5 Philadelphia Eagles Who Need To Prove Their Value in 2014

5 Eagles Who Need to Prove Their Worth in 2014

Cedric Thornton, Philadelphia Eagles
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As of now, 13 Philadelphia Eagles are nearing the end of their contracts. With their deals about to expire in a year or two, these players will need to give the front office a reason to keep them around. While some are bound to hit the market in the coming years, some have a clouded future as to whether they will stay or leave. Here is a list of Eagles who will need to prove why they should wear the midnight green moving forward.

5. Cedric Thornton

Cedric Thornton, Philadelphia Eagles
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5. Cedric Thornton

Cedric Thornton
USA Today Sports Images

Thornton surprised many by flourishing in the Eagles’ revitalized 3-4 defense. However, head coach Chip Kelly prefers players who can play in multiple roles. As of now, Thornton is only useful on early running downs, and was strictly relegated to that last season. In order to keep his job in Philly, he will need to expand his repertoire of skills and become a more complete defensive lineman in order to earn a new contract.

4. Bradley Fletcher

Bradley Fletcher, Philadelphia Eagles
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4. Bradley Fletcher

Bradley Fletcher, Philadelphia Eagles
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Fletcher finished with 62 total tackles last season, which was fourth among cornerbacks. He is an excellent open field tackler and makes smart decisions. He Achilles’ heel was larger, more physical receivers and was often beaten off of the line of scrimmage when forced to play in press coverage. He will need to improve drastically if he wants to retain his job, especially with Jaylen Watkins and Nolan Carroll looming on the depth chart.

3. Jeremy Maclin

Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
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3. Jeremy Maclin

Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
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When healthy, Maclin is one of the most consistent wide receivers on the roster. However, Maclin missed all of last season due to a torn ACL, and with the exception of Adrian Peterson, most players don’t fully recover until the second year after the injury. This will be the first year he plays in Chip Kelly’s dynamic system, and has the requisite skills to excel in it. However, he will need to show that his knees can last him an entire season.

2. Riley Cooper

Riley Cooper
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2. Riley Cooper

Riley Cooper
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Cooper is the birds' top returning receiver this year after posting career highs in yards (835) and receiving touchdowns (8). However, a large bulk of those numbers took place in a 4-game span where he caught 18 passes for 462 yards and five scores. After that streak, he eclipsed 60 yards once for the rest of the year with one score. He'll need to stop teasing fantasy owners and remain consistent in order to prove he is a legitimate threat.

1. Nick Foles

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
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1. Nick Foles

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
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We all know what Foles accomplished in 2013. His 27-2 touchdown to interception ratio is the lowest in NFL history. His 119.2 passer rating was the best in the NFL. However, Foles is entering the 2014 season with a target on his back. All NFL teams have had an entire offseason to watch game footage of Foles. If he wants to discard the “one-year wonder” label, he will need to expand on his 2013 season in his first full year as a starter.


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