Sources: Pederson to meet owner; future shaky

  • ESPN Senior NFL Analyst
  • Joined ESPN in 1991
  • George Polk Award winner; Twice nominated for Pulitzer Prize

PHILADELPHIA — Doug Pederson’s status as Philadelphia Eagles head coach is not firm, and he could be out if owner Jeffrey Lurie is not confident about Pederson’s vision for the team after they meet again soon, sources told ESPN.

Pederson and Lurie are expected to meet again early this week in Florida after discussions this past Tuesday did not go well, according to sources.

Lurie’s concerns extend well beyond struggling quarterback Carson Wentz, according to sources, and there are a number of outstanding issues ranging from personnel to coaching staff outlook.

Pederson, who helped deliver Philadelphia its only Super Bowl title in 2017 and guided the Eagles to the playoffs each of the last three years, was expected to remain as coach in 2021 despite a 4-11-1 finish this season.

But Lurie to this point has not been sold on how Pederson plans to fix the offense and get the Eagles back to contender status, according to sources.

Philadelphia finished 26th in scoring (20.9 points per game) and 28th in passing yards (207.9 yards per game) in 2020, while Wentz regressed dramatically in his fifth year and was replaced in by rookie Jalen Hurts as the Eagles’ starting quarterback for the season’s final four games.

Wentz has planned to ask for a trade in the offseason because his relationship with Pederson is fractured beyond repair, sources said. The trust issues between the two work both ways, sources said, despite Pederson recently saying that his relationship with Wentz was fine.

Wentz has not spoken publicly since the Eagles’ season ended, and a player source indicated that the quarterback did not have the normal end-of-season exit interview with Pederson or the staff.

While Pederson’s fragile status does not necessarily focus around Wentz’s issues, according to sources, his internal description when pressed about the team’s offensive identity during one meeting with management was “troubling.” His plan to address his coaching staff also lacked urgency, the sources added.

As for Hurts, a second-round draft pick last April, there was not firm clarity from Pederson on whether he had a sense that the Eagles had their quarterback of the future if the organization decides to move on from Wentz.

The handling of the last Sunday night’s season finale — in which Hurts was pulled in favor of Nate Sudfeld in a 20-14 loss to Washington — also left questions about whether Pederson has lost his players’ confidence.

Pederson has a 46-39-1 record over five season with the Eagles. He became just the eighth head coach to win a Super Bowl within his first two years at the helm when Philadelphia defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII in February 2018.

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