on my details.”

For reference, the Eagles’ top two edge players in 2023 were Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat, who played 862 snaps and 828 snaps respectively. And Vic Fangio is known for an even shorter rotation. So Huff if all goes to plan, Huff should smash that 480-snap mark this season.

But even with an expanded role, he doesn’t feel any more pressure.

Not necessarily,” Huff said. “Because I’ve always trained with the mindset of it only takes one play for somebody to get hurt, God forbid, or somebody miss a game. So I’ve always practice to be fully prepared for any opportunity. I’m just taking that same process into this year and playing my role.”

Showing off his strength

It has been a very good offseason for second-year offensive lineman Tyler Steen, who is very clearly the top option for the Eagles at right guard in 2024. Steen took every snap at right guard with the first team in the five practices that were open to reporters this spring.

And offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was very complimentary when talking about Steen. He even compared him to three-time Pro Bowler Brandon Brooks.

Right tackle Lane Johnson has also been impressed by Steen.

“He’s been good,” Johnson said. “I mean, he’s night and day stronger than what he was last year. He’s put in the work. We have a lot of bodies and as you know, OTAs is limited contact. Everything is looking good, footwork, but we really won’t tell until training camp when we get the pads on.”

The farewell tour

Brandon Graham has already said the 2024 season will be his last and he’s not waffling on that.

“I’m going to be a part of the Eagles organization, for sure,” Graham said. “But as a player, I think this will be my last little hurrah. I’m going to enjoy it too.”

No Eagles player has ever played 15 seasons with the Eagles and Graham will break his tie with Chuck Bednarik, who played 14 seasons with the franchise. Graham already leads the franchise with 195 games played.

Graham, 36, is enjoying his farewell tour and was at every practice this spring.

“For this to be my last year, I’m happy to go out with a team like this,” Graham said. “Now, we just gotta put in the work. I’m just enjoying every second of this mandatory. I ain’t in no rush to go nowhere. Because at the end of the day, the only time I’m going somewhere is to take baby girl to gymnastics or baby boy to wherever he got to go to. Family stuff. But I’m definitely enjoying supporting everybody.”

‘Knew the head coach’

The Eagles added a bunch of defensive coaches who have worked with Fangio before. New linebackers coach Bobby King hasn’t.

How did King end up here?

“Knew the head coach,” King said. “That was it.”

The Eagles reportedly had some interest in other linebacker coach candidates before landing on King, who got a call from Sirianni about the opening. King and Sirianni were on the same staff with the Chargers from 2014-16. King back then was an assistant linebackers coach and Sirianni was quarterbacks and then receivers coach.

“He’s energetic,” King said about Sirianni. “He’s going to bring it every day. And he holds guys accountable. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t mind hurting feelings. And I appreciate that with him and he’s consistent every day.”

In debt to the long snapper

Devin White wore the No. 40 during his college career at LSU but when he was picked in the first round of the 2019 draft that number was no longer an option with Tampa Bay. No one has worn No. 40 since Mike Alstott, who is one of teh most popular Bucs ever.

So White ended up wearing the No. 45 during his five years in Tampa and named his foundation the Get Live 45 Foundation.

When White signed with the Eagles, long snapper Rick Lovato had 45 but they worked it out.

“Just told him the reason behind it. Why I embrace it so much,” White said. “He was very understanding. He’s a great guy. He said he was happy to have me on this team and he didn’t see no problem with that. Kudos to him. Anything he need, I’m in debt to him big-time.”

Lovato now wears No. 49.

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